PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) pipes can be considered one of the most widely used plastic material in the world because of its strength, durability, easy installation and low cost. However, given its duty to transport liquid including water and other products for consumption, the manufacturing of PVC Pipes requires great precision and quality assurance.
Established in 1973, Guyana Thermo-Plastics (GTP) Limited –a subsidiary of Toolsie Persaud Limited –was among the first companies to begin the manufacture of PVC pipes in Guyana. As a major player in Guyana’s building and construction industry, GTP Ltd. began the production of PVC pipes in 1975 with its major customer being the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI), then the Guyana Water Authority (GuyWA).
Fast-forward to the late 1990s, to ensure that it meets the requirements of local and international standards; GTP Limited was also the first company to seek certification of its pipes by the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS). After fulfilling the requirements of the National Standards “Specification for (PVC) plastic pipe, schedules 40, 80 and 120” which was adopted from the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), GTP’s PVC pipes were certified in 1999.
The current Operations Manager of GTP, Mr. Mahendra Barran, who was a member of the Technical Committee that adopted the standard in the late 1990s, strongly believes that product certification is the key for many local products to access the export market; and it is for companies looking to increase their local customer base.
According to Mr. Barran, “When you certify your pipes, you can start exporting them; and of course, you have to produce to a certain standard for other countries to accept your products.” He suggested that there must be an organisation or institution to certify that products are being produced to standards and the GNBS is the fittest organisation to do so.
The GTP Manager boasted that since the company achieved certification of its pipes under the GNBS Product Certification Programme, it has continued to realize benefits including increased customer confidence in the product and reorders. He suggested that many local companies can accrue similar benefits by certifying their products, especially being able to guarantee and deliver quality to customers.
The National Standard GYS 99:2010 stipulates requirements for dimensions and tolerances, sustained pressure to avoid bursts or leaks, hydrostatic strength, and burst pressure. In addition, the standard states that pipes must not show evidence of splitting, cracking, breaking or any disintegration when tested. Meeting testing requirements is a prerequisite for certification; and through certification, companies are permitted by the GNBS to affix the National Standard Mark to their certified products.
The PVC pipes manufactured by the company is also certified to the GYS 107: 2010 – Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) Pressure – Rated Pipes.
The GNBS Certification for Products is issued to companies for a period of one year following which the product is recertified if it continues to meet the requirements of the standard.
To continually upkeep requirements to ensure recertification, GTP Ltd. has established a laboratory facility to test each set (batch) of pipes produced. The results of these tests are also documented for traceability purposes.
In fact, the company was recertified on Friday, August 27, 2021. It was also awarded two plaques from the GNBS for continually meeting the requirements of the standards.
In addition to PVC Pipes, the GNBS also certifies gold jewellery, concrete hollow blocks and bath tubs and shower units. Finally, as the relevant standards and testing facilities become available, the list of products which can be certified by the GNBS to ensure quality will increase.