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April / May 2003
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Dr. Herbert Kielbassa, managing director of the world renowned LABORDATA International Materials Testing Institute, has an unrivalled knowledge of the global FIBC industry.

Minimum requirements on quality assurance for manufacturing FIBCs for dangerous goods

The following guidelines are to be used as a help for manufacturers of FIBCs in drawing up an adequate Quality Assurance Programme as well as in limiting the scope of said programme to the minimum required. According to ADR 2001, subsections 6.1.1.4, 6.5.1.6.1 and 6.6.1.2 and to the comparable regulations, dangerous goods packagings have to be produced and tested in accordance with an adequately implemented quality assurance programme in order to safeguard that every item of packaging produced for transport of dangerous goods corresponds to the regulations laid down in the relevant chapters. A QA programme shall contain sufficient elements regarding incoming goods control, production preparation, production and testing. Preferably, the QA elements should be based on the corresponding elements of BS EN ISO 9001/2000. The interface to traffic-law regulations has to be described in addition to the usual internal relations between supplier / organisation / customer. For FIBCs the following details have to be observed:

1. INCOMING GOODS CONTROL

Each delivery (supply) of fabrics, liners, semi-finished products and additives relevant to safety shall be subjected to identification testing by means of comparison to the Work Test Certificates of the suppliers as specified in BS EN 10204-2.2/95 regarding the technical characteristics.
Random checks of the FIBC dimensions and weight controls shall be carried out in accordance with a testing schedule. Other random tests according to a testing schedule in accordance with BS EN 10204-2.3/95 or equivalent tests shall be performed in order to determine conformance with the FIBC design type used for the UN-approval.

2. CONTROLS DURING PRODUCTION

2.1 TESTS PRIOR TO STARTING UP PRODUCTION


The procedural quality ability of the manufacturing process with regard to the product specifications of FIBCs must be controlled before starting production taking into account the job instructions specified. Before starting up production the ordinary function of machinery and plants must be ensured and documented. Before releasing the production the following tests shall be performed and documented using at least one prototype of the design type intended for manufacturing:

  • Design type
  • General external condition
  • Control of the dimensions
  • Condition of the connecting seams, welds and adhesives
  • Condition of the filling and closing equipment
  • Correctness, durability and legibility of the UN-marking

2.2 IN-PROCESS CONTROLS

During production the proper installation of the machinery and plants and the observance of the job instructions are to be supervised.
The following controls showing compliance with the design type approval shall be carried out:

Kind of controlsPeriod of controls
General external condition Every FIBC
Determination of the dimensions 1 FIBC of 250, minimum 1 per order
Condition of the glued, welded and sewn connections Every FIBC
Condition of the filling and closing equipment 1 FIBC per order
Correctness, durability and legibility of the UN-marking Every FIBC

3. FINAL INSPECTIONS AND TESTS

The final inspections include the following tests:

Type TestsTest Intervals *)
Drop test 1 FIBC per order, min 1 of 1000
Topple test 1 FIBC per order, min 1 of 1000
Righting test 1 FIBC per order, min 1 of 1000
Top lift test 1 FIBC per order, min 1 of 1000
General external condition 1 FIBC per order, min 1 of 1000
Condition of the sewn, welded and glued connections 1 FIBC per order, min 1 of 1000
Correctness, durability and leibility of the UN-marking 1 FIBC per order, min 1 of 1000

*) In special cases other test schedules and intervals can be agreed with the Competent Authority and/or the Third Party Inspector.

4. PROCEDURES FOLLOWED IN CASE OF FAULTY PRODUCTS

If mistakes relevant to safety occur during production, the UN-marking shall be made permanently unrecognisable by a suitable procedure and such FIBCs shall be precluded from usage as dangerous goods packagings.

5. COMPLETENESS AND CORRECTNESS OF THE USER'S DOCUMENTATION

The completeness and accuracy of the documents (approval documents, operation and instruction manuals) shall be guaranteed for each delivery.

Comments are welcome and these may be sent by letter to Dr Kielbassa, c/o INDUSTRIAL BULK WORLD, 25 West Cottages, Off West End Lane, London NW6 1RJ, UK. Alternatively, he can be contacted direct (tel: +49 531 33 9011, fax: +49 531 33 9013; email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).


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