New Equipment to Enhance TBS Quality Infrastructure

The Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) has acquired new state-of-the-art testing and calibration

Mr Charles Elekenge, Direcor General TBS

equipment under the Project on Trade Capacity Building: Enhancing the Capacities of the Tanzanian Quality Infrastructure and TBT/SPS Compliance Systems for Trade.

The objective of the project which is funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), is to improve the capacities of the Tanzanian quality infrastructure to meet the domestic and export market demands on product quality and safety.

The equipment are meant for the Metrology Laboratory, the Food Laboratory and the Packaging Technology Centre (PTC) and are worth € 578,921. They include the metrology equipment for pressure, dimensions and electrical measurements and the mobile calibration unit.

Others are climate chamber, migration testing facility, head-space measurement facility, oxygen analyzer, portable spectroradiometer and pin-hole tester, for the consumer packaging section of the PTC; and the High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) which will be used for analysis of the quality of food product samples at the Food Laboratory.

The new equipment will enhance TBS capability in providing testing and certification of packages, analyzing the quality of food stuffs and calibration of measurement standards and precision instruments in various fields of measurements.

The mobile calibration unit will soon be providing on-site fast and convenient services at the customer’s location, thus ensuring promptness, saving time and averting transport costs on the part of the customer.

Industrialists all over the world are realizing the importance of calibration in maintaining traceability and quality of operations. Tanzania is no exception in this trend and the TBS Metrology Laboratory - the Custodian of National Measurement Standards - has realized the importance of equipping itself with prompt calibration facility.

The laboratory is already accredited to ISO 17025, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, since December 15, 2006, being the first laboratory in Tanzania to reach such a step and subsequently becoming capable of releasing authentic test reports which are recognized throughout the world. The mobile calibration unit and the pressure, dimensions and electrical measurements devices add to the already excelling capability of the laboratory.

On the part of the PTC, the equipment will be a catalyst towards the implementation of the main objectives for establishing the centre, one of which is to support a coordinated development of the packaging industry by strengthening the existing standardization and testing capability in the area of packaging. Other main objectives which will now be realized include the offering of training on structural and graphic design of packages, provision of third party certification for packaging materials and packages produced according to acceptable standards; and provision of testing services for packages and packaging materials.

TBS Corporate Plan for the period 2007/08-2009/10 stipulates that TBS will ensure that the PTC is equipped and becomes operational by the end of 2007/08. The arrival of the equipment for the consumer packaging section of the centre is part of the realization of the plan. More equipment for the PTC, worth USD 365,000, will also be delivered to TBS in September 2007 as part of the implementation of the Danida funded project - Business Sector Programme Support (Phase II).

TBS would like to extend its gratitude to SECO, UNIDO and Danida together with the Government of Tanzania for their hand in improving its capacity to undertake standardization, metrology, quality assurance and conformity assessment activities