THE MBS HOLDS AN INDUSTRIAL AWARENESS SEMINAR ON CURRENT CAPABILITIES STRENGTHENED THROUGH THE SQAM PROJECT

The MBS is currently implementing the SQAM Infrastructure Project with financial and technical assistance from the Government of Malawi (GoM), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), European Union (EU) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) with the ultimate goal of developing a robust standardization, quality assurance, accreditation and metrology (SQAM) infrastructure in Malawi.

On 20th September 2017 the MBS conducted an Industrial awareness seminar at Sunbird Mount Soche, with the objective informing stakeholders (both private and public sector) on the progress made under the project, in particular to inform the stakeholders on the areas that the capacity of the MBS has been strengthened, and how this would benefit the industry. The seminar highlighted the equipment that has been procured under the project and the capacity that has been strengthened/created under the certification programmes, and the progress that has been made on the accreditation activities. The following are some of the areas in which capacity has been built under the project:

  1. Testing services:
    • Tensile and compression tests of materials using a universal testing machine.
    • Analysis and elucidation of Food Additives, aflatoxins, Vitamins, Natural Components and Residues using a High Performance Liquid Chromatograph (HPLC).
    • Analysis of wide range of molecules in pharmaceutical, biotechnology, environmental, agricultural and other industries using an ion chromatograph. Currently mainly being used to analyze the following elements in water: Fluoride, Chloride, Sulphates, Nitrite, Nitrate, Calcium, Sodium, Magnesium.
    • Distillation of fuels using a distillation analyzer. Distillations are used to characterize the tendency of a hydrocarbon fuel to vaporize. Vaporization characteristics are a critical measure of overall fuel safety and performance.
    • Development of quality management system based on ISO 17025 in the following testing areas: microbiology, mycotoxins, elements in water.
    • Training of laboratory personnel in microbiology, mycotoxins and pesticides analysis.
  2. Metrology services:
    • Calibration facility for weighbridges.
    • A 2,500-litre capacity facility for flow measurements for the fuel industry.
    • Upgrade of the mass calibration laboratory in the working range from 1mg to 1,000kg.
    • Training of personnel.
      2,500-litre capacity
  3. Certification services:
    • Auditors cum counsellors trainings in ISO 9001 and ISO 22000
    • Lead Auditor/Auditor trainings in ISO 9001 and ISO 22000
    • Technical assistance to SMEs for the development of Quality Management Systems (based on ISO 9001) and Food Safety Management Systems (based on ISO 22000)
    • Establishment of management systems’ and product certification programmes towards accreditation to ISO/IEC 17021 and ISO/IEC 17065
    • Personal and food hygiene trainings for SMEs based on Malawi standard for food hygiene (MS 21)
      A purpose built truck for long distance transportation of weights and forklift for verification of weighbridges

The seminar was attended by 39 participants.