Going Global

 

etween 5 November and 16 November, 2004, Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd. (Security Equipment Division) achieved what very few Indian companies have done. We cleared eight tests at Underwriters Laboratories Inc. under the able leadership of D.E. Byramjee, Vice President and Business Head (SED), and A.G. Naravane, General Manager (Design). It may have taken us 102 years in the making, but, finally, we are recognised the world over as quality makers of Record Protection Equipment.

We tested our Record Protection Equipment (Fire-Resisting Filing Cabinets and Datasafes) for three different tests fire endurance test, fire and impact test and explosion hazard test. These tests were conducted at the UL Fire Testing Laboratory in Chicago, USA.

Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) is an independent, not-for-profit product-safety testing and certification organisation. It has tested products for public safety for over a century. Manufacturers submit products to UL for testing and safety certification on a voluntary basis. There are no laws specifying that a UL Mark must be used.

Most countries have regulations for products entering their country. UL listing is acceptable virtually worldwide. Since we plan to market our products internationally, it is imperative to obtain UL Listing. It is also one of the most difficult standards to comply with. Once the product earns the UL Mark, UL doesn't forget about it. UL field representatives located worldwide make periodic, unannounced visits to each manufacturer's production facility to help countercheck that products continue to meet UL requirements. The UL Follow-Up Services programme worldwide helps protect the integrity of the UL Mark. UL conducted 5,47,708 follow-up visits in 2003 to audit compliance with product certification requirements through 127 UL inspection centres. In fact, this rigorous follow-up programme is part of what makes UL so unique. This also makes UL Mark one of the most recognised, accepted and trusted symbols in the world.


D.E. Byramjee proudly displays Godrej's Fire-Resisting Filing Cabinet after
the fire and impact test. All the material was found intact.

 

We tested our products under UL 72. Under UL 72 requirements, Record Protection Equipment is exposed to a fire endurance test and an explosion test. Equipment intended to provide impact resistance is also exposed to a fire and impact test. The fire endurance test is intended to demonstrate the ability of the device to prevent the development of temperatures and relative humidity exceeding the specified limits inside the device for the classification desired. The explosion test is intended to demonstrate the ability of the device to withstand sudden exposure to high temperatures (as high as 1,010 C) and prevent an explosion of the device from a buildup of steam or other from a buildup of steam or other gases. The fire and impact test is intended to protect contents from heat, to the extent described in the requirements, before and after the impact of falling 30 feet (9.1 metres).

We tested our Fire-Resisting Filing Cabinets under UL 72 Class 350 rating, which tests devices intended to protect paper records. To have a success record in this class, the internal temperature should not exceed 177 C. We tested our Fire-Resisting Filing Cabinet for an hour and then for two hours. We cleared this test with a huge margin as the maximum internal temperature of our product was 116 C during the one-hour test and 118 C during the soak-out time. As for the two-hour test, the maximum internal temperature reached was 145 C and 150 C during soak-out. Both these products also cleared the fire and impact test as well as the explosion test.

We tested our Dataline Datasafe under UL 72 Class 125 rating, which tests devices to protect paper and non-paper records such as EDP media (magnetic tapes), photographic records and flexible computer disks. To have a success record in this class, the internal temperature should not exceed 52 C. Under this class, we tested our Dataline Datasafes for an hour. We cleared this test with a considerable margin as the maximum internal temperature of our product was 39 C during the one-hour test and 49.7 C during six hours of soak-out time. This product also cleared the fire and impact test as well as the explosion test.

According to Margaret Figueroa, Staff Engineer in charge of Fire Testing at Underwriters Laboratories Inc., this was a rare occurrence wherein a company put its products through eight tests and cleared all eight at one go.

We have thus established ourselves as a quality manufacturer in the international market. It has been our endeavour to maintain international standards and this is just another stamp of approval for our quality.

With the successful completion of these tests we now have the following five products UL listed:

1) One-hour Fire-Resisting Filing Cabinets

2) Two-hour Fire-Resisting Filing Cabinets

3) Dataline Datasafes

4) Centiguard Fire-Resistant Safes

5) TL 30 Defender Plus Safes.

This establishes us as the undisputed leaders in the Indian market with over 70 per cent of the market share.

We are now working on designs for Defender Plus Safes complying with Tool Resistant x 6 (sides) and Torch and Tool Resistant x 6 (sides) specifications. These safes will be tested at UL by May 2005. We also have plans to test our Defender Plus Strong Room Doors to obtain the UL listing. With these certifications we will get a huge boost in the international market in the years to come and a foothold in the Security Equipment business as an international player.

Sharukh Patel, Marketing

 

 

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