The insulation industry has been no doubt affected by events in recent years, with a growing demand for reassurance that insulation products meet the highest standards. Builders Merchants are certainly in need of some surety to give them the confidence in recommending insulation products to their customers.
The British Board of Agrément (BBA) have taken steps to address this need for greater certainty with the rollout of their Product Excellence Programme (PEP), which puts products through more frequent and stringent testing to ensure the certification criteria is being met on an ongoing basis.
Quinn Therm fully support this move to a more tightly controlled certification system, immediately enrolling in the Product Excellence Programme, and they have just been through the bi-annual audit process with the BBA to verify the integrity of Quinn’s insulation products. BBA Auditors visited the Quinn Therm manufacturing facilities in May 2019 to conduct the audit.
Speaking of the new Programme and Quinn Therm’s involvement, the company’s General Manager, Peadar Maguire said,
“We’re fully committed to any measures which gives our customers greater confidence in the quality of our products. It’s essential that we as an industry put in place the most robust quality assurance measures and BBA certification has always been acknowledged as the best standard to meet.
This new Product Excellence Programme comes at a time when there is greater concern among Builders Merchants, specifiers and end users and it is a priority for us to demonstrate the integrity of our products and processes so the industry can trust in the products we’re supplying.
The beauty of the new system is that it verifies that we continue to meet the highest standards on a continual basis and not just at a single point in time. This transparency certainly gives a greater degree of comfort and trust.”
BBA Management System Auditors visit the manufacturing facilities to ensure the certified products are being manufactured in line with the agreed quality plan.
Whilst on site, the Auditors select a number of product samples at random to undergo physical testing at the BBA Test Centre of Excellence in Watford. The selection of products and the frequency of testing is dependent on two criteria:
Once the product samples have been selected, they are securely packed by the manufacturer to safeguard against damage in transit, ensuring identifying labels or markings remain in tact and shipped to the BBA Test Centre of Excellence in Watford.
The product samples then undergo testing to the rigorous BBA standards by an independent and UKAS approved testing authority.
Once passed, the manufacturer is issued with new BBA product certification which verifies that the tested products have successfully been tested as part of the Product Excellence Programme.
In outlining the BBA’s new Product Excellence Programme and the benefit to the industry, the BBA’s CEO, Claire Curtis Thomas, commented,
“Prior to the introduction of this programme, the BBA has an excellent method of verifying the quality of products. We go out to factories, manufacturing installations twice a year and we have a very thorough audit of both process and the products that lead to the final product being produced. So, we were pretty confident that our systems were robust, but the market and the consumer want more than that now.
They don’t want to just know that the product has been subject to twice a year visits. They want to know that the product has actually been physically tested. So, this is the purpose of the Product Excellence Programme. We’re going to physically test things so that we can say, “the product you are purchasing is the product that is being made in this factory now, so you can have confidence in that fact and you can use that product with the confidence of that knowledge.”
Quinn Therm products are required to meet or exceed performance targets in relation to thermal conductivity, core water vapour resistivity and compressive strength in order to achieve and maintain their BBA Certification.
These standards are:
In addition to the product performance requirements, Quinn Therm have agreed quality control procedures with the BBA which are assessed during the audit process. These documented controls cover every area of the manufacturing process, from the quality control operated over batches of incoming materials, the production process, the management of non-conformities and the checking of equipment to ensure it has been properly tested and calibrated.
Quinn Therm gained their first BBA Certificates in 2005 and have since achieved certification for their full product range.