NPM – 15 years of assured quality
For already 15 years the quality and certification mark for plastic piping products, Nordic Poly Mark (NPM), has been used to ensure the applicability of such products for the Nordic climate. It is definitely worthwhile to demand the use of NPM marked products in piping system contracts right from planning onwards.
The need for a joint Nordic certification system with its own marking had been evident for years but it was not until at the beginning of the 21st century that it became possible. The key was the completion of the first EN product standards for plastic pipes at the change of the century.
A very fast development work towards a joint Nordic quality mark and product certification began. In 2003 the Nordic association of manufacturers, Nordiska Plaströrsgruppen (NPG), started discussions with certification bodies concerning the development of certification based on EN product standards. A Nordic group of certifiers, INSTA-CERT, was chosen as partner for this work and the development of this new Nordic certification procedure begun in spring 2004.
INSTA-CERT invited representatives from different water utility associations, manufacturers, testing bodies and building inspection authorities to participate in the drafting of joint instructions. The co-operation proved efficient as by December 2004 the first specific rules (SBC) had been created for four different product groups
The Nordic Poly Mark (NPM) was chosen as the certification mark for the procedure, resulting in it replacing currently existing, national Nordic certification marks. Due to the mark's fulfilment of the high Nordic quality expectations, the NPM rose to the position of the quality mark for plastics piping systems.
The Nordic Poly Mark (NPM) acts as proof of the fulfilment of an SBC's requirements. It also helps to prove the products' building site specific applicability.
The interest towards INSTA-CERT product certification has continuously increased. There are c. 180 valid licenses entitling the use of the mark, approximately 26 of them issued to manufacturers outside the Nordic countries.
INSTA-CERT product certification and the NPM quality mark for plastics piping systems are applicable for e.g. the following product groups: PP and PVC underground drainage and sewerage, water supply and drainage and sewerage under pressure, supply of gaseous fuels, rain water pipes, renovation pipes, inspection chambers, soil and waste discharge within the building structure, fittings and halogen free electric installation pipes.
Nordic water industry strengthens quality mark
The Nordic countries have long been at the forefront in the work to ensure that the plastic pipes used for transporting and protecting drinking water and sewage are of the highest quality and suited for the special, challenging conditions that one finds in the Nordic countries. The key players of the plastic pipe business in the region have now reestablished a strong cooperation around the common quality mark, Nordic Poly Mark (NPM), and the NPM Board have several initiatives to further strengthen the NPM.
The new NPM Board, which consist of local representatives of the Nordic Water Utility Associations in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, as well as from the raw material suppliers and plastic pipe producers of the region, convened in Copenhagen in March, for a kick?off for this new cooperation.
The NPM Board was established to involve the owner organizations more in the work to safeguard and further develop the high?quality standards the Nordic Poly Mark represents, and the Board will meet regularly to create an important forum for dialogue within the industry.
In the March meeting of the NPM Board, INSTA-CERT –the group of certification bodies in the Nordic countries –also attended and informed about how the critical work they do as a third party, independent certifier of the Nordic Poly Mark is conducted.
In the next period the NPM Board will be chaired by Carl-Emil Larsen, Executive Director of DANVA, the Danish Water Association. Larsen is very excited about the establishment of the NPM Board and sees a clear and important role of Nordic cooperation in keeping our resources safe.
Drinking water is our most critical natural resource, and the quality of the plastic pipes that we trust to transport this resource is critical to ensuring clean and safe water handling, for everyone. The world-class Nordic quality standard for plastic pipes for drinking and waste water has been developed over years, and one role of the NPM Board is to ensure that we do not make compromises on quality that will reverse this very positive development, says Larsen and adds that one task of the Board will be to better define what exactly constitutes “Nordic quality”
–We need to be even more specific when it comes to what conditions and criteria that the finished products need to meet in order to adhere to the high Nordic quality standards –and earn the use of the Nordic Poly Mark. Our basic assumption is that all plastic pipes that are installed in the Nordic countries should be of the same, high quality, says Larsen.
The NPM Board also has ambitions when it comes to playing a more active role in the industry. As a first activity in this direction, the NPM Board will host a session during this year’ NORDIWA, Nordic waste water conference, in Helsinki 23-25 September. More information about this activity and the conference will be published later this spring, at nordiwa.org.
For questions, please contact
Carl-Emil Larsen, Executive Director of DANVA.
Mobile: +45 20 33 85 15, e?mail: email@example.com