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Top 3 compliance issues and solutions for construction product manufacturers

Non-compliance can be costly. Not only in terms of the legal risks, fines and reputational damage when issues hit the headlines. But because a failure to meet regulatory standards can stop production and impact your bottom line.

However, this is a worst-case scenario, but it can happen. It’s vital to identify and relieve the vulnerabilities in established businesses that can result in non-compliance.

In this article, we will cover three of the main compliance pressure points and pressure relieving-solutions for cementitious product manufacturing businesses.

1. Technical and R&D Capacity

A key compliance component for any cementitious or drymix mortar product manufacturer is its technical and compliance team. Responsible for ensuring adherence to an extensive array of regulations, these teams should have one eye on the day-to-day and one eye scanning the horizon for changing regulations.

This ensures they can continually adapt your business’s chemical use, products, labelling, data sheets and record keeping. Helping your company remain compliant with the ever-changing array of laws and regulations that govern cementitious product manufacturing.

Adapting to change relies heavily on research and development (R&D). Including projects that explore how to optimise formulations and switch away from traditional OPC-rich binder systems to improve products’ sustainability and reduce their carbon footprint.

This classic R&D work can often be lost in the daily grind. This can result in the technical team becoming firefighters who deal with materials shortages and rising raw materials costs.

With escalating production costs, R&D is often impacted when businesses tighten their belts, leading to fewer or less experienced hires and a lack of capacity and expertise. Not only can this impact compliance, but it also affects innovation, which can place your business at risk of loosing it’s competitive advantage and falling behind the competition.

What is the Pressure Point Reliever?

Boost your technical team with confidential and external expertise to pick up R&D projects, deal with regulatory compliance issues or take on some of the day-to-day work. This allows you to expand your team’s capacity and capability to focus on other priorities.

2. Lack of Integrated Management Systems

This is the reason so many manufacturers have ISO certifications in place, like:

  • ISO 9001 – quality
  • ISO 1400 – environmental safety
  • ISO 45001 – health and safety

If your business has these certifications, they’ll play a major role in helping you achieve and remain compliant. But if you haven’t got them all – and even if you have – there’s a chance your practices aren’t as watertight as you might like. This can cause major issues. This usually happens in the increasingly complex post-Brexit landscape.

There are many ways companies can fall foul of the constantly evolving regulatory landscape. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) must be continually updated to meet the latest regulatory frameworks. If an MSDS hasn’t been updated for a significant period of time, it could be non-compliant. This can lead to issues with supply of the associated end product until the MSDS is updated and compliant.

It can be all too easy to miss a change in regulation or lose track of your data safety sheet updates. Particularly when your technical team is under pressure or under-resourced.

What is the Pressure Point Reliever?

Integrated management systems are a great starting point. But they still rely on human expertise. This makes it vital to have a trusted technical partner in your corner, someone who can sort out technical compliance issues swiftly and effectively while protecting your intellectual property or help you spot and deal with problems before the authorities do.

3. Old or Lack of Lab Equipment

Most cementitious product manufacturing labs have an array of important, industry-specific testing equipment. However, when it comes to investing in other tech, budgets don’t always stretch. A lot of the time there are workarounds that can be used, but these alternative workarounds may not provide the most accurate and reliable data, which can potentially lead to product issues.

For example, take flowing screed/levelling compound testing equipment. The typical method is to use the traditional three-gang shrinkage prism moulds to assess drying shrinkage. This is a great tool for initial development work and screening a high number of formulations. However, once a development formulation is decided upon, using more specialised expansion or shrinkage measuring equipment is key to understanding the following aspects of the development formulation:

  • The initial expansion phase and ettringite formation period
  • The period of time and end of the initial expansion phase.
  • The start of the drying shrinkage phase.
  • The length and severity of the drying shrinkage.

This level of understanding requires the use of specialist equipment. The tools aren’t always prohibitively expensive, but they’re not regularly in use, so it often doesn’t make sense for every company to invest in such equipment. However, this creates the potential for product issues further down the line.

What is the Pressure Point Reliever?

Partner with a distributor that invests heavily in its labs and already has the cutting-edge equipment to carry out the testing on your behalf. Ensuring your product formulation meets or beats your performance specifications and relevant regulations.

At Cemkem, our deeply experienced in-house technical team regularly partners with cementitious product manufacturers, helping to solve their product development and compliance issues. Find out how we’ve helped a range of construction product manufacturers stay on the front foot with regulatory compliance.