The broad-based activities of the PCSIR encompass almost the entire industrial sector in the country; for the industrial units in operation have their ground-work in science and technology in which the PCSIR is both prominent and all too visible an organization on the national plan. The PCSIR being the foremost industrial R & D organization is the largest producer of indigenous technologies in an organized fashion. The R & D projects of the PCSIR fall into two major categories:
- Those that are sponsored or are user liked.
- Those for which a user is likely to be available but has to be found out.
Evaluation of Locally Available Raw Materials
Pakistan is replete with respect to natural resources and their exploitation should have been the top priority in the process of industrialization of the country but instead of using local materials, a consumer industry based on imported raw materials was largely established.
PCSIR’s main thrust in the starting years was to investigate the physico-chemical composition of the locally available raw materials and to find out their possible utilization. Out of the large number of research publications (over 4000) that PCSIR produced during the period, 70 percent relates to the evaluation of local materials. The data thus generated is the single most important contribution of the PCSIR, which no other organization in the country can claim. It is available in the form of research papers, technical bulletins, brochures and reports, etc. It covers the areas from minerals, ores, clays, forest produced herbs, plants to marine and animal wastes. PCSIR can undertake survey and evaluation studies of raw materials and products on behalf of the industry.
Process and Product Development
The Scientists and Technologists of PCSIR developed 684 industrial processes and products and 350 numbers of patents, mostly based on the locally available raw materials. Out of these nearly 400 processes have commercially been exploited on industrial scale. It has also executed around 50 Annual Development Programme (ADP) projects, which were mainly pilot plant studies, based on the data generated on the laboratory level.
Investigative Analysis and Import substitution
A large number of formulated products are being imported at exorbitant rates resulting in the expenditure of costly foreign exchange by the textile, leather, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, household chemicals, food additives and consumer products industries in the form of emulsions, surfactants, resins, adhesives, plastic parts, perfumes, flavors and other chemical and non-chemical products. Most of these items are imported under brand names. The expertise and technical manpower available in the PCSIR have been able to decode and analyses over 2000 of these products and helped the local SME’s in the development of import-substituted materials.
Analytical and Testing Services
PCSIR is capable of undertaking large number of tests of raw materials and industrial products and can provide physical, chemical, chromatographic and spectroscopic analytical services in the diversified fields.
It has the requisite highly qualified, trained and experienced resource manpower not available which is in any other organisation of the country.
It has the necessary infrastructure in terms of quality control, equipment and analytical instruments and laboratories.
It has the capability to investigate, improve and introduce latest methodology of testing and quality control in the production and application.
PCSIR at present is serving over 4000 SME’s / clients all over the country annually in quality control, analytical and testing area.
Quality Control Services to the Exporters
The major exports of Pakistan are textile, leather, food, sports and surgical goods and products, which are based on locally available raw materials. The exports are essentially made to western European countries, America and Japan. These countries are becoming more quality conscious and introducing various parameters and checks to monitor the quality of the imported products. ISO 9000, 14000 and 17025 etc standards are being brought in to monitor the desired quality. Pakistan has faced much competition in the region for exports and in order to remain competitive there is a need to educate, support and provide technical and quality control services to the producers and exporters of goods.
PCSIR is doing its best to extend these services to the exporters. Textile and leather exportable items are examined for forbidden dyes, PCP, formaldehyde, heavy metals, pesticides and fungicides and most of other undesirable chemicals on the request of the exporters and issuing analytical reports / certificates which are being accepted in Europe and elsewhere. PCSIR has developed credibility for these test reports. Similarly food items being exported by Nestle and others are being tested for their microbial contamination and shelf life. Exporters of surgical goods, and sports goods are also getting technical and analytical help from PCSIR. Under the supervision of EPB and technical guidance of Mineral and Metallurgy Research Centre of PCSIR, a Material Testing Laboratory has been established at Sialkot to Cater to the needs of the exporters of that area and PCSIR is imparting training to the technical staff posted in M T Labs Sialkot.
Services to Government Departments and NGOs
Various Government departments such as Customs, Excise, Police, Administration, Health and NGO’s avail the analytical testing and advisory services of PCSIR in resolving disputes, fake and genuine products categorization investigative matters, narcotics, screening of medicines for steroids, etc.