The largest Russian manufacturer of automotive rubber bands received a certificate of compliance with the international standard ISO 9001.

Mikhail KOLODOCHKIN. Photo by Vladimir Trusov

Today it’s quite possible to make decent money without any certificates - to make sure of this, just go to a car flea market. Nevertheless, at the beginning of September 1999 a group of experts from TUV CERT arrived from Germany to Russia. INTERCERTIFICA, invited to the distant Volga town by the leadership of the enterprise Balakovorezinotekhnika. For five days meticulous Germans scrupulously studied, examined, talked, counted and nodded their heads respectably - “Gut, zergut!”. Their certification audit on the compliance of the enterprise quality system with the requirements of the international standard ISO 9001 resulted in the issuance of a “security certificate” - a certificate of conformity.

What arguments did the Balakovo chemists put on the table? How were they able to gain the trust of German experts who had seen everything? But first, about the "Balakorezinotehnika" itself.

ABOUT Dismissals, defaults and reductions

The company employs about ten thousand people, of which 500 are accepted this year. Over the entire era of underdeveloped capitalism, not a single expert escaped to the side. The worker receives up to two and a half thousand rubles, the head of a large workshop - from four to eight. "Balak" relied on the versatility of production - and were not mistaken.

The nomenclature of manufactured products has long gone through the scale for 3, 000, and the phrase “I can’t” is equated with violation of labor discipline. When Yugoslavia stopped supplying luggage racks for the VAZ 2121 3, they did the same in Balakovo … We needed threshold seals on the VAZ 2110 - we learned how to “combine the unconnected”: hard material with soft material. For the noisy "Gazelle" created noise-reducing floor mats. It is curious that the most difficult search for creating such rugs was the All-Russian search … for rags, which will turn into soundproofing. Monoblocks for future batteries go to Atkarsk, Saratov and Podolsk. And here they make plastic gas pipes, which laid out a good half of the Saratov region - a little more expensive than metal, but 50 years without rust … The second half of the region can be covered with balakovo greenhouse film and encircled with PVC hoses - summer residents willingly take both. When pouring tomatoes, do not forget to put on Balakovo waterproof boots …

In terms of the total production volume, Balakorezinotekhnika has no competitors - and not only in Europe … But


About the certificate issued by German experts, we have already mentioned - this is a kind of Grand Prix. Add a number of prizes from various international exhibitions to get a full-fledged “barrel of honey”. And if so, then there should be a "fly in the ointment" …

Let's start with the so-called substandard - there were enough people who wanted to get an “almost good product” at a cheap price under all the authorities. A year and a half ago, non-standard was outlawed - the association was tired of sorting out the reasons for getting into the conveyors of VAZ, GAZ and KamAZ bad products crowned with a Balak boat. Therefore, any attempts to take a “step to the left, a step to the right” of the drawing are severely punished - such products are destroyed physically, and the scammer - morally.

There are many checks of “loyalty to the regime”. Brake hoses are tested for tightness, for destructive pressure, for volume expansion, for pulsating pressure, for rotation, for salt fog. They are cut with a knife, soaked in water and again subjected to the same “torture”. And there is thermostatting, frost, ozone … The glands are checked for diametric shrinkage, for difference and durability, wiper blades - for aging, volumetric expansion, durability. The ill-fated belts of all stripes also get: if you want to live, know how to spin. Even such "wicks", as valves for tubeless tires, must be checked for leaks.

There are a lot of ingenious technological highlights - for example, the flake from rubber parts is removed according to the Santa Claus method: they are bathed in liquid nitrogen. Familiarity with temperatures of the order of minus 90 - minus 100 degrees leads to the fact that the harmful layer simply falls off, leaving the work surface in a perfectly clean condition. No cooperative can do this.

And yet, why are products manufactured according to carefully thought-out technology and tested in the most sophisticated ways, we find in stores without any packaging and, as a rule, are removed by the seller from a huge dirty box? Yes, the lion's share of the Balakovo products goes directly to the factories, which are more suitable for containers, rather than plastic bags, but this is not easier for private traders. The answer of the factory workers looked unexpected - choosing between the packaging of the product and its price, our customer prefers the latter!

Packed Balakovo “gums” sent to the distribution network ceased to be in demand, as they turned out to be slightly more expensive! A beautifully packaged corporate belt is often preferred by the cheaper one. Nevertheless, in the near future the problem with packaging will be solved - nevertheless they have reached the European level …

Export for the Balak people is a common thing. On the track record are Greece, Hungary, Bulgaria, Holland, France, etc. However, it is the received certificate that makes it possible not to wait for an order from the outside, but to offer its capabilities to any respectable foreigner brought up on Bosch belts and Pirelli tires. And if it turns out that there is no necessary production in Balakovo yet, then it will be created. Ultimately, it will be beneficial to both the director and the cleaner.


So how to distinguish a fake from the original Balakovo product? Local "rubber dealers" elementarily determine the "linden" by smell, but for this you need to sniff hoses and belts for more than a dozen years, and also not be afraid of a cold. The mere mortal nose does not help - will have to heed the advice of seasoned ones.

Take a hydraulic brake hose, more precisely - a sleeve. In addition to the trademark (see photo on the splash screen), it should clearly bear the year and quarter of its manufacture, as well as the DOT symbol, indicating the passage of international safety tests. A similar symbol is applied to a plastic ring through which a hose is passed before assembly - in red Balakovo rings. Colleagues from Volzhskrezinotehniki prefer blue.

When buying a molded product, for example a cover for a constant velocity joint, we study the year of manufacture, which is indicated by the date the mold was made (two-digit number) and the number of years that have passed since then (each year - one point). For example, the designation 97 .. corresponds to 1999. After that, the cover can be properly rumpled - the Balakovo product is not subject to permanent deformation and will easily restore its previous shape. Naturally, there should not be any through holes in the inner bends.

And one more traditional wish. Whenever possible, try to purchase products only in company stores. By the way, the Balakorezinotekhnika holding company includes the BRT Trading House …

It's time to go home - to Moscow more than a thousand kilometers. We will not argue that Balakovo products are the best in the world: Bosch can be offended. But that they are good - no doubt.

Deputy Director of the enterprise D. Bizyukov: “If it turns out today that we do not have the right production, then tomorrow we will create it.”


Is it weak for you ?!

1. Do not throw away rags - this is a shortage!

2. “White” batteries, of course, are prettier, but “black” ones are cheaper.