» Accreditation: ‘A Sound Investment’
Established in 1944 to specifically develop commercial products based on research carried out by the Kobayashi institute of Physical Research in Japan, Rion is one of the largest manufacturers of sound and vibration measurement instrumentation in the world. Rion also manufactures precision medical instruments and hearing aids and still maintains strong links with the Kobayashi Institute, which is now a leading centre for acoustic and vibration research. Rion instruments are used extensively in the UK by a diverse range of professionals who require accurate sound/vibration measurements; from environmental health/housing association officers and construction/demolition contractors through to acoustic consultants and general industry.
ANV Measurement Systems has been the sole UK distributor of Rion products since 2000, and in the process has become the largest Rion distributor in Europe. In addition to offering Rion products for either sale or hire, ANV operates two calibration laboratories as part of its support services.
ANV Measurement Systems (7623) and AV Calibration (0653) are trading names of Acoustics Noise and Vibration Limited. AV Calibration is a long-established, accredited Laboratory and ANV Measurement System’s calibration laboratory gained UKAS accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025 in 2012. ANV Measurement Systems’ Laboratory currently specialises in Rion instrumentation whereas AV Calibration calibrates all major manufacturers’ acoustic instrumentation.
UKAS (The United Kingdom Accreditation Service) is the National Accreditation Body of the UK. Its role is to check that organisations providing conformity assessment services such as certification, testing, inspection and calibration services, are meeting a required standard of performance. The assessment criteria used by UKAS are internationally recognised as being the best indicators of accurate, impartial and consistent performance. UKAS accreditation demonstrates an organisation’s competence, impartiality and performance capability against internationally recognised standards.
Benefits of accreditation
ANV’s Calibration Manager, Kiran Mistry is responsible for quality at both its calibration laboratories, and oversaw the company’s successful UKAS accreditation. Explaining the importance of UKAS accreditation to ANV’s customers he said. “UKAS accreditation provides our customers with the necessary confidence that whether they are purchasing, hiring or submitting their own equipment for calibration, the service we provide will meet all the relevant regulatory requirements. In addition to helping them satisfy their own internal quality management system requirements, our accreditation provides demonstrable proof that measurements obtained using ANV calibrated equipment will be traceable to International standards, and that the certification will be widely accepted, both nationally and internationally.”
As UKAS is a signatory to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) Mutual Recognition Arrangement, a UKAS accredited calibration lab is accepted as meeting national requirements in over 81 economies across the world. This ‘tested once, accepted everywhere’ approach can save users of accredited services a great deal of both time and money.
In addition to providing access to a wider marketplace, for both ANV and its customers, UKAS accreditation has had a positive impact on the company’s sales, as Kiran explains. “Since achieving accreditation in 2012, we have seen a noticeable increase in the both the volume and value of the calibration work we undertake. In addition to accounting for over 40% of all calibrations we conduct, UKAS accreditation adds credibility to the service we offer, and provides customers with the necessary confidence they need when making the purchasing decision.”
Taking a wider view of the business landscape, Kiran continued. “Although accredited calibration may not be mandatory in our target market sectors, it is fast becoming a practical requirement of doing business. Being accredited mitigates against several business risks, including rejection of tenders, loss of contracts and reduced market share. It can also help guard against damage to reputation and can show due diligence in the event of legal action.”
Going through the accreditation process itself can also bring benefits internally. Kiran concluded. “The accreditation process has given us a platform to continually examine our structure, processes and services with a view to continual improvement. Knowing that we have reached and have to maintain the highest standards of quality management in our industry is both a tremendous motivator for staff and confidence generator for the company.”
Amrat Patel, Lab Manager at ANV Measurement Systems