» Accreditation: Instrumental for calibration success.

10 March, 2015

Testo Calibration Services (TCS) is an independent division of Testo Limited, who has been operating for over 30 years as the UK subsidiary of Testo AG. TCS specialises in the calibration of a wide range of measuring instruments for many different manufacturers operating in a number of diverse market sectors, including HVAC-R (heating and ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration), the process industry and the food sector. In addition, Testo thermal imaging products are used extensively for building surveys, maintenance, electrical inspections and production monitoring.

TCS has held accreditation with the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) since 2004. Its UKAS ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accredited laboratory calibrates a wide range of instrumentation and can manage equipment inventories of varying quantities. Depending on the requirements of its customers, TCS offers UKAS accredited calibrations on most manufacturers' measuring instruments. Parameters range from temperature, pressure airflow, humidity, dew point and on-site temperature. In addition, TCS also offers ISO traceable calibration for light, sound, rotational speed, electrical simulation, surface temperature and infrared temperature.

Testo products are underpinned by accreditation from UKAS and sector specific certification to provide existing and potential customers with assurance that these products have been subjected to incredibly rigorous testing. Indeed the Testo 350 industrial flue gas analyser has been given MCERTS approval. Backed by The Environment Agency, the Monitoring Certification Scheme (MCERTS) provides for the certification of products according to Environment Agency performance standards, based on relevant CEN, ISO and national standards.

Delivering Customer Confidence

Under EU regulation, each member state has to appoint a single National Accreditation Body (NAB), and in the UK this is UKAS. The main purpose of accreditation is to determine, in the public interest, the technical competence and integrity of organisations offering certification, inspection, testing and calibration services. Paul Jordan is the Service & Calibration Manager at TCS and is ideally placed to see the benefits that accreditation has had on the business. “Working to these internationally recognised standards of competence for testing and calibration enables TCS to demonstrate a level of professionalism, consistency, precision and quality of the work being carried out for customers. Not only has our accreditation been central to retaining existing customers, it has proven to be key in securing new business. It is also clear our laboratory has increased its revenue, which is key to offsetting against the costs of being accredited.”

Business Expansion

Being accredited can open doors to previously closed sectors, allowing the business to expand into new markets, as Paul Jordan explains. “Having accreditation clearly brings many benefits; the UKAS logo compliments our products allowing us to promote these in application areas where accreditation is essential such as in pharmaceutical, HVAC (Part F Regulations), aerospace and the automotive industries.”

TCS is quickly expanding as an independent and impartial calibrations service and sees its accreditation as the foundation for further growth. Paul Jordan said. “Having the accreditation clearly aids our sales and marketing activities. Our long term aim is to be able to support our wide and ever expanding range of products with a comprehensive support and calibration service which longer term will mean further extensions to our current schedule of accreditation.“ Its vision is to add at least one additional parameter and/or an extension to its scope of accreditation each year for the next five years. Paul Jordan continued. “Since the addition of air velocity to our scope of accreditation in 2012, we have seen significant growth in the quantity of anemometers being sent to us for calibration and we are confident this growth is largely due to our accredited status.”

At its last routine surveillance visit TCS was assessed to include pressure and on-site temperature on its accreditation schedule, coupled with extending its temperature accreditation in the laboratory. Paul Jordan believes that the ability to provide accredited calibration services at a customer’s premises reduces down time and offers customers savings. “Our on-site temperature accreditation will bring many benefits. It will allow us to meet the needs of the many customers who have invested in our Saveris Monitoring System, which is designed to permanently monitor environments, predominantly for temperature and humidity, in areas where these parameters are critical to long term quality and stability of a product such as in drug and food storage. In these environments it is simply easier and more cost effective to be able to carry out the accredited calibrations on-site as this means there are little or no gaps in customers’ measured data. Being able to complete the work on-site and provide a UKAS accredited certificate at the end is key as this aids our customers when audited, as the UKAS logo is internationally recognised and the quality processes and procedures which support this are well known. On-site temperature was a logical step for TCS and we hope to continue to expand our on-site accreditation again during 2014 with the addition of humidity.”

Unforeseen Benefits

In addition to the external benefits of becoming accredited, TCS has seen improvements internally as a result of going through the accreditation process. Paul Jordan said. “There is no doubt the accreditation, for the right business, assists not just in the areas of development and growth or the financial benefits accreditation can bring, but also in the development of your staff. The accreditation process actively encourages those in the business who are involved to really analyse and understand the principles of calibration for the measurements you plan to seek accreditation for. It elevates you to a higher level of understanding which is supported by the many industry experts UKAS employs, for both initial and on-going assessment.”

Paul Jordan continued. “It means when accreditation is granted you have a robust quality management system which is aligned with ISO9001:2008. It also means that you use internationally accepted calibration procedures which are supported by uncertainties of measurement which have been scrutinised by UKAS and deemed acceptable for the work carried out.”

Reviewing the accreditation process, Paul Jordan concluded. “There is no doubt the route to accreditation can be challenging but the process and the benefits are both clear and rewarding.”