On July 16, 2002 Quality Control Sales and Services, Inc. was accredited to meet the requirements of the International Standard ISO/IEC 17025:2005 and ANSI/NCSL Z540-1-1994 by A2LA. This accreditation was the result of months of diligently analyzing our calibration services and fine-tuning them to the requirements of these standards. Through hard work and management commitment, Quality Control Sales and Services, Inc. passed the technical competence assessment and received our accreditation.
Click here to view our certificate and scope of accreditation.
The American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) is a non-profit, professional membership society committed to the success of laboratories through administration of a laboratory accreditation system and training courses on laboratory practices.
In February 1999, Quality Control was granted registration of our Quality Management System to the requirements of ISO 9002 by Quality Certification Bureau of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Our first goal was accomplished on schedule.
At the request of our valued QS9000 registered customers, and for our own commitment to continually evaluate and improve the quality of our calibration services, our second goal was to be accredited to ISO/IEC Guide 25 by the American Association of Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) within the following year. ISO/IEC Guide 25, in contrast with ISO/QS9000, is a technical competency standard specifically written to assess calibration and testing laboratories, as opposed to a generic quality system. Accreditation to ISO/IEC Guide 25-1990 and ANSI/NCSL Z540-1-1994 is a requirement of laboratories providing external calibration services to QS9000 companies.
The following steps were taken to accomplish our goals:
- Committed 29% of our metrologists to accreditation;
- Increased our measurement and process control equipment and capabilities by 33%;
- Expanded all levels of documentation to incorporate the requirements of ISO/IEC Guide 25;
- Quantified all sources of process error to facilitate reduction of contributors and allow us to report to our customer any possible deviation from reported condition, known as uncertainty.
The internal impacts of our improved quality efforts:
- Better understanding of metrology processes;
- Improvement of many processes due to reduction of uncertainty contributors;
- Ability to continue providing an external calibration service to QS9000 registered companies;
- Calibrations accredited by a third party to be traceable to National and International standards.
The external impacts of our quality efforts:
- Knowledge of our quality of calibration services versus the worldwide community;
- Better service to the manufacturing community in our area;
- Greater in-depth information, comprehensive technical data and guidance furnished to our customers;
- Recognition of the high caliber of our commitment to quality.
On September 1, 2000, A2LA accredited Quality Control Sales & Services to ISO Guide 25, meeting the requirements of our QS9000 registered customers. We received above average results on our ISO Guide 25 assessment, approximately 60% fewer discrepancies than the average laboratory on our initial assessment. Our second goal is successfully attained.
Our third goal was to attain assessment by A2LA to ISO/IEC 17025. In July 2001, QCSS was given a gap audit by A2LA. The gap audit highlighted possible improvements between ISO Guide 25 and the international standard ISO/IEC 17025. The improvements were made, making us compliant with ISO/IEC 17025.
Continuing our quest for improvement, A2LA accredited Quality Control Sales & Services to ISO/IEC 17025:1999 on July 16, 2002. With that accreditation we continue meeting the requirements of our QS9000 registered customers as well as demonstrating our continued competence in measurements, for all calibrations performed by QCSS.
The international standard ISO/IEC 17025:1999, "General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories",, in contrast with ISO/QS9000, is a technical competency standard specifically written to assess calibration and testing laboratories, as opposed to a generic quality system. ISO Guide 25:1990 was just that, a guide used for the competence of calibration and testing laboratories. The international standard ISO/IEC 17025:1999 is the quality system for, specific criteria for, and a competency standard for laboratories. The following is an excerpt from the introduction page of the international standard ISO/IEC 17025:1999 drawing attention to the ISO 900X requirements placed on calibration and testing labs by the international standard.
This International Standard has been produced as the result of extensive experience in the implementation of ISO/IEC Guide 25 and EN 45001, both of which it now replaces. It contains all of the requirements that testing and calibration laboratories have to meet if they wish to demonstrate that they operate a quality system, are technically competent, and are able to generate technically valid results.
Accreditation bodies that recognize the competence of testing and calibration laboratories should use this International Standard as the basis for their accreditation. Clause 4 specifies the requirements for sound management. Clause 5 specifies the requirements for technical competence for the type of tests and/or calibrations the laboratory undertakes.
The growth in use of quality systems generally has increased the need to ensure that laboratories which form part of larger organizations or offer other services can operate to a quality system that is seen as compliant with ISO 9001 or ISO 9002 as well as with this International Standard. Care has been taken, therefore, to incorporate all those requirements of ISO 9001 and ISO 9002 that are relevant to the scope of testing and calibration services that are covered by the laboratory’s quality system.
Testing and calibration laboratories that comply with this International Standard will therefore also operate in accordance with ISO 9001 or ISO 9002.
Certification against ISO 9001 and ISO 9002 does not of itself demonstrate the competence of the laboratory to produce technically valid data and results.
- Traceability and NIST Report Numbers - Explains the metrology community stance on traceability, as well as why we no longer use NIST Report of Test Numbers.
- Plain Ring Calibration Orientation and Tolerances - Shows the orientation that we refer to on your Calibration Report, as well as the types and tolerances.
- Toolmakers Tolerance Chart - A reference chart for how most gauges are classified for tolerancing.
- Gage Block Stacking and Wringing - Shows how to properly prepare, stack, and wring gage blocks for accurate height or length checking.
- Gage Ball Chart - A chart for finding the right class of gage ball for you.
Surface Plate Information
- Proper Support of Surface Plates - Explains the reasoning for 3 point support of surface plates. Contains an illustrated explanation of the proper positioning of the 3 point support.
- Surface Plate Tolerances (Flatness and Repeatability) - Surface plate tolerances for flatness and repeatability as defined by Federal Specification GGG-P-463c(1).
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a micro-inch or a micron?
A: In our shop we use a simple diagram to show the size difference between a human hair, a microinch, and a micron.
Q: What is uncertainty?
A: The calculation of uncertainty for a measurement is an effort to set reasonable bounds for the measurement result according to standardized rules. Since every measurement produces only an estimate of the answer, the primary requisite of an uncertainty statement is to inform the reader of how sure the writer is that the answer is in a certain range.
Q: What is traceability?
A: Traceability is the property of the result of a measurement or the value of a standard whereby it can be related to stated references, usually national or international standards, through an unbroken chain of comparisons, all having stated uncertainties.
Q: What is NIST?
A: NIST, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, was founded in 1901 as the nation's first federal physical science research laboratory. Over the years, the scientists and technical staff at NIST have made solid contributions to image processing, DNA diagnostic "chips," smoke detectors, and automated error-correcting software for machine tools.
Q: Why don't I need a NIST number?
A: For questions about NIST numbers and more information, click here.
Q: What class of instrument do I need?
A: A 4:1 – 10:1 ratio is recommended from your master to your artifact
|National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) - Traceability in the United States starts here. The site is huge, but just about anything you need to know is hidden in here somewhere. Also, The NIST Metrology Toolbox is a great place to find key information about anything in the metrology world.|
|American National Standards Institute (ANSI) - Your source for national and international standards (ISO 9000, ISO 17025, etc.), available for immediate download from the ANSI Electronic Standards Store. These standards are all copyrighted, therefore they are not free.|
|NCSL International - NCSL International is a nonprofit organization, whose membership is open to any organization with an interest in the science of measurement and its application in research, development, education, or commerce.|