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       International News 31/03/2015
 
EUROLAB 25th Anniversary Book

The EUROLAB 25th Anniversary Book has been published and can be downloaded from: http://www.eurolab.org/documents/Anniversary_Book_WebVersion_20150223.pdf

The Anniversary Book describes the milestones in the history of EUROLAB since its creation until nowadays. A combination of historical data with members’ memories and pictures depicts the development and activities of EUROLAB during 25 years looking also towards the future.

We would like to thank to all those that brought their valuable contributions and made the publication of this Anniversary Book possible.

We wish you an enjoyable reading.


TCQA REVISITED

Hans Andersson1)

A global world, a Europe just united

had needs of common trust in quality,

which could before be taken granted

in each and every of the single states.

 

Accreditation then was formed to keep

an eye on things. So labs and certifiers

felt forced (lo and behold) to start co-op

in CEOC , EURACHEM and EUROLAB.

 

Metrology came next with lack of trust,

created MRA2) with CMC:s3)

the confidence of which was given now

by very complicated peer reviews;

essential though for quality in labs.

 

The secretariat of EUROLAB

was placed at our institute, SP,

as second after France´s LNE,

As SP,s CTO  I had a role

that gave a view of most of what took place

and put it in perspective. That was well

for working many years in the TCQA.

 

At first the pride and prejudice prevailed.

Accreditors were causing work we thought

was mostly formalism and hunting wind.

Then slowly grew an understanding that

we had to compromise and find a way

where quality was possible to show,

and really of use to customers

competing on the global marketplace.

 

The TCQA tasks were mainly two:

-Supplying expert facts, positions, views

that could be used in conference rooms and for

discussing with EA and other parties.

-To give the member labs hands-on support

with guides on how to rationally work.

 

The standard “seventeen o´twentyfive” 4)

we had to introduce as well we could.

It was of course a cornerstone to us.

A formalistic use meant extra work and

so could turn the staffs against its benefits.

 

The group was small, and hence we tried to find

some experts more for getting broader views.

It was efficient though to be so few

and get things done and start to being used.

 

One such result was our book for “cooking”:5);

some pieces of concise advice on how

 the labs could smartly conquer their quest

to get approved by the accreditors.

(This “book” has evidently prospered well.)

 

Inspectors, testers, certifiers fought

about the ways for mutual acceptance

in countries where traditions reigned since long.

This had to be negotiated sensibly

so that conformity could be in fact

a concept useful over all of Europe.

 

An act of balance was the following.

Most smaller labs are using single methods

And can easily comply per se.

The bigger ones must treat a real problem.

They often work up-stream and thus they need

a flexibility to do adjustments

and use methodologies, instead

of fixed routines, to serve their customers.

The concept now of “flexibility of scope”

became of paramount importance as support

for sound development of industry.

 

This touched upon the role of human factors

as influencing quality of labs.

Regardless of routines and SOP:s

results may suffer badly if the staff

does not have confidence and loyalty

and real pride in their true profession.

So management of personnel should be

a truly integrated part of the QA.

We tried to argue this as well we could.


The estimation of uncertainty

became a tricky task. The ill-famed GUM,6)

with more than hundred pages, caused despair

and much dispute, from lack of knowledge mostly.

So we produced a rather solid set

of guides and seminars to help the labs.

(What do you think yourself of this charade?)

One would have thought that much was settled now

and labs were satisfied and worked in peace.

But recent meeting minutes seem to show

that they are toiling still, yes toiling, toiling

with these problems, from early till so late

that fragrant May-nights shift to bluish dawn

and blackbirds start their melancholy song.

 

1) Former technical director of SP, the Technical

Research Institute of Sweden. Member of the TCQA since its start, and its chairman for some years.

2) The CIPM Mutual Recognition Arrangement

(see BIPM)

3) Calibration and Measurement Capabilities

(see BIPM)

4) ISO 17025

5) The TCQA ”Cook book”

6) The ISO GUM ”Guide to the expression of uncertainty” 1995


 
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