An accreditation aims at assuring the accuracy and reliability of all laboratory calibration data. In December 2014, Anton Paar was accredited according to ISO 17025. Since this accreditation, Anton Paar GmbH is officially recognized as a technically competent institution to perform accurate and precise density measurements. Barbara Laky, the head of the calibration laboratory, reveals a glimpse behind the scenes.
“It was actually a growing number of customer inquiries that triggered the idea to obtain the status of an accredited laboratory”, Barbara Laky states. The head of the Anton Paar calibration laboratory explains that many clients need an instrument that delivers traceable results, pharmaceutical laboratories for example, and that also the petroleum industry showed an increased interest in getting their instruments calibrated according to ISO 17025.
An ISO 17025 calibration adds additional benefit to a “normal” factory calibration: Every instrument that leaves Anton Paar’s production centers is factory calibrated. It comes with a factory certificate, is ready to measure on delivery, and yields highly precise and accurate measuring results. An instrument calibrated according to ISO 17025 is traceable to international SI units and therefore additionally serves as a reliable and internationally recognized reference.
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“A calibration is traceable when the performed measurement is directly linked to the respective national standard by a consistent measurement chain. Traceable calibrations mean international comparability of results obtained with a calibrated instrument”, explains the head of the Anton Paar calibration laboratory.
This statement can be illustrated with an example on international trade: The prerequisite of international comparability is the traceability to national standards. A pharmaceutical company, for example, can be sure that the composition of an infusion solution, such as a binary salt solution, is identical in every single production site worldwide, if the company’s calibrated density meters give identical results. This fact justifies the investment required when placing an order for calibrating a new or already existing Anton Paar density meter.
The meaning of the term “calibration” and its purpose are straightforward: Calibration is the comparison of obtained measurement results with a standard reference value. The standard reference value is, for instance, given by the certificate of liquid density standards and informs whether the instrument results are accurate.
The benefits of calibration
An ISO 17025 calibration performed by Anton Paar includes an initial thorough cleaning followed by a temperature and a density adjustment to assure optimal calibration results. The customer will benefit from an instrument which is well maintained, well-adjusted and well calibrated. “Furthermore, the extensive know-how of our own instruments guarantees most precise and accurate calibration results. An instrument calibrated as per ISO 17025 will support our customers to easily pass every audit due to its traceability”, says Barbara Laky.
Certificates from Anton Paar GmbH, located in Austria, are valid all over the world, because “Akkreditierung Austria” (Anton Paar GmbH is accredited by this body) is a signatory to the multilateral agreements of the European Co-operation for Accreditation (EA) and to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) for the mutual recognition of calibration certificates.