Barberton rubber compound research and development laboratory earns ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation
BARBERTON, OHIO – Preferred Compounding’s newly expanded compound research and development laboratory in Barberton, Ohio, has been certified by the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) as meeting the stringent and difficult to attain ISO/IEC 17025:2005 international standard for testing laboratories.
Earning the accreditation boosts Preferred’s ability to offer the fastest turnaround times in the industry for developing and enhancing compounds, company managers say. Preferred is the second largest custom compounder in North America with operations in Ohio, Tennessee, Georgia and Mexico.
“We invest in R&D and quality and streamline processes to enhance our customer/partners’ abilities to achieve their objectives on their schedules,” said Ken Bloom, Preferred president and CEO. “Achieving this accreditation and bringing 17025 testing in-house adds to our ability to more rapidly get consistently high-quality compounds developed and approved.”
To meet the requirements, Preferred increased its lab space in Barberton by 50 percent, installed new equipment and separated the research and development facilities from the production testing area. The accreditation process took more than 12 months.
“ISO 17025 requires a tightly-controlled laboratory with access limited to specially-trained personnel, climate regulation and stringent documentation of maintenance, calibration and testing,” Bloom said. “Throughout the past decade, we have dramatically increased our research and quality staff and they have stepped up to not only improve the services available to our customers but also to get this accreditation successfully completed.”
The 17025:2005 standard recognizes competence in consistently producing valid test results. It addresses management requirements for the operation and effectiveness of an organization’s quality management system within the laboratory as well as technical requirements for the correctness and reliability of performed tests and calibrations. A documented quality management system is a prerequisite.
Unlike ISO 9001 certification, ISO/IEC 17025 laboratory accreditation uses criteria and procedures specifically developed to determine the technical competence of laboratories. During the accreditation process, technical assessors conduct a thorough evaluation of all factors relevant to a laboratory’s ability to produce accurate test data. Accredited labs are regularly re-assessed to ensure they maintain requirements.
In addition to its development and testing quality standards, Preferred implements at all four of its locations the MixLoc™ Quality program. MixLoc identifies and implements procedures at nine key steps in the compounding process that result in consistent high-quality compounds. The program includes 24/7 customer access to compound data.
Preferred also follows The Compounder’s Pledge, which calls for using only prime materials in compounds with no substitutions without the knowledge and consent of the customer. You can find more information at preferredperforms.com/pledge.
“We never change a compound or move its production site without customer approval as stated in the Compounder’s Pledge we publish on our website,” Bloom said.
The American National Standards Institute oversees the creation, promulgation, use of thousands of norms and guidelines that have a direct impact on businesses in nearly every sector. The American Society for Quality ASQ has been the world’s leading authority on quality for more than 60 years.
About Preferred Compounding
Preferred Compounding (www.preferredperforms.com) supplies proprietary and custom mixed rubber compounds to customers including molders, extruders, mixers and others in the rubber goods market. Primary industries served are automotive, construction, power generation and roll goods. Plants are in Tallapoosa, Georgia, Huntingdon, Tennessee, San Luis Potosi, Mexico and Barberton, Ohio, which is also company headquarters. Preferred is a Wingate Partners (www.wingatepartners.com) company.
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