AP&C, a GE Additive company, has received ISO 17025 accreditation for laboratory operations at its plant in Saint-Eustache, Québec, Canada, covering chemical analysis of titanium alloys and particle size distribution testing by sieving and light scattering. This is regarded as a milestone for the company, enabling to meet the requirements of a number of industries, such as medical and aerospace, requiring an ISO 17025 certification for testing. This accreditation is the fourth for the company, which also has ISO 9001, AS9100 and ISO 13485.
“This added accreditation is greatly appreciated by our customers,” stated Frédéric Marion, Product Manager. “First, at the core of an ISO 17025 accreditation is the assurance that the methods used — and therefore the results attained — are benchmarked against industry standards and consistent over time. Second, the laboratory’s independence from outside influence is reinforced within ISO 17025. This is reassuring for customers who buy our products.”
AP&C prepared for the ISO 17025 certification for over a year, including performing a gap analysis of its testing management and quality system to identify what needed to be updated. Round robin and statistical analysis of the lab’s testing results validated the methods used.
“This accreditation puts an emphasis on the robustness of controls to ensure AP&C’s laboratory operates competently and can generate valid results,” commented Rachel Riendeau, Quality Leader. “It also promotes impartiality and independence from production, which is crucial to maintain the credibility and integrity of a captive laboratory. To ensure compliance to these additional requirements, procedures and instructions were reviewed or created, risk analyses of laboratory activities were conducted, and all teams involved in the laboratory processes were thoroughly trained.”
Marion added, “AP&C’s team strives to better understand and control products, and this is pushing us to improve our analysis tools. As leader in the market, we also want the full industry to gain from our knowledge. That is why we continuously share our experiences by participating in ASTM committees that review methods. This is something that we also do with additive powder specifications from ASTM and AMS; we are also involved in the creation of the upcoming NAPCAP certification for metal powder production for Additive Manufacturing.”
Following this accreditation, AP&C has expressed its intention to widen its scope from chemical composition and particle size distribution to properties like flow rate, apparent and tap density, and humidity.