14 February 2014 – NAUE GmbH & Co. KG’s testing laboratory for geomembranes in Tönisberg (Germany) has been accredited by DAkkS according to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025. The globally-applicable accreditation establishes independence for the lab and sets a new benchmark for geosynthetics manufacturing quality control.
“To my knowledge,” says the Tönisberg laboratory’s director Vera Olischläger, “we are the first European geomembrane manufacturer to achieve this accreditation for a testing laboratory. It emphasizes our commitment to non-biased, stringently conducted testing and our belief in the quality of international standards.”
While there are many accreditation standards, DAkkS accreditation is important in that it is a public institute and in accordance to the German accreditation law (AkkStelleG). It is the only service provider for accreditations in Germany. Further, DAkkS is under federal supervision. An accreditation through DAkkS confirms that an approved facility fulfills its duties in a competent way and according to the rules. In short: DAkkS tests the testers.
According to the accreditation certificate, the testing facility in Tönisberg has verified a high standard for its “mechanical and physical tests on polymeric geomembranes”. Further, it has demonstrated that it is qualified to test according to 18 different internationally used standards.
“This confirms that we are on an internationally competitive level,” says Vera Olischläger, NAUE’s Director of Quality Control. “And the accreditation range will be expanded in future.”
International Round-Robin Testing
To attain and receive the accreditation the lab continuously participates in round-robin testing. An independent facility sends testing material worldwide to labs and checks the test results. The lab in Tönisberg has performed excellent in all round-robin tests.
In contrast to other standard quality management systems, this accreditation approach not only checks processes - e.g., complaint management and customer satisfaction - but true test results as compared on an international level. A part of the accreditation is also the implementation of appropriate handbooks: a quality handbook for typical practices and an additional DIN EN/IEC 17025:2005-specific quality management handbook.
Though the Tönisberg lab is part of the NAUE Group, the DAkkS accreditation confirms the independence of the lab to perform external client testing on geomembranes.
“With this accreditation, we document more than the strict quality standards that we fulfill with NAUE products,” says Vera Olischläger. “We also document how we test on an independent, non-biased level, so that we can be considered as an independent lab. It allows our lab to accept external orders for testing geomembranes and ensures client data confidentiality.”
The accreditation is valid for five years and is continuously checked by the DAkkS.