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Environmental Temperature Chamber Testing & A2LA requirements

C

Cheryl

#1
We have an Environmental Chamber that is listed as part of our Scope of Accreditation. Currently our chamber will only chill to say -25 degrees, but GM has changed their requirements and is looking for us to test to -40 degrees. On an annual basis we contract the services of an A2LA Lab to come in and verify the settings for the Chamber and conduct all testing for our 3 locations using the Chamber located in our head office. The head office scope shows that we are design responsible and supports (our US) and (China) locations for design.

We are considering buying a 2nd environmental chamber and setting it up at one of our other locations (China) or (US). For customer requirements (eg. GM) where we need to conduct the testing to the -40 temperature we would ship the part to our other plant that has the new chamber to have the test performed versus our other option of sending it out to an outside vendor to have the test performed.

Since our locations are not an A2LA approved lab, we contract the services of an A2LA lab to verify the temperatures of our current environemental chamber. Would the group of companies be able to ship the parts requiring environmental testing to either location the environmental chamber resides to conduct our customer required testing?

If we placed the new chamber at (China) we would then update our certifications to show HTAC as a support to the head office and (US) for testing.

Your thoughts?
 
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dgriffith

Quite Involved in Discussions
#2
Cheryl,
You can probably help me more than I you. I did not know that chambers could be part of a 'scope' of accreditation. Certainly the ability to measure temperature over the range of the chamber could be, but the chamber itself just has attributes like stability (a function of the chamber mechanics and controller) and gradients (how well the air is circulated), etc.
If one is using a calibrated external thermometer--we always do--isn't that where scope would come in?
We have found that even with a calibration of our controller and probe, the controller-measured chamber temperature can differ from an external thermometer. Our controller's temperature measurement is only for maintaining a stable temperature at a given set point. Our test temperatures are always measured with an external calibrated system.
 

dwperron

Trusted Information Resource
#5
Cheryl,

I am assuming that you are A2LA accredited for testing, and that the chamber mentioned is included in your scope of accreditation.
I am not speaking for A2LA, but I have a background working with them.

If you are talking about doing this 17025 accredited thermal testing in another facility that is not accredited then A2LA will not approve this. You can possibly include this testing as a "satellite" location to be covered under your current A2LA accreditation, but you will still need to go to A2LA to request this. They would still have to review your application and audit the facility, but it can be done.
Reach out to your A2LA contact and ask for their advice on the best way to handle this.
 
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