University of Twente Student Theses


Onderzoek naar de meerwaarde van accreditatie voor een asfaltlaboratorium

Bankras, T.G.T. (2017) Onderzoek naar de meerwaarde van accreditatie voor een asfaltlaboratorium.

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Abstract:Asphalt is an essential product in road construction. Every year round ten million tons of asphalt is produced by almost 40 asphalt production plants divided over the Netherlands. Because asphalt is such an important product in road construction the quality of the asphalt is of importance. To guarantee the quality of asphalt different Dutch and European norms and regulations are drafted, which the asphalt plants should satisfy. The current quality system of the asphalt plant Twente (ACT) is determined by the norms and procedures used at the ACT. The focus of the current quality system is at the end-product. In the current structure of the quality system the competences of the laboratory do not have a significant role. To also guarantee the competences of the asphalt laboratory staff the asphalt laboratory needs to achieve accreditation for ISO 17025. It is the ambition of ReintenInfra, the owner of the ACT, to let the ACT become the asphalt knowledge centre of the Eastern Netherlands. Part of this ambition is to get acknowledgement for the competences of the laboratory and therefore accreditation. The aim of the research is to compare the current quality system with the proposed quality system conforming to ISO 17025. With this comparison, advice and recommendations regarding improvements of the current quality system can be given. And, advice and recommendation regarding the added value of accreditation of the laboratory. To achieve this aim firstly a literature study is performed. The first step in this literature study was determining the definition of quality and quality systems and their function in road construction. The second step in the literature research was to give an overview of the norms and regulations mentioned in ISO 17025. These norms and regulations are compared with the current norms and regulations at the ACT. From this comparison differences came to light, which were the basis for the series of interviews which were performed with the staff of the ACT and accredited laboratories. With the literature study and the interviews a clear overview of the current problems of the quality system and the risks of accreditation and the accreditation process. The most important challenges in the current quality system turned out to be the traceability of results, the feedback from the staff regarding the management system and the responsibility and awareness of the staff that is accompanied with this. When studying the risks of accreditation and the accreditation process three risks came to light. Firstly, the costs of the accreditation process and the preservation of the accreditation. This a risk because of the investments which are needed for to improve the quality of in the laboratory. These investments have regards to the training of the staff, equipment and required controls. Next to the costs of these investment these investments require time. That is why also time can be seen as a risk for implementation process of ISO 17025. Lastly, the risk of the motivation and the collaboration of the management of the ACT and ReintenInfra as well of the staff of the ACT. The accreditation process depends on the collaboration of staff and management, because in ISO 1705 next to technical requirements, also management requirements are stated. These management requirements demand a specific way of carrying out tests and associated way of assessing and approaching the tests and tests results. The research reveals that the added value of accreditation does not compensate the risks that are associated with it. Recommended to the ACT is, instead of focusing on accreditation, the ACT should focus on systematic improvements of the quality system. This can be done by taking several measures. First, by appointing an independent quality manager, who controls the laboratory. Furthermore, by raising the staffs awareness of their duties and responsibilities in the quality system. So, the staff and quality manager can then improve the current quality system, making results easier to read and reproducible. This makes it easier to solve or resolve problems quickly.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Civil Engineering BSc (56952)
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