Testing laboratories constantly updated

In Colombia, the technical competence of testing laboratories is determined by compliance with the requirements of ISO IEC 17025 standard, which has been modified in its 2005 version to ISO IEC 17025:2017.

This new version proposes a structure more compatible with quality standards such as ISO 9001, updates the terminology including the International Metrology Vocabulary and ISO updates that have common terms and definitions for all standards related to conformity assessment.

In order to make the transition, it is important that the management system of each laboratory identify which are the main changes and impacts that could occur. Among the most relevant are:

  • The 17025: 2017 version, adopts the evaluation of risks and opportunities aimed at preventing negative effects on results.
  • Impartiality is included as a numeral within the general requirements unlike the 2005 version that mentioned it between lines of requirements related to management.
  • Section 5.5.2, 2005 version, gave the “Calibrate or Verify” option, the 2017 version only contemplates the “Calibrate” option.
  • It is generally established that the methods performance must be specified in the validation.
  • In number 7.9 of the current version there is a greater interest in the treatment of complaints.
  • Describing a Quality Manual within the system is not a mandatory requirement for the 2017 version.

The above applies for accredited laboratories and in the process of initial granting with transition periods that will be defined by the accrediting entities.

On the other hand, it is important to mention that the new versions of reference methods such as the ASTM Standards and the Standard Method, add to the testing laboratories a permanent revision and adjustment of the internal methodologies, in addition to validations and periodic confirmations that allow changes in the limits of quantification, control patterns, among others, that are related to the assurance of the quality of the results; to mention an example, the new version SM Edition 23: 2017, Section 4500-NO3, establishes 11 changes with respect to 22 version of the year 2014.

The aforementioned changes have as main objective, to strengthen the reliability of the results; these also obey to different market conditions and new technological advances, which generate the need to adapt the corresponding reference methods. Finally, this shows us that quality must be prepared and subject to a process of continuous improvement and change management.

 

 

Recommendations to acquire an Environmental Monitoring Network and get the most out of it

Environmental monitoring networks are tools that, in addition to providing data and knowledge of a specific area (something very important), also allow us to make decisions with objective bases, evaluate these decisions and, therefore, improve the monitored environment.

These networks require the analysis of experts and stakeholders, who discuss the aspects that need to be measured and then how to measure it. In these stages where the project is formulated, the ideas of the network emerge with a clear objective; define strategic points that can become a viable, successful and high impact project (from the economic, social and sustainable point of view)

First of all, it is necessary to generate clear and balanced project requirements. Not too weak to not meet goals or oversized that it becomes an unsustainable project. As the saying goes, don’t place the candle so close to the saint that you burn it, or so far away that it can’t be seen.

There are several factors that can affect the compliance of a monitoring network, the most important to consider are the following:

Key factors to design acquire and maintain an environmental monitoring network in operation and get the most out of it

As a first step, the following questions should be asked:

  1. What is the objective? What does it take to measure? What are the places of interest for the measurement?

The objective of the measure must be clearly obtained, in which specific points it is necessary to measure and what results are expected, from this, blocks of work are derived and can be estimated with the following questions:

  1. What variables are necessary to monitor to meet this objective?

The variables that really need to be measured are defined, the projection for the near future. These variables must be evaluated in an important matrix in order to prioritize.

  1. What resolution, level of precision and quality is required for the measurement of the different variables?

Once you have clear the variables that are needed, the level of importance of this data and the quality that it requires, it is important to define the characteristics of the equipment that the network needs. This facilitates the selection of more accurate sensors and DataLoggers.

All this is necessary to obtain technology that is reliable and meets the requirements of measurement.

  1. What type of communication is needed to meet the objective? Are continuous data necessary or is it possible to obtain it in hours, days, etc.?

It is important to have the information at the right time; therefore, the transmission of data is one of the most important parts of the network. A good installation, the best sensors, the best operation and maintenance group, are aspects that are useless if the information does not arrive in time to be analyzed. For cases of early warnings, priority will be ensured.

Examples of technologies for downloading data: manual download, network points, GPRS, 3G, radio, satellite, etc. Each technology has significant associated costs; this must be evaluated to define the feasibility and permanence of the network.

  1. Who operates the network after being installed?

The personnel that operate the equipment must have a technical level and be trained in the operation and maintenance recommended by the manufacturer in order to guarantee the useful life of the equipment and reliability of the data.

Summarized:

There are several important factors to acquire and operate an environmental monitoring network in the correct way. The key is not to neglect any of these factors, because it can partially or totally affect the objectives of the project.

Be clear about the purpose of the network; define the most suitable sites for measurement, define correctly the sensors and equipment required, identify the transmission technology of each station and carry out a maintenance and calibration plan that guarantees the correct operation and reliability of the data.

In a forthcoming publication, all the factors will be deepened in order to identify in more detail the keys to the success of the monitoring networks.

 

Eng. Esp. PMP.

Cristian David Acevedo Lara

Innovation Director

 

 

Air quality: ¿What is a compass rose and a pollution rose?.

A Compass Rose is a graphical database that summarizes the Vectorial behavior of the wind in a place. It has three main components: direction, intensity and frequency.

The information of each Compass Rose shows the frequency of occurrence of the winds in 16 sectors of direction (E, ENE, NE, NNE, W, WNW, NW, NNW, ESE, SE, SSE, S, SSW, N, WSW , SW) and types of wind speed for a specific place and periods of time, the classification most used for wind is the BEAUFORT SCALE.

A Compass Rose is made just like a frequency table, one category is the address and its subcategories are the 16 directions, the other one category is the speed and the different types of wind considered by Beaufort as the subcategories.

A Pollution Rose is a graphic database, which indicates the direction of the emission sources that influence any station. It has three main components: speed, direction and concentration levels.

For this example, the Pollution Rose indicates that the main emission source is local (low speeds) and it comes mainly from the Southwest (SW).

The Polar Circumference is a graphical database, which represents in the wind direction the concentrations reached in function of the hours of the day.

In this way, it is possible to see at what times of the day the highest concentrations have occurred and in which wind direction have occurred most.

For this example, the Polar Circumference for the period of analysis, indicate that the highest concentrations come from the northeast (NE), east-northeast (ENE) and east (E) and occur after 07:00 hours.

 

K2 INGENIERÍA participates in the Sustainable Aeronautics Forum, organized by the Rosario’s University and the SKBO Social Committee.

The Rosario University of Bogotá hosted the Sustainable Aeronautics Forum 2017, coordinated by K2 INGENIERÍA and the SKBO Social Committee, a group made up of different companies of the Colombian Aeronautical Sector.

(SKBO is the ICAO code for the El Dorado airport, and is used as a summary form to talk about the Airport Terminal of the Capital of Colombia)

For 4 years, the SKBO Social Committee, which includes several companies in the Aeronautical Sector of Colombia, promotes technical meetings aimed at sharing, disseminating and stimulating sustainable actions in airlines and Colombian airports. Since its inception, K2 INGENIERÍA has been part of the Committee.

The Sustainable Aeronautics Forum is an academic meeting with the support of the Psychology Program of the Rosario University of Bogotá and its Organizational area. Featured exponents represented companies and entities committed to the environment, the business economy, communities and society.

The selection of exhibitors was first class, headed by the representative of the Colombian Aeronautical Authority and the Aeronautical Studies Center ASC, Sergio ParÍs, who presented the actions of the Entity manifested in spaces such as the Green Airports Meetings, which in 2018 will reach the third version. Tania Chacín, Opaín HSEQ Director, concessionaire of the El Dorado Airport, presented the page “The green side of El Dorado” and presented several sustainable actions of the main airport in the country. Opaín has been one of the regular participants of the Green Airport Meetings since its inception.

The AirPlan concessionaire, who has also been frequently present at the Green Airports meetings, highlighted the actions at the Caraño Airport in Quibdó, presenting the sustainability plan and the first steps for sustainable buildings in this terminal, exposed by Engineer Jhon Jairo Ortíz and Engineer Yesenia Loaiza.

LATAM Airlines has also been a committed and regular participant, has been present since its inception in the SKBO Social Committee and in the Green Airports Meetings. Maria Lara, director of corporate affairs LATAM Airlines Colombia, who presented the Climate Change Management Strategy, spoke on behalf of this outstanding airline.

Avianca was represented by John Karakatsianis, Director of Corporate Citizenship Avianca Holdings. The airline exposed its sustainable social strategy, presenting a novel model of interaction and social action.

 

Leonardo Amaya intervened for K2 INGENIERÍA, presenting the theoretical model that supports the sustainable social design of the Environmental Monitoring and Quality System of Aerocivil for El Dorado Airport. Aerocivil’s commitment to sustainability allowed the application that K2 INGENIERÍA as a consultant proposed and designed, always with the strong support of the Aeronautical Authority. Leonardo Amaya is Social Director of the Environmental Quality and Surveillance System and professor of the Psychology Program of the Rosario University, host of the Event.