Science firm first Irish company to secure top international quality mark

A LIMERICK company which ensures accuracy in scientific measurements yesterday became the first Irish-based organisation to win a much sought-after international accreditation.

Calibration Technology Ltd, based at the National Technology Park in Plassey, was given the ISO 17025 quality designation.

Junior minister with responsibility for technology Michael Ahern presented the company with their award as part of Science Week.

CTL works with laboratories to help them optimise the accuracy of their test results by ensuring their pipettes are precise.

CTL managing director Brian Kelly said: “This has far-reaching consequences, for example, in terms of the safety of the clients these laboratories serve, the credibility of the laboratories’ results and ultimately their reputation. Pipettes are hand-held, spring-loaded devices, which are used extensively in laboratories to measure micro-quantities of liquids. We provide these laboratories with a dedicated, accredited pipette calibration service, which ensures that these instruments will measure accurately to internationally-recognised standards.”

ISO 17025 is the international standard for testing and calibration laboratories. Pat O’Brien of the Irish National Accreditation Board said: “Accreditation to this standard shows the outside world that a laboratory’s calibration work is technically controlled and that it is generating calibration reports of known and proven quality. It’s what you hang your hat on when it comes to the verification of results.”

Mr Ahern described the achievement as tremendous, given that it is a small company established in 2005, with hopes to employ a staff of 20 by 2012 from a current base of five.

He said: “Companies cannot afford to stand still. They must continually update and improve their structures, processes and services, and one way to do this is to attain the high standards needed to earn accreditation to this level.”

Mr Kelly said the pipette calibration business in Ireland was worth more than €2 million a year: “This accreditation puts us in the running for more business, and allows us to provide laboratories — in Ireland initially and then internationally — with a faster and more flexible service. The accreditation also opens the door for us to partner with global pipette manufacturers as their preferred provider of pipette calibration services, and to expand into other related areas, such as balance, temperature and humidity calibration.”

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