Volume 2, Issue 2 (February 2005)
Zen and the Art (or Is It Science) of a Perfect Analysis
An analytical laboratory in any industry plays a crucial role in product quality management and ultimate customer satisfaction. Some factors need to be considered for an aspiring laboratory to become a perfect performer. These range from sampling, calibration, contamination control, and use of valid test methods to statistical quality assurance. Some approaches may be utilized to achieve a perfect analysis including: staff training, participation in proficiency testing, use of standard reference materials in the analytical sequence, internal and external audits, agency accreditation, continuous improvement program, benchmarking, etc. Laboratories managed in this way show demonstrated superiority in data precision and accuracy over the labs which do not practice such quality management. Well-managed industrial laboratories can have insignificant laboratory sigma compared with manufacturing variability in the plant production. For a flawless perfect analysis, determination to excel, mental discipline to stay the course, willingness to overcome inertia and resistance, and focus on producing a perfect analysis at all levels of laboratory staff are essential.