ILS: Making Our Standards Work Better



Alayya Arrison

As you and your ASTM colleagues develop standard test methods, remember that ASTM’s Interlaboratory Study Program is a resource available to all members.

The program, established by the ASTM board of directors in 2004, helps committees determine the repeatability and reproducibility of ASTM standard test methods. An up-to-date precision and bias statement arms the user with extremely important information. It is there to guide the reader regarding the expected variability when the procedure in question is used to test replicate samples within one laboratory or among multiple laboratories.  This precision and bias information, supported by a Research Report, helps ASTM’s test methods to ensure transparency, assure certainty in trade, and bolster consumer confidence.
The ILS team works together with ASTM technical committees to help ensure all requirements of Section A21, Form and Style for ASTM Standards, are met. The ILS staff has worked with our technical committees on more than 1,000 test methods resulting in over 500 successfully balloted precision statements to date. Phillip Godorov leads the team with the assistance of Caitlin Farrell and Carolyn Brooker.

Currently, ILS has more than 300 active programs in areas including, but not limited to: tires, lightbulbs, vacuum cleaners, boat paint, gasoline, caulk, blood, replacement knee joints, gold particles, biodiesel fuels, robots, and much more.

The ILS program offers assistance with:

  • Designing an interlaboratory study,
  • Identifying potential samples,
  • Soliciting volunteer laboratories,
  • Finding available suppliers,
  • Contracting with distributors,
  • Reviewing laboratory instructions,
  • Reimbursing shipping expenses,
  • Collecting and analyzing data,
  • Producing draft precision statements,
  • Compiling information for research reports, and
  • Providing recognition for participating laboratories.

ILS staff frequently attends committee weeks as a member benefit. According to members who have participated in past studies, the assistance of the ILS team often makes the process run much more efficiently. In fact, nearly 250 of our technical contacts have returned to register additional programs.

Further enhancements are coming to ILS next year that will facilitate the collection of data from participating laboratories using a familiar Excel format. These enhancements, and more, can be discussed with the ILS team when they attend the committee weeks in Orlando, Florida, from November 13 to 18 and December 7 to 9, as well as the upcoming D02 meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, from December 4 to 6. ASTM members are always welcome to contact ILS to set up a meeting time to discuss their committees’ needs and how the ILS Program can help.

For more information on the Interlaboratory Study Program, go to:  www.astm.org/ILS.

For assistance, contact: ILS@astm.org.

Alayya Arrison is a student at Immaculata University and ASTM’s corporate communcations intern for 2016.

Issue Month: 
September/October
Issue Year: 
2016