Charlotte-based Company Earns ISO 17025 Certification
In 1999, energy was an emerging market, and Paresh Patel saw an opportunity to get in on the ground floor. He bought Measurement Controls, Incorporated (MCI) a company that serves utilities, pipelines and original equipment manufacturers with gas meter calibration and related services. For the past 16 years, MCI has led its industry in terms of quality and reliability. Now, MCI has taken its quality program a step further by earning ISO 17025 certification.
ISO 17025 is the standard used by testing and calibration laboratories to signify technical competence and reliable measurements, and Patel believes that MCI holds the distinction of being the first and only gas meter calibration company in North America to achieve the certification.
Confidence Under Pressure
According to Patel, MCI sought the certification not to address any existing concerns, but to differentiate itself from its competitors by meeting the rigorous requirements to which calibration laboratories are held. MCI previously achieved ISO 9001 (quality management systems) certification, and Patel had selected North Carolina State University Industry Expansion Solutions (IES) to coach it through the ISO 17025 process because of the university resources and academic connections that he knew they could bring to the table.
“Being a university—and one of the best ones in my state—I felt comfortable picking up the phone and calling,” says Patel. He and his employees enjoyed the format of the monthly classes taught by IES improvement specialists, saw benefits in the form of numerous international business opportunities, and felt confident that MCI could rise to the challenge of tackling a second certification. He was correct; with dedication and hard work, MCI completed the ISO 17025 certification process in a matter of only months.
Raising the Bar
Though the certification is new, MCI is already realizing benefits in its daily operations.
“Now, when we take a look at our calibration-related data and our proficiency tests, we dig into details,” says Patel. “Employees have become more focused. They notice variances and know how to fix them before problems arise.”
Patel believes that MCI will continue to see positive results from certification, including increased confidence from the customers it serves.
“More and more energy customers, producers, distributors and transporters demand accurate, reliable, traceable measurement for economic purposes,” he explains. “Because we’ve reached the next level of meter calibration, customers have higher expectations for us. That will keep us on our toes.”
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