The specialty gases products that we produce at our Coregas Yennora plant are genuinely world class and our ISO 17034 accreditation from NATA is valued around the world
Our reputation for quality and innovation in specialty gases calibration gas mixtures has spread to many continents and this has led to some of our gas cylinders being ordered from countries as far away as Brazil.
Overseas shipping is both expensive and time consuming, but despite these hurdles Coregas products are highly sought after around the world due to their unique properties of: extended shelf life and stability; high accuracy and low measurement uncertainty; ISO 17034 and ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation and sophisticated blends of multiple components. If you are looking for proof to underpin the technical expertise and excellence that exist at Coregas, then this is a great place to start.
Let us dip into the specialty gases laboratory and hear from Steve Abbott, our National Operations Manager: “Our specialty gases accreditation journey began in 1997 when we achieved ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation as a calibration laboratory for calibration gas mixtures. Subsequently, Coregas achieved ISO Guide 34 accreditation in 2002 which made us the first accredited gases reference material producer in Australia. Furthermore, the updated version of ISO Guide 34, which is called ISO 17034, was implemented from 2018 and we gained the certificate in March 2019.” The accreditation authority responsible for Coregas production and testing operations is NATA, the National Association of Testing Authorities Australia which is the sole accreditation body in Australia. Their reputation is worldwide and, in addition to working in Australia, NATA also engages in accreditation widely in Asia.
Both the ISO/IEC 17025 and the ISO 17034 accreditations are important and they have some differences: ISO/IEC 17025 is for testing gases as a calibration laboratory and ISO 17034 is for reference material production, so it is focused on traceability, stability, homogeneity and measurement uncertainty. Steve adds, “preparation for a new ISO 17034 accreditation takes approximately one year to gather sufficient quality data and prepare the relevant processes. Then, the preparation of the documentation for the assessment will typically take us an additional 3 months. So, this is a highly labour- and cost-intensive process that requires the attention of the most expert members of our laboratory team. And these accreditations are not just one off events: both must be re-assessed every 18 months by NATA to ensure that our quality systems remain under control.”
When it comes to gas mixtures filling, it is possible to prepare general certified (non-accredited) specialty gases calibration mixtures in small batches for speed and economy. However, most ISO 17034 mixtures must be prepared as single cylinders which involves a lot more labour input per cylinder and results in higher costs of production. Coming back to the voice of Steve Abbott, “four members of our Specialty Gases laboratory team are NATA signatories for our accredited ISO 17034 certificates. Between them, they have 38 years of experience as NATA signatories for reference material production. Beyond that, there are five NATA signatories in our team at Coregas for ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation, and they have a total of 60 years of combined experience as NATA signatories for gas testing."
Steve continues, “I have personally been involved with the NATA accreditation process for more than 18 years. At Coregas, our pedigree has grown from serving customers in Australia. In recent years, our reputation and our specialty gas cylinders have been travelling abroad and, for example, we are proud to be a supplier to many multi-national gas detection device manufacturers and local gas detection equipment servicing companies in Brazil."