Quality Control in Laboratory Testing – Ensuring Maximum Value in Testing Data

Laboratory testing is an important part of today’s Energy & Environmental industries. The results are often used to demonstrate compliance to regulations at the local, state and federal levels. Results are also used by organizations and policy makers to make decisions that can dramatically impact revenue and the public consumption of products. As such, it is of critical importance that the results be accurate and trustworthy. A robust Quality system ensures that results are not only accurate but are able to withstand scrutiny. At SPL, we maintain accreditation to Quality standards such as ISO 17025:2017 and NELAC to demonstrate our commitment to result quality.

The International Standards Organization (also referred to as “ISO”) writes standard documents that govern many areas. For example, ISO 9001 is a standard that describes a Quality system for effective business practices that may be generally applied to a variety of industries. In certain industries, however, ISO has published a standard specific to that business type. Laboratory testing of Energy products is one such industry[JS1] . The ISO 17025 [JS2] standard provides details specific to the requirements for setting up, processing, and reporting of results for laboratory testing methodology[JS3] , while including all the relevant parts of the ISO 9001 standard. Our energy and finished product businesses are governed by a system developed in strict adherence to ISO 17025.[JS4]

Other industries, such as the Environmental industry, have further developed specific programs for Quality. The National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference Institute, also known as “NELAC”, is a group made up of environmental laboratories, state agencies, and accreditation bodies who have come together to develop more detailed requirements for compliance. Environmental labs must meet these requirements when testing products such as soils, stormwater, wastewater, produced water, air, etc.. The NELAC contributors regularly review, interpret, and revise the standard to foster ongoing improvement in the industry. SPL[JS5]  is a member, active on committees that engage in this pursuit.

With ISO and NELAC certified labs, SPL strives to maintain a testing program that adheres to the highest standard of quality. Further we are committed to maintaining relationships with the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), among others, to ensure that we are current on all necessary certifications and accreditations. These agencies visit our laboratories annually to evaluate our Quality system and accredit the laboratories to the related standard. These activities, along with several internal Quality processes that we engage in regularly, are important to SPL because we know that our customers need laboratories that can deliver accurate, defensible, actionable results in an efficient and timely manner.


Brian Eichelberger
Quality Director

Brian Eichelberger is the Quality Director for SPL Inc. He has worked in ISO accredited laboratories in the consumer product testing and tobacco testing industries in various operational roles for the last 13 years before starting with SPL in March 2023. Prior to 2010, he worked as a college professor and in academic research roles after achieving his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry in 2003. In his spare time, he explores a variety of interests such as computers, music performance, and raising two teenagers.