CertAlarm, an organisation offering a pan-European quality mark in the fire protection and security systems industry, confirmed the completion of its 4th cycle of round-robin test series.
Round-robin tests are comparative tests performed by the participating laboratories at regular intervals and using the same test sample. As such they are an important monitoring tool for CertAlarm’s partners and recognised test laboratories. They enable quality supervisors and management to place the results obtained by the laboratory performing the tests in a wider framework and to identify problems and initiate actions for improvement.
In particular, round-robin tests help to bring to light inconsistencies in the testing systems or methods and can give rise to necessary corrective action, e.g.:
- interpretation of standards,
- calibration/maintenance of the testing equipment,
- training of the laboratory personnel,
- adjustment of influencing factors relevant to testing (e.g. climate).
“In order to improve our program we specifically select tests which have proven to be difficult to perform or have shown in the market place that inconsistencies exist in approved products. One of the tests selected for this cycle’s series was therefore the measurement of the make and break distances of opening contacts according to EN 50131-2-6 (clause 6.4.2). The criticality of this test lays in the interpretation of the PASS/FAIL criteria in coherence with the manufacturer declaration and the requirements in clause 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206.”, says Benoît Stockbroeckx, Technical Manager of Euralarm and Chair of CertAlarm’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG).
“As a matter of fact, diverging interpretations highlighted unclarity in the wording of the standard. This issue has been brought to the relevant standardisation working group (CLC/TC 79/WG 2) and the discussions paved the way for an improvement of the standard in view of a future revision. Thanks to this exercise we can now be sure that all of CertAlarm’s labs will test and conclude according to this understanding in the future. Moreover, CertAlarm so contributed to the improvement of the standard for the benefit of all European laboratories, certification bodies and manufacturers dealing with opening contacts”, he adds.
“The round-robin procedure helps us understand if we are doing things right and providing our customers the same level of results”, confirms Anja Kinsky, General Manager of CertAlarm.