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How to Select A Fluid Analysis Lab

July 01, 2012
Jean Van Rensselar
Tip or Best Practice


This is a sidebar from an article that appeared in the July 2012 issue of TLT, "Maximizing the Benefits of Fluid Analysis" by Jean Van Rensselar. Use this check list when you are choosing a fluid analysis lab.

Assuming that an in-house testing facility is not an option (most small to mid-sized companies wouldn’t find this feasible), customers need to select the best lab to test their samples. Here are a few considerations:

  • Is the lab ISO 17025 accredited?
  • Do tests conform to ASTM standards?
  • Are lab employees appropriately educated and/or certified?
  • During what days and hours is the lab available?
  • How many locations does the lab have?
  • Can the lab handle the customer’s sample volume?
  • What are the report delivery and format options?
  • What kind of guidance/technical support can the customer expect?
  • Does the lab have the latest equipment and technology?
  • How many test methods are available—a full menu or just a few?
  • How well does the lab interpret data? (Ask to see a sample report.)
  • What is the turnaround time for results?
  • What kind of training programs does the lab offer?
  • What are the costs per test and what is/is not included?
  • What guarantees does the lab offer?
  • Is test selection preset, per industry and component type, but also flexible?
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