Written by Joeri van BeekProduction & Quality Manager

Breda, 18 November 2021
Everybody has heard of quality control and is affected by it in numerous ways, from your car's last MOT to the little stickers on the new clothes you recently bought. Quality control is a broad term that is applied in countless ways, so how do we apply it to our own products and platforms at Lab Services?

Before and during the development of a new product, the desired properties are recorded in the functional description, which is then translated into a list of requirements that the product must meet. Based on these requirements, a test protocol is formulated with which every new product must comply before being released. During this process, the quality control engineer plays the role of 'customer'.

Our products are continually evolving: we document feedback from our staff and customers and incorporate it into further product refinement, enabling us to continually drive the quality of our products to a higher level.

The process for our products is the same as for our platforms: prior to construction, we draw up specifications that the platform must satisfy. Quality control starts at the very start of the process upon formulation of the user requirements specification. The user requirements in the URS lay the foundations upon which the platform is then developed, e.g. the protocols that the platform will run, the throughput, equipment preferences, software functionality, etc.

As a result, the URS is elaborated into a functional design for the platform. This results in a 3D design and an overview of functional properties with which the platform must comply.

As soon as the platform is constructed, the technical details are further expanded into a technical design. As every platform is unique with regard to its capacities, security and client preferences, a unique test protocol is set up for every platform based on the technical design, and this protocol becomes part of the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT).

During the construction of the platform, weekly inspections are conducted to check that the platform is being built in accordance with the standards and quality requirements applicable at Lab Services. When the platform's modules are complete, they are then tested according to the test protocol.

The final step is the definitive test, in which the entire test protocol is performed in full and the platform undergoes one final thorough inspection before the client is invited to attend the FAT. Lab Services uses this method to test every platform to ensure compliance with the requirements, specifications and client preferences and to identify and resolve any existing errors.

As quality and quality assurance are top priorities at Lab Services, we continually work on internal development and improvement in order to offer the highest possible quality. For example, we have our own QC platform that we use for long-term testing of our own products and third-party integrations as well as testing new innovations for our platforms.