The University of Southampton

Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory Receives ISO Certifications

Published: 4 August 2014

Over the last two years, the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory (TDHVL), with support from a large number of staff across the University have been developing their systems, structure and working practices to ensure that the laboratory is compliant to three key standards:

Following a successful audit by SGS United Kingdom Ltd Systems and Services Certification, the laboratory has been certified as meeting the requirements of all three standards until April 2017 for the activities of development, product type testing and consultancy services related to high voltage plant and accessories. TDHVL is the first UK University high voltage laboratory to achieve this and the decision to seek certification was not taken lightly. “The laboratory was losing its traditional customers to overseas high voltage facilities because we did not meet their requirements to become approved suppliers of research or testing services”, said Neil Palmer, Laboratory Manager, “fortunately as it became known that we were pursuing certification, demand for our research and testing services has grown and now we have never been busier”. The same systems and structures are in place for all research activities across the Laboratory and already there are some clear benefits. “We have improved our processes for equipment calibration and maintenance, which in turn has an impact on the quality of our experimental research”, said Prof Paul Lewin, Head of the Laboratory, “to be honest at first I was sceptical about the benefits, but now we have everything in place, we are working more effectively and efficiently as a research laboratory and commercial testing house”. Recently the Laboratory has successfully submitted and won tenders for two large research/testing projects and it is clear that in the future more industrially funded research will be let via a tender process. “Having certification ensures that we not only meet the basic entry requirements for tendering for research services but also greatly reduces subsequent audit processes before the tender is awarded and during the programme of work itself”, added Paul.

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