February 2020: Accreditation for calibration laboratory of A.P. van den Berg

Accreditation mark

The originally Dutch Cone Penetration Test (CPT) technology delivers important measurement data for estimating soil behaviour and for making reliable foundation designs in the construction industry. Therein the quality of the measuring instruments and the measurements are a determining factor. As of 23 January 2020, the calibration laboratory of A.P. van den Berg in Heerenveen, the Netherlands is the proud bearer of the ISO 17025 accreditation, awarded by the Dutch Accreditation Council. With this, the company has taken a unique global position as a supplier of CPT measuring instruments. A.P. van den Berg provides reliable and accurate CPT cones, now supported by a validated calibration process.

On 23 January 2020, the Dutch Accreditation Council (RvA) has granted accreditation to the calibration laboratory of A.P. van den Berg Ingenieursburo b.v. on the basis of EN ISO / IEC 17025: 2017. This means that A.P. van den Berg has become part of a select group of only 59 companies in the Netherlands, including renowned names such as KEMA, the Netherlands Aerospace Centre, Kiwa and Siemens.
With this accreditation the cones of A.P. van den Berg have not changed; these already amply met the highest quality classes for CPT. In the laboratory however procedures have been introduced and tightened with the aim of determining and reducing the measurement uncertainties. This has further raised the accuracy, reliability and consistency of the measurement data and this will also be regularly checked by the RvA.
For CPT companies, the customers of A.P. van den Berg, it is important that their measurements are accepted by clients and other involved authorities. A.P. van den Berg is now allowed to display the RvA logo on their cone certificates. This logo is recognized internationally, so customers worldwide can take advantage of the reliability of the A.P. van den Berg calibration laboratory. In the case of doubt about a specific measurement, this lab is the "highest authority" in determining whether the cone has measured correctly.
Until now, Fugro had the only accredited laboratory within the CPT industry. However, Fugro manufactures and calibrates cones only for their own use. A.P. van den Berg, on the other hand, supplies its technology to the global CPT market, as of now supported by a validated calibration process.
The accreditation has been granted for all four measurements that are central to the CPT standard and that are important for a high-quality CPT: the tip resistance, the sleeve friction, the pore water pressure and the slope. For more information about the scope of the accreditation of the calibration laboratory, we refer you to the publication on the website of the RvA (www.rva.nl).
In short, validated top quality technology is delivered from Heerenveen.

About the Dutch Accreditation Council (RvA)

The primary task of the RvA consists of accrediting and regularly checking organizations that assess the conformity of products or services, such as laboratories and inspection, certification and verification institutes. Such organizations exist in every conceivable area of work: health, environment, construction, energy, food, transport, finance and so on. The laboratory of A. P. van den Berg, for example, assesses the conformity of cones in relation to the applicable CPT standards. If all conditions are met, a declaration of conformity will be issued in the form of a certificate or quality mark.
It is important that the conformity assessing organizations are competent, impartial and independent. Only then the issued declaration is usable and reliable. Therefore the RvA verifies whether these organizations comply with the European (EN) and international (ISO or ISO/IEC) standards. If that is indeed the case, they will be granted the accreditation and are allowed to use the RvA logo.

About A.P. van den Berg

Determining soil behaviour and estimating geotechnical risks are of great importance for the design of construction projects. For this purpose the Cone Penetration Test (CPT) technology has been developed in the Netherlands. During a CPT a measuring instrument, the cone, is pushed into the soil and during the downward movement various parameters are continuously measured. Soil properties can be derived directly or indirectly from these parameters. The pushing of cones is performed by machines that are specifically developed for CPT. The Dutch invention of CPT is now fully integrated into the worldwide practice of geotechnical soil research and has found its way into international norms and standards.

The reliability and accuracy of the CPT measurement data must of course be optimal. This is achieved by applying suitable and accurate CPT cones and then calibrating these very accurately. Details about measurement, calibration and accuracy with respect to cones are included in CPT standards; the best known is ISO 22476-1.
For already 50 years, A.P. van den Berg has been a leader in the CPT market as a supplier of innovative and top quality cone technology, which is developed and manufactured entirely in-house. A.P. van den Berg has its own laboratory for calibration of cones. Moreover, A.P. van den Berg is known as a supplier of very robust, high-quality and often technologically advanced CPT pushing equipment.