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Monday, April 20, 2015

Optical Calibration: What is OPAL?

I am in Atlanta this week for TAPPI PaperCon and ISO TC6 (pulp, paper and paperboard) meetings. I am also participating in OPAL (Optical Properties Authorized Laboratory) meetings.  The OPAL is made up of representatives of each of the Authorized Laboratories for producing and distributing IR3 standards for optical measurements according to ISO 2469 for the measurement of ISO 2470, 5631, 11475, 11476, and 22754 (and others).  This group is led by the Chairman of ISO TC6/WG3 (optical properties).  Representatives are from:
  • Technidyne Corporation - USA
  • Innventia - Sweden
  • CTP - France
  • FPInnovations - Canada
In order to maintain a high level of agreement among the labs, they participate in monthly inter-laboratory comparisons. This means the labs produce and ship standards to each of the other labs each month. They read the standards that were received and generate a series of tables showing the monthly comparisons of spectral reflectance (minimally 400-700 nm), fluorescent (UV Level D65 & C) and non-fluorescent levels.. This data is then maintained on a common website for later analysis.  This aids the labs in detecting differences or changes among the group.

In regularly scheduled meetings (like the one in Atlanta, GA), each lab reports and discusses any observed trends, changes or differences. This helps build a cohesive group for issuing standards. The idea is to provide the best agreement among customers that receive standards from any of the Authorized Labs. A new report will be issued by the OPAL in the near future which illustrates the inter-laboratory reproducibility.

To learn more about Technidyne's calibration process and materials, contact Nick Riggs and see our website Technidyne Laboratory Services

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