EPA Centre HOKLAS-accredited

Peter Ho

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On 21 November, CityU's Centre for Electronic Packaging and Assemblies, Failure Analysis and Reliability Engineering (the EPA Centre) was accepted by the Hong Kong Accreditation Service (HKAS) as an Accredited Laboratory* under the Hong Kong Laboratory Accreditation Scheme (HOKLAS). This is a CityU first. 

"HOKLAS accreditation is very prestigious", said EPA Centre Director, Professor Y C Chan, Chair Professor in the Department of Electronic Engineering, with which the Centre is affiliated. The Centre is one of the three applied strategic development centres at the University. "Our Laboratory has been offered accreditation to meet the international standards and requirement of ISO/IEC 17025 : 1999 ---- General Requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories."

HOKLAS is operated by the Hong Kong Accreditation Service, under the auspices of the Innovation and Technology Commission. Its accreditation criteria are drawn up in full accordance with ISO/IEC 17025: 1999 (E), which contains both technical requirements and management system requirements. The EPA Centre received accreditation, with Registration number 135, under the Miscellaneous category ---- Test area on "Metal Finished Products".

At present, there is only a handful of HOKLAS-accredited laboratories in local academia with accreditation for the ASTM standard method for the measurement of metallic coatings thickness using a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). The EPA Centre, by virtue of the wider scope of its services, is the first of its kind in Hong Kong to provide the well-known cross-sectioning and micro-structural analysis of electronic packaging products.

Application for accreditation began around six months ago, Professor Chan said. It involved meticulous planning, documentation and some additional resources. During the intervening period leading to approval, the Centre underwent only one thorough and vigorous on-site assessment from an independent specialist assessor appointed by the accreditation body.

"The award of HOKLAS status will help us to promote the creditability of our services to our clients, both internal and external," said Professor Chan. "By bringing our testing standards in line with major international levels such as the ASTM standard, we have enhanced our status as one of the best recognized testing laboratories, not only in Hong Kong but also in the Asia Pacific region."

* Remarks: This Laboratory is HOKLAS accredited for specific tests, as listed in the HOKLAS Directory of Accredited Laboratories.

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