When I first came to the Asphalt Institute laboratory (circa 1994) there were very few computers in the offices. There were only large desktop models and thick massive square monitors. How times have changed! I remember my first computer purchase, it was a ‘386’ with a 40 megabytes hard drive in 1991. I’m not going to say out loud how much I paid for that computer. I use to think, wow, where could technology possibly go from here?!!

Timeline of computer history

Now, as we move down this crazy and fascinating technology path, it’s artificial intelligence and machine learning that will most likely dominate in the coming years. The future will be fascinating to watch, to say the least. Some thoughts from the experts as to what the next ten years may look like; “Artificial intelligence is going to impact every single industry and everything that we do”.  – Nikita Johnson, Founder of RE.WORK

Technology changing the way we manage

When the AASHTO accreditation program began in 1988, laboratories managed their QMS with pencil and paper and then came the filing cabinets. Fast forward to the 1990s and Microsoft Office where we began using word processors and spreadsheets to manage this process.

Over the last 30 years, and with nearly 2,000 AAP accredited laboratories later, AASHTO assessors have reviewed quality manuals in various forms of management styles with very little standardization.

The motivation behind the development of R18LabQMS was to bring standardization and better management of the QMS to industry labs and to keep up with changing technology. Initially, we intended to develop a web-based system specifically for our lab but quickly realized the efforts and resources warranted us to develop a system and application for the entire Construction Material Laboratories (CML) industry.

The future of R18LabQMS

With the 20th significant upgrade released in March 2018 at the 5 year anniversary, we are committed to a continuance of future upgrades while keeping the application on the cutting edge of technology by collaborating with accreditation bodies, users, and all applicable Standards.

User questions

Q: Can we add additional user roles to correspond with our company job descriptions?

A: No; Roles are specific to the application and are assigned to users to grant them various levels of access. Position descriptions are specific to the position within the laboratory as shown on the organizational chart required in AASHTO R18, section 5.4.1.

Resources

R18LabQMS YouTube Channel
Training and informational videos that include version updates, R18LabQMS demos and more.

R18LabQMS has a knowledge base

Accessible from the dashboard within the application, top right “help”.

Training opportunities

Once you work through the setup process, the following links can be found in the lower right-hand corner of the application;

• Support
• User Guide
•  R18 Blog
• WebEx – Additional training, please let us know and we can set this up
• Onsite Training – Fee-based, please inquire.

Upcoming meetings

SEAUPG 2018 Annual Meeting & Exhibits

Southeastern Asphalt User / Producer Group

Raleigh, NC, November 12-15, 2018

For all questions regarding your quality management system, whether your lab is accredited or not, please contact us and learn how R18LabQMS can add value to your company.

– Gary Irvine
R18LabQMS Program Manager