Creating and implementing equipment procedures 2

Creating and implementing equipment procedures 2

In the early development of the R18LabQMS application, creating equipment calibration, checks, standardization and maintenance procedures (EPs) needed to be a flexible process within the application to meet the various ways laboratories create and document their EPs.

Performing EPs

There are two considerations when creating EPs within the R18LabQMS application, 1) are procedures performed in-house or 2) by an outside service? Procedure forms will need to be created either way, but the detail will vary between the two.

Creating equipment procedures

There are two places within the application to initiate and create EPs: 

1) Under the ‘Manage Lab’ tab, click view on the Equipment Procedures widget. There you will have the option to create the EP.   

2) When adding equipment to your inventory tab you also have the option to add as many EPs as required, i.e., calibration, maintenance, or a combination of EPs with various frequencies (weekly or monthly). Within the Inventory tab, and at any point, you can choose to go back and add or edit EPs. Just click on view (right column) then click edit info and procedures where you will find the options of either making edits to either equipment details or EPs. If you choose procedures you can edit existing procedures, or + Add Procedures (bottom right).

Adding EPs from the inventory tab

Adding EPs to a piece of equipment is easy. Just click + Add Procedures and the following options will come up:

Add existing procedure

Add a procedure already created without making any changes to the procedure information. Use this option when you are trying to use the same procedure for same or similar pieces of equipment, i.e., ovens or thermometers.

Copy from existing procedures

Make a copy of a procedure that will be similar to the original but may have a different frequency or specification requirements than the original procedure. This is useful when you have a piece of equipment that requires two different calibrations with differing frequencies or calibration requirements.

Create new procedure

Create a new procedure from one of the procedure types – calibration, standardization, check or maintenance. Make the procedure unique or generic by utilizing the application form creator or upload an in-house procedure already being used in your laboratory.

EP notables

  • Creating an EP for an outside service is necessary for documentation purposes and as a place to upload the completed procedure provided.
  • There are four default EP form elements:
  1. Measurement standards (dropdown option when indicated in the inventory list)
  2. Multiple file upload
  3. Signature (either type name in, or if a signature profile has been added, click the box)
  4. Date EP was completed. This will drive the procedure to the next due date (frequency) on the Dashboard (upcoming procedure).
  • In-house procedures: your laboratory may have a detailed procedure and its related forms to be completed in various formats (Word, Excel, PDF) that can be added to a specific procedure and will always be available when the EP is initiated. When completed, just add the completed in-house procures to the EP and it will be part of the finalized record.
  • Procedures must have a procedure description if they are performed by an outside service; simply indicate as such within the procedure default description. There is also a form element that can be added to provide the name of the outside calibration service.
  • Always refer to the AASHTO R18 Standard for any changes or requirements when it comes to EPs!  
  • Documentation is important when it comes to EPs. Always be aware of the frequencies when it comes to specific pieces of equipment. These can be found in ANNEX A – Tables A.1 through A.9, pages 15-19 for most construction materials laboratory testing equipment.

We will cover creating and managing procedure forms next. 

User Question

Q: How many labs currently use R18LabQMS?

A: Great question. We now provide R18LabQMS to laboratories in 40 states, including Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, universities and state DOTs. Accepted by accreditation bodies as a means to manage their Quality Management Systems that follows the guidelines of AASHTO R18 and ASTM Quality Standards.

BONUS Content for our R18LabQMS Users:

Passwords should be 8-70 characters with upper- and lower-case letters and numbers.


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

Training – onboarding process

Getting started happens within the setup process, it’s intuitive and follows the sections that require procedures within the management and technical sections. Each section number within the setup process corresponds to AASHTO R18. You can either enter your Procedure Itself for each section or upload a file with the details of the procedure. I always tell labs during a demo that it’s much like a ‘Turbo Tax’ experience as it walks you through each step.

Once you have completed the setup process, or wish to move on to the dashboard view, just click save progress and exit setup in the upper right-hand corner. It’s straightforward and intuitive.

Upon exiting the setup process, there will be a dialog box that pops up asking you if you would like to add additional ASTM Quality Standards, and their sub-standards, i.e. D3666 (aggregate). 

Additional training needed to jump-start the onboarding process: 

Virtual Training

We target a specific area for training and limit the time to one hour. An example would be adding Equipment Procedures to your Equipment. There is no charge for virtual training limited to one hour.

Onsite Training

We spend one day in your laboratory to review all aspects of your quality manual and take a deep dive into R18labQMS implementation. This training is fee-based, please inquire. 

Upcoming Meetings and Sponsorship We will soon be Attending:

Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists AAPT sponsor and exhibitor

San Diego, CA, September 25-28, 2023

More Notables

  • AASHTO re:source Q&A Podcast with Brian Johnson & Kimberly Swanson

S2 E18: Moving to a DS2 E18: Moving to a Digital Quality Management System

Gary Irvine, from the Asphalt Institute, joins us to discuss the benefits of moving from a paper QMS to a digital system.

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 laboratory.

One last favor to ask, if there is a specific topic of discussion you would like to see in upcoming blogs, please send us a note.

Follow all future R18LabQMS blog posts, click here.  

Gary Irvine
R18LabQMS Program Manager