Solid biofuels - A guide for a quality assurance system

This guide has been developed to provide information about the Solid Biofuel Quality Assurance, and presents a methodology that helps operators in the solid biofuels industry design an appropriate Quality Assurance system according to their demands. It acts as a supporting document for the application of CEN/TS 15234, Solid biofuels - Fuel quality assurance, developed by CEN/TC 335. This guide is applicable for all operators dealing with solid biofuels within the scope of CEN/TC 335 from the following sources (CEN/TS 14961): products from agriculture and forestry; vegetable waste from agriculture and forestry; vegetable waste from food processing industry; wood waste, with the exception of wood waste which may contain halogenated organic compounds or heavy metals as a result of treatment with wood preservatives or coating, and which includes in particular such wood waste originated from construction and demolition waste; fibrous vegetable waste from virgin pulp production and from production of paper from pulp, if it is coincinerated at the place of production and heat generated is recovered; cork waste.

Feste Biobrennstoffe - Leitlinie für ein Qualitätssicherungssystem

Biocombustibles solides - Guide pour un systeme d'assurance Qualité

Le présent guide a été développé pour fournir des informations relatives à l'assurance de la qualité pour les
biocombustibles solides et présente une méthodologie qui aide les opérateurs de l'industrie des
biocombustibles solides à concevoir un système d'assurance de la qualité approprié en fonction de leurs
besoins. Il sert de document support pour l'application de la CEN/TS 15234 développée par le comité
technique CEN/TC 335.
Le présent guide est applicable à tous les opérateurs concernés par les biocombustibles solides rencontrés
dans le cadre du domaine d'application du comité technique CEN/TC 335 et qui proviennent des sources
suivantes (CEN/TS 14961) :
⎯ les produits de l'agriculture et de la foresterie ;
⎯ les déchets végétaux de l'agriculture et de la foresterie ;
⎯ les déchets végétaux de l'industrie agroalimentaire ;
⎯ les déchets du bois, à l'exception de ceux qui peuvent contenir des composés organiques halogénés ou
des métaux lourds à la suite d'un traitement avec des conservateurs ou un enduit du bois et cela inclut en
particulier les déchets du bois provenant des déchets de construction et de démolition ;
⎯ les déchets végétaux fibreux issus de la production de pâte vierge et de la production du papier à partir
de pâte s'ils sont co-incinérés sur le site de production et que la chaleur générée est récupérée ;
⎯ les déchets de liège.

Trdna biogoriva - Vodilo za zagotavljanje sistema kakovosti

Trdna biogoriva - Vodilo za zagotavljanje sistema kakovosti

General Information

Status
Published
Publication Date
03-Sep-2009
Withdrawal Date
21-May-2007
Technical Committee
Current Stage
6060 - National Implementation/Publication (Adopted Project)
Start Date
12-Aug-2009
Due Date
17-Oct-2009
Completion Date
04-Sep-2009

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SLOVENSKI STANDARD
SIST-TP CEN/TR 15569:2009
01-oktober-2009
Trdna biogoriva - Vodilo za zagotavljanje sistema kakovosti
Solid biofuels - A guide for a quality assurance system
Feste Biobrennstoffe - Leitlinie für ein Qualitätssicherungssystem
Biocombustibles solides - Guide pour un systeme d'assurance Qualité
Ta slovenski standard je istoveten z: CEN/TR 15569:2009
ICS:
03.120.10 Vodenje in zagotavljanje Quality management and
kakovosti quality assurance
75.160.10 Trda goriva Solid fuels
SIST-TP CEN/TR 15569:2009 en

2003-01.Slovenski inštitut za standardizacijo. Razmnoževanje celote ali delov tega standarda ni dovoljeno.

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SIST-TP CEN/TR 15569:2009
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SIST-TP CEN/TR 15569:2009
TECHNICAL REPORT
CEN/TR 15569
RAPPORT TECHNIQUE
TECHNISCHER BERICHT
July 2009
ICS 75.160.10
English Version
Solid biofuels - A guide for a quality assurance system

Biocombustibles solides - Guide du système d'assurance Feste Biobrennstoffe - Leitlinie für ein

Qualité Qualitätssicherungssystem

This Technical Report was approved by CEN on 22 January 2007. It has been drawn up by the Technical Committee CEN/TC 335.

CEN members are the national standards bodies of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland,

France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal,

Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.
EUROPEAN COMMITTEE FOR STANDARDIZATION
COMITÉ EUROPÉEN DE NORMALISATION
EUROPÄISCHES KOMITEE FÜR NORMUNG
Management Centre: Avenue Marnix 17, B-1000 Brussels

© 2009 CEN All rights of exploitation in any form and by any means reserved Ref. No. CEN/TR 15569:2009: E

worldwide for CEN national Members.
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Contents Page

Foreword ..............................................................................................................................................................3

Introduction .........................................................................................................................................................4

1 Scope ......................................................................................................................................................5

2 Normative references ............................................................................................................................5

3 Terms and definitions ...........................................................................................................................5

4 Background ............................................................................................................................................6

4.1 General ....................................................................................................................................................6

4.2 Purpose of this guide ............................................................................................................................6

5 Quality Assurance principles ...............................................................................................................7

5.1 General ....................................................................................................................................................7

5.2 Comparison of Quality Control and Quality Assurance ....................................................................7

5.3 Previous, Current and Following Processes ......................................................................................8

5.4 Quality requirements .......................................................................................................................... 10

6 Designing a system for solid biofuels quality assurance .............................................................. 12

6.1 General ................................................................................................................................................. 12

6.2 Step 1 – Description of process chain ............................................................................................. 13

6.3 Step 2 – Description of customers requirements ............................................................................ 15

6.4 Step 3 – Analysis of quality influencing factors .............................................................................. 18

6.5 Step 4 – Identification of Critical Control Points ............................................................................. 20

6.6 Step 5 – Selection of appropriate Quality Assurance measures ................................................... 23

6.7 Step 6 – Routines for separate handling nonconforming materials and biofuels ....................... 26

Annex A (informative) EN ISO 9001:2008 – Useful cross references within this guide ........................... 27

Annex B (informative) List of CEN/TC 335 Technical Specifications ......................................................... 28

Bibliography ..................................................................................................................................................... 30

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Foreword

This document (CEN/TR 15569:2009) has been prepared by Technical Committee CEN/TC 335 “Solid

Biofuels”, the secretariat of which is held by SIS.

CEN/TC 335 has received a mandate from the European Commission (EC) to develop Standards for solid

biofuels.

The documents produced by CEN/TC 335 Solid biofuels were based on the information available at the time

when they were developed. The BioNorm project (EC part-funded) was designed to provide supporting

information to CEN/TC 335 on solid biofuels. Part of the BioNorm Project (ENK6-CT2001-00556) was

designed to fill the gaps in the understanding of Quality Assurance in this field [16].

This guide has been developed from the outcomes of the BioNorm-project by Working Group 2 of CEN/TC

335 and provides information on how to develop and implement a Quality Assurance system within the solid

biofuels industry.
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Introduction

Quality Assurance is defined as the “part of Quality Management focussed on providing confidence that

quality requirements will be fulfilled” (CEN/TS 15234). To achieve this, the processes in the supply chain need

to be in control. Effective control can be achieved, if Quality Assurance is being applied by each operator in

the supply chain. A well designed Quality Assurance system for solid biofuels can contribute to a more

transparent and efficient biofuel market. Based upon the requirements of the customer, and the known

strengths and weaknesses of a raw material and a process, operators can demonstrate they have taken the

measures to provide the desired quality. This establishes a confidence in the products. In this guide “product”

refers to the solid biofuel.

Clause 4 sets out the reasoning behind using a Quality Assurance system for solid biofuels, and Clause 6

defines the intentions of this guide and its interconnection with the CEN/TS 15234, Solid Biofuels — Fuel

Quality Assurance, from now on called "CEN/TS 15234" in this guide. The terms used in this guide are set out

in CEN/TS 14588 and CEN/TS 15234.

Clause 7 sets out a step-by-step methodology to help operators within the solid biofuel supply chain to design

a Quality Assurance System. The methodologies used in this guide are compliant with the requirements of

CEN/TS 15234. However, this guide does not distinguish between different groups of operators (e.g. producer,

supplier, etc.); it provides general guidance for the Quality Assurance applicable to each group of operators.

Annex A provides some guidance on the relevant parts of ISO 9001:2008 [1] and Annex B lists CEN/TC 335

Technical Specifications and Technical Reports.

It is recommended that a company specific manual is produced to reflect the Quality Assurance System.

The guidance and instructions given in this guide are recommendations, not requirements. The requirements

to be fulfilled for Quality Assurance are set out in CEN/TS 15234.
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1 Scope

This guide has been developed to provide information about the Solid Biofuel Quality Assurance, and

presents a methodology that helps operators in the solid biofuels industry design an appropriate Quality

Assurance system according to their demands. It acts as a supporting document for the application of

CEN/TS 15234, Solid biofuels — Fuel quality assurance, developed by CEN/TC 335.

This guide is applicable for all operators dealing with solid biofuels within the scope of CEN/TC 335 from the

following sources (CEN/TS 14961):
 products from agriculture and forestry;
 vegetable waste from agriculture and forestry;
 vegetable waste from food processing industry;

 wood waste, with the exception of wood waste which may contain halogenated organic compounds

or heavy metals as a result of treatment with wood preservatives or coating, and which includes in

particular such wood waste originated from construction and demolition waste;

 fibrous vegetable waste from virgin pulp production and from production of paper from pulp, if it is co-

incinerated at the place of production and heat generated is recovered;
 cork waste.
2 Normative references

The following referenced documents are indispensable for the application of this document. For dated

references, only the edition cited applies. For undated references, the latest edition of the referenced

document (including any amendments) applies.
CEN/TS 14588:2003, Solid biofuels — Terminology, definitions and descriptions
CEN/TS 14961:2005, Solid biofuels — Fuel specification and classes
CEN/TS 15234:2006, Solid biofuels — Fuel Quality Assurance
3 Terms and definitions

For the purposes of this document, the terms and definitions given in CEN/TS 14588:2003 and

CEN/TS 15234:2006 (CEN—Terminology, definitions and descriptions for solid biofuels) and the following

apply.
3.1
manual

process or site specific document reflecting all activities related to the quality assurance system implemented

and applied in practise [16]
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4 Background
4.1 General

The term “solid biofuel” encompasses a wide range of materials with different characteristics and properties,

as well as supply chains. Standardisation of solid biofuel properties, their sampling and test methodologies will

provide tools to facilitate the trade and use of solid biofuels within the market.

In order to increase the confidence of customers, it is essential that operators demonstrate that the specified

quality is reached, and that adequate controls are in place throughout the supply chain. The specified quality

can be influenced by a series of different factors, including technology and management of the processes.

Customers are becoming increasingly aware of the impact of variations in fuel quality; consequently, large

customers often test for properties important to them. In extreme cases, deliveries may be rejected when the

quality is outside an agreed specification tolerance. If operators want to avoid such rejections, they should

introduce controls at suitable places across the whole supply chain, so called Critical Control Points (see 7.4)

By processing consistently, an operator will improve the stability, efficiency and effectiveness of the operation.

The Quality Assurance System should be designed to support this. The effect of this will be to reduce the

volume of sampling and testing required.

The term “specified quality” refers not only to fuel properties but also to the other customer requirements.

Those requirements differ from case to case and can vary greatly. However, most fall within two sets of

circumstances:

 small-scale end-users (especially domestic) who require high-grade fuels with narrow fuel

specifications;

 large-scale end-users who can take advantage of lower-cost raw materials by the use of

appropriately designed, fuel-flexible combustion plant [4].

It is important when designing and implementing a Quality Assurance System that it takes into consideration

the existing operation. The Quality Assurance System should follow the process, not vice versa and be aware

of the level and amount of sampling and testing required.
EXAMPLE: Operational time of the die used in a pellet factory

The longer the operational time the die runs in a pellet factory the more detrimental effect there is on the pellet quality

due to ware on the die holes. Quality Assurance systems should require Quality Control data to be provided to

assess the length of time the die has been running and hence the operational running time of each die and a

comparison between the dies, can be reviewed against expected running times. From this data a number of different

conclusions can be drawn and process changes made as appropriate.

Companies dealing with solid biofuels cover a wide range of activities. Some buy solid biomass, such as

residues from agriculture and/or forestry and convert it into higher-grade biofuels, while others only need low-

grade biofuels to produce electricity and heat. Each company requires a Quality Assurance System; however,

their individual Quality Assurance requirements and systems are likely to be different in each case. This guide

is recommended to cover the supply chain up to the delivery to the end-user.
4.2 Purpose of this guide

The purpose of this guide is to be of help when designing a Fuel Quality Assurance system based on

CEN/TS 15234.

The approach and methods used in this guide are compatible with CEN/TS 15234 and gives an overview of

the most relevant clauses in CEN/TS 15234 (see Table 1).
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For those using or contemplating using EN ISO 9000:2005 [2] this document aims at bridging the gap

between the generalised text of EN ISO 9001:2008 and the specific needs of operators in the solid biofuel

market.

This guide does not discuss adaptations to production processes, nor does it set any pre-conditions in respect

of specific technologies or technological processes.
5 Quality Assurance principles
5.1 General

Quality Management EN ISO 9000:2005/EN ISO 9001:2008 is based on four elements, as shown in Figure 1

below. The application of these elements and their different measures depends on the individual

circumstances.
QQuualitalityy Managemen Managementt

QQuualitalityy Planning Planning QQuualitalityy Control Control QQuualitalityy A Assurssuraancence QQuualitalityy Improv Improvementement

ffooccuussed on:ed on: ffooccuussed on:ed on: ffooccuussed on:ed on:
ffooccuussed on:ed on:

SSeettttiing qualng qualiitty objy objectectiivesves FulFulffiilllliing qualng qualiittyy PPrrovioviddiing cng coonnffiidencdencee t thhaatt

IInnccrreasieasing tng thhee abi abilliittyy t too f fuullffiill

and sand specipeciffyiyingng requirequiremremententss qualitqualityy require requiremmententss w will beill be

qualqualiitty requiy requireremmententss
necnecessessaary operatry operatiionalonal fufulfillfilleledd
procprocessessees and ress and resourourcceess
requirequired tred too f fuullffiill t thhee
qualqualiitty objy objectectiivesves
Figure 1 — EN ISO 9000:2005 - Main elements of Quality Management

Each of these elements has its own measures and approaches. The Technical Specification for Fuel Quality

Assurance (CEN/TS 15234) covers Quality Control and Quality Assurance.
5.2 Comparison of Quality Control and Quality Assurance

It is important to understand the differences between Quality Control and Quality Assurance.

Quality Control is fundamentally about controlling the quality of a product or process to enable the delivery of

the product or service within agreed parameters in the most efficient and effective way. The consequences of

having good Quality Control will be a cost effective product and process.
EXAMPLE 1: Quality control of a pellet factory

A pellet factory operator will sample and record the pellet moisture content over the shift. If the moisture alters outside

given parameters the process will be adjusted to bring the moisture content back within specification. If the process of

drying the feedstock is known to be problematic and the operator does not monitor the moisture content in an

appropriate timescale, the company could have produced many hours worth of non-conforming pellets before the

issue is picked up. If the problem occurred in the first hour and the test is carried out at the end of a twelve-hour shift,

there could be eleven hours worth of product that is non-conforming. This is potentially very costly to the company.

EXAMPLE 2: Quality control of a wood chip producer

A wood chip producer has an agreement with a customer to provide no more than 5 % oversized chips. When the

chipper blades are blunt the producer knows the chipper makes out of specification chips. If the producer has a

tendency to keep using the same blades without sharpening them or changing them to reduce the chipper’s

downtime, the consequences could be to produce more than the 5 % oversized chips that the customer requires, with

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the potential outcome of the chips being rejected, a blending of additional material has to take place or a reduction in

price to keep the customer happy.

Quality Assurance on the other hand, is about reviewing the products and processes, primarily through data

provided from the Quality Control records and using this data

a) to establish that products are produced within the required specification and processes are operated as

they should be, and

b) over a longer term assures either consistency is being maintained (stability in process results) or that

quality improvements are making the required impact.

Quality Assurance tools are excellent at providing data that allows the company to manage a process through

exception reporting.

NOTE Exception Reporting – reporting issues or activities that fall outside the normal pattern or are outside the

selected minimum or maximum range. Exception reporting enables the quality team to only investigate those incidences

that are outside the norm. Exception Reporting also reduces the volume of data to be reviewed.

From the two examples above for Quality Control, practical examples of Quality Assurance will be

demonstrated:
EXAMPLE 3: Quality assurance of a pellet factory

In the example of the pellet factory, if the processing moisture content data was trended and shown to be a

particular problem every three weeks on a particular nightshift, the issue could be identified as being a particular

delivery of feedstock or that a particular operator who co-insides with that shift requires additional training.

EXAMPLE 4: Quality assurance of a wood chip producer

The chip producer after reviewing a series of months customer service and blade sharpening data realises that

his customer’s satisfaction is reduced at the same time as the chipper blades’ running hours have been extended

over a specific number of hours, however, the producer now has an understanding of the additional blade running

hours before there is a detrimental effect on his customer service and the cost benefits over the life of the blades

due to the time saved and additional life gained by extending the run hours between blade sharpening or change.

By trending and reviewing the data through the Quality Assurance system, these issues are more easily

established.
Quality Assurance measures should
 be simple to operate;
 not cause undue bureaucracy;
 support regimes for cost reductions.

However, as stated, Quality Control is important in assessing the properties of the fuel produced and the

processes used.

In the context of the CEN/TS 15234, Quality Control includes the selection and use of appropriate sampling

and sample reduction techniques, as well as test methods for physical and chemical properties.

5.3 Previous, Current and Following Processes

Solid biofuel supply chains consist of one or several processes. Each process can either be a single operation

or multiple operations. The operations may be distributed among different companies (external customer) or

within the same company or department (internal customer). In this guide, the customer is defined as the next

operator in the process, whether within the organisation or across separate organisations (Figure 2). This

document is specifically looking at the Current process, however, it is important to understand the relationship

between the Previous and the Current Process, as well as the Current Process and the Following Process.

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Each Following Process step (Customer) within the supply chain can be involved in defining the specified

quality. Figure 3 illustrates that using a typical pellet production and is shown from the producers´ point of view.

For ease of understanding and identification, in this guide, the Current Process is shown in a heavy Bold Box.

Supply chain
Customer Customer
Following Process
Previous Process Current Process
Supplier Supplier
Customer Customer
Following
Previous Current
Process
Process
Process
Supplier Supplier
Figure 2 — Descriptions of the Previous, Current and Following Processes
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Raw
Identification and Preparation/
material
collection of saw Transportation of
process
dust saw dust
Processing
of saw dust
Preliminary
storage
Removal of
Production
contaminants
process
Drying
Chipping
Blending
DDiissttrriibutibution on
procprocessess
Pelletizing
Cooling
Storage of
Trade and
Reception of
pellets at the
delivery of
pellets by the
Packaging,
Retailer/end user
pellets
retailer/end user
labelling, storage
premises
Figure 3 — Example of the process steps in a pellet factory
5.4 Quality requirements

Quality Assurance aims to provide confidence that a stable or defined quality is continually achieved in

accordance with the customer requirements. It means that specified requirements are fulfilled; however, it

does not necessarily mean a high product quality. Customer requirements include, among other things, a

specified fuel quality and in many circumstance the quality of the performance of the company, in relation to

the service (such as timing, logistics and proper documentation).

Quality performance is mainly controlled by a company’s management [6, 7]. The Quality Assurance System

should ensure the product or service is provided within agreed tolerances and service parameters.

EXAMPLE: Quality requirement of raw material moisture content in pellet production

If a pellet producer requires sawdust at 10 w-% moisture content, because the company does not have a dryer.

There is no point for the raw material supplier, providing the sawdust at 30 w-% (problems in production) or

5 w-% (causes unnecessary extra costs for raw material supplier).

For solid biofuels to be accepted in the marketplace, it is important that the customer requirements, in terms of

the fuel properties, are fulfilled whether or not those requirements follow a fuel specification.

The quality of solid biofuels can be defined in terms of a number of key properties that relate to the suitability

of the fuel for a specific use. The selection of these indicators can differ from case to case, depending on the

application, the production processes and the occurrence of natural variations in the fuel characteristics.

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Quality of performance means that you should consider asking the following questions:

a) How does the company recognise and fulfil the customer needs?

b) Is the work carried out both effectively, efficiently and within specification?

c) Are the customer requirements consistently met or exceeded?
d) How does the company operate in terms of specific product costs per unit?

Quality of the performance, within this guide, refers to the process and product performance, utilizing among

others; documentation, timing and logistical issues. Figure 4 illustrates the various performance

documentation requirements along the solid biofuel supply chain [6, 7].
Mandatory  Documenting origin and source
documents along the  Steps in the process chain
supply chain  Critical Control Points
according to  Criteria and methods to ensure appropriate control at Critical
CEN/TS15234: Control Points
 Nonconforming materials and biofuels
 Description of transport, handling and storage
 Fuel quality declaration/labelling
 Transportation information needed to handle and use the biofuel
Service:
in a proper way
 Availability of raw material, intermediate/final products to provide
products/service in time
Distribution
Raw material
Pellet production process
process
process
End
user
Examples of  Particle size, moisture and ash content of the raw material
documents on a  Requested particle size after screening
pellet production  Steam flow, temperature and pressure during drying process
 Particle size, temperature, flow and moisture during/after
factory:
grinding process
 Die pressure, temperature, flow, size of the die, additives
during/after pelletizing
Figure 4 — Solid biofuel supply chain – Performance documentation requirements

The documenting of information on raw materials, intermediate products, final products and the production

process parameters may be extremely useful for the proper treatment of the material during the production

process. It can also provide an insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the production process, which

may assist in improving the product quality and process effectiveness and efficiency.

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6 Designing a system for solid biofuels quality assurance
6.1 General

This clause describes a methodology that operators can use to design an appropriate Quality Assurance

system. The methodology provided, is compliant with the approach of CEN/TS 15234, however, the required

specifications of Step 2 in CEN/TS 15234 have been expanded on within this guide to emphasise the

importance of product quality and the supply chain companies’ performance.

The methodology ensures an efficient and effective control of the processes and provides useful control

mechanisms throughout the supply chain by integrating the processes before and after the current process [3,

4]. The process steps are identified and documented for a Quality Assurance Manual. This manual can

demonstrate to third parties that the solid biofuel supply chain processes are identified, managed and under

control when the Quality Assurance manual is being adhered to. Table 1 sets out the requirements for

documenting the process. It is recommended that these documents are used as the basis for the manual.

Figure 4 is explained in more detail in the following text.

An appropriate Quality Assurance system can reduce the frequency of testing and hence costs, as it gives

confidence that the processes are operating within production tolerances. Wherever possible, means should

be sought to exempt parties from unnecessary procedures. Nevertheless, good practice dictates the drafting

of flow diagrams or similar processes to identify the key stages in the production cycle [4] and ensure that the

stages in the production process provide the required levels of management, control and information. The

Quality Assurance system and hence manual, should therefore replicate the production or service processes

required to meet the customers and company’s business requirements. To support the Quality Assurance

system and Quality Control functions in the company a degree of sampling and testing will be inevitable.

However, the application of sampling and test methods is expensive and should be applied carefully and not

as a matter of routine.
Table 1 — Recommended documentation for a Quality Assurance system
Recommended documents References to sections below
Process Description of the process (6.2)

Requirement of input materials Requirements to be specified of a Previous Process (6.3)

Requirement for output materials Requirements necessary to achieve the process successfully (6.3)

Allocation of responsibilities Description of process (6.2)
Allocation of responsibilities (6.4a)

Critical Control Points and Quality Identification of Critical Control Points and application of Quality

Control measures applied Control measures (6.5)

Processes and test results Properly documenting processes and test results (6.6c))

Non-conforming materials and System for dealing with non-conforming materials and products

products (6.7)

NOTE Data needs to be important, required and meaningful. While many Critical Control Points will be required

permanentl
...

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