The AMP operations commitment to quality control includes the use of an on-site laboratory that runs concurrently with the production unit. The laboratory was recently upgraded with an $85,000 investment, including newest model Optima 8000 Optical Emission Spectrometer “ICP” manufactured by PerkinElmer.
ICP is an acronym for Inductively Coupled Plasma or Inductively Coupled Argon Plasma. After properly preparing a sample, it is introduced into an argon plasma flame burning at 10,000 Kelvin or 17,540 degrees Fahrenheit. Inductively coupled means that radio waves are used to generate an electromagnetic field that contains the flame and prevents it from burning through the apparatus. All elements are ionized and emit light which can be detected and measured to determine the wavelengths and intensity. This measurement is then converted into an analysis of the material being tested.
- Samples are collected from the production unit on an hourly basis or according to customer specifications and tested for nutrient content, water solubility, moisture content, sizing and hardness. Adjustments are then made in the process to insure adherence to the manufacturing specifications for each product.
- Samples are also collected and analyzed from inbound shipments of raw materials to insure the supplier’s commitment to quality standards.
- Representative samples are collected from all outbound shipments or lots with retained samples maintained for a minimum of 6 months or according to customer requirements. Lot codes are assigned to packaged goods based upon the date of packaging which in turn can be linked to the manufacturing data for verification of conformance to finished product specifications.
- Representative samples of finished product are submitted to external, certified laboratories for verification of adherence to state, provincial, federal and international standards for heavy metals including Arsenic, Cadmium, Cobalt, Mercury, Molybdenum, Nickel, Lead, and Selenium. Additional testing as required is completed based upon the Toxicity Characteristic Leachate Procedure (TCLP) for Silver, Arsenic, Barium, Cadmium, Chromium, Mercury, Lead and Selenium. Additional testing is completed as required for adherence to regulatory requirements of the various states and or countries where the finished products will be used.