On 11.01.2023, the Chairman of the Board of BASEL, Dr. Eng. Dimitar Beleliev, and the Executive Director of the Association, Dipl. Eng. Orlin Dimitrov, held a meeting with Mr. Paun Ilchev, Acting Chairman of the Bulgarian Institute of Metrology (BIM).
The main topic of the conversation was the Testing Laboratory for Electromagnetic Compatibility (IL EMC) at BIM.
As most of you probably know, the Laboratory was established in 1999 and is equipped with modern equipment with the help of European program funds. IL EMC is of vital importance to the Bulgarian engineering industry, which relies on exports, and for which EMC testing is mandatory. The alternative is for companies to use the services of laboratories abroad with ten times higher fees and long deadlines. The competence of the specialists who work in the laboratory is of crucial importance. It is extremely difficult to find new ones that can take on these functions, as the devices are very complex and special training is required.
In 2018, the head of IL EMS was released and all the staff left with him. As a result, there is a problem with finding competent specialists to work there. Due to the poor quality of the service provided, the clients of the laboratory are also drastically decreasing.
In 2022, the deadline for re-accreditation resp. the prepared documents for re-accreditation of the laboratory were not submitted to IA BSA within the required six-month period before 21.05.2022. Therefore, it is necessary to apply for initial accreditation. Currently, the new management of IL EMS is working to meet the criteria for a new accreditation:
to have conducted a successful inter-laboratory comparison within the scope of accreditation,
calibration of technical means,
staff training on BDS EN ISO/ IEC 17025,
conducted an internal audit of the laboratory management system,
the staff has proven competence within the scope of the accreditation.
In the meantime, calibration has been done by the company "Rohde & Schwarz", talks are being held about an inter-laboratory comparison with the Swiss Metrological Institute, and in terms of personnel, a team of university experts is being built.
The Chairman of BIM does not commit to a specific deadline for restoration of accreditation or restarting the operation of IL EMS, but noted that this is likely to happen within about 6 months, i.e. by mid-2023
For his part, the Chairman of the Board of BASEL offered assistance from the Association in relation to finding suitable personnel, as well as assisting BIM in front of the institutions in terms of arguing the importance of IL EMS for Bulgarian business, with the aim of providing sufficient financial means for its functioning . He also suggested future cooperation in building e.g. of an electric mobility laboratory.