Dr Andy Roediger, flanked by Ilana Bergh (general manager and laboratory analyst) and Wernich Kühn (quality manager and laboratory analyst), with the new LC-MS equipment

Roediger Agencies invests in SANAS accreditation process to test pipes

Roediger Agencies in Stellenbosch, a dedicated testing laboratory service for polymers, recently invested a six-figure sum in LC-MS (Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry Analysis) testing equipment.

For the layperson, the LC-MS* is able to separate and identify larger particles in the material, whereas the Gas Chromatography Analysis** (GCMS), of which Roediger Agency has two, separates and identifies smaller particles.

The laboratory took delivery of the LC-MS in April and staff were trained on it during May.

Roediger Agencies is a private analytical problem solving and technical research laboratory specialising in troubleshooting and research of polymers and related applications. The company is owned and managed by Dr Andy Roediger (Ph.D., Chem.); a polymer scientist experienced in various fields of polymeric applications.

“We now have the capability to test all things physical and chemical to do with polymers,” says Roediger.

Systems from Thermo-Fisher Scientific of the USA, Netzsch of Germany and Perkin Elmer, all top global test equipment marques, make up this comprehensive laboratory.

With the new LC-MS, the laboratory will be able to fulfil the requirements of a new international customer, supplying packaging into Africa, for migration analysis testing on 10 different food-contact plastic packaging.

Roediger Agencies is working with the USAID Southern African Trade and Investment Hub, which will pay 60% of the cost of certification, while the customer pays 40% of the cost.

The USAID TradeHub engages with partners across the region to increase sustainable economic growth, global export competitiveness and trade in targeted Southern African countries. The USAID TradeHub’s programming closely reflects the US government’s partnership with Southern African private enterprises, US government agencies, SADC member states, local and regional trade associations, and other development partners.


SANAS accreditation

At the same time, Roediger Agencies has implemented requirements of ISO17025:2017 with the aim of applying for SANAS accreditation, specifically for pipe testing.

The South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) is the only national body responsible for carrying out accreditations in respect of conformity assessment, as mandated through the Accreditation for Conformity Assessment, Calibration and Good Laboratory Practice Act (Act 19 of 2006)

An audit was recently completed of the laboratory to ensure it can test HDPE and PVC pipes according to international and national standards, as stipulated in the individual product specification and to prepare the laboratory for a future SANAS technical assessment to ISO17025:2017.

The stringency of the audit was based on the requirements of SATAS to ensure that the lab staff are competent in executing the test methods for HDPE and PVC-U, PVC-M, and PVC-O pipes and that the lab has the necessary equipment to do the testing. The lab specialises in testing accredited by SANS 791, 966-1, 966-2, 967, 1283, 1601, 4427, and 9080.

The South African Technical Auditing Services (SATAS) is a governing body, accredited by SANAS. It specialises in product certification and inspections to certify manufacturers in accordance with the relevant ISO and SANS standards. Their sole mission is to provide an internationally accepted South African Certification Scheme to allow their clients to compete in both the domestic and international market.



LC-MS* – LC-MS is a variant of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and is a fundamental analytical technique used to separate complex mixtures of organic compounds. The incorporation of mass spectrometry allows for the structural analysis and trace quantitation (even in highly complex matrices) of a wide range of analytes, from small molecules to peptides and proteins, to polymers. The technique relies on separate mixtures with multiple components, while mass spectrometry provides molecular identity of individual components with high specificity and detection.

GCMS** – Gas Chromatography is an analytical technique in which a complex mixture of compounds is injected onto a column and is separated based on their relative boiling point and affinity for a chromatographic column. Compounds analysed are generally volatile or semi-volatile in nature and have boiling points of less than 300 °C and molecular weights of less than 500 g/mol. Samples may be solid, liquid, or gaseous in nature. After separation, the compounds may be detected by a variety of detectors.