MET/CAL – Advanced Procedure Writing Course 25th - 29th April 2016.

Wed 10 Aug 2016

Once again this year I was lucky enough to be able to attend yet another Fluke lead MET/CAL procedure writing course held at the Fluke head quarters in Everett, Washington USA.

After having been to many writing procedure courses, being excited about this would be an understatement, I was armed with a plethora of questions.

As usual CPS booked me on some very user friendly flights to minimize jet lag, so upon arrival I was rearing to go.

The course was run very differently from the basic one, this one was more of a student lead class which was fantastic as almost everyone there had questions that they wanted answered. Most of the time another student could answer the question. Great for the tutor.

There were some areas that we focused on mainly around com's within MET/CAL and the differences between the commands and how each one handles errors etc. I learnt a lot about GPIB structure and how it came to be an industry standard, and also some TC/IP setups etc.

There were people from all types of calibration labs there even a few from the Turkish Airlines Lab.

We also went into great detail around how MET/CAL deals with uncertainty to appease ISO 17025 standards, which I'm now 100% sure it is doing it correctly, you can add anything you like to your budgets if need be and get the correct results. As we all know there is no hard and fast way to determine uncertainty and its very open to interpretation. So if you do have another way, MET/CAL can accommodate it easily. I was very surprised with how many labs were not doing it at all.....I must have been only one of about three people there who actually implements uncertainty into their procedures. I guess the US hasn't caught up to the rest of the world yet in this area.

Another thing we went into detail was how MET/CAL drives different reference equipment in regards to what commands get sent etc and how to even make an odd ball one work. We also looked into accuracy files and how they work and how to make your own to suit your reference equipment. Be it a “Golden Instrument” or say a resistor that you use as reference, it can all be setup so no human input is needed to calculate uncertainty or the old fashioned TUR ratio. This alone is a massive time saver not to mention the reduction in possible errors due to transposing numbers to say a spreadsheet.

We got to chat to the guys who decide what and how future versions of MET/CAL will look and run. This was a great way to tell them what changes we would like to see. They even got us to make a list of things that we felt needed to be addressed and all things were really taken into account. This adds to the confidence I have in MET/CAL's ability to appease everyones needs.

I returned home with a greater understanding of how MET/CAL works in the background which adds to tools I have to make MET/CAL work smarter not harder......Unfortunately I had to share a plane with 30-40 high school aged boys returning from a sports trip so the ride home wasn't the most pleasant I have experienced. (I'll be talking to Chris about upgrades next time).

I am 100% confident in MET/CAL's ability to preform calibrations accurately and efficiently to meet anyones demands. Especially in a IANZ / ISO 17025 environment.


Nathan

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