How to set up a basic electronic test equipment calibration laboratory

L

lsims

#1
Hello,

I am new to this forum and I am looking for information about calibrating electronic test equipment(signal generator, frequency counter, function generator, spectrum analyzer. o-scope and power supply).

How do you determine what calibration equipment can calibrate another? Can you get this information from the specifications of each unit? If you can't use the recommended equipment, how do you select alternatives or evaluate the possible use of devices already in your shop?

What is a good source of the fundamentals of calibration?

Where can you find information on starting up a calibration lab?

I am new to this field and I seek guidance in what will be required to
get started. Please keep answers in general terms, as I am not yet well versed in metrology terms. Thanks in advance!
 
Elsmar Forum Sponsor

normzone

Trusted Information Resource
#2
Hmmm. The cal techs I've met all had previous training, often in military schools.

If it was me I'd contact a couple of calibration houses, speak to some of the techs, listen to their stories about how they got into the field and where they were trained at.

There must be commercial training available as well - google is your friend.
 
J

john ambrose

#3
Back in the 1970s, when I was getting my AA degree in Electronic Technology, one week of the lab was spent on calibration techniques. We adjusted Simpson meters to be accurate and used a Fluke null meter to be absolutely sure. We set the timebase and vertical gain on scopes as well.

This taught me that I did not have the steady hands and care to do this full time. Perhaps this lesson is still taught at the local CC and you can ask.

For individual equipment, the operating/service manual has a list of equipment. I compare those specs with what I have or my cal house has to determine if we have the ability to calibrate the unit. If not, I send back to the manufacturer (Agilent/Keysight, Tektronix).
 
Last edited by a moderator:

dgriffith

Quite Involved in Discussions
#4
Hello,
I am new to this forum and I am looking for information about calibrating electronic test equipment(signal generator, frequency counter, function generator, spectrum analyzer. o-scope and power supply).
Calibration/running a cal lab: it isn’t something most people wake one day and say, “I think I’ll get into the calibration business”, is it? So I’ll assume you have some experience with calibration, else you were exposed to it and thought it looked interesting.
For electrical/electronics, it’s almost a given that electronics technical training is needed, with an AS or better in same--you must have a working knowledge of the principles. The customer will not appreciate the destruction of his super electro-widget because it was miss-connected.

A few associated certificates will be handy. One of the best will be the ASQ Certified Calibration Technician (CCT). But the requirements are a little stiff for a beginner—college to offset some of the required working experience time, but some experience will still be needed.
How do you determine what calibration equipment can calibrate another? Can you get this information from the specifications of each unit? If you can't use the recommended equipment, how do you select alternatives or evaluate the possible use of devices already in your shop?
Wow, you'd be surprised at how many calibration and quality technicians don't know the answer to those questions. The fact that you even asked them tells me you're either very insightful, or a ringer . . . . :cool:

Technicians should be able to do it, but usually this is the province of someone acting as the metrology engineer/technical manager. The specifications are used, but consideration must be given to the confidence level and probability distribution function (Gaussian/normal/t, uniform, triangular, etc.). It is a mistake to evaluate or combine specs without this consideration. Can't just go adding sweet apples and tangy oranges--you will surely end up with sour grapefruit!
What is a good source of the fundamentals of calibration?
For calibration information in general, you can try these:
Calibration: A Philosophy in Practice, 2nd Ed., Fluke.
The Metrology Handbook, 2nd Ed., ASQ, Jay L. Bucher, Editor.
The Quality Calibration Handbook: Developing and Managing a Calibration Program, Jay L. Bucher.
The Uncertainty of Measurements: Physical and Chemical Metrology and Analysis, S. K. Kimothi.
Managing the Metrology System, C. Robert Pennella.

These are some of the resources that I have. As mentioned by others, Google is your friend.

Also, if you can gain access to the GIDEP, there are calibration procedures in the form of AF Technical Orders, NAVAIR, etc. They must be validated for use in non-military applications. Some companies will give out their calibration procedure, especially to other labs. Some will treat them like family jewels.


I am new to this field and I seek guidance in what will be required to
get started. Please keep answers in general terms, as I am not yet well versed in metrology terms. Thanks in advance!
Metrology terms should be at the top of your list! It's how you will understand everything that is to come.
 
Last edited:
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
A Need to calculate tolerance Intervals with a set of non-normal data and 3-Parameter Weibull distribution Using Minitab Software 0
P Best european location to set up for a virtual medical device manufacturer? EU Medical Device Regulations 4
S Is QMS like a set of rules and regulations that a company follows? ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 10
W Regarding Requirement for Hi pot & Leakage Current test Station Set-up IEC 60601 - Medical Electrical Equipment Safety Standards Series 6
G CE marking of MD and IVD set EU Medical Device Regulations 3
J How to Set Microbial Limits in Food Supplements Food Safety - ISO 22000, HACCP (21 CFR 120) 3
qualprod To set frequency to review documents in ISO 9001 7.5? Document Control Systems, Procedures, Forms and Templates 13
M IATF 16949 8.5.1.3 Verification of job set-ups - Do we need secondary check? IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 7
B Set RH spec from dewpoint spec General Measurement Device and Calibration Topics 2
S Is Optical Parallel Set required calibration? ISO 17025 related Discussions 1
R Gauge R&R on pre-set torque wrench Gage R&R (GR&R) and MSA (Measurement Systems Analysis) 2
A How to set up Continuous CpK monitoring of an injection mold process Reliability Analysis - Predictions, Testing and Standards 7
N Internal Audit Schedule – Who gets to set the schedule? Internal Auditing 16
G Comparing Gauge Blocks - Translating the calibration between the master set and the QA set General Measurement Device and Calibration Topics 2
L How to evaluate the process capability of a data set that is non-normal (cannot be transformed and does not fit any known distribution)? Capability, Accuracy and Stability - Processes, Machines, etc. 12
N When to record values if a spec for a mfg process is set Manufacturing and Related Processes 3
Marc Time Zone - Set your Time Zone Elsmar Xenforo Forum Software Instructions and Help 1
D As a newcomer to QMS, I really appreciate how ISO is set up. ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 3
C IATF 16949 Cl 8.5.1.3 - Verification of job set up IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 4
D How to set equipment calibration/verification criteria General Measurement Device and Calibration Topics 1
S GRR on ID with set of pin gauges Gage R&R (GR&R) and MSA (Measurement Systems Analysis) 4
G What to Check - Set Up vs. In Process Inspections Inspection, Prints (Drawings), Testing, Sampling and Related Topics 6
N The known set of all root causes Nonconformance and Corrective Action 11
G What degrees of freedom means in uncertainty budget and how do I set the value Measurement Uncertainty (MU) 2
D What is the exact Temperature Coefficient Value to be set on a Conductivity Meter? General Measurement Device and Calibration Topics 2
G Training Employees about Quality - Philosophy / Mind set Misc. Quality Assurance and Business Systems Related Topics 1
renenatasha MDD Classification for Pressure Monitoring Set CE Marking (Conformité Européene) / CB Scheme 1
U Are all manufacturers required to set up eMDR system? Other US Medical Device Regulations 4
S Gage Block Verification or buy a new set (cost aspect) General Measurement Device and Calibration Topics 1
E How to use the Standard Error and how to set the error limits? Reliability Analysis - Predictions, Testing and Standards 2
C Implementing a set of bore gages at a machine Gage R&R (GR&R) and MSA (Measurement Systems Analysis) 1
S How to set up the Accupoint 2 ATP sanitation monitoring system Quality Assurance and Compliance Software Tools and Solutions 1
L How do I set a limits to cfu in an ISO class 7 Clean Room? ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 2
4 Quality vs Production on CMM Set Up Requirements Manufacturing and Related Processes 1
A What is the definition of Installation that requires Record Keeping vs Set-up 21 CFR Part 820 - US FDA Quality System Regulations (QSR) 4
G AS9120 - What should we be expecting once we set forth into becoming certified? AS9100, IAQG, NADCAP and Aerospace related Standards and Requirements 11
C ISO 9001:2008 Audit Major Finding - Dial Calipers not set to zero ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 16
A IEC 60601-2-24 Question: Free Flow Clamp on Set? IEC 60601 - Medical Electrical Equipment Safety Standards Series 5
C Lowest Acceptable Grade for Master Gage Set Calibration and Metrology Software and Hardware 1
Q Inquire TS 16949 standard - Clause 7.5.1.3 Verification of 'Job Set-Up' IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 8
M AS9100C Document Control for Machine Set Up Work Instructions AS9100, IAQG, NADCAP and Aerospace related Standards and Requirements 4
J Appropriate In-Process Monitoring Frequency for 2X per day Change Set-Up. Statistical Analysis Tools, Techniques and SPC 3
S Insufflation Tubing & Filter Set Product Classification question 21 CFR Part 820 - US FDA Quality System Regulations (QSR) 7
M New Calibration Laboratory Set Up Measurement Parameters and Equipment General Measurement Device and Calibration Topics 4
B How to set Cleanroom Alert and Action Limits as part of Microbiological Evaluation Quality Assurance and Compliance Software Tools and Solutions 8
F How to set-up a Dual Company QMS (Quality Management System) Quality Manager and Management Related Issues 2
R Can the same Biocompatibility Report for Infusion Set be used for its Components? ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 7
insect warfare How is the Management Review structure of your company set up? Management Review Meetings and related Processes 5
AnaMariaVR2 Legal Flash: 8 Regulations set to impact the Pharma & Biotech Industry in 2013 US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 0
F Receiving a new Gage Block Set with an old Certificate Calibration Frequency (Interval) 3

Similar threads

Top Bottom