Operator Manual and Type B Uncertainty

fahimk

Involved In Discussions
#1
Dear fellows,

In the Fluke calibrator's operator manual it is stated as follows:

Absolute Uncertainty Definition
The 5500A specifications include stability, temperature coefficient, linearity, line and load regulation, and the traceability of the external standards used for calibration. You do not need to add anything to determine the total specification of the 5520A for the temperature range indicated.

So, will it have any effects while estimating the Type B uncertainty?

Thanks and looking forward.
 
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dwperron

Trusted Information Resource
#2
Dear fellows,

In the Fluke calibrator's operator manual it is stated as follows:

Absolute Uncertainty Definition
The 5500A specifications include stability, temperature coefficient, linearity, line and load regulation, and the traceability of the external standards used for calibration. You do not need to add anything to determine the total specification of the 5520A for the temperature range indicated.

So, will it have any effects while estimating the Type B uncertainty?

Thanks and looking forward.
The specifications give you most everything you need as uncertainty contributors for the calibrator. A couple of fine points:
As they point out these numbers only apply for the quoted temperature range. If you operate outside of that range (unlikely) you will need to add temperature compensation as a contributor.
It also assumes the you had Fluke calibrate your 5520A. If another lab calibrated it you will have different calibration uncertainty contributors that you will need to account for.

Another thing that Fluke has done is this:
" Specification Confidence Interval >99% "
That means their uncertainties are quoted with a k=3 multiplier, not the traditional k=2 that you normally report. So when you are combining uncertainties you need to divide these by 3, not 2, to get from expanded uncertainty to uncertainty.
 

fahimk

Involved In Discussions
#3
The specifications give you most everything you need as uncertainty contributors for the calibrator. A couple of fine points:
As they point out these numbers only apply for the quoted temperature range. If you operate outside of that range (unlikely) you will need to add temperature compensation as a contributor.
It also assumes the you had Fluke calibrate your 5520A. If another lab calibrated it you will have different calibration uncertainty contributors that you will need to account for.

Another thing that Fluke has done is this:
" Specification Confidence Interval >99% "
That means their uncertainties are quoted with a k=3 multiplier, not the traditional k=2 that you normally report. So when you are combining uncertainties you need to divide these by 3, not 2, to get from expanded uncertainty to uncertainty.
Thanks for the elaborate response and for highlighting the confidence interval thing.

Yes, it's not Fluke but another lab that calibrated. The prescribed temperature and environmental factors have been taken into account by the very lab. So, in that case, what factors, in general, need to be taken into account?

In one of Fluke's guide about uncertainty for DMM (http://download.flukecal.com/pub/literature/webinar-uncertainty-presentation-Dec%202011.pdf) the Uncertainty Type B is limited to accuracy and resolution.
 

dwperron

Trusted Information Resource
#4
This isn't really an easy answer.

In order to correctly do this, you will need to know the difference between the uncertainty of the standards that Fluke used in the calibrations and the uncertainty of your calibration source. You can do that by comparing the uncertainties provided by Fluke for their calibration results to those provided by your provider. You would have to add the differences in these uncertainties to the published "uncertainties" in the Fluke manual.

This can be a significant difference. Even in good calibration labs almost all of the time their measurement uncertainties will be higher than Fluke's because they also go through Fluke for calibrations and then add their own level of uncertainty to those results. In really bad cases you will find the occasional lab that will calibrate with the best instruments that they have available, even if they are less accurate than your calibrator. In a case like that your uncertainties will drastically increase.

Or you can do what nearly every other lab does. You don't use the Fluke numbers as "uncertainties", but instead use them as "specifications". Then you will normalize them assuming a rectangular distribution when you use them in your uncertainty budget as a Type B contributor.

Speaking of Type B contributors, looking over the Powerpoint you attached they are saying that in the calibration of a DMM that the significant Type B contributors will be your calibrator accuracy and the resolution of the DMM. That is true in the vast majority of cases, but not a "rule". For instance, if the DMM measures temperature and has an internal cold junction calibration (CJC) the temperature range where the DMM is used might need to be addressed.
 
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