Metrology and Calibration on the Web

May 19, 2003
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For information on Metrology, the science of measurement, or calibration, a set of graduations to indicate values or positions, turn to the Internet. This month's Web site review looks at metrology and calibration related sites.

http://ts.nist.gov/ts/htdocs/230/233/calibration. The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) has a Calibration Services home page. This Web site is designed to help manufacturers and operators of precision tools achieve the highest possible levels of measurement quality and productivity. Click User's Guide for a description of calibration services offered by NIST. Some of the measurement areas covered in this site are dimensional, mechanical, thermodynamic, optical radiation, ionizing radiation, electromagnetic, and time and frequency. On this page under the title is a Table of Contents navigation bar. Each category takes visitors to a page with more details and information. Under the Fee Schedule tab, there is a listing of services and fees. For a description of standards-related links, click the Links tab. A definition of traceability is under the Traceability tab, and under the Uncertainty tab, is NIST's policy for reporting measurement uncertainty. Under the Training tab are brief descriptions of the types of training offered, with additional links to listings of upcoming Weights and Measures-related events as well as to general upcoming NIST conferences. The two links at the bottom of the Calibration home page will take visitors to the NIST home page and the NIST technology services home page. The site is easy to navigate.

http://www.metrologyworld.com. This Web site is a marketplace for industry professionals. There are a variety of items on the home page. On the sidebar are categories, such as Buy Online, Sell Online, Services, News and Community and Tools. On the main page of the site, are categories, such as Latest Headlines, Featured Products, Featured Suppliers, Feature Articles and Related Sites. Under each category is a More link. For example, click More under News and Community. A page comes up showing more categories, including Discussions Forums, Events Calendar, Associations, Down-load Library, Scheduled Chat and Web Resource Center, as well as brief descriptions of the Latest Headlines and Feature Articles. To become a member of Metrology World, click Register under Tools. To request product information or purchase products, visitors need to be registered. However, to receive a free newsletter, click Free Newsletter, which e-mails the latest news, product information and announcements. The newsletter can be customized with other bulletins such as, Career Center Job Alerts, Supplier Announcement, Training and Education Updates, and Bookstore Specials. This site has some valuable information; bookmark it.

http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/units/. This Web site is a dictionary of units of measurement. On the home page are links to definitions of units of measurement in alphabetical order. Under Commentary and Explanation are links to Using the Dictionary, the International System, the English Customary Systems, the Metric System, Related Links and Bibliography. Click Using the Dictionary for a brief description of what is contained in the dictionary, as well as links to various items, such as abbreviations and symbols. For measurement unit-related sites, click Related Links. Under What's New, are a variety of fun and little-known items, such as Chinese metric units, the definition of a "twip," (a unit of measure used in high resolution computer graphics) and a request for reader help as to why shoe leather is measured in iron. This site has many different ways for visitors to link to topics that are listed on the home page. Have a comment or suggestion? E-mail Russ Rowlett, the director of the site at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, by clicking on the link under Formalities. The site is easy to navigate and contains good information on units of measurement. Visitors will want to bookmark this one.

http://www.metrologyjobs.com. This Web site specializes in metrology-related jobs. On the home page visitors can read comments about the site as well as a brief synopsis. The navigation links to other pages at the top of the home page. Some of the pages include Job Openings, Search Resumes, Submit Resumes, Add Jobs, Sign Guestbook and View Guestbook. Under Job Openings are a list of companies, job title and location of job. Each company listing is linked to its home page. New jobs are labeled as such next to the job. Under Search Resumes, type in a single description or phrase and submit the query. A listing of applicants matching the description appears. Want to submit a resume? Click Submit Resume and fill in the information blanks. View Guestbook shows a listing of individuals looking for positions or offering open positions. To get into the guestbook, click Sign Guestbook and fill in the information blanks.

Site to Hide
Did you know that the base of the Great Pyramid of Egypt is large enough to cover 10 football fields? Or that each unit on the Richter Scale is equivalent to a power factor of about 32. So, a six is 32 Arial more powerful than a five. For more trivia, check out www.corsinet.com/trivia/.

Need Some Help?
Quality Online visitor, Lydia McGregor needs some help. Here's her query:
"Our quality manager currently reports to a manufacturing manager. Can anyone provide objective evidence why quality should be a separate entity? And, if possible, can you provide a copy of your organizational chart showing who quality reports to?"
To help Lydia, you can e-mail her at lamcgregor@rsc.rockwell.com.

Feedback
Following are some entries from our previous "Reader Forum." Visit our new "Reader Forum" on Quality Online.

From "Reader Forum" visitor Tom.
Q: I am looking for a software package that generates certificate of analysis or conformance sheets. Can anyone recommend a package that produces these documents? Most products collect data but are not designed to print sheets to send to customers.

An answer came from Quality Online visitor Joe Perito.
A: I'm sure there is software available to do this, but I fail to see the reason to buy any. It's simple enough to design your own certificate of analysis in any spreadsheet, such as Excel or Lotus 1-2-3. Keep a copy of the blank form and fill it in for each new lot. Fill in a line with the lot number and save the file under that lot number, customer name or date. With the automatic sorting features of today's spreadsheets, you can recall the fill names, sort by lot numbers, find lot numbers, sort by customers, dates or lot numbers in ascending or descending order. You probably already have a spreadsheet program. With a little bit of time, you'll have a database, plus a variety of sorting options, automatic calculations, macros and reporting options.

From "Reader Forum" visitor Jennifer Silverio.
A: My company, Global Systems Technologies (GST), is an engineering firm providing support to the Federal Aviation Administration on security contracts. We are in the process of developing an ISO 9000 compliant system and are currently working on developing our training material. I have been asked by GST's quality manager to research how other companies document their training, as a benchmark for our system. Ideally, I would like to have a generic training record for comparison; however, I would appreciate any information you could provide.

One answer came from Quality Online visitor Carol.
A: Try this Web site, http://www.qs9000.com, it may have what you are looking for. There are also great message boards for almost any subject.

Another answer came from Quality Online visitor Steve .
A: The company I work for uses an Oracle database to store training records and uses the employee's annual merit review as the tool to determine training needs. All employees, of course, are initially trained in the overall workings of the quality management system, and then obtain job-specific training for the task that they were hired to do. I hope this gives you some ideas.

From "Reader Forum" visitor Michael Busha.
Q: What chart would you use to show a production run of two to four of each part number. For the next production run, we may change one of the dimensions, such as width or length, but the rest may stay the same. Should I track these parts over time? Should I simply make a chart of every run? How do you handle this? I want to ensure that the process is stable and capable within a four-part production run and over a period of time, such as a few months.

An answer came from Quality Online visitor Andy Tsoi.
A: You may use target average and range charts, but make sure all these products or parts with the same major characteristic are worthy for charting. It is hard to chart the best sampling frequency and method, without an understanding of variation in your plant. You may use multivari chart to identify the source of variation prior to establishing your sampling method and frequency.

We Need Help.

An upcoming case study will cover rapid prototyping. If your company specializes in this area and has a manufacturer that is willing to talk about how your product helped solve a problem, then e-mail your ideas to Kimberly Schmidt at schmidtk@bnp.com. Make sure to read the editorial guidelines before submitting stories. Other case study submissions are welcome.

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