Original Date: 07/25/2005
Revision Date: 09/12/2006
Best Practice : Calibration and SureCAL
The steadily increasing amount of time required to calibrate an increasing number of more complicated test and measuring equipment prompted Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems to begin automating calibration procedures in the mid-1990s. Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems has subsequently developed more than 600 calibration procedures and sold them to many government and commercial customers, at the same time increasing the productivity and reducing the cost of its own ongoing calibration processes.
The Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (NGES) Electrical Calibration facility supports more than 30,000 electrical and electronic units of steadily increasing complexity to support the standard practice and requirement of test and measuring equipment. NGES was on the verge of being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of calibration hours required by the traditional manual calibration procedures and began the process of automating calibration procedures in the mid-1990s. This required restructuring the configurations of calibrating equipment into racks of coordinated capabilities and implementing calibration steps with SureCAL, customized proprietary software that enables a PC to control calibration equipment and record test results.
The steady development of more calibration software has resulted in automated procedures for more than 600 different types of test and measuring equipment. These calibration procedures have been made available for sale to customers that include the Armed Services and other government agencies such as NASA, the Jet Propulsion Lab, and the National Security Agency. Commercial users include leading defense contractors, electronics manufacturing firms, and major airlines. The sales of these products help fund the Metrology/Calibration Group that supports common calibration processes for 34 calibration labs throughout NGES. This same group has also developed a common solution to meet new ISO 17025 requirements.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.