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+49 - 30 - 46 70 90 26

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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

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Why does the importing of TEDS information not work with imc CRONOSflex ISO2-8?

At this time importing of TEDS information for this module is only supported without "preparation":

turn on device -> connect with software -> activate all channels -> import TEDS

(ref.19420)

How do I find the network name of my device as well as its MAC address?

Network device designation and MAC address

Registration of the devices on the network (device designation and MAC address)

Find out how to determine the network name of the device as well as the MAC address of TCP/IP devices.

1. Determining the network name of the device

The devices are registered with the device designation per nameplate on the network.

2. Determining the MAC address of a TCP/IP device

To determine the MAC address, a ping must first be sent to the IP address of the measurement device, then use the command "arp –a".

The IP address can be determined by using the program IF Config for devices with the serial number 12xxx with 400kHz total sampling rate and serial number 13xxxx and 14xxxx. For all other devices, use the program TCP/IP Config. The accompanying notes will work for both programs.

Start the program imc DEVICES IF-Config, it is located in the Start folder of imc DEVICES.

Find your measuring device in the network, then go to the "LAN configuration". The current IP address can be read here.

Procedure:

Go to "Start," then "Run" and in Windows NT, 2000, XP and Vista enter "cmd" and in Windows 95, 98, Millennium, "command".

 

In the DOS shell (MS-DOS input form), manually enter "ping" followed by the IP address (e.g., ping 10.0.10.11) and press "Enter". Next, type "arp a" and again press "Enter". Now the MAC address is determined. It is listed after the IP address in the "Physical. address" that you used to "ping".

 

 

Download this article as PDF

How does imc perform on-site service?

We come with 1 - 2 technicians with 2 - 3 calibration stations. We need an on-site air-conditioned room (doors and passages > 1.20 m) and a work space with a footprint of approximately 2 x 3 m for each calibration station.

At a second work station, in parallel with the function testing, we will carry out firmware updates and other agreed work which might be necessary.

The calibration certificates and measurement reports will be presented as a pdf. If a printed copy is required, we will deliver this after the work is finished.

For receiving a quote, the following information is required:

  • Serial numbers of the devices, and any other individual modules
  • On-site contact
  • A specific date you would like (for staff planning, we'd like 4 weeks lead time)
  • What services are wanted? (calibration, adjustment, system inspection, maintenance, software updates, etc.)?
  • What time you can work? Early or late shift, Saturday work possible?
What does calibration entail?

In calibration, the relationship between the measured value of an output quantity and the corresponding value of the measured input quantity is determined under specified conditions. Simply put: comparison with a reference having the same units, which in measurement engineering means determining the measurement deviation returned by measurement equipment. Calibration does not entail technical intervention – such as adjustment – in the measurement equipment. With indicator measurement equipment, calibration determines the deviation between the measured value indicated and the correct value – or the reference value considered correct.

Calibrations are performed in order to ensure that the measurement equipment used indicates values having a known and documented proportionality to an internationally accepted standard for the quantity measured. The goal is that when measurements of the same quantities are performed by different parties, e.g., customer and supplier, comparable results are obtained. The prerequisite for this is that the measurement uncertainty—which is inherent in any measurement—must be known.

Performing calibration leads to results and findings which provide a guide in better understanding and assessing the tolerances of measurement equipment.

Summary

Automobile manufacturers and their suppliers, in particular, have been demanding that calibration service providers be accredited in accordance with ISO 17025.

Fundamentally, however, what is required is proof of competence: accredited laboratories are such which have proven their capabilities to an independent assessor.
imc is not an accredited calibration service provider. However, by definition we possess the capabilities and the regulations pursuant to TS16949 / QS 9000 do not apply to us.

imc performs calibration with instruments calibrated to the national standards in accordance with ISO 9001. Our service comes standard with a (manufacturer’s) calibration certificate.

The optional calibration reports which include records of measured values conform to the requirements of ISO 17025.

DIN EN ISO 9001 only requires a declaration (manufacturer’s calibration certificate) of traceability of the reference equipment used to national standards.

By default, we pass the benefit of lower costs to our customers as price savings (extra charge for optional "Certificate with Protocol as per ISO 17025"). The traceability of equipment, archiving of measurement values etc. are governed by ISO 9001:2008, and are regularly monitored by TÜV TÜV Cert Rheinland GmbH.

All calibration reports along with measurement values are automatically archived at imc and are optionally available for release (up to 10 years later).

According to what standards do you calibrate your instruments?

 

At the moment, adjustment and calibration operations by imc are steps within an overall production process or a service; this means we have no separate inspection laboratory but rather so-called adjustment and inspection stations. The processes and procedures are set out in a protocol in the test instructions and test planning as elements of our Integrated Management System. All the processes are procedures developed by imc itself.

All calibration and adjustment procedures used at imc within the framework of our type testing are developed, validated and optimized for serial inspection with the goal of achieving the greatest precision economically justifiable. In this context, the reports of measurement values are at the same time a certificate and an inspection plan (manufacturer’s specification). It is easy to develop customer-specific inspection plans on this basis; imc is happy to provide support in doing so.

In designing the measuring amplifier, the procedures for its adjustment and calibration are also developed at the same time and verified in the type inspection. One part of the procedure is to adjust various parameters due to their dependence on properties of components and on the running temperature; additional parameters such as the sampling rate selected or the selected filtering may not affect the measurement precision according to design targets.

The resulting acceptance tests include procedures for the serial production and servicing, which reflect an optimum balance of test precision, standards conformity and economic viability.

In our “Calibration” type test, we use the following standards, among others:
The series of standards VDI/VDE/DGQ/DKD 2622: Calibration of measurement equipment for electrical quantities, describes fundamental calibration procedures.

DKD 2622 Blatt 5 describes calibration of function generators
DKD 2622 Blatt 11: Calibration guidelines for spectrum analyzers
DKD 2622 Blatt 20 describes the calibration of DC voltage measuring amplifiers

Additional standards and guidelines:

DKD-R 5-5 regulates the calibration of temperature indicator devices
DKD-R 6-1 regulates the calibration of pressure measurement modules
Power network quality, voltage quality: EN 50160 and DIN 61000-4-30

Why does the Diskstart not work, as soon as I measure with a digital imc CRONOSflex module?

The Diskstart with digital CRFX modules(See manual of imc CRONOS system family) is not supported at this time. The Diskstart with those modules is supported with imc software version as of 2014-03-19.

(ref. IT#19394)

Why does my imc CRONOSflex ISO2-16-2T not measure?

At the moment the Module imc CRONOSflex ISO2-16-2T is only supported with the following software versions:

  • imc DEVICES 2.8 R3 SP9 (13.12.2013) + AddOn 04.02.2014
  • imc DEVICES 2.8 R5 SP1 (13.11.2013)

(ref. IT#19404)

Does the complete measurement chain of our teststation always need to be calibrated?

 

The process of calibrating a piece of measurement equipment using equipment conformant to higher  standards, which in turn is calibrated using equipment conformant to yet higher standards, is known as the calibration chain.

The purpose of this calibration chain is to trace the measurement instruments’ accuracy back to national standard reference equipment. This determines a calibration hierarchy.

In principle, you could calibrate every individual component and find the total test station measurement chain’s uncertainty in this way; there are mathematical techniques for this purpose.

Or you could calibrate the entire measurement chain by replacing your sensor signal with a calibration signal.

If the measurement uncertainty of one or more components within the test station’s measurement chain is unknown, the calibration chain to the sensor is interrupted; in this case, it would not be possible to make a reliable statement of the measurement results’ accuracy.

Can imc calibrate the complete test station measurement chain?

 

In collaboration with you or with your calibration service provider on location, we can also calibrate the entire test station measurement chain. For test stations provided by imc itself, methods for on-site adjustment of offsets or correction of characteristic curves have generally already been arranged.

Upkeep, repair and system maintenance of imc measurement devices, however, can most effectively be performed at imc. For this reason, we recommend that you create maintenance and calibration plans for your test station. When making such plans, please be sure to take any resulting costs into account, for example due to downtime caused by failure, or costs for keeping replacement parts in reserve. We will gladly provide support, both actively and with advice.

Why can't I find my imc CANSAS module on the CAN-bus?

Module not found


I can't find my imc CANSAS module on the CAN-bus


1.) Is the CAN-bus is terminated correctly?

Both ends must be terminated with a terminator (124 ohms according to CiA). (See Figure 1) If the module or instrument has only a CAN-bus connection, e.g., imc CRONOS-PL, then the termination should be made via a Y-cable and a terminator.

2.) Is each module set to the same transfer speed/baud rate?

All CAN-bus participants/modules being operated at a given node must be set to the same baud rate or else communication between the participants in the bus is not possible.

3.) Does the set baud rate and cable cross-section size match the cable length?


The transfer rate on the bus is dependent on the cable length, the cable cross-section and the number of nodes. The greater the cable length, the lower the possible transmission rate will be and a larger cable cross-section must be selected. (see Figure 2)

For more information, see the current imc CANSAS Manual

 

 

Why is my NetBEUI measurement system not displayed in the network search with MS Windows XP?

In contrast to other MS Windows versions, under MS Windows XP you must follow different instructions for installation of the NetBEUI protocol. If you already have NetBEUI on your PC, uninstall it before the new installation process and restart the PC.


1.    Insert the Windows XP CD-ROM and go to the folder Valueadd\MSFT \Net\NetBEUI.
2.    Copy Nbf.sys to %SYSTEMROOT%\System32\Drivers.
3.    Copy Netnbf.inf to the %SYSTEMROOT%\Inf.
4.    Click on Start, then Settings, then Control Panel, then double-click on Network and Dial-up connections.
5.    Right-click on the entry for "Local Area Connection" and select "Properties" from the context menu which appears.
6.    On the index card "General", click on the button "Install...".
7.    In the dialog which then appears, select "Protocol" and then "Add...".
8.    It should now be possible to select the NetBEUI protocol in the list. Select NetBEUI and click on OK.
9.    Restart the computer.

Note: Administrator rights for your PC are required.

Why doesn't the shunt calibration in my CANSAS module function correctly?

CANSAS and shunt calibration


The shunt calibration in my CANSAS module doesn't function correctly.

When performing a shunt calibration, channels that are set for half or quarter bridge measurement, cannot be open. Otherwise, during shunt calibration, incorrect readings will occur.

We therefore recommend to not set wired channels on the voltage measurement with maximum range or to not transmit over these channels (change CANSAS software to "without CAN message")

I am unable to uninstall my devices in order to ship them: what should I do?

 

Contact our hotline, and we will find a solution!

We can offer rental systems as interim solutions, for instance, or we can use your planned downtimes, such as company vacations or maintenance periods, to perform service work, including adjustment, system maintenance, and upkeep. We also offer an express version of all service work.

We are happy to assist you in composing inspection plans optimized for your circumstances.

What is an adjustment?

Adjustment refers to the process of adjusting measurement instruments to compensate for known systematic measurement discrepancies. In contrast, then, to calibration, this means manipulating the instrument in a way which produces lasting effects. Note that this renders any previous calibration and its traceability pedigree obsolete! It is then also no longer possible to reconstruct any changes in the instrument's measurement properties.

Why am I receiving implausible measurement values from my test system?

Implausible measurement values


I am receiving implausible measurement values from my test system.

Often times the problem can be traced to inadequate grounding of the device or the shielding on the signal wires. Through potential differences between the modules, and other connected devices, such as a laptop, BUSDAQ, etc., there can be compensation currents that can cause disturbances, and in the worst case, could destroy the module.


Remedy:
1. Grounding of the CANSAS module

Because it is anodized, the aluminum case itself is, generally, poorly conductive. Therefore, the locking bolts of the DSUB connector sockets should be used for grounding the device.

2. Shielding on the signal wires

Basically, to stay within the limits with respect to EMC and EMI, the use of shielded and grounded cables are necessary. In many cases, the use of a cost-effective, multi-conductor and simple shielded cable (also for multiple channels) is sufficient. (see Figure 1)

However, it may be necessary in other cases, to use double shielded cable. That is, common grounded (CHASSIS) and jacketed, within which individual (also more) coaxial cables are placed.

In particular, to avoid increased interference (noise), this process may be necessary if under the following conditions:
- "Higher" internal resistance of the signal source (> 100 Ohms)
- Signal sources not grounded (isolated or high impedance over CHASSIS and/or ground reference of the supply)
(see Figure 2)

3. Grounding from the CAN-Bus

Long CAN bus wires between the grounded module and the CAN data logger (device) can cause compensation currents on the bus. Therefore the CAN-bus shielding  should only be opened at one end.

For more information, see the CANSAS Manual Version 1.6, section 5.4

Is imc an accredited/certified test laboratory?

 

imc does not operate an accredited calibration laboratory, but we rigorously implement the requirements of ISO 17025 in our own QM system. imc is certified according to DIN EN ISO 9001 since May 1995.

Does calibration also include adjustment/balancing?

 

Yes. Calibration by imc includes calibration upon receipt (determining actual values, deviations beyond tolerances are noted), a brief function check, adjustment and calibration for release.

You receive a manufacturer’s calibration certificate without measurement values (lab reports optionally available).

The imc system inspection includes a total functionality inspection from the manufacturing perspective, which is able to reveal certain latent errors. As a customer, you receive a service report.

Upon request, the service “only calibration” is available (no adjustment, no subsequent function testing) or only function testing (system inspection). Since 2005, we have included the following items in our price list:

  • Calibration (includes: calibration upon receipt, manufacturer’s calibration certificate as per ISO 9001)
  • Adjustment (includes: calibration upon receipt, adjustment, calibration for release, manufacturer’s calibration certificate as per ISO 9001)
  • System Inspection (includes: system inspection, function checkup, service report)

The imc calibration package which we recommend and which enjoys our customers’ approval consists of the combination of Adjustment and System Inspection .

My mobile measurement device runs with a variety of sensors and cable connections; what does that mean for calibration?

 

In accordance with manufacturer’s specifications, we perform the function test and calibration with imc terminal connectors. Additionally, within the framework of the System Inspection we perform an "all-round" function test "of everything" with any available interconnections specific to the customer, and upon request, if provided by the customer with the pertinent interconnections, we perform "all-round" calibration.
Under some circumstances, the measurement uncertainty is altered by the use of sensor and cabling types not available for calibration of the measurement system.

In light of this, you should consider what tolerances are acceptable for your measurement purposes.

What is a legally secure calibration chain?

The process of calibrating a piece of measurement equipment using equipment conformant to a higher  standards, which in turn is calibrated using equipment conformant to yet higher standards, is known as the calibration chain.

The purpose of this calibration chain is to trace a piece of equipment’s calibration to the national standard.

Can only individual channels be calibrated?

 

Upon request, we can calibrate only individual channels according to a customer’s inspection plan.

The imc DEVICES or imc CANSAS user’s interface allows correction values for the offset or for calculation of special characteristics to be saved for subsequent use in particular applications. We use this capability in our own test station applications, for example.

Adjustment of individual channels with permanent recording of correction values in the module storage is generally either not possible or very costly, so only whole systems or modules can be adjusted as a whole.

Furthermore, the elaborate test equipment administration for complex measurement systems, in which only individual functions are adjusted or calibrated, deserves mentioning.

If you have any special wishes, please feel free to communicate these to our hotline.

How often is calibration necessary?

To get correct measurements in the long term, the test equipment used has to be monitored regularly and calibrated, if appropriate. The time between such calibration treatments is called the calibration interval. We frequently receive questions about the necessary calibration interval for measurement and test equipment.

However, there is no unambiguous answer to this question, since a device's state of calibration is dynamic and depends upon the following factors, to name a few: the input quantity and its permissible tolerances, wear and tear on the equipment, stability of previous calibration procedures, measurement precision required and last but not least a company's quality assurance system policies.

As a matter of principle, a calibration is valid only at the moment it is performed. Setting deadlines for re-calibration is the responsibility of the equipment user. As a rule, the calibration interval should be designed to optimize the balance between risks and costs.

This means that the calibration interval is ultimately the user's own responsibility to determine and monitor. Our recommendation is from 1 up to 3 years. In order to support our customers in determining the calibration interval, we offer consultation from our employees. Our standard statement in our spec sheets is for 1 year.

How do I find out if a device has a CAN1 or CAN2 interface?

  1. Connect your measurement device to the PC
  2. Open imc DEVICES and connect to the device
  3. Now go to: Devices -> Properties...
  4. After saving, open the window Device Configuration
  5. In the table, find the entry MFBus-Module
  6. Click on the "+" on the left side of the column, a new row("Type") will become visible
  7. On the right side of the row, you can now read the type of fieldbus interface
  8. If it has the label CAN (MCAN), then it is always a CAN 1 Interface
  9. If it has the label CAN (MBUS_X), then it is always a CAN 2 Interface

Calibration: Which points within a measurement range are inspected? Is every input range/operation mode inspected? How does imc inspect or calibrate the individual measurement channels?

 

In calibration, the system’s measured value is compared against one control value for each channel and in each input range. The results obtained are used to form a correction value which is recorded in the device’s memory upon subsequent adjustment. Following the adjustment, the system is re-calibrated. The protocols are (electronically) archived by imc for 10 years. The test equipment used is subject to imc’s test equipment monitoring program and is traceable to national standards per ISO 9001.

Which quantities must be calibrated for a specific device depends on the device’s hardware configuration; in general, DC voltage calibration (offset and gain over 3 points), calibration of internal reference sources (e.g. PT100 current source), as well as temperature calibration for temperature measuring devices (Type K thermocouples, 1 measurement point with isothermal box) are performed.

In order to be able to test according to these specifications, the conditions for calibrating must be met; this is checked in a function test prior to calibration, in which additional measurement points are tested according to imc inspection plans with a pass/fail rating:

  • Offset measurement and noise test shorted directly at the device, with a high sampling rate and no filter.

    • Background:If either the offset or the noise is too high, there is a defect which may violate the calibration conditions. Too much noise, in conjunction with averaging of the signal, can lead to an apparent offset or apparent non-linearities.

  • Testing of reference voltages, supply voltages
  • Calibration signals emitted by the test object (e.g., shunt calibration of bridges)
  • Test of basic functions such as auto bridge balancing
  • Test of power consumption

These tests are generally conducted during the warm-up phase.
The inspection plan for confirming the calibration conditions is modified by the Service department in adaptation to emerging experience.

Passing the function test in accordance with imc the inspection plan, as the condition for carrying out calibration, plus the subsequent calibration according to imc manufacturer’s specs, leads to awarding of the conformity declaration
“Calibrated according to manufacturer’s specifications traceable to national standards”.

Any extra measurement points specifically requested by the customer for supplemental calibration are calibrated afterwards.

Some inspection plans, as well as further explanations are presented in our article “Service Program for imc Measurement Devices: Calibration, Adjustment, Maintenance, Repair and Miscellaneous Service”.

What does monitoring of measurement equipment entail?

The goal of a test equipment management system is to ensure the quality of measurements of products and processes. Toward this end, two major issues must be observed:

  1. The quality of the measurement processes, i.e. how well the measurements are performed,
  2. The quality of the test equipment, i.e. how well the test equipment is adapted to the measurement task.

To ensure the quality of test equipment, the following must apply:

  • Test equipment is clearly labeled
  • Equipment performance requirements are stated
  • Test equipment is regularly inspected for compliance with defined requirements, i.e. it is calibrated regularly (and adjusted if necessary), (see also Calibration Interval)
  • Test equipment used for calibration can be traced to national or international standards (or to documented calibration foundations if no such standards apply)
  • Test equipment is treated in such a way as not to compromise its functional properties.

To meet these requirements, a test equipment management system must be introduced which is also compatible with other company goals.
Companies must have test equipment at their disposal for every measurement required, i.e. for every physical unit of relevance. Toward this end, an overview of all test equipment available to the company is needed.
Correct performance of measurements is conditional on all test equipment used being properly calibrated.

May only accredited laboratories be commissioned, as required in TS16949/QS 9000?

 

The requirements stated in QS 9000, ISO/TS16949 and other management systems for accreditation pertain to testing and calibration laboratories commissioned by suppliers in the automobile industry. Accreditation of calibration procedures according to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025 (general requirements for competence of testing and calibration laboratories), for example, is meant to demonstrate competence, for which accreditation by an independent third party is a (very transparent) method.

Alternatively, QS 9000 offers these very suppliers the ability to rely on the manufacturers of test equipment for its calibration. However, these manufacturers need not necessarily be accredited, but can demonstrate their competence in other ways, e.g. by self-declaration, quality assurance agreements or audits. Naturally, the regulation (QS 9000) states this explicitly (QS 9000 3rd edition, 4.10.6 Requirements of Supplier Laboratories).
Note that the applicable standard DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025 does not require accreditation as a test or calibration laboratory.

Is a function test always performed?

 

The best function test is the system inspection recommended by imc:

A function test of the entire device is conducted (e.g., digital input/output, current supply, analog outputs, depending on device configuration).

Additionally, each device is subjected to an individual final inspection (function test and a measurement check of individual channels using other calibrators); this final inspection can be made to take account of customer-specific or device-specific prerequisites or conditions (for instance, the characteristics of a special MIC-channel can be checked at this stage). The final inspection is documented internally by imc; the customer receives a service report.

Is monitoring of measurement equipment really necessary?

 

Management and monitoring of the equipment used serves the following purposes:

  • Ensuring the maintenance of measurement equipment
  • Use of only appropriate test equipment for the inspection of the conformity of products and processes to requirements
  • Ensuring the required precision of test equipment (including of the reference instruments)
  • Ensuring the traceability to higher-level calibration standards
  • Avoidance of customer complaints due to incorrect measurement results
  • Avoidance of rejection of functional products, or of acceptance of defective products for further processing or shipping
  • Proof to customers and certification authorities of the conformity of test equipment monitoring systems to requirements
  • Overview of all test equipment available/used
  • Improvement of employee awareness with regard to performing tests and to treatment of equipment.
What should I consider when using Li-Ion batteries?

 

Because of the unavoidable self-discharge of Li-Ion batteries (smart batteries), it  is recommended that the device be reconnected to a power supply no later than after 3 months of operation to fully charge the internal Li-Ion batteries.

  • The batteries recharge automatic when the device is connected to a power supply.
  • Charge time per Li-Ion battery: up to 3 hours
  • The storage of discharged smart batteries is not recommended and can possibly render them (the battery pack) unusable!
  • Capacity per Li-Ion battery:

    • 69 Wh (small, CRFX/HANDLE-LI-IO-L)
    • 95 Wh (large, CRC/B-Li-IO-1 and -2)



* pertains to imc CRONOScompact (CRC/B-Li-IO-1 und -2) and imc CRONOSflex (Power Handle: CRFX/HANDLE-LI-IO-L)

You can find the handbook and technical data in our Dowload-Center

Why is imc actually equally well qualified as an accredited test laboratory?

 

This is expressed in, for instance, DAR-4-EM-03, “Guideline for Traceability in Testing”, in section 3 “Tools for Traceability in Testing – Demonstration of Competence – Measurement Traceability to SI-Units” (excerpt):
...
The respective requirements set out in EN ISO/IEC 17025 can be considered as fulfilled, if
...
(3.1.3) calibration or test certificate of the manufacturer of measuring or test equipment is available that demonstrates calibration and traceability to SI Units by means of documented traceable reference standards in line with para. 3.1.5 and using generally recognized methods or demonstrates calibration and traceability to SI Units by a competent calibration laboratory;
...
(3.1.5) the calibration in the testing laboratory is carried out by generally recognized and specified procedures and appropriate reference standards available that have been calibrated by a competent calibration laboratory outside or inside the testing laboratory;

Items 3.1.3 and 3.1.5 are ensured by imc’s test equipment management.

Can my measurement device be retrofitted with a SSD hard disk?

SSD hard disk

Can my measurement device be retrofitted with a SSD hard disk?

Yes it can!

An internal 128 GB SSD hard disk (SATA) is available for imc CRONOSflex (CRFX-400,CRFX-2000) and for imc CRONOScompact.
An SSD hard disk offers the significant advantage over IDE disks by having improved vibration resistance.
An additional advantage over the IDE is also an increased temperature range. The IDE functions between 0°C to +50°C. The SSD hard disk is specified for a temperature range between 10°C to +70°C.

Notice: Not every comercially available SSD hard disk is compatible with imc devices. The SSD hard disks that we offer were specifically chosen and tested by us.


For additional questions, please contact your local imc partner, or contact us via the  Hotline.

Can I only have imc measurement devices calibrated by imc? Can I calibrate an imc measurement device myself? Who may calibrate imc measurement devices?

 

Naturally, you may commission any accredited calibration laboratory with the calibration. Some equipment users are able to calibrate measurement channels themselves by virtue of their own calibration laboratory, or in some cases, calibration of the entire measuring sequence is carried out prior to each measurement. In such cases we recommend maintenance checkup of the measurement systems every 24 to 60 months, depending on the model and the application. We would be happy to help you with creating inspection plans.


Adjustment and total function testing for imc measurement devices are currently only possible at imc.

Why should there be a system inspection in conjunction with every repair or calibration?

 

The device is returned to the user completely tested (and having been repaired, if necessary)!

The imc System Inspection is the best and most reliable 100% function test, which is also able to reveal latent errors.

In the course of repairs, re-adjustment is often necessary due to an error found or to a replaced component.

Example: power supply unit reported as defective.
Error profile: defective input channels strain the power supply unit.
Plus: DAC (analog output) channel 2 defective.

Why does an imc calibration take so long?

Typically, imc’s processing time for calibration / adjustment, or System Inspection is 7 to 10 business days, due to the high precision of the inspection and to warm-up times. Additionally, shipping paperwork, consultations about any unanticipated repair work etc. all take time. To avoid downtime, it is important that service orders be determined clearly before the equipment arrives at imc.

If you suspect that your device is defective, or if you need calibration or a system update or reconfiguration, it is necessary in any case to contact our hotline prior to shipping.

The hotline will provide you with an RMA (return merchandise authorization) number.
To make this procedure easier, you can download a form from the Internet to send us by fax or email. Or simply give us a call!

Please do not ship any device without previously contacting us and receiving an RMA number.

Within the framework of a service contract, definite delivery dates or express service can be arranged!

Does imc work with any accredited calibration laboratory? Which accredited calibration laboratory would imc recommend?

 

The reference equipment used by imc is regularly calibrated and, if appropriate, adjusted by accredited calibration laboratories within the framework of our equipment monitoring efforts.

Many of our customers have commissioned accredited calibration laboratories with the monitoring of their test equipment. These in turn commission us, as competent manufacturers, with all service work going beyond calibration, such as adjustment, complete function testing, system maintenance, repairs, rental devices etc. Thus we have already been working in a close and cooperative relationship with all of the companies’ calibration providers for many years. Since the competence of all of the accredited calibration laboratories is regularly verified by independent assessors, we are not able to recommend any particular one.

Can the report of measured values be provided in electronic format?

 

Upon request, we can also generate a report as a PDF file. Please note that a complete device report can consist of over 300 pages.

Pursuant to a service contract, we can place the report in the Internet for downloading. Toward this end, we will naturally set up a password-protected location.

I received two calibration certificates, which one is correct?

The imc calibration includes an input calibration (determination of the actual values, for deviations outside the tolerance you will be informed), a short functions test, a renewed balance and a subsequent output calibration.

The log record of the initial calibration is marked with "[Calibration certificate number] _C". The log record after the adjustment and recalibration is marked only with the “[Calibration certificate number]".

Why is calibration by imc so expensive?

 

All of our customers face cost pressures and for this reason the running operating costs for service and system maintenance are an issue. There is often some confusion for the user (whose boss administers the budget) and for the internal or external calibration laboratory. Until 2003 there actually was some confusion affecting our statements and ambiguity in the terminology used (e.g., calibration... what does it mean?)

In response to this situation, we have overhauled our price list and the terminology used in it:
-    System calibration = System Inspection + calibration (upon receipt) + Adjustment
-    System Revision = Inspection plus maintenance plus update
-    System modification = includes System Revision

We also have adopted new service items into our program such as system maintenance, express service, warranty extension and personalized service contracts, and in consequence the whole program has been up and running smoothly for three years, as attested by very positive feedback.

Calibration by imc is no more expensive than by a calibration laboratory, for example. Quite the opposite: by offering the total spectrum of service from one source, we can save you time, money and trouble!

We challenge you to compute the ratio of the last three years of service costs to the purchase costs!
“We protect your investment!” is our proud motto. Test us out!

Example: imc CRONOS-PL (CRPL/BR-4), with prices

 

CRPL-BR-4 is a plug-in measurement module for the imc CRONOS-PL family of measurement devices.
The user can set the following basic functions (for each channel):

+    Bridge CF: 9 x 3 input ranges @ 5V, 2.5 V, 1 V
+    Bridge DC: 9 x 3 input ranges @ 5V, 2.5 V, 1 V
+    4 mode options (full bridge, half bridge, quarter bridge: 120 Ohm, 350 Ohm) (= 216 bridge measurement ranges)
+    DC-amplifier: 13 DC-voltage measurement input ranges 5 mV .. 50 V
= 229 basic input ranges (also possible: current measurement, ICP-measurement)


DKD 2622 Part 20 describes the calibration of DC-voltage measuring amplifiers.
Among other things, this guideline recommends calibration of preferably 10 points per polarity and input range, and repeated preferably 6 times  = 6 x 4.580 input ranges per channel.

By complying with this recommendation to the extent of measuring 5 points per input range, (no repeat measurements), then calibrating the entire measurement functionality of the 4-channel measurement amplifier would entail calibrating 4.580 measurement points.

Important note! Even then, that would be calibrating only at one sampling rate and one filter setting!

For a complete and manual inspection, assuming a test duration of 1 min per measured point (transient subsidence, data recording in Excel, for instance), the overall test duration comes to more than 70 h or approx. 10 days labor. Estimating an hourly wage rate of 95 EUR, this would come to more than 7000 EUR calculating on a T&L basis; some calibration labs calculate the price per measurement point...

This manner of proceeding is uneconomical, not suitable for serial inspection and therefore employed only in exceptional cases as verification of calibration.

An alternative for obtaining the conformity rating “Usable measurement functionality was calibrated” is calibration according to imc manufacturer’s specifications:

In designing the measuring amplifier, the procedures for its adjustment and calibration are also developed at the same time and verified in the type inspection. One part of the procedure is to adjust various parameters due to their dependence on properties of components and on the running temperature; additional parameters such as the sampling rate selected or the selected filtering may not affect the measurement precision according to design targets.

The resulting acceptance tests include procedures for the serial production and servicing, which reflect an optimum balance of test precision, standards conformity and economic viability.

In accordance with imc manufacturer’s specifications, the following measurement points are adjusted and calibrated for the BR-4 (on each of 4 channels):
+    DC 5 mV ... 50 V:
Gain: 13 input ranges * 3 measurement points,
+    Offset: 13 measurement points (208 measurement points)
+    internal reference quantities (not externally accessible): 18 measurement points
+    CF-mode full bridge, 5 V power supply, low-pass 10 Hz
in the input ranges 1 mV/V, 10 mV/V, 50 mV/V, 200 mV/V: 16 measurement points
+    DC mode full bridge 9 input ranges: 108 measurement points
= in total 350 measurement points

In order to be able to test according to these specifications, the conditions for calibrating must be met; this is checked in a function test prior to calibration, in which additional measurement points are tested according to imc inspection plans with a pass/fail rating:

-    Offset measurement and noise test shorted directly at the device, with a high sampling rate and no filter.
Background:
If either the offset or the noise is too high, there is a defect which may violate the calibration conditions. Too much noise, in conjunction with averaging of the signal, can lead to an apparent offset or apparent non-linearities.
-    Testing of reference voltages, supply voltages
-    Calibration signals emitted by the test object (e.g. shunt calibration of bridges)
-    Test of basic functions such as auto bridge balancing
-    Test of power consumption

These tests are generally conducted during the warm-up phase.
The inspection plan for confirming the calibration conditions is modified by the Service department in adaptation to emerging experience.

If the function test indicating fulfillment of the calibration conditions according to the imc inspection plan is passed, and the subsequent calibration according to imc manufacturer’s specifications carried out successfully, the conformity declaration "Calibrated according to manufacturer’s specifications traceable to national standards" is awarded.

The module CRPL/BR-4 has a list price of 3,335 EUR (2010 price).
Adjustment of the CRPL/BR-4 costs 110 EUR and includes calibration upon receipt, adjustment, calibration for release, and a manufacturer’s calibration certificate. Optionally, a simple calibration without adjustment can be ordered for 99 EUR, although this is not recommended. A report including measurement files, as described below can be provided for 15 EUR either with the service work or retroactively.

In light of the prices stated above, the price of conformity declaration per measurement point is
<  0.32 EUR / measurement point (with report: 0.36 EUR) for adjustment incl. calibration upon receipt or
<  0.29 EUR / measurement point (with report: 0.33 EUR) for calibration without adjustment.

Costs of adjustment including calibration upon receipt: 3.3 % of purchase price (with measurement value report: 3.8 %)
Costs of calibration (without adjustment): 3.0 % of purchase price (with measurement value report: 3.4 %)

In our article “Service Program for imc Measurement Devices: Calibration, Adjustment, Maintenance, Repair and Miscellaneous Service”, we present additional examples with prices.

[2]DKD2622, Part 20 (Draft 09/2003) quote from Section 3.2.3: “To characterize the response of measuring amplifiers for a defined input signal range, measurement of the output signal of the measuring amplifier at equidistant input values (preferably at 10 points per polarity) is repeated preferably six times...”

Standards and references

 

Management systems, test equipment monitoring, terms (see also www.beuth.de)
•    DIN EN ISO 9000 ff: 2000: Qualitätsmanagementsysteme
•    QS 9000 3rd edition (1994): Quality Systems Requirements QS 9000 (Chrysler Corp., FORD Motor Corp., General Motors Corp.)
•    ISO/TS 16949 (2002) Forderungen an ein Qualitätsmanagementsystem (dt. Übersetzung in DIN Fachbericht 78)
•    VDA 6.1: Forderungen an ein Qualitätsmanagementsystem VDA Band 6 Teil 1 (Verein der Deutschen Automobilindustrie e. V.)
•    DIN 55350-11 (1987): Begriffe der Qualitätssicherung und Statistik; Grundbegriffe der Qualitätssicherung
•    DIN: Internationales Wörterbuch der Metrologie (1994)
•    DIN 1319-1:1995: Grundlagen der Meßtechnik - Teil 1: Grundbegriffe
•    DIN EN ISO 10012 (2004): Messmanagementsysteme - Anforderungen an Messprozesse und Messmittel
•    DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025:2005 Allgemeine Anforderungen an die Kompetenz von Prüf- und Kalibrierlaboratorien (ersetzt EN 45000, setzt ISO Guide 25 um)

Calibration guidelines for electrical measurement equipment

•    DIN ISO 10012-1: Messüberwachungssysteme
•    ISO 8402 (1986): Qualität Begriffe
weiterhin:  DIN 55350 T 11-15, 17, 18, 21-24, 31 (Begriffe) + DIN Taschenbuch 223
   

DKD Guidelines, miscellaneous (see also www.dkd.ptb.de)
•    VDI/VDE/DGQ/DKD 2622 (Entwurf): Kalibrieren von Messmitteln für elektrische Größen (beschreibt allgemein Kalibrierverfahren)
Blatt 3: Kalibrierrichtlinien für Digitalmultimeter
Blatt 4: Kalibrierrichtlinien für Oszilloskope
Blatt 5: Funktionsgeneratoren
Blatt 11: Kalibrierrichtlinien für Spektrumanalysatoren
Blatt 20: Kalibrierung von Gleichspannungsmessverstärkern
•    DKD-R 5-5 regelt die Kalibrierung von Temperaturanzeigegeräten
•    DKD-R 6-1 regelt die Kalibrierung von Druckmessmodulen
•    DKD-3: Angabe der Messunsicherheit bei Kalibrierungen
•    DKD-4 (1991) Rückführung von Prüfmitteln auf nationale Normale
•    EA Richtlinien (European cooperation for Accreditation of Laboratories):
Übersicht: DAR-INF2, z. B.
DAR-EM6: Interne Audits und QM-Bewertung in Laboratorien
DAR-EM32: Anleitung zur Akkreditierung nach ISO/IEC 17025
DAR-EM23: Sammlung von Begriffen
•    DIN V ENV 13005: Leitfaden zur Angabe der Messunsicherheit beim Messen (identisch mit Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement = GUM)
Quality on the Web

www.qm-infocenter.de
•    QM-Infocenter of the publisher Hanser (Quality and Reliability)

DIN 31051 of 2003 defines maintenance including weak point analysis along with pursuant measures; to see the summary click here.

Where can I buy the equipment for calibration or adjustment?

 

We are happy to offer the appropriate accessories: calibration requires device-specific connection terminals; probably template protocols and an inspection plan. We are also happy to assist you in composing inspection plans and training programs for your personnel.

However, purchase of the necessary equipment for adjustment / overall testing in accordance with manufacturer specifications, and of the associated “know-how” is only economical if you must test very many (> 100) identical systems regularly, or if you have very high logistical costs, for shipping. Typical service work (repair, system maintenance, updating, remodeling, upkeep), however, is still only possible at imc.

Certification (manufacturer’s calibration certificate): Why are no measurement values stated by channel in the standard package?

 

In general, a manufacturer's calibration certificate from imc for 1 device as per DIN EN ISO 9001 is adequate for our customers. The calibration process entails calibration upon receipt (determining actual values; the owner is informed of deviations beyond tolerances), a complete function check, balancing, and calibration for release. The owner receives a manufacturer's calibration certificate without measurement values.
The manufacturer's calibration certificate certifies the validity of the calibration in reference to the serial numbers listed (identification of the test object); the serial numbers of the system and of the measurement module are unambiguously correlated to the reports and measured values; the report file headers state the test equipment used along with their imc equipment ID numbers.

Optionally, a complete set of reports with measured values and a list of the measurement equipment used can be ordered (measurement values "as received" + "after balancing"). A complete set of reports of this type is needed for trend analysis or for determining calibration intervals, or in the framework of QS-audits, but is not required for a traceable calibration certificate according to ISO 9001ff, for example. We do not include this complete report set as a standard, thus reducing costs for us and our customers. However, the calibration reports with the readings are always archived automatically and are available on file for 10 years.

If equipment arrives at our facilities for service work, such as inspections, maintenance or repairing, we additionally provide a service report stating all work performed.

What does the calibration certificate which comes with new devices mean?

 

By default, we provide along with every measurement device a manufacturer's calibration certificate with a list of device modules and their associated serial numbers. This certificate is practically a declaration that we have performed calibration traceable back to national standards. The calibration reports with their measurement values are automatically archived and are optionally available (up to 10 years afterwards). The report header states all test equipment used and its respective internal imc ID numbers. Furthermore, our test equipment management conformant to ISO 9001:2008 ensures traceability.

Sometimes imc provides a test certificate and no calibration certificate; what is the difference?


With purely digital modules (e.g. DI, DO, ENC, INC, busDAQ ...) or after the test of devices in servicing, for which calibration was not ordered, we certify the function test with a test certificate. This is a voluntary extra service provided by imc, for which there is no legal entitlement.
Measurement values generated in this procedure are generally not archived, but can be recorded for an extra charge; however, no retroactive order of measurement values is possible.

Where are the measurement uncertainty specifications stated?

 


Question: In our accreditation audit, the auditor faulted the fact that the total measurement uncertainty of your calibration’s measurement chain is not stated in the calibration certificate. To avoid future accreditation problems, we request that the calibration documents contain a statement of the measurement uncertainty of the measurement chain used.

We state the total measurement uncertainty of the measurement chain in our technical data sheets, as well as in the calibration certificate itself in the Remarks box.
The specification of the measurement uncertainty in the calibration pertains to the entire measurement chain from the reference instrument all the way to the test object!
E.g. measurement uncertainty: < 0.05 % of the input range set, or < 1 K unless otherwise stated in the report. This takes into account uncertainties of the reference instrument, of the test setup, repeat measurements, between different test stations, the room temperature as well as of the test object!

The manual states the amplifier uncertainty as <0.05% "of value read from the display"; does this really mean "of the gain range"?

 

< 0.05% of value read from the display is in this case the correct formulation of the gain error; it refers to the value indicated, not to the input range end value.

This means the absolute error is smaller for small values and larger for large values (gain error).

The offset error is stated in % of the input range end value. The total error consists of, among other things, the offset- and gain errors.

Sometimes there is "latitude for interpretation" which raises questions in audits about the statements of the issuance date and the calibration date on the calibration certificate. How are these explained?

 

An explanation has been provided as a footnote on the calibration certificate since 09/2006:

Issue date:
The day on which the calibration certificate is issued. Unless stated otherwise, the issue date is also the date of the last calibration by imc. A duplicate (certified copy) of the calibration certificate is denoted accordingly.

Last calibration on:
If the date of issuance is different from the date of the last calibration, then we additionally state this date on the calibration certificate.
For technical reasons, the set of reports for a measurement system may under certain circumstances consist of multiple reports with differing dates for the respective calibration. The date of the last calibration then corresponds to the issuance date of the last calibration report belonging to the measurement system.

Can imc also conduct a DKD calibration?

 

We cannot provide DKD calibration for measurement devices we supply. However, upon request we can exclusively use calibrators having DKD calibration certificates. Naturally, such a requirement must be expressed when placing an order. When developing our calibration procedures, we give regard to the procedures as described in the DKD, for example.

Question: Calibration report with "fail" rating

The “input calibration” is a "fail" rating if a channel exceeds a limit value. The “input calibration” describes the current state before adjustment. Then all input channels will be adjusted and checked with the “output calibration”. On the output calibration no "fail" rating should occur, because it describes the current state after the adjustment.

The tolerance values for a channel during the calibration are much more sensitive defined than the tolerance values in the technical data sheet.

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