In a wooded area behind Boeing's aircraft assembly plant in Everett, WA is the home of test-equipment maker Fluke. Within the Fluke facility is the company's electrical metrology lab, the heart of the company's electrical calibration business and the force behind the company's many measurement instruments. Fluke's metrology lab sits atop the company's calibration chain where metrologists and technicians support primary standards, transfer standards, working standards, and calibrators for the company's entire line of electrical measurement products. Fluke's electrical-measurement products get their calibration traceability to a national laboratory through this lab.
The lab houses primary standards for DC voltage through a JJA (Josephson Junction Array) and is one of just a few metrology labs to have one. The lab also contains standards for DC and AC voltage and current and resistance. Transfer standards make the reference values from these primary standards available to calibrations stations used to calibrate Fluke multifunction calibrators and reference multimeters, which in turn calibrate Fluke's measurement instruments in the factory. Fluke's Chief Corporate Metrologist Jeff Gust led me through the lab on April 5, 2012.
Follow the jump directly to Test & Measurement World to get a glimpse inside Fluke's metrology lab and Gust's perspective on the importance of calibration and verification.
We had our 5520A/6 calibrator get damaged in Fluke's Everett cal lab, and prior to their closing the Carrolton Texas lab it came back from there missing an input connector ferrule. Even with a $$,$$$ 5-year MetCare Gold contract the only reparations we got were gladhanding excuses from Fluke both times.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.