MPS is METBENCH’s calibration module and is used to design, create, manage and automate data sheet templates for the calibration of measuring and test equipment. The system has multiple tools to facilitate the translation of equipment specifications into electronic data sheets which can then be used to collect and store calibration data for multiple instruments simultaneously.
Automation scripting can easily be added to these data sheet templates to configure instruments, capture data, display instructions, perform mathematical operations, communicate with external software and create instrument test points dynamically.
The system provides a secure environment, including an audit trail to track changes to the system parameters as well as the archiving of records. Each calibration test point inherits and stores globally unique identifiers of data sheet template test points, thus allowing the entire measurement history of individual test points to be accessed for statistical analysis.
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Automated Uncertainty Modeling
MPS features an “engineer in the box” system that automates many metrology engineering tasks. MPS automatically calculates uncertainty (EMU) and test ratios (TAR/TUR) using specifications and other parameters from a test instrument’s set point, the standards used and measurement system configuration. The system supports multiple pre-assigned standards that the technician can choose from at the time of calibration. The actual uncertainty and test ratios reflect the technician’s specific selections. The METBENCH MetSpec module is used to create and manage instrument specification files in a database format with accuracy specifications organized by function and range limits. MPS uses these instrument specifications for both calibration standards and to create data sheet test points. Using the MetSpec instrument specifications function and range limit data, MPS can automatically assign the most accurate qualifying instrument range for calibration standards to the data sheet test points, or the person creating the data sheet template can choose a range manually.
METBENCH MetSpec electronic instrument specifications can be assigned as default/alternate calibration standards and automatically integrated into the test point uncertainty models.
MPS’ default uncertainty model behavior automatically and dynamically creates/updates uncertainty elements for each of the following:
Standard deviation of calibration samples (Type A)
MetSpec Instrument calibration standards used (Type B)
Measurement Resolution (Type B)
Of course, users can disable any of the automatic features and manually create/modify uncertainty elements. Additional elements can also be manually added to supplement those that are managed by the automatic features.
Automatic Guard Banding
MPS provides the option to automatically implement one of its supported guard banding methods (NCSLI RP-10, ANSI Z540.3, RSS) at the configured risk threshold. Test Ratios (TAR/TUR), Estimated Measurement Uncertainty (EMU), and Risk are all based on the actual standards used when performing the calibration. Guard banding decisions are made dynamically based on the conditions present at the time of the actual measurement.
Automatic Detection of “Out of Tolerance” Conditions
MPS automatically computes and graphically displays the relationship of the measured values to reference value, tolerance, and guard band indeterminate region, when applicable. MPS also indicates the percentage of the tolerance band consumed by the deviation between the measured and reference values.
MetSpec (Electronic Storage, Management, and Catalog of Instrument Specifications)
MetSpec is a library of instrument specifications in electronic format used by MPS to perform a number of unique functions, such as building calibration test points and calculating measurement uncertainties of calibration standards. MetSpec is also used to create reference Units of Measure and their conversion equations to and from the base unit. The Units of Measure system is used to perform real time conversion of accuracy and parametric matching criteria values between data sheet test points and calibration standard instrument ranges.
Instrument Sampling Integration
The system can be configured so that the standard deviation of the test point samples can be automatically included as a “Type A” uncertainty element.
MPS measurements have a child relationship to test points, allowing each measurement to have independent references such as Reference (True) Value, tolerance, standards used and uncertainty model. This also allows calibration standards selection options to be changed at any time during a calibration without effecting measurements already made.
Dynamic Automated Test Equipment (ATE) scripting system
Control of Automated Test Equipment (ATE)
MPS integrates the National Instruments VISA system to communicate with instruments via multiple interface types such as GPIB, RS-232, USB, Ethernet and so forth.
Dynamic Display of Instructions with Images
The scripting system provides multiple methods for displaying rich text formatted (RTF) instructions and graphical images.
Multiple Forms of User Querying
User query prompts can be used to have the user enter values or select from a predetermined list of options. Multiple values can be requested and may include instructions or an explanation of the values to be entered.
Automatic Support for Sampling and Processing of Measured Values
The commands that apply measured values fully support sampling and automatically apply measured value formatting rules and determine if measurements are in or out of tolerance. The automation system automatically applies the samples/measured value to the currently active test point, calibration channel, and data mode (As Found/As Left).
Supports Multi Test Instrument Calibrations
When multiple TIs are being calibrated together, commands are available to select the currently active channel, obtain information from one or more channels, and permanently store raw data in a channel.
Supports Unlimited Number of Datasets
Datasets are a basic two-dimensional spreadsheet that can be written to, read from, perform math operations on columns and rows, and can be independently saved to, or loaded from, an external file. The automation system allows you to create and configure as many dataset objects as you require.
Integrated String and Math Equation Systems
The wizards for the math and string builder (complex string equation) commands are equation editors. These equation systems include a large number of built-in functions and support the use of variables.
Dynamically Modify Data Sheets
MPS has several commands to dynamically modify data sheets to facilitate use of generic data sheet templates. For example, you can prompt the user for such information as the specifications for a specific torque wrench. The values returned can then be used with a command to reconfigure all of the test points to the nominal values and tolerances of the specified instrument.
Supports Sub-Procedures With Arguments and Local Variables
The automation system supports the creation and use of sub procedures that can take arguments (values passed in and out), and have their own local variables.
Wizards for Complex Command Configurations
Many commands have wizards to help you configure their parameters, making it much easier to learn and configure the commands.
Document Control and Revision History
MPS can be easily configured to assign users different permission levels to approve data sheet templates and instrument specifications requiring e-signatures when appropriate.
MPS has a comprehensive audit trail system. Transactions involving document approval, revision, inactivation and so forth generate an entry into the audit logging system. Log entries are also made for user login and failed login attempts.
The application’s master configuration options allow users to modify system behavior to meet your laboratory requirements and practices.