The 9-day, hands-on Advanced Mass calibration seminar focuses on the comprehension and application of the advanced mass dissemination procedures, the equations, and associated calculations. It includes the operation of the laboratory equipment, review of documentary references, reference standards, specifications, and tolerances relevant to the measurements. Training covers mass calibration documentation published in NISTIR 6969, NISTIR 5672, NIST Technical Note 952, and NIST/SEMATECH e-Handbook of Statistical Methods (11/16/2017) for the calibration of precision mass standards to OIML R111 and ASTM E617 weight classes. This seminar incorporates approximately 50 percent lectures with topic-related discussion and 50 percent laboratory work in which the participant performs measurements by selecting and applying correct procedures, equations, and calculations discussed in the classroom. The participant will evaluate measurement assurance and uncertainty data, complete data analysis using software.
At the end of the Advanced Mass Seminar the participant will:
- USE critical thinking skills to analyze: measurement requirements and measurement results for traceability, measurement assurance, uncertainty, compliance to related specifications, and reporting of calibration results – both before and during the seminar.
- IMPLEMENT NISTIR 5672 and appropriate supporting documentation in the seminar exercises and later in your laboratory, and to PERFORM advance mass weighing designs, with supporting evidence of metrological traceability, measurement assurance and uncertainties.
- CREATE a data set using advanced weighing designs and GENERATE an ISO/IEC 17025 compliant calibration certificate using the data output from the NIST Mass Code or alternative software.
Materials & Supplies
Notebooks and reference materials will be provided in the course and include a complete set of Reference Publications and software that will be used in the course.
Participants must have successfully completed the newly redesigned (2 week) Mass Course or the older Mass Seminar AND Intermediate Seminar. State laboratory participants must have successfully completed all required Laboratory Auditing Program problems. All participants should have evidence of successfully completing mass proficiency testing (at a level higher than Class F, or OIML M, or ASTM 4, 5, 6, or 7 class weights).
Confirmation letters will not be issued until it has been determined that the class has sufficient students AND the proposed participant has successfully completed the course pre-work.
Complete a laboratory internal audit) assessing your laboratory compliance to ISO/IEC 17025:2017, NISTIR 6969, and NISTIR 5672 for each of the following topics, related to advanced mass, use of weighing designs, precision mass calibrations. Provide tables/data as requested in this list.
- Provide a high level overview of the laboratory goals upon completion of this course;
- Personnel, Staff Training (6.2): Describe the staff training, education/experience related to mass calibrations;
- Facility, Accommodations (6.3): Describe the environmental controls in the laboratory that will enable compliance to Echelon I limits as described in NISTIR 5672, SOP 5 and SOP 28, also describe the area where standards (internal and incoming) will be stored;
- Equipment (6.4): Provide an inventory of the balances that will be used to perform advanced weighing designs and include the current standard deviation of the measurement process that designate the procedures currently in use (See NISTIR 5672);
- Standards, Calibration Program, and Traceability (6.5, Annex A): Provide a current and proposed traceability hierarchy/inventory of standards and their calibration dates, calibration sources, and describe if changes are in process (See also GMP 11 and GMP 13 from NISTIR 6969);
- Procedures (7.2): Describe the mass calibration and uncertainty calculation and reporting procedures in current use in the laboratory;
- Care and Handling of Standards and Items Submitted for Calibration (7.4): Describe the process by which standards are accepted for calibration as well as current practices for cleaning, stabilization, and equilibration;
- Uncertainty (7.6): Provide a summary of mass calibration uncertainties for the laboratory that include a description of each component that is currently incorporated as well as an uncertainty budget table and current Scope of recognition or Accreditation (See SOP 29 from NISTIR 6969 as well);
- Measurement Assurance (7.7): Describe the current control charts and assessments that are in place in the laboratory for mass measurements and describe the proficiency tests that you have completed for precision mass calibrations (See NISTIR 6969, SOP 9 and SOP 30); and
- Calibration Certificates (7.8): If your laboratory has already been working at this level, assess the calibration certificates issued for calibrations done at this level against the criteria in section 7.8 of 17025:2017 (See also SOP 1, NISTIR 6969 for a checklist). If your laboratory is not working at the Echelon I or weighing design level, assess a mass calibration certificate at the highest level of mass calibrations that is on your Scope.
The pre-work must be completed and submitted to Isabel Chavez Baucom (isabel.chavez.baucom [at] nist.gov (isabel[dot]chavez[dot]baucom[at]nist[dot]gov)) by Wednesday, May 31, 2023.. You may send the audit files as Word, PDF and/or associated Excel files for review.
A mandatory pre-work and Action Plan review will be held on Thursday, June 8, 2023, via Adobe webinar.
To receive a Training Certificate for this course, successful completion requires participants to submit course Pre-work, actively participate in the entire course (e.g., take notes, engage in discussions, ask questions), complete all classroom, homework, and application exercise assignments, and submit calibration certificates as evidence of completion of all application exercises conducted during the hands-on portion of class exercises (guidance is provided in the course) and submit an Action Plan that can be used to implement or refine the advanced mass measurement processes in the participant's laboratory.
*Homework note: students generally report taking one to two hours for homework each night.
Metrologists with responsibilities for precision mass calibrations.
The registration fee for this seminar is $5,200 and confirmed participants will be sent payment instructions and confirmed registrants will be sent payment instructions. This fee does not cover travel, lodging or meal expenses. Registration fees for State weights and measures regulatory officials and metrologists are funded by NIST OWM.
Isabel Chavez Baucom, Micheal Hicks, Elizabeth Koncki, and Jose Torres
Email: isabel.chavez.baucom [at] nist.gov (isabel[dot]chavez[dot]baucom[at]nist[dot]gov)
Participant must bring a laptop with Microsoft Excel and Word (version 2010 or newer are acceptable) software for analysis of data, hands-on case studies, and preparation of calibration certificates and be familiar with the use of these programs. Be aware that for networked access of Microsoft files, access to the NIST network is not ensured (e.g., it can be problematic if using a version of Office 365 that requires network access to operate properly.) Participant must be able to use a USB memory stick for transferring files that will be printed/reviewed during the course. This course uses the NIST Mass Code for data reduction of data files and is provided on a USB (or CD if requested) memory media and students must be able to download and process executable files on the laptop computer used in the course. Students need to verify the capability to run executable files to ensure successful access and use of the software needed in this course. Participants must be able to save/store files to USB media devices or CD-RW to facilitate printing and turning in homework assignments; if not able to use USB media, participants must be able to upload files to a secure NIST Box and/or Google Drive data transfer cloud service. A scientific calculator may be useful, but is not required.