Thursday 15 October 2015

Unique accreditation for European lab.

Yokogawa’s European Calibration Laboratory has become the world’s first non-governmental facility to receive full ISO17025 Accreditation for power measurements at up to 100 kHz. This is in addition to its established capability for providing high-accuracy calibration at 50 Hz, especially at very low power factors (down to 0.0001) and at high currents.
There is a growing demand to remove uncertainty in power measurements, particularly with the growing focus on renewable energy markets and the need to optimise energy efficiency while complying with international standards on power quality, especially at low power factors. In addition, the inverters used in renewable energy systems are switching at higher speeds: a scenario that introduces harmonics at higher frequencies.

There is also a demand for high-frequency power measurements on devices such as switch-mode power supplies, electronic lighting ballasts, soft starters in motor controls and frequency converters in traction applications. As a result, power calibration at 50 Hz is no longer sufficient, and accredited power calibration at up to 100 kHz is necessary to address these markets.

“The recognition offered by ISO17025 accreditation is objective proof that the knowledge of our personnel and the quality of our instruments are at a world-class level”, says Terry Marrinan, Yokogawa’s Vice President, Test & Measurement, for Europe & Africa: “For customers working with tight tolerances, ISO 17025 accredited calibration of the measurement is vital to major critical measuring projects and provides the high level of quality assurance that our customers need.”

Obtaining this accreditation for the laboratory, based at the company’s European Headquarters in Amersfoort (NL), is a key part of Yokogawa’s strategy to maintain and grow its market-leading position in the European digital power analyser market.

Engineers need to be sure the measurements they make are correct to meet the exacting requirements of modern design. Their power meters need to be calibrated at the frequencies present in their specific application and not just at 50 Hz. However good the calibration result at 50 Hz, it does not say anything about high-frequency performance.

Frequency is just one factor being addressed by Yokogawa in the calibration of power meters. Whereas in the past it was sufficient merely to list voltage and current measurements in a power meter’s data sheet, today’s power environment needs to address variables such as phase shift, power factor and the effects of distorted waveforms: all factors that are included in Yokogawa’s instrument specifications.

In fact, without high-quality in-house calibration facilities, most other power instrument manufacturers cannot provide the sort of evidence that is available to Yokogawa to show that their instruments perform within their specifications. Yokogawa’s recently introduced WT3000E, for example, can be confirmed as the most accurate power analyser in the world because of its accreditation certificate.

The Calibration Laboratory’s accreditation will provide Yokogawa with an essential development tool for the future, ensuring that new products will have undergone the most rigorous compliance testing and certification before release. Yokogawa’s customers can also be totally confident that they also have easy access to accredited traceable power calibration for all their needs, avoiding time-consuming submission to national standards laboratories.

“The fact that the European Standards laboratory can offer up to 100 kHz of accredited traceable power calibration puts us in a unique position in the market, and ISO 17025 accreditation is the recognised international standard which enables us to justify these claims”, confirms Terry Marrinan: “The ability to both offer accredited calibration and to be able to explain its relevance - particularly at higher frequencies - demonstrates that Yokogawa are the experts in power measurement and that Yokogawa power meters are truly the most accurate in the world.”

In addition to wideband and high accurate power-meter calibration systems, the state-of-the-art calibration laboratory also includes systems for calibrating oscilloscopes, recorders and optical products, and is therefore capable of calibrating a wide range of instruments in the test & measurement industry.

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