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Traceability is the thread that connects your calibrated tools to established references and standards. It confirms that your instruments will measure accepted units (whether electronic, optical, or dimensional) to agreed levels of accuracy. Traceability is key to meeting worldwide measurement, trade and regulatory requirements.
Certified measurement products sold by Tektronix are traceable to national metrology institutes and the SI (International System of Units). Tektronix measurement products are shipped with Certificates of Traceable Calibration.
Traceability begins with standards maintained in national metrology institutes as shown in Figure 1. These standards, understood to have the highest accuracy available, are used to calibrate instruments in independent or corporate laboratories. These in turn confer traceability to instruments in calibration departments within individual companies such as Tektronix.
- Tektronix measurement instruments built in the United States are compliant with ANSI/NCSL Z540.1-1994(R2002) requirements, traceable to one or more of the following national metrology institutes: NIST, NPL and PTB. The facility is ISO 9001 registered.
- Tektronix measurement instruments built in China comply with ANSI/NCSL Z540.1-1994(R2002) requirements, traceable to one or more of the following national metrology institutes: NIM, NIST, NPL and PTB. The facility is ISO 9001 registered.
- The NIST website lists more than 100 national metrology laboratories worldwide
- The national metrology institutes throughout the world regularly compare their standards with one another, ensuring consistency across national borders
- Standards encompass electrical, optical, dimensional, and other measurements. All are traceable to national metrology laboratories
- ISO 9001 quality standards require traceability. Compliant facilities must "calibrate... against certified equipment having a known valid relationship to internationally or nationally recognized standards."
Traceability follows a hierarchy of standards, each referencing the one above it and conferring its traceability to those below it. In this example, two schemes for voltage calibration are shown. The left branch derives some standards from external laboratories.