We are pleased to present an abridged report submitted by Mrs. Gina Teemul-Tash on a “Volume and Density Training Attachment” that she and Mr. Marc Aberdeen of the Metrology Division attended from 15 to 26 June 2015 at INMETRO (the National Metrology Institute of Brazil).
The Metrology Division of the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS) has been conducting volume and density calibrations for over fifteen (15) years. Nevertheless, while our working experience has been extensive, there are components of our current volume and density metrology operations that can be better optimized to meet international acceptable standards. Furthermore, there is the need for continuous developmental and upgrading work to adequately meet the growing needs and demands of our national and regional clients. Thus, the training attachment at INMETRO was envisaged to address and close gaps in our current volume and density calibrations.
THE INMETRO EXPERIENCE
The experience at INMETRO was exceptional. INMETRO provided a very structured and intense training programme that provided both theory and hands-on experience in volume and density calibrations. The tutors had a good command of English and ensured that all our questions and queries were adequately addressed. They also willingly provided their contact information so that we could address any other issues that may arise when we got back to our TTBS Metrology laboratory.
The INMETRO laboratory personnel had vast knowledge in their areas of specialization and over the two week period we were exposed to the practical and theoretical aspects of:
- Hydrostatic weighing (solids and liquids);
- Calibration of density hydrometers using the Cuckow method;
- Measurement of surface tension of liquids;
- Calibration and cleaning of digital density meters;
- Cleaning and calibration of laboratory glassware e.g., pipettes, burettes, volumetric flasks and pcynometers; and
- Analysis of data and calibration uncertainty.
We also had the opportunity to tour INMETRO’s Mechanical Metrology facilities.
Overall, Mr. Aberdeen and I felt that the training offered to us provided useful options which could suit the needs of a small metrology laboratory operating in a small country and we were able to explore these options and choose a way forward for our TTBS laboratory.
During the time that the TTBS has been carrying out density and volume calibrations, we have always been cognizant of the need to continuously improve in areas that pertain to training, uncertainty estimation, procedures, equipment acquisition, equipment maintenance and documentation. We recognize these as critical areas to ensure that TTBS functions as a competent and recognized supplier of traceable calibrations in volume and density metrology to our national industries and regional stakeholders.
Having participated in the attachment, we believe that we have acquired some further “tools” and hands-on experience to assist us in upgrading our calibration system and to ensure that we have recognition for the work that is being carried out by our laboratory. Our participation has not only ensured that we have the necessary training required to assist with improving the current system but also the confidence to do so.
Moreover, the attachment has allowed us to establish valuable contacts and relationships for getting assistance when required as we continue our developmental thrust. We take pride in developing the TTBS as a competent and recognized supplier of traceable calibrations in volume and density metrology, and indeed, our country and the region will benefit from improved services.
The attachment at INMETRO was very valuable and Mr. Aberdeen and I wish to thank the trainers at INMETRO for providing such timely training and for facilitating us. We also extend our thanks to SIM (Inter-American System for Metrology) for the financial assistance provided in making the training possible.
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