STATE METROLOGY LABORATORY
The State Metrology Laboratory is the custodian of the measurement standards for the state of Arizona. These standards serve as the basis for assuring equity in the marketplace and as the reference standards for calibration services for government, industry and business. The Lab consists of two specific operations: volume (large and small) and mass (large and small).
Over 8,500 different types of artifacts for various industries from pharmaceutical companies to aerospace industries, as well as other governmental agencies, are tested in the lab. Different types of artifacts for 213 Registered Service Agencies (RSAs) that employ over 600 registered service representatives (RSRs) have also been certified. The RSAs and RSRs are licensed with the Division and are the only companies with the authority to place in service or remove tags from any commercial device in the state.
Scheduling Calibration Services
The Laboratory scheduling priority, as required by State Statutes, A.R.S. § 41-2067, provides calibration services to all Weights and Measures inspectors and Registered Service Agencies annually. When sufficient staff time is available to complete all other work requests, the requests will be placed on the schedule in the order in which they were received. The metrology lab will follow this order of priority to prevent scheduling conflicts.
Effective scheduling is necessary to ensure efficient use of the metrology staff and laboratory resources. The Metrology Laboratory maintains a work schedule that provides timely service to customers, and ensures that the laboratory staff will have sufficient time for instrument monitoring and laboratory standards surveillance. Effective scheduling promotes good measurement services, and reduces unnecessary deadline pressures that may lead to safety problems and shortcuts in procedures.
The Metrology Laboratory will not accept delivery of unscheduled artifacts.
Bio-Hazards Cleanliness Certification
Due to the increasing incidences of bio-hazardous infections the Arizona Metrology Laboratory requires a responsible individual complete and signed a Bio-Hazards Cleanliness Certification Form. For each and every submission of mass standards (either directly or indirectly) by RSA, the pharmaceutical, bio-medical and/or chemical laboratory. A printable form is available here.
Save time on your next test or certification by doing the following BEFORE you bring your equipment into the lab.
- Know The Fees - Laboratory testing is charged at $110 per hour or a minimum charge of $50 for less than 1/2 hour (including preparation time).
- Make An Appointment: To schedule an appointment call the Metrology Lab at (602) 771-4938. No standards or equipment will be accepted without an appointment. This ensures that adequate service will be provided to each person.
- Bring Them In Clean! Weights and other devices must be free from all foreign matter, such as dirt, rust, concrete, grease and other adhering substances. The following are cleaning and painting tips for:
CAST IRON WEIGHTS:
If needed, weights of 25 pounds or more should be thoroughly cleaned with a wire brush and freshly painted. If a weight shows any sign of chipping paint, the weight should be cleaned with paint remover. DO NOT sand, shot blast or sandpaper cast iron weights. This method of cleaning removes metal as well as paint and could result in the weight being rejected. When weights are freshly painted, it is strongly recommended that a thin coat of aluminum paint be used, not an enamel base paint. Enamel paint is not recommended due to a tendency of surface peeling.
STAINLESS STEEL WEIGHTS:
Weights should be cleaned with ethyl alcohol to remove all extraneous matter. Care should be taken to avoid leaving a film on the weight and to prevent the entrance of alcohol into the adjustment cavity. DO NOT use alcohol on lacquered and/or plated weight s
The top standard is clean, but notice the rust on the bottom one. The rusty standard is an example of what NOT to bring to the lab.
VOLUME STANDARDS (GAS STANDARDS):
All volume standards must be free from all foreign matter and should be cleaned thoroughly with Simple Green or other non-foaming detergent. Depending on the condition of the surface, a vigorous cleaning of all inner surfaces may have to be repeated to ensure all removal of oily film and residue is complete. Dents must be removed and leaks must be repaired. Unless a volume standard is in extremely good condition, it must be freshly painted with a red paint. Painting does not apply to stainless steel standards or provers of 10 gallon or more. Gauge tubes, reading scales and other test measure components must be in working order and in good condition.
VOLUME STANDARDS (STAINLESS STEEL OR GLASSWARE):
Small liquid measures, 1 gallon or less, should be thoroughly cleaned with soap and water and rinsed thoroughly to prevent a soap film residue.
A printable checklist is available.
Each state laboratory that meets the criteria of NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY (NIST) HANDBOOK 150: 2006, Procedure & General Requirements and NATIONAL VOLUNTARY LABORATORY ACCREDITATION PROGAM (NVLAP) may apply for formal accreditation. The accreditation certificate indicates that the laboratory has the necessary quality system, facilities, equipment, standards, and staff to provide accurate and traceable measurement services and that the laboratory is competent to carry out the measurement services for which it is accredited.
NIST HANDBOOK 150: 2006, Procedures & General Requirements
Current Laboratory Accreditation Status
Measurement Quality System
NIST Handbook 150 incorporates ISO Guide 17025 quality system criteria and specific technical criteria for calibration laboratories. As described in Handbook 150, Arizona quality system consists of:
- Documented quality manual and procedures;
- Surveillance testing of standards and processes;
- Measurement process control charts;
- Inter-laboratory comparisons;
- Regular internal audits and management review;
- Periodic external audits; and
- Annual NIST, Weights and Measures Division (WMD) and NVLAP submission.
Equipment and Reference Materials
The Lab maintains primary standards in mass and volume that are traceable to NIST. The stability, integrity and adequacy of measurement standards and equipment are monitored through continuous surveillance and are evaluated by NIST/WMD and NIST NVLAP.
Traceability is defined as the ability to relate individual measurements with associated uncertainties using valid measurement procedures through an unbroken chain of calibrations to national or international standards. To ensure traceability, proper test methods, continuous measurement control, surveillance and documentation must be present at each step in the calibration process.
An accredited laboratory has demonstrated its capability to provide measurement traceability. When a test is completed in the Arizona Metrology Laboratory, a "Test Number" is issued. This "Test Number" is your link to national traceability. Learn more about laboratory traceability here.