A Standard Text File Format for the Exchange of Cal Data Required for Analysis

An excerpt of the content of a past calibration file showing one measurand whose data is sufficient to be used in prediction analysis. The adj. status means that this record was obtained after the instrument adjustment. The program considers the changes between before and after the adjustments in the regression analyses.

by Dr. Alex Lepek

The purpose of this paper is to initiate standardization between calibration labs and users of the file for exchanging calibration data. Experience has it that to agree upon a file that can fully exchange all the data in a calibration report is probably impossible. So I propose a very small step forward that covers only the minimum data required for reference instrument prediction, calibration interval analysis and inter-laboratory and other comparisons. Normally, each calibration lab is using its own proprietary files and sends to the user the calibration report in files (e.g. pdf) or on printed paper that cannot be edited in order to secure the data.  This justified practice forces the users that need to make further analysis of the data  given in the calibration report to retype it into their computer programs or use other creative ways to do so. In this paper I propose that calibration labs would provide (upon request) an un-protected file, in parallel to the secured file, containing only the minimum required data.  Because at least two parties are involved in the process (calibration lab and user) I propose to use a standardized simple text file. I show how this has been done for a long time with the calibration and analysis program MetroVal. I shall go into details of the required programming and target the common calibration lab and its customers. Read Full Article (PDF)