This article describes the process of running a single instrument through ProCal-Track, illustrating the states through which a typical instrument will pass and how the system integrates with ProCal.


Receiving an Instrument 


If the calibration laboratory has not previously calibrated a particular instrument, then its details will need to be entered manually. Create a new instrument on the system (see Create An Instrument Section). Enter information about the instrument, such as manufacturer and model number and the customer who owns the instrument. If the customer is new, their details must also be added to the system (see Edit Contact Database Section), a photo of the instrument can also be added to aid identification when booking in instruments (see appendix).


When an instrument is received by the calibration laboratory, the item should be booked in. The serial number should be scanned/entered into the Goods In page. If the instrument has been seen before, then the details of the instrument can be recalled. If the instrument has not been previously calibrated by the calibration laboratory, then the user will be prompted to create a new instrument, and the details of the customer and instrument will need to be entered.


Once the instrument details have been entered/verified, the job details can be entered and the job can be created. A photograph of the instrument can also be added to aid identification when booking in instruments. Further information, such as whether the customer requires a quotation prior to work commencing, can also be entered.


Please see the following articles for more information: 

Booking in a new item: https://support.transmille.com/support/solutions/articles/9000161937-how-to-book-an-instrument-that-is-new-to-the-laboratory

Booking in an existing item: https://support.transmille.com/support/solutions/articles/9000161928-how-to-book-in-an-instrument-that-has-been-calibrated-before


Calibration


Received instruments will be marked as “Awaiting Calibration” when ready to be worked on. At this point, the instrument can be accessed in ProCal and a calibration run can be started. Depending on the results of the calibration, the instrument may follow one of several paths through the system. The most straightforward is a successful calibration, which will result in the instrument marked as “Calibration Done”. Further Calibration Outcomes are discussed later in this section.



Paperwork/Process Instruments


Once an instrument has been calibrated a number of documents will need to be printed before the instrument can be returned to the customer. The key official document is the certificate of calibration. A service log, invoice and instrument labels can also be printed automatically. With the paperwork complete the instrument is ready for dispatch.





Dispatch Instruments


As customers may send in several different instruments for calibration, the ProCal-Track dispatch process allows instruments with a common order number and dispatch address to be sent out in a single delivery. When a job is selected for dispatch, other instruments that can be successfully included in the same delivery are listed.





Return to Customer


Once an instrument has been returned to a customer the instrument status is reset to its original state – “With Customer”. This status will not change until the instrument is due for recall.



Calibration Interval and Customer Notification 


When a new instrument is entered, a calibration interval is specified (typically 52 weeks). Using this number, and the date on which the instrument was last calibrated, ProCal-Track is able to maintain a list of instruments due for calibration (Instruments enter “Requested” state). Customers with instruments that are less than three weeks from their due date are sent reminders (Instruments enter “Requested (Posted)” state). When an instrument passes its due date without calibration  (Instruments enter “Overdue” state) an overdue notice is sent to the customer (Instruments enter “Overdue Posted” state). When the customer responds and sends the instrument in for calibration the entire procedure restarts. Overdue Instruments are visible from the Reports->Overdue Jobs menu.  


Note: That an instrument will only be removed from the due list if it is returned and booked in, or if the status code and the recall period are manually changed in the View/Edit Instrument menu.


From time to time it may become necessary to remove instruments that are not returned to keep the list manageable. To change the status code and recall period double click on the instrument and edit the details as required.


Please note that if the recall period is not changed then the instrument will reappear on the list the next time the Due/Overdue function is run. Using a value of '999' for the recall period will stop the instrument becoming due for calibration, without deleting it from the system.





Further Calibration Outcomes


There are several reasons why a calibration might not be completed the first time. If an instrument fails one or more tests in a calibration procedure it will need to be adjusted and re-tested. After completing a test procedure that includes a failed test, the state of the instrument is set to “Before Calibration – Awaiting Adjustment”. The instrument is adjusted to correct the failed readings and the tests re-run in ProCal. The instrument will be marked as “Calibration Done” once all tests are passed.


If an instrument cannot be brought to its specified accuracy, or if damage to the instrument is noticed during the test, the instrument will need to be repaired. Procal-Track can handle both internal and external repair of instruments and allow for re-calibration once the instruments have returned from repair. To easily recall an instrument it is wise to note down the certificate number.



Other Delays


An instrument’s progress through the system may be held up for a variety of reasons. An instrument could be damaged during transit, or if a job is cancelled, or a repair may be added depending on the customers requirements. A calibration or repair may encounter an unexpected problem causing the instrument to be held awaiting the customer’s response.


For further information on Instrument Status Codes, please see the following article: https://support.transmille.com/solution/articles/9000161907-description-of-instrument-stat-codes