Wednesday, January 25, 2012

NIST Certification: Questions for Q-Bot

Dear Q-Bot:
Can you tell me a little about NIST Certification? I think it's some sort of standard. Thanks!
— A.D. via the Internet

Hello A.D.:

NIST stands for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which is an agency of the United States Department of Commerce. Founded in 1901, the agency was the U.S.'s first federal physical science research lab. The NIST was founded with the purpose of furthering measurement science, standards, and technology as to promote economic security and U.S. innovation, enhance industrial competitiveness, and elevate our quality of life.

The NIST creates a Standard Reference Material® (SRM) to be used to certify and confirm the accuracy of specific measurements. The SRM is used for instrument calibration and to promote the creation of new methods of measurement. An SRM is also used to perpetuate measurement traceability in the U.S. When an SRM is created the NIST also provides a Certificate of Analysis and a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), if applicable. These SRMs are the basis for the way products are tested to gain NIST Certification.

In addition to the SRM, there are a few other common terms you might come across when researching NIST Certification: NIST SRM Certificate or Certificate of Analysis, NIST Certificate of Traceability, NIST Traceable Reference MaterialTM, and NIST Certified Value are a few. According to the NIST, these are defined as:
  • NIST Standard Reference Material (SRM) - A Certified Reference Material (CRM) issued by NIST that also meets additional NIST-specific certification criteria and is issued with a certificate or certificate of analysis that reports the results of its characterizations and provides information regarding the appropriate use(s) of the material (NIST SP 260-136).
  • NIST SRM Certificate or Certificate of Analysis - In accordance with ISO Guide 31: 2000, a NIST SRM certificate is a document containing the name, description, and intended purpose of the material, the logo of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the name of NIST as a certifying body, instructions for proper use and storage of the material, certified property value(s) with associated uncertainty(ies), method(s) used to obtain property values, the period of validity, if appropriate, and any other technical information deemed necessary for its proper use.
  • NIST Traceable Reference MaterialTM (NTRMTM) - A commercially-produced reference material with a well-defined traceability linkage to existing NIST standards for chemical measurements. This traceability linkage is established via criteria and protocols defined by NIST to meet the needs of the metrological community to be served (NIST SP 260-136). A NIST NTRM may be recognized by a regulatory authority as being equivalent to a CRM.
  • NIST Certificate of Traceability - Document stating the purpose, protocols, and measurement pathways that support claims by an NTRM to specific NIST standards or stated references. No NIST certified values are provided, but rather the document references a specific NIST report of analysis, bears the logo of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the name of NIST as a certifying body, and the name and title of the NIST officer authorized to accept responsibility for its contents.
  • NIST Certified Value - A value reported on an SRM certificate or certificate of analysis for which NIST has the highest confidence in its accuracy in that all known or suspected sources of bias have been fully investigated or accounted for by NIST. (NIST SP 260-136)
Keeping all that in mind, the simplest way to define the NIST Certification process is that a product gets tested against an SRM to see if it meets the specific criteria for that product type. Most products that measure something, such as clocks, thermometers, tachometers, light meters, etc., have an NIST SRM for the manufacturer to make a comparison with. When a product is certified by the NIST it can be sold with an NIST Certificate.

NIST Certification testing can also result in an NIST Certificate of Calibration, NIST Certificate of Compliance, or NIST Certificate of Traceability. A Certificate of Calibration means that the product was tested and approved to meet a certain level of accuracy. The Certificate of Compliance is similar to the Certificate of Calibration, but in this case the product fell within a stated tolerance but can not be adjusted. The Certificate of Traceability is given to a product that was not tested against an NIST SRM, but instead compared to an NIST SRM of a similar product. The Certificate of Traceability is awarded then after the product comparison has been made and the proper paperwork filled out.

It is important to note that an NIST Certified product is not endorsed or recommended by the NIST. And while the process of getting a product certified and selling it may seem more costly than non-certified products, the NIST product is guaranteed to be accurate through the specially designed tests created to ensure measurement quality and precision-made products.

I know you're probably wondering if I, Q-Bot, have been NIST Certified. Sadly, no, but that is mainly because I am such a unique piece of machinery that no SRMs exist to test me against…yet. Thanks for your question, A.D., and thanks for reading The Q Source Resource blog.

To submit your "Question for Q-Bot," please contact me via Twitter (@q_source), Facebook (I now have my very own Facebook page), or the "Ask a Question" link on the homepage.
— Quincy "Q-Bot" Botnick


National Institute of Standards and Technology Web Site
NIST Overview Video
NIST's Standard Reference Materials Page
NIST Global Standards Information Page
NIST on Twitter
NIST on Facebook
NIST Designed and Operated Atomic Clock
Wikipedia's NIST Page

Friday, January 20, 2012

IAC Industries Launches New Web Site

Leading technical furniture manufacturer, IAC Industries, launched their new Web site Wednesday. The site has been updated to make it easier for customers to discover IAC's precision industrial workstation products.

The site's online catalog has been rewritten to provide more critical information and make it easier to select from IAC's choice of ergonomic workstations, industrial workbenches, cleanroom benches, storage cabinets, material handling stands and rolling carts, and related accessories. The online catalog is organized by categories to provide a clear path to what the customer is looking for.

IAC, based in Brea, California, has also added new sections to their site such as "Getting Started," "Customer Resources," and "Rich Media," which further add to the ease of navigation and customer satisfaction. The Quick Ship section provides information about IAC's popular ready-to-ship product configurations.

Q Source is an IAC distributor and you can also research products and place an order for IAC products at Check out our IAC Industries section or contact us by email or phone (800-966-6020). Our YouTube Channel features an excellent tutorial video about how to assemble an IAC Dimension 4 Workstation (also available in blog form at The Q Source Resource).

Friday, January 13, 2012

Garrett Metal Detectors: Hi-Tech Security Products Now at

Please remove all metal objects from your pockets while we let you know that now carries an extensive selection of Garrett Metal Detectors security products. Give our collection of Walk-Through, Hand-Held, and Ground Search Metal Detectors a scan and we're sure you'll find the security solution you're searching for.

Garrett Metal Detectors PD 6500i Walk-Through
Featuring industry-leading technology, Garrett Metal Detectors provide a formidable security option for settings such as airports, schools, and arenas; and they are built to meet international standards including TSA, ECAC, and DfT. So search no longer… has the hi-tech security offerings you need, such as the 1168411 Series PD 6500i 30" Walk-Through Metal Detector, the 1165800 SuperWand Hand-Held Metal Detector, and the 1140070 CSI 250 Series Ground Search Metal Detector.

Please visit the Garrett Metal Detectors page on for more information and to purchase these superior metal detectors and accessories. You may also call (800-966-6020) or email us and our helpful experts will discuss options for building a complete Garrett Metal Detectors security solution. Garrett Metal Detectors began selling and marketing metal detectors in 1964. They are headquartered in Garland, TX.

PanaVise 324 Electronic Work Center on Flickr

PanaVise's 324 Electronic Work Center is an economical and efficient workstation that puts everything a user needs within easy reach. This combo-vise includes a 315 Circuit Board Holder, a 300 Standard Base, a 312 Parts Tray Base Mount, and a 371 Solder Station. Easily position a board at any angle and keep small parts and your soldering iron close by.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Brady ToughJet™ Labels: New, Durable Label Sheets for Ink Jet Printers

Looking for a way to create appealing and durable labels for your business, without the expense of a thermal transfer printing system or the use of special software? Well, Brady Worldwide's (Brady) new ToughJet™ Ink Jet Sheet Label Series may be just the solution you're looking for.

Created specifically for ink jet printers using pigmented inks, ToughJet labels are targeted at lean applications, safety labeling needs, and most general workplace communications. The 14 new label sheets are available with various label sizes (1" x 2.625" all the way up to a full 8.5" x 11") and in a choice of Brady's B-141 or B-146 materials (the B-141 features a permanent acrylic adhesive and the B-146 a removable acrylic adhesive).

ToughJet labels look to help save you time and money by being compatible with the software you already own. Because no special software is needed, you can use Brady's new ink jet labels with Microsoft® Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and they are compatible with standard Avery templates (templates are also available for Brady's Markware™ software).

As with Brady's thermal transfer labels, the new ToughJet Ink Jet Labels are made to be resistant to water, chemicals, and abrasion, and will not fade or yellow from indoor use. And because they're made with Brady's best-in-class adhesive they'll stick to a variety of surfaces without requiring a holder or fastening device.

Key features of Brady's ToughJet Ink Jet Labels:
  • Made of high performance, durable polyester material
  • Resistant to water, abrasion, and chemicals (equal to Brady's thermal transfer labels)
  • Fade- and yellow-resistant when used indoors
  • No special software required
  • Best-in-class adhesive means your labels will stick securely to a variety of surfaces is now offering the complete line of Brady ToughJet Ink Jet Sheet Labels. Visit our Web site to place an order, or contact us by phone (800-966-6020) or email if you need help selecting the right labeling solution for your task.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Swanstrom's M-Series Medical-Grade Cutters: How to Choose the Right Cutter for the Job

Swanstrom M407C M-Series Medical-Grade Cutter
Since the first time we featured Swanstrom Tools' (Swanstrom) M-Series Medical-Grade Cutters on The Q Source Resource blog, Swanstrom has added to the line with two new models (the M407C and M407EC Carbide Tapered Head Diagonal Cutters). There are now 25 different cutters available for use with a variety of materials and applications.

We've also had in-depth training sessions with Swanstrom Field Application Manager, Chuck Mangus, and we asked him for tips on how to choose the correct M-Series cutter to get the job done right. He told us that selection should be based on material composition, size of the material, and the type of hard-wire cutting application.

With that in mind, we created the Swanstrom M-Series Medical-Grade Cutters Material Chart (available in our TechCenter) and provide the following tips regarding application-specific cutting needs:
  • Guide Wires - Applicable cutters based on material composition and diameter size
  • Stents - Applicable cutters based on wire diameter
  • Catheters - Applicable cutters based on material composition and diameter size
  • Stylists - Applicable cutters based on material composition and diameter size
  • Mandrels - M509E and M609E models are applicable
  • Braided Mesh - Applicable cutters include most carbides and the small, tapered, non-carbide models with flush and super-flush edges
  • Single/Multiple Filers - Most models are applicable for single filers; applicable cutters for multiple filers with a special hone are limited
  • Lateral/Internal Cuts - Applicable cutters for lateral cuts are based on material composition; specific models for internal cuts are based on the interior dimensions of the coils
If you have further questions about the Swanstrom M-Series and which model(s) will be appropriate for your application, please contact our knowledgeable experts via email or phone (800-966-6020). To place an order for an M-Series cutter, please shop our Swanstrom M-Series Department at Q Source is your Swanstrom M-Series Medical-Grade Cutter resource.

Friday, January 6, 2012

O.C. White Green-Lite™ LED Magnifiers Nominated for an Edison Award

Our friends at O.C. White Company received an impressive honor over the holidays when it was announced that their Green-Lite™ Magnifiers have been nominated for a 2012 Edison Award.

The Edison Awards, named after inventor Thomas Alva Edison, celebrate American innovation in product design. O.C. White's Green-Lite Magnifiers are being recognized in the Industrial Design category.

Finalists for the award will be notified the week of February 13, 2012 and the winners will be announced at the 2012 Edison Awards Gala to be held at the Capitale in New York on April 26, 2012.

O.C. White, based in Thorndike, MA, has been designing and selling innovative illumination and inspection products since 1883. Their Green-Lite LED Magnifiers are available in several attractive colors and with a choice of styles and options (round or rectangular, clamp down or screw down bases, 4- or 5-diopter, etc.).

Q Source is proud to be an O.C. White Green-Lite Preferred Partner and we congratulate them on their nomination. features an O.C. White Green-Lite Store where you can find the complete line of Green-Lite LED Magnifiers available for purchase. You can also visit The Q Source Resource Blog to read about the Green-Lite products or get a closer look via our video on our YouTube channel.