This century has seen electricity and electronics play an ever increasing role in business and private existence. For example, in the last 20 years there has been an enormous expansion of communication facilities and computer installations. Fundamental to the successful use of electricity is standardization of the basic electrical parameters (primarily the volt and the ampere) on a national and international basis and means to disseminate the standardization to electricity users. The fundamental electrical standards are maintained by the various governments, most of whom participate in programs of inter-comparison.
Rotek's first calibrators were the Series 300 Precision Calibrators, multifunction devices suitable for testing voltmeters, volt-amp-ohm meters and digital multimeters. The 300 Series introduced simplicity and speed to the calibration process; simplicity by minimizing operator controls and making their functions self evident, and speed by virtue of a proprietary, fast responding circuit developed by Rotek and covered by US Patent 3,717,822. One of this Series, the Model 310, was the first remotely programmable, multifunction calibrator. This device became the manufacturing test standard for almost every major digital and analog multimeter manufacturer in the world.
During the 1970s, concern about the cost of energy stimulated activity in the measurement of electrical energy. The Rotek Series 800 Power and Energy Calibrators were the first comprehensive instruments for the testing and calibration of watt-meters and watt-hour meters. Introduced in 1976, the Series 800 Power and Energy Calibrators were unique in that their microprocessor circuits performed many computations to simplify the calibration process. The Series 800 replaced the complex interconnections and makeshift arrangements previously used for this purpose.
The continuing development of electronic technology, particularly improvements in integrated circuits, placed new demands on voltage and current calibrators for greater accuracy and power. Economic considerations were also stimulating a demand for automatic operation. The 710 Calibration Standard was introduced to meet these requirements. The Model 710 extended performance in accuracy and power to limits unachievable by competitive equipment and had accuracies of 0.002% for dc voltage and 0.025% for ac voltages. The 710 also included the IEEE Interface, an interface for programmable instrumentation allowing it to conform to an industry-wide standard.
Rotek's multifunction calibrator, the Model 2500, is a low cost, portable 4-digit source of voltage and current. Its rugged construction and intuitive user interface make it ideally suited for a wide variety of applications.
The Rotek Model MSB001A Watt Converter Standard introduced a level of accuracy and linearity in power measurements previously unattainable over the full range of voltage, current and phase angle: 50 PPM accuracy and 20 PPM linearity. In the past such accuracy and linearity had been achieved only under laboratory conditions. With the MSB001A, an accurate and reliable standard was available to field and service personnel.
In January 1999, Rotek released the Model MSB100, a primary watt and watt-hour standard that performs at a new level of power and energy measurement accuracy (0.005% power accuracy and 0.015% energy accuracy). A successor to the Model MSB-001A, it provides reliable, accurate traceability to N.I.S.T. and other national standards worldwide. Versatile measurement ranges and unparalleled accuracy allow the MSB100 to be the single instrument necessary to calibrate any watt/watt-hour measurement instrument available today.
At Rotek, we see a continuing need by industry and government for electrical standards. The nature of the standard and the requirements on its use are constantly changing as newer applications for electricity arise. Rotek will continue to use its marketing and technical background to serve these evolving needs.
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