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NABL 125

NABL

NATIONAL ACCREDITATION
BOARD FOR TESTING AND
CALIBRATION LABORATORIES

SPECIFIC CRITERIA
for

CALIBRATION
LABORATORIES IN
FLUID FLOW DISCIPLINE

ISSUE NO : 04
ISSUE DATE: 28.03.2008

AMENDMENT NO : 01
AMENDMENT DATE: 27.06.2012
`

AMENDMENT SHEET
Sl
1

Page
No.
5, 21

Clause
Date of
No. Amendment
1.0,

Amendment made

27.06.2012 BMC changed to CMC

Reasons

Signature
QO

Signature
Director

Adoption of ILAC
Policy

Gen.
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories


Doc. No: NABL 125
Issue No: 04

Specific Criteria for Calibration Laboratories in Fluid-Flow Discipline


Issue Date: 28.03.2008
Amend No: 01
Amend Date: 27.06.2012

Page No: 1 / 23

PREFACE
This document clarifies NABLs stand on the accuracy and measurement capability levels.
NABL intends to uphold its policy of granting accreditation to laboratories as per their
requirements of accuracy and measurement capability.
These criteria are applicable to laboratories, which perform repetitive calibrations in various
parameters and desire accreditation from NABL.
These criteria provide guidelines for use by laboratories and those who are associated with the
programme of accreditation of calibration laboratories e.g. experts, assessors, officials engaged
with day-to-day activities of accreditation. These criteria cover all areas/ fields of calibration.
This document provides the laboratories with necessary information on the requirements for
assessment/ surveillance and to assist them in carrying out internal audit of their system.
The information in this document has been compiled in three parts.

PART I
General Guidelines for Accreditation of Calibration Laboratories
This part contains relevant information on general requirements of a laboratory engaged in
Calibration in the field of Fluid Flow Measurements. The laboratory seeking accreditation must
comply with the requirements of ISO/ IEC 17025: 2005 and this document.

PART II
Specific Criteria for Accreditation of Calibration Laboratories
This part provides information on special requirements of the laboratories, which are specific to
the parameters covered in the respective fields

PART III
Guidelines Regarding Accuracy of Standards & Measurement Uncertainty in Calibration
This part contains guidelines of the Specified accuracies of measurement standard and
uncertainties of measurement generally achieved in laboratories using equipment and
instruments of different classes of accuracies/ uncertainties for different parameters under Fluid
Flow measurements.

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories


Doc. No: NABL 125
Issue No: 04

Specific Criteria for Calibration Laboratories in Fluid-Flow Discipline


Issue Date: 28.03.2008
Amend No: 01
Amend Date: 27.06.2012

Page No: 2 / 23

CONTENTS
Sl.

Title

Page No.

Amendment Sheet

Preface

Contents

PART - I
1

Scope

Criteria for Accreditation

Organisation

Management System

Personnel

Accommodation and Environmental Conditions

Equipment

10

Range, Uncertainty of Measurement & Traceability

11

Calibration Certificate/ Report

11

10

Proficiency Testing Programme

12

PART II
1

Scope

13

Range and Uncertainty of Measurement

14

Environmental Conditions

14

Special Requirements of Laboratory

14

Repair and Maintenance

16

Storage and Packaging

16

Safety Precautions

17

Additional Requirements for the Calibration of the Instruments Used


in Open Channel, Petroleum and Similar Liquids and Gases

17

Appendix: Conditions for Calibration

19

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories


Doc. No: NABL 125
Issue No: 04

Specific Criteria for Calibration Laboratories in Fluid-Flow Discipline


Issue Date: 28.03.2008
Amend No: 01
Amend Date: 27.06.2012

Page No: 3 / 23

Sl.

Table

Page No.

PART III
General Remarks and Environmental Conditions

21

1.

Water Flow Measurement

22

2.

Petroleum and other Non-aqueous Liquid Flow Measurements

22

3.

Gas Flow Measurement

22

4.

Gas velocity, range from 0.1m/s to 50 m/s

23

5.

Viscosity Measurement

23

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories


Doc. No: NABL 125
Issue No: 04

Specific Criteria for Calibration Laboratories in Fluid-Flow Discipline


Issue Date: 28.03.2008
Amend No: 01
Amend Date: 27.06.2012

Page No: 4 / 23

PART I

GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR ACCREDITATION OF


CALIBRATION LABORATORIES

1.0

SCOPE

1.1

Calibration laboratories are accredited by NABL after it is demonstrated that a


laboratory complies with the requirements of international standard ISO/IEC 17025:
2005. In view of generic nature of the standard the requirements stated there in, need
to be further redefined in specific fields of calibration. This specific criteria lays down
those specific requirements in the field of fluid flow calibration. This part of the
document thus amplifies the generic requirements for fluid flow calibration and
supplement the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2005. Laboratories seeking NABL
accreditation in the field of fluid flow calibration must also comply with the requirements
stated in this part.

1.2

Calibration and Measurement Capability (CMC) is one the parameters that is used by
NABL to define the scope of an accredited calibration laboratory, the others being
parameter/quantity measured, standard/master used, calibration method used and
measurement range. The CMC is expressed as the smallest uncertainty that a
laboratory can achieve when calibrating the best existing device. It is an expanded
uncertainty estimated at a confidence level of approximately 95% corresponding to a
coverage factor k=2.
Note: Refer NABL 143 for NABL policy on Calibration and Measurement Capability (CMC) and
uncertainty in calibration

The laboratorys ability to achieve their claimed CMC shall be evaluated based on its
performance during the on-site assessment and by review of proficiency testing results,
wherein the laboratory has participated.
1.3

The definition of CMC implies that within its accreditation a laboratory is not permitted
to report a smaller uncertainty of measurement than the CMC endorsed on its scope of
accreditation. This means that the laboratory shall be required to state a uncertainty not
better than that corresponding to the CMC whenever it is established that the actual
calibration process adds significantly to the uncertainty of measurement. The CMC is
applicable only to the results for which the laboratory claims its status as accredited
laboratory. It is therefore a realistic means for customers to select and compare
accredited laboratories capabilities.

1.4

All the parameters for which accreditation is sought must be expressed in S.I. Units,
wherever applicable.

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories


Doc. No: NABL 125
Issue No: 04

Specific Criteria for Calibration Laboratories in Fluid-Flow Discipline


Issue Date: 28.03.2008
Amend No: 01
Amend Date: 27.06.2012

Page No: 5 / 23

2.0

CRITERIA FOR ACCREDITATION


Accreditation of a calibration laboratory will require assessment in respect of
organization,

staff,

equipment

and

traceability

of

its

calibration,

laboratory

accommodation and environmental conditions, safety, handling of calibrated equipment


and equipment under calibration, measurement capability and recording system, etc.,
as per ISO/ IEC 17025: 2005 General Requirements for the Competence of Testing
and Calibration Laboratories. Some explanatory notes of this document are given in
the following clauses.

3.0

ORGANISATION

3.1

The Calibration Laboratory shall be organized in such a way that all staff members are
aware of both the extent and the limitations of their area of responsibility.

This

organization shall specify and document the responsibility and authority of the Head of
the Calibration Laboratory/Technical Manager/Quality Manager with direct access to
the top management. All personnel will perform or verify work affecting the quality of
calibrations as per general guidelines and specific criteria laid down for the accredited
parameters. The calibration laboratory shall be organized in such a way so as to
ensure the integrity and training of its staff and operations for ensuring unbiased
Calibration.
3.2

A Deputy Head/Technical Manager may also be nominated to take over the


responsibility in the absence of the Laboratory Head. In case there is no Deputy-incharge, the authorities concerned may appoint a suitable person to look after the
laboratory, under intimation to NABL. The laboratory shall also clearly define authorized
signatory for the calibration certificates/reports issued by the laboratory.

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories


Doc. No: NABL 125
Issue No: 04

Specific Criteria for Calibration Laboratories in Fluid-Flow Discipline


Issue Date: 28.03.2008
Amend No: 00
Amend Date: --

Page No: 6 / 23

4.0

MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

4.1

The calibration laboratory shall have a Quality Manual which shall be maintained up-todate and available for scrutiny, in compliance with ISO/ IEC 17025: 2005 and NABL
requirements, with emphasis on following information:
a)

A quality policy statement, including objectives and commitments by the top


management.

b)

A statement on the organization of the calibration laboratory.

c)

Names, qualifications and experience of the persons responsible for managerial,


and scientific/ technical activities.

d)

A clearly defined charter of responsibility showing the relationship between


management and support services.

e)

Scope and operation together with information on measurement capability and


traceability of calibration of all measuring instruments to national measurement
standards.

f)

The reference of document number on detailed calibration procedures adopted


in the laboratory, which should be compiled in the form of a manual for the use of
calibration staff.

g)

The reference list of all national/international standards being referred to or used


in the performance of calibration work (copies of such standard specifications
should be available in the laboratory for the use of calibration staff.)

h)

All amendments made in any of the documents must be dated and listed in the
Quality Manual and brought to the notice of NABL.

4.2

The calibration facilities established in accordance with the general guidelines and
specific criteria shall be audited periodically and reviewed by or on behalf of the
management to ensure the continued effectiveness of the system.

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories


Doc. No: NABL 125
Issue No: 04

Specific Criteria for Calibration Laboratories in Fluid-Flow Discipline


Issue Date: 28.03.2008
Amend No: 00
Amend Date: --

Page No: 7 / 23

4.3

The calibration laboratory shall clearly specify, document and make known to the
customers, the administrative and other procedures to be followed for getting
calibration done from the laboratory.

The procedure for redressal of technical

complaints should also be clearly specified and documented.


4.4

The laboratory shall have authorized signatories for approving and issuing calibration
certificates for each calibration parameter as mentioned in the scope of accreditation.
Any officer competent to evaluate calibration results critically and occupying a position
involving responsibility for the adequacy of calibration results is eligible for approval by
NABL as an authorized signatory of endorsed calibration documents. Consequently
approved

authorized

signatories

must

demonstrate

understanding

of

these

requirements.

5.0

PERSONNEL

5.1

The calibration laboratory shall have adequate number of qualified competent and
trained personnel as follows:
Laboratory personnel performing calibration: Diploma in Engineering (relevant branch)
or Science graduate (with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics) with 1 year of relevant
experience or ITI with at least 5 years of experience in the field of Fluid Flow
Measurements and calibration practices in the relevant parameters.
Authorized Signatory: Bachelor of Engineering/Post Graduate in Science (relevant
branch) with 1 year of relevant experience or Diploma in Engineering (relevant branch)
with minimum 3 years of experience in the field of Fluid Flow Measurements and
calibration practices.

5.2

Arrangements for improvement of qualifications and periodic refresher courses and


practical training should also exist for the staff so as to keep them in touch with latest
developments in the relevant fields.

5.3

The Head of the calibration laboratory shall be at least a Post Graduate in Physical
Science or Graduate in Mechanical/ Instrumentation Engineering or equivalent with
specialised knowledge and adequate experience in precision Fluid Flow and other
relevant parameter measurements. In exceptional cases, a graduate in physics or
diploma holder in Mechanical Engineering with long experience could be accepted.

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories


Doc. No: NABL 125
Issue No: 04

Specific Criteria for Calibration Laboratories in Fluid-Flow Discipline


Issue Date: 28.03.2008
Amend No: 00
Amend Date: --

Page No: 8 / 23

6.0

ACCOMMODATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS

6.1

Vibrations
The calibration area shall be adequately free from vibrations generated by central airconditioning plants, vehicular traffic and other sources to ensure consistent and uniform
operational conditions. The laboratory shall take all special/protective precautions like
mounting of sensitive apparatus on vibration free tables and pillars etc., isolated from
the floor, if necessary.

6.2

Acoustic Noise
Acoustic noise level in the laboratory shall be maintained to facilitate proper
performance of calibration work. A threshold noise level of 60 dBA is recommended
unless otherwise stated.

6.3

Illumination
The calibration area shall have adequate level of illumination. Where permissible,
fluorescent lighting is preferred to avoid localized heating and temperature drift. The
recommended level of illumination is 450-700 lux on the working table with glare index
of 19 for the laboratory.

6.4

Environmental Conditions and Monitoring


The environmental conditions for the activity of the laboratory shall be such as not to
adversely affect the required accuracy of measurement. Facilities should be provided
whenever necessary for recording temperature, pressure and humidity values
prevailing during calibration. The atmospheric conditions maintained in the laboratory
during calibration should be reported in the calibration report/certificate.

6.5

Entry to the Calibration Area


As far as possible, only the staff engaged in the calibration activity shall be permitted
entry inside the calibration area.

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories


Doc. No: NABL 125
Issue No: 04

Specific Criteria for Calibration Laboratories in Fluid-Flow Discipline


Issue Date: 28.03.2008
Amend No: 00
Amend Date: --

Page No: 9 / 23

7.0

EQUIPMENT
Each calibration laboratory should have measurement standards or equipment of
required accuracy in respect of each parameter covered by it in order to be able to
realize and to substantiate the corresponding measurement capability claimed.
Stability of the standards, accuracy of the values realized through them and
repeatability, should be regularly monitored.
Any bias resulting from ageing of standards should be precisely determined.
Instructions for operating each standard and equipment/instrument should be readily
available for use by the laboratory staff members.

7.2

The standards/measuring equipment of the laboratory should be calibrated at regular


intervals, with higher accuracy standards. The calibration certificates, performance
history sheets in respect of the reference secondary/working standards and measuring
equipment should be held safely by the laboratory.

7.3

7.4

Proper record shall be maintained for each standard and equipment with the following
information:
a)

Name of the equipment

b)

Manufacturers name and address

c)

Type, range, identification and serial number

d)

Date of procurement and commissioning

e)

Details of Calibration

f)

Details of maintenance and repairs

g)

Performance history with dates

h)

Availability of service manual

Details of periodic calibration schedule of new and old standards and measuring
equipment should be worked out in consultation with higher accuracy laboratory and
this schedule should be observed.

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories


Doc. No: NABL 125
Issue No: 04

Specific Criteria for Calibration Laboratories in Fluid-Flow Discipline


Issue Date: 28.03.2008
Amend No: 00
Amend Date: --

Page No: 10 / 23

7.5

Details of re-calibration of used, serviced and repaired equipment should also be


available and proper precautions shall be observed to identify equipment, which are not
in service.

7.6

Any alterations in the observations/data shall be signed by the calibration staff and duly
authenticated. Instructions to this effect should be printed on data sheet used for
writing observations/data in the laboratory.

8.0

RANGE, UNCERTAINTY OF MEASUREMENT AND TRACEABILITY

8.1

The level of uncertainty of measurement of the standards to be maintained by a


laboratory and the measurement capabilities to be generated by it in respect of
various parameters shall be as demonstrated during assessment.

8.2

All the Standard Equipment of the Laboratory shall be calibrated periodically against
Calibration Standards of a laboratory accredited by NABL/ equivalent MRA partners
having superior measurement capability or NPL/ other international NMIs.

8.3

In the event when the levels of uncertainty of measurement and measurement


capability of an accredited laboratory are revised, the laboratory shall be required to
intimate NABL secretariat and undergo surveillance / reassessment as applicable.

9.0

CALIBRATION CERTIFICATE/REPORT

9.1

The result of calibration carried out by the calibration laboratory, shall be presented in a
comprehensive manner, using a standard format which shall unambiguously and
objectively present the measurement results and all relevant information in order to
facilitate easy comprehension and usage.

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories


Doc. No: NABL 125
Issue No: 04

Specific Criteria for Calibration Laboratories in Fluid-Flow Discipline


Issue Date: 28.03.2008
Amend No: 00
Amend Date: --

Page No: 11 / 23

9.2

9.3

The calibration report/certificate shall include the following additional information:


a)

Date of receipt of the item and date of completion of the calibration work

b)

Environmental conditions maintained during the measurements

c)

Signature and title of authorized person (authorized signatory) accepting


responsibility for the report and date of issue

d)

A statement of the accreditation measurement capability relevant to the job


under calibration

e)

A symbol of NABL or statement or both clarifying the status of accreditation of


the laboratory.

f)

The Uncertainty of measurement

g)

An evidence that the measurements are traceable to National/ International


Standards through unbroken chain of Accredited Laboratories.

The calibration report/ certificate shall not contain any recommendation on the
calibration interval except where this has been agreed with the client. This requirement
may be superseded by legal regulations.

10.0

PROFICIENCY TESTING PROGRAMME

10.1

To give further assurance to the accuracy or Uncertainty of measurements, a


laboratory will be required to participate, from time to time, in Proficiency Testing
Programmes. The laboratory shall remain prepared to participate in the Proficiency
Testing Programme through inter-laboratory, inter-comparison schemes wherever it is
technically feasible. In case any abnormalities, in terms of En number are detected
through these inter-comparisons, appropriate corrective action will be taken, the
standards/equipment shall be replaced/ repaired and re-calibrated with a higher
accuracy standard. Reports on such inter-comparisons should be documented with
reference. The Proficiency Testing practice should be included in the Quality Manual.

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories


Doc. No: NABL 125
Issue No: 04

Specific Criteria for Calibration Laboratories in Fluid-Flow Discipline


Issue Date: 28.03.2008
Amend No: 00
Amend Date: --

Page No: 12 / 23

PART II

SPECIFIC CRITERIA FOR ACCREDITATION OF CALIBRATION


LABORATORIES IN THE FIELD OF
FLUID - FLOW MEASUREMENTS

1.0

SCOPE

1.1

An accredited laboratory shall be classified as calibration laboratory for accredited


parameters in the field of Fluid Flow Measurements in accordance with its
measurement capability.

1.2

A calibration laboratory seeking accreditation to offer calibration services in the field of


Fluid Flow measurements will generally carry out calibration in

1.3

a.

Water Flow

b.

Petroleum and non-aqueous liquid flow

c.

Gas flow

The accredited calibration laboratory shall be mainly concerned with measurements of


one or more of the following parameters

1.4

a.

Flow rate by mass

b.

Flow rate by volume (at specified temperature and pressure, for gases)

c.

Quantity by mass

d.

Quantity by volume (at specified temperature and pressure, for gases)

e.

Velocity at a point

f.

Mean velocity in close conduits for water and gases as well as in open channel
for water

g.

Viscosity of liquids and gases

Measurements of the following parameters is an additional requirement of fluid fuels : a.

Flow rate of energy value associated with flowing fuel

b.

Quantity of energy associated with fuels

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories


Doc. No: NABL 125
Issue No: 04

Specific Criteria for Calibration Laboratories in Fluid-Flow Discipline


Issue Date: 28.03.2008
Amend No: 00
Amend Date: --

Page No: 13 / 23

2.0

Range and Uncertainty of Measurement

2.1

A calibration laboratory will be accredited according to its measurement capability


expressed in terms of uncertainty.

3.0

Environmental conditions

3.1

The laboratory shall specify limits on the environmental conditions to be achieved in the
laboratory. The condition shall appropriate to the level of accuracy required for
calibration undertaken by the laboratory.
The environmental conditions shall be monitored at appropriate intervals and
calibrations stopped when the environmental conditions fall out side of specified limits.

3.2

The acoustic noise in the laboratory area where measuring instruments are kept, shall
be maintained below an accepted threshold level of 80 dBA

3.3

Temperature extremes of the working fluid must be avoided and difference between the
fluid temperature and the ambient air temperature should not exceed 10 C, where a
approval is sought for better than +/- 0.5% level of uncertainty.

3.4

For obtaining desired accuracy of measurement adequate stability in temperature of


medium shall be maintained.

4.0

Special requirements of Laboratory

4.1

The calibration laboratory shall make arrangement for regulated and Un interrupted
power supply. The recommended regulation level is +/- 1% or better on the calibration
bench.

4.2

Relevant IS Specifications (IS:1248, 4722) regarding the total harmonic content and
variation in supply frequency should be followed. Voltage stabilizers of low harmonic
content should be used to comply with this requirement.

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories


Doc. No: NABL 125
Issue No: 04

Specific Criteria for Calibration Laboratories in Fluid-Flow Discipline


Issue Date: 28.03.2008
Amend No: 00
Amend Date: --

Page No: 14 / 23

4.3

Adequate arrangements shall be made by the laboratory so as to ensure temperature


gradient not exceeding 1.5 C per hour inside the laboratory in case of power failure

4.4

The laboratory shall use, if necessary, isolation transformers and filters etc. to ensure
minimization of ground current and effects of mains hum interference.

4.5

The power supply to the calibration laboratory shall be directly obtained from the substation as far as possible and shall not be on the same feeder line which is supplying
power to workshops and other production areas which require operation of heavy duty
machines.

4.6

Effective mains earthing provided in accordance with relevant specification IS: 3043.
This shall be periodically checked and stray couplings minimized.

4.7

Special care shall be taken about the location of magnetic field sources like,
transformers, looped wires, ferrous materials etc., in order to minimize magnetic
interference in the measurements.

4.8

Adequate screening of the laboratory against electro magnetic interference shall be


done if necessary. By pass filters should also be provided to minimize conducted
interference effect on the electronic equipment. Special shielding chambers should be
provided in the laboratory for measurements, Particularly when signal to noise ratio is a
disturbing factor for accurate measurements.

4.9

The reference standards shall be maintained at temperatures specified for their


maintenance in order to ensure their conformance to the required level of operation and
traceability. The laboratory should have specific facilities required for carrying out the
calibrations of the parameters chosen.

4.10

The laboratory shall be sealed against dust and external air pressure. Positive air
pressure shall be maintained inside the laboratory. Laboratory should be clean.

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories


Doc. No: NABL 125
Issue No: 04

Specific Criteria for Calibration Laboratories in Fluid-Flow Discipline


Issue Date: 28.03.2008
Amend No: 00
Amend Date: --

Page No: 15 / 23

4.11

Adequate protective measures, like use of transient suppressors etc shall be taken by
the laboratory to ward off high current spikes and transients emanating from switching
off and on of heavy machines, surges in power lines and other such reasons, from
reaching the electronics equipment in general and computer based systems involving
data storage facilities in particular.

5.0

Repair and maintenance

5.1

A separate repair and maintenance facility, adequately equipped with repair facilities
and qualified and experienced manpower, shall be available in house or by any other
means, effectively accessible to the calibration laboratory. This facility shall also assist
in identifying the preventive maintenance measures which should be brought to the
attention of the personnel engaged in calibration work for taking necessary action. The
repair facility should also cover digital and programmable instruments.

5.2

Every repaired equipment shall invariably be recalibrated through in house facility or by


higher accuracy laboratory before being used for further calibration work.

6.0

Storage and Packaging

6.1

The standards/ measuring instruments/ equipment received by the laboratory for


calibration shall be safely stored in proper environmental conditions according to the
instructions given by the supplier.

6.2

The laboratory shall have adequate arrangements for packaging of calibrated


instruments and may assist the user, if necessary, about the procedure and
precautions to be taken by them for packaging and transportation of equipment to the
calibration laboratory and back.

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories


Doc. No: NABL 125
Issue No: 04

Specific Criteria for Calibration Laboratories in Fluid-Flow Discipline


Issue Date: 28.03.2008
Amend No: 00
Amend Date: --

Page No: 16 / 23

7.0

Safety Precautions

7.1

Relevant fire extinguishing equipment for possible fire hazards should be available in
the corridors or convenient places in the laboratory. Adequate safety measures against
electrical, chemical fire hazards must be available at the work place.. Laboratory
rooms/areas where highly inflammable materials are stored/used should be identified.
Access to the relevant fire equipment should be assured near these rooms/areas.

7.2

Specification SP. 31-1986, a special publication in the form of a wall chart, giving
the method of treatment in case of electric shock, should be followed. The chart
should be placed near the power supply switch gear and at the other prominent
places as prescribed under Indian electricity rules 1956.

8.0

Additional requirements for the calibration of the instruments used in


open channel, Petroleum and similar liquids and gases

8.1

An appropriate gauge must be available for measuring the elevation of the water
surface at the device being calibrated. Proper account must be taken of various factors
which might influence water level measurements, such as surface tension, vibration,
gauge well, lag etc.

8.2

Instruments and equipment must be available for datum level determinations and
technique used must be such that the datum level determinations are reliable and that
the levels of uncertainty obtained are compatible with the uncertainties of the gauge
readings.

8.3

Precautions must be taken to ensure that materials of construction of the calibration


equipment do not react chemically with the working fluid. (for example, with kerosene
fuel, the presence of copper alloys can cause a significant change in physical
properties with in an hour at a temperature of 120 C.)

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories


Doc. No: NABL 125
Issue No: 04

Specific Criteria for Calibration Laboratories in Fluid-Flow Discipline


Issue Date: 28.03.2008
Amend No: 00
Amend Date: --

Page No: 17 / 23

8.4

For volumetric calibration of gases, the absolute temperature and the absolute pressure
of the gas must both be measured to a percentage uncertainty of one fifth of the
applicable approved uncertainty level of the flow rate or the quantity measurement.
Sufficient observations of absolute pressure and absolute temperature measurement
must be made to take account of any unsteadiness in the gas flow. Due consideration
must also be given to distance/velocity lags through the calibration system and to the
speed of the response of the absolute pressure and absolute temperature measuring
equipment.

8.5

Protection against fire hazards (for petroleum products)


8.5.1 Adequate means must be available with the laboratory to prevent the
accumulation of toxic smoke/flammable vapour.
8.5.2 The laboratory should observe adequate safety precautions against fire hazard
due to flammable liquids. It should produce evidence from the appropriate
authority.
Some of the conditions normally encountered for calibration in Fluid Flow
measurements are given in Appendix I

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories


Doc. No: NABL 125
Issue No: 04

Specific Criteria for Calibration Laboratories in Fluid-Flow Discipline


Issue Date: 28.03.2008
Amend No: 00
Amend Date: --

Page No: 18 / 23

Appendix I
CONDITIONS FOR CALIBRATION
1

Permitted deviations in the consistency of the flow rate may be as follows:


Uncertainty of measurement(%)

Corresponding permissible deviation(%)

0.1

0.3

0.3

0.5

0.5

1.0

1.0

2.0

2.0

4.0

Density of working fluid, wherever applicable, must be checked and recorded in


laboratories approved for measurement uncertainties up to 0.5% level. The instrument
used should be accurate enough to ensure an accuracy of 0.05% of the actual value.
In case of gases, the density may be determined by direct measurement or by
measurement of pressure, temperature and, if applicable, moisture content and
chemical composition of the gas. Where gas law deviation coefficients are used in
density determinations, the data must be taken from a recognized & stated source for
which the levels of uncertainty are known.

The viscosity of the fluid, wherever necessary, must be measured at the temperature at
which the calibration is performed and recorded. It is a common practice to check it at a
recognized

reference temperature in addition to the working temperature. For

convenience, the measure of viscosity which is used may be the kinematic viscosity,
rather than the dynamic viscosity.
4

The working fluid must be clean. The degree of cleanliness will depend on the type of
flow meter being calibrated, for instance, turbine-type flow meter (the bearings of which
can be affected) or variable area flow meters ( having fine clearances between the float
and tube) need greater fluid cleanliness than venturi tubes.

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories


Doc. No: NABL 125
Issue No: 04

Specific Criteria for Calibration Laboratories in Fluid-Flow Discipline


Issue Date: 28.03.2008
Amend No: 00
Amend Date: --

Page No: 19 / 23

The working fluid must be of known and uniform composition and the temperature
during measurement process should be specified.

The fluid used in any approved laboratory must be sufficiently free from impurities so as
not to cause corrosion or erosion damage to flow meters and associated pipe work
whilst the calibration is being carried out. For example, in water flow measurement, an
analysts report on water in the laboratory may be required, and a pH check should
indicate a figure between 6 and 8. A member of the staff of the laboratory should have
the specific job of ensuring that the water does not damage equipment under
calibration.

Valves must be leak proof, especially where they are used as isolating valves at pipe
work junctions. Adequate arrangements for detection of leakage must be provided. The
leak rate, if any, shall be sufficiently of low value, so as not to affect the
calibration/accuracy.

The method used for controlling the flow in a closed conduit system whether upstream
or downstream must be such that :
a.

operation of the controlling device has no effect on the flowmeter calibration.

b.

Any drop in the pressure at the flow meter undergoing calibration does not
cause air or gases to escape out of the solution or allow cavitation to occur.

c.

The flow meter and the complete calibration system must continue to run full
under all conditions. These requirements must be met wherever the controlling
device is placed, whether upstream or downstream.

Adequate straight lengths should be provided upstream and downstream of the flow
measuring section as per relevant international/national standards to take care of
asymmetry in the velocity distribution, swirls etc.

10

The complete flow system including the flow measuring device (for instance, the flow in
open channel calibration) must be leak proof.

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories


Doc. No: NABL 125
Issue No: 04

Specific Criteria for Calibration Laboratories in Fluid-Flow Discipline


Issue Date: 28.03.2008
Amend No: 00
Amend Date: --

Page No: 20 / 23

PART III

GUIDELINES REGARDING LEVELS OF ACCURACY OF


STANDARDS AND MEASUREMENT UNCERTAINTY IN
CALIBRATION FOR FLUID FLOW MEASUREMENTS

GENERAL REMARKS
The following pages may be referred as guidelines and not mandatory recommendations for the
laboratories. The accredited calibration laboratories are no longer required to be categorized
into Echelon/ level I, II, III. Part III of this document is aimed to provide guidance to the
laboratories regarding the precautions they should take with respect to Environmental
conditions as appropriate to respective Calibration and Measurement Capability of the
laboratories. The laboratories, on their own, should decide/ determine to have environmental
conditions in their premises, for the Calibration and measurement capability claimed
corresponding to their scope of accreditation applied for. Further to note that:
1)

The term Accuracy in these tables refer to Measurement Standards only, pertaining to
each parameter.

2)

The measurement capability is expressed as uncertainty () at a confidence probability


level of 95%.

3)

The term Uncertainty in these tables pertains to the corresponding measurement


capability of the laboratory in respect of each parameter.

4)

The values of Accuracy/Uncertainty of measurement shown in the following tables are at


95% CL unless stated otherwise.

ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS
The Laboratory area where electronic measuring instruments are kept, shall be normally
maintained at at the following temperature and relative humidity conditions:
Level I

Relative humidity

Level III

25 C 1.5 C

25 C 2.5 C

25 C 4.0 C

40 to 60%

40 to 60%

40 to 60%

Temperature

Level II
0

For obtaining desired accuracy of measurement, the following stability in temperature of the
medium shall be maintained:-

Stability in temperature
of medium

Level I

Level II

Level III

1 C/h

2 C/h

4 C/h

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories


Doc. No: NABL 125
Issue No: 04

Specific Criteria for Calibration Laboratories in Fluid-Flow Discipline


Issue Date: 28.03.2008
Amend No: 01
Amend Date: 27.06.2012

Page No: 21 / 23

1.

Water Flow Measurement

i)

Rate of Flow by Mass/Volume and Quantity of Flow Mass/Volume for all ranges
Level I

Level II

Level III

Accuracy of standards

0.2%

0.5%

1.0%

Measurement Uncertainty

0.5%

1.0%

2.0%

Level I

Level II

Level III

Accuracy of standards

0.25%

0.5%

1.0%

Measurement uncertainty

0.5%

1.0%

2.0%

ii)

Velocity (magnitude) of water from 0.02m/s to 8.0 m/s

Note: Velocity Direction: All measurements in respect of Velocity Direction should be carried out
within 3 inclination for all laboratories at different levels.

2.

Petroleum and other Non-aqueous Liquid Flow Measurements


Rate of Flow by Mass/Volume and Quantity of Flow by Mass/Volume for all ranges.
Level I

Level II

Level III

Accuracy of standards

0.05%

0.1%

0.3%

Measurement uncertainty

0.1%

0.3%

o.5%

3.

Gas Flow Measurement*


Rate of Flow by Mass/Volume and Quantity of flow by Mass/Volume for all ranges.
Level I

Level II

Level III

Accuracy of standards

0.2%

0.5%

1.0%

Measurement uncertainty

0.5%

1.0%

2.0%

*The temperature and pressure conditions at the time of measurements should be specified.

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories


Doc. No: NABL 125
Issue No: 04

Specific Criteria for Calibration Laboratories in Fluid-Flow Discipline


Issue Date: 28.03.2008
Amend No: 00
Amend Date: --

Page No: 22 / 23

4.

Gas velocity, range from 0.1m/s to 50 m/s


Level I

Level II

Level III

Accuracy of standard

0.2%

0.5%

1.0%

Measurement uncertainty

0.5%

1.0%

2.0%

5.

Viscosity Measurement

i)

Accuracy of Standards

Range

Level I

Level II

Level III

1-25mm2/s

0.1%

0.3%

1.0%

25-200mm2/s

0.2%

0.6%

2.0%

200-600mm2/s

0.5%

1.5%

5.0%

Above 600mm2/s

1.0%

3.0%

9.0%

Level I

Level II

Level III

0.3%

1.0%

2.0%

25-200mm /s

0.5%

1.5%

5.0%

200-600mm2/s

1.0%

3.0%

To be
worked out later

Above 600mm2/s

2.0%

6.0%

ii)

Measurement uncertainty

Range
2

1.25mm /s
2

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories


Doc. No: NABL 125
Issue No: 04

Specific Criteria for Calibration Laboratories in Fluid-Flow Discipline


Issue Date: 28.03.2008
Amend No: 00
Amend Date: --

Page No: 23 / 23

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories


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14, Satsang Vihar Marg
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New Delhi 110 067
Tel.: +91-11 46499999
Fax: +91-11 26529716
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