MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- The Maintenance Center Calibration Laboratory continues to lead the way in maintaining high standards in the Department of Defense.
The calibration laboratory here was the first in its class to receive Z540 certification in December of '97. Friday, the lab led the way again by being the first to be re-certified.
According to Mark Kramer, quality program manager, Z540 is a national quality assurance standard for calibration laboratories. The laboratory had to meet 150 requirements as judged by members of a special audit team before receiving the re-certification.
Kramer said the calibration lab is where the Marine Corps sends equipment to be 'tuned to the right frequency.'
"We calibrate a variety of electronic, mechanical and radiation and electro-optic test equipment," said Kramer. "This equipment is used to make measurements for anything the Marine Corps has that shoots, moves or communicates."
The lab maintains the equipment that is used in the field to align and adjust equipment. Kramer listed a few examples: radar systems, communications systems, vehicles and any kind of weaponry or ordnance.
The entire re-certification process took approximately 90 days. Members of the Joint Navy Audit Certification Team inspected the center for discrepancies, Kramer said.
"Relieved," said Donald A. Levron, electronics measurement equipment mechanic, describing how he felt about receiving the re-certification.
Levron said that even though they have been officially re-certified, "It's still difficult. There's a lot of information gathering, cross checks, making sure everything is in compliance and traceable."
Levron stressed the importance of receiving the certification.
"It's of ultimate importance," he said. Without certification there is no
verification stating how skilled personnel really are, he said.
Peter Dembowski, supervisor of the calibration lab, agreed.
"I've been to a number of cal labs out in the fleet and the DoD, and I would have to say that without a doubt this is one of the premier cal labs," said Dembowski.
One reason the lab has been successful is the amount of teamwork within the lab. "These are probably some of the best people I have worked with. Very talented, very skilled individuals and very intelligent," Dembowsky said.
"It was definitely a very difficult task. It took a lot of research and a lot of hard work on everybody's part to get it done," said Dembowski.