Guide to Calibrating National Instruments/Keysight Pxi Cards

After investing money in new technology, we expect it to work as intended, no matter the task. Many industries rely on tools and applications that require accurate testing and measuring, but these can lose their accuracy over time. If left unnoticed, this situation can lead to measurement errors that adversely affect performance and precision. Depending on the tool, a lack of accuracy can cause you to waste your valuable time recalculating the measurements or lead to dangerous mistakes.

Who calibrates PXI cards? Read on to learn how to calibrate PXI cards in our guide to PXI card electronic calibration.


The Importance of Calibration

You don’t always need to throw away old tools and purchase new ones. Often, recalibrating machines is all it takes to get them working correctly again. That’s why routine calibrations are essential to keep your tools in working order.

If you have the time, equipment and knowledge, you can calibrate your tools yourself, or you can rely on the professionals to do the job for you. When choosing the latter, you can rest assured your technology will always come back fully calibrated and functioning accordingly.

Garber Metrology for Your Calibration Needs

If you’re looking for the best calibration possible, you can trust Garber Metrology to keep your tools in top condition. You’ll never have to worry about whether your equipment accurately calibrated. Our dedicated labs and extensive knowledge ensure you get the calibration you need with quick turnaround times, so you won’t have to go too long without your mission-critical devices.

New National Instruments/KEYSIGHT PXI Card Calibrations at Garber Metrology

*Please contact us to see if we can calibrate your PXI Card Make and Model* 

Whether you already trust us to calibrate your tools for you or are entirely new to the Garber Metrology family, we are proud to announce that we now offer NI card calibration service. There are roughly 1,500 PXI products on the market, and National Instruments produces about one-third of those. Having a team capable of calibrating PXI cards is vital. If you rely on National Instruments for your PXI products, you already know how critical it is to have a partner that can calibrate these tools.

Without the knowledge and experience of calibrating NI equipment, you might end up trying to do the job yourself, or overspending on purchasing a new set of tools. Since Garber Metrology has the experience to provide National Instruments calibration for you, you no longer have to worry about how you’re going to get your tools to function again.

The PXI System

PXI — short for PCI eXtensions for Instrumentation — is a testing system that offers a solution for measurement and automation. It provides users with cost-efficient, high-performance flexibility that pairs with the latest PC technology, incorporating integrated timing and triggering to create a durable solution. With PXI, you’ll notice a remarkable performance improvement when compared to other testing and measurement methods.

PXI cards are the primary component that provides your PXI system with high-performance capabilities. These cards make up the internal components of the chassis, which houses and reads the cards. The chassis allows your PXI test system to read and use the PXI cards, while also providing the necessary components for them to operate. The chassis contains numerous mechanical cardholders, a power supply to activate the cards and a cooling system to ensure the PXI cards do not overheat.

What Are PXI Cards?

PXI cards work as the primary source for your test system’s interface. These cards provide individual instrumentation functions while mounted to the chassis. They are flexible, meaning they can add and reconfigure the hardware to the base architecture. Simultaneously, PXI cards integrate various software that optimizes the PXI test system performance.

PXI cards come in a broad range of sizes, variations, purposes and specifications, giving them the versatility to conform to an array of applications. Because of the wide selection of PXI cards and their different functions and specifications, you may wish to rely on an industry expert who knows the ins and outs of this technology. You provide them with the necessary information on how you want your PXI system to operate, and they can quickly and easily find the right PXI cards for you the first time.

However, if you’d prefer to do the research, time and experimentation to find the best PXI cards yourself, you should consider these four specifications to ensure you get the most out of your PXI card.

Bandwidth is the measure of how quickly data transmits between two points. The higher the bandwidth, the faster you’ll be able to transfer data from one source to another. Manufacturers measure bandwidth in megabytes per second or gigabytes per second.

When you use your PXI cards, they have an initial startup time that delays how quickly they come into effect. BIOS is a firmware that initializes the system during startup and aims to reduce the time it takes your PXI card to boot up.

To maximize the software you can run off one PXI card, you will need one with a high CPU performance. CPU relies heavily on the PXI card type, and with the right card, you can run multiple applications simultaneously without the system overloading or straining. You will need to appropriately balance the CPU performance, the number of applications running and the cost of computational speed.

Each PXI card has a designated number of motherboard connections. You will want to get ones with enough to allow you to use the system as desired. The available slots and surface area help dictate the system architecture. Once you’ve made your connections, you will have to check, test and verify their compatibility with the motherboard and the test system.

Types of National Instruments/KEYSIGHT PXI Cards

National Instruments offers a wide selection of over 600 modular systems based on the PXI and PXI Express technology. Here is a small list of a few of the PXI cards we can calibrate from National Instruments:

  • 6036E
  • 6B11
  • 9205
  • 9215A
  • 9234
  • 9263
  • AT-MIO-16DE-10
  • AT-MIO-16DL-9
  • AT-MIO-16E-10
  • AT-MIO-16E-2
  • AT-MIO-16XE-50
  • CDAQ-9171
  • CDAQ-9172
  • CDAQ-9219
  • CFP-TC-120
  • DAQCARD-6036E
  • DAQCARD-6062E
  • FP-AI-110
  • FP-AO-200
  • NI 9203
  • NI 9205
  • NI 9205 WITH DSUB
  • NI 9208
  • NI 9211
  • NI 9212
  • NI PCI-6224
  • NI PXI-4022
  • NI PXI-4070
  • NI PXIE-4154
  • NI USB-6008
  • PCI-4060
  • PCI-4065

Remember that this list only represents a fraction of the National Instruments PXI cards we can calibrate. So, if you don’t see your PXI card on the list, don’t worry. We can still calibrate it.

How to Calibrate PXI Cards

PXI test systems are a complicated series of connections, cards and interfaces all working together to perform their functions. If any of these pieces stops working as intended or the calibrations vary slightly, this deviation can cause system failure or inaccurate readings, leading to unusable data. You will need to keep your system calibrated, especially your PXI cards.

Over time, your PXI cards’ tolerances will gradually drift, skewing results and leading to unexpected performance. Because of this drift’s effects on your PXI test system, you will need to have them calibrated regularly to keep their readings accurate.

To calibrate an electrical device, we need to verify and adjust its performance until it falls within a specific level compared with the standard calibration device. The parameters we primarily focus on are:

  • Current
  • Voltage
  • Inductance
  • Resistance
  • Time
  • Frequency
  • Capacitance

We compare measurements in each of these categories with those found in the standard of reference. From there, we gauge how similar the readings are and continue adjusting until we reach the desired calibration.

The Calibration Process

We use three primary resources to achieve maximum accuracy when calibrating. Each resource allows us to perform a series of intricate and meticulous tasks to ensure proper calibration.

First, we need specialized equipment to adjust your equipment with extreme precision. Many of the electronic devices we calibrate have tiny moving parts and connections, especially on a PXI card. We need tools that allow us to get the job done without fear of over-adjusting or damaging the parts.

Second, the calibration procedure must follow the various industry regulations and regulatory institution standards. All the tools we use for calibration must conform to applicable standards. The processes we follow must also abide by specifications, depending on the instrument we use. These rules and regulations ensure the calibration does not deviate too drastically, and it requires documentation to show when and what a company did to calibrate.

Finally, our team of calibration experts has the training and practice to perform these precise adjustments without risking internal or external damage. Calibration is an intricate and complicated process that can easily ruin your device’s output. Relying on untrained or inexperienced partners can risk breaking your equipment. That’s why we provide our staff with the necessary training to keep them abreast of the latest calibration tools, procedures and processes.

Remember that calibration is never a permanent fix. It merely allows your device to continue performing at the desired output for an average of six months to a year. For continued, optimal usage, regular calibration should be part of your preventive maintenance strategy.

Before you send in your device for calibration, you should always have a backup tool or adjust your processes. Calibration takes time, depending on the instrument, age, how often and how you use it, environmental conditions and how you store it. All these factors can affect project efficiency. You should contact the calibration professional, receive a recommended estimate on how long the process will take, then plan accordingly.

Why Choose Garber Metrology for NI PXI Card Calibration Service?

When you send your equipment to most calibration companies, they tend to compare the device with another. If the two readings fall within a specified margin of one another, the companies consider the tool calibrated. The problem with this type of calibration is that you can’t be certain if one is reading accurately over the other. In other words, they could both be off by a similar amount.

At Garber Metrology, we take time to calibrate your equipment as close to the original out-of-the-box margins the first time. We run extensive tests and compare the unit against a much more precise calibration standard. For the best possible calibration, we use a standard with at least 10 times your equipment’s accuracy. This precision helps us ensure your tool measures as correctly as possible.

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Calibration Capabilities List


Contact Garber Metrology Today for National Instruments Equipment Calibration Services

Calibrating electronic instruments is an essential part of using and maintaining equipment. For industries like aerospace, automotive, manufacturing and pharmaceutical, we recognize how critical it is to have instruments that work correctly and provide accurate and repeatable results every time. With the inclusion of PXI cards, Garber Metrology can calibrate more electronic equipment, ensuring that we can calibrate any tool for the job.


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