Keeping track of some 2,000 gages and other devices represents a clear challenge to any system, especially for an organization that deals with the nation's safety and security. Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is meeting this challenge with GAGEpack from PQ Systems.
To address the challenge of keeping track of this many measurement devices, LANL wanted something that would be easy and accurate, demanding less employee time and greater consistency in records. Since "science at the highest level must thrive at Los Alamos," as its website declares, having precise and accurate records was especially important to the inspection team managing calibration equipment.
"We needed to manage time better," says Randy Flores, dimensional inspection team leader for the giant lab facility in Los Alamos, NM. With anywhere from five to a hundred gages needing attention each month, keeping track of the devices was more than a full time job. Flores and his colleagues found the software that they were using "too burdensome," requiring hours of tracking. That's when they turned to GAGEpack.
Now, the inspection team can upload 2,000 items, adding custom builds and more customized inspection reports. Gages can be linked to other gages, Flores says, and the inspection team is now getting real-time interpretation of data from gages.
Prior to adopting GAGEpack, team members often had "their own little database files," says Francisco Lopez, a system that often created discrepancies in records entered on a master list. Now, he says, there is "virtually 100 percent accuracy."
Los Alamos National Laboratory is one of the world's leading research institutions. Laboratory personnel work on advanced technologies to meet the needs of the twenty-first century, such as hydrogen fuel cell development, supercomputing, and applied environmental research. The primary responsibility of the Laboratory since its inception in 1943 has been to develop and apply science and technology that will assure the nation's safety and security. In particular, the organization is focused on weapon component production and weapon component research and development.
While the software offers more features than currently needed within the inspection team, both Lopez and Flores say that GAGEpack met all their initial requirements, and as their equipment tracking needs become more sophisticated, they may need some of the advanced features found in GAGEpack.
In the meantime, the Laboratory has saved time and improved efficiency and has demonstrated its commitment to science by addressing the challenge of gage management.