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The Philosophy and Consequence of Measurement – Performance Part 2


""‘When you cannot measure… your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind’. Lord Kelvin

We continue looking into the need and specifications for test equipment by looking at 6Ps (Precision, Power, Performance)- (Productivity, Portability, Package) where we are now at Part 2 of Performance.

Performance in terms of deciding on the correct instrumentation for the measurements to be performed. But what is high-performance or high performance?

A quick search shows we are bombarded with the term and the label being attached to many and all.

  • High Performance Optical Spectrum Analyser
  • High Performance Signal Generator
  • High Performance DMMs
  • High Performance BERT
  • High Performance OTDR
  • High Performance Microwave Signal Generator
  • High Performance Arbitrary Waveform Generators
  • High Performance Oscilloscope- Digitizers
  • High-Performance universal waveform generators
  • High-Performance Beamsplitters

It’s noticeable that some companies use the term high-performance more than others in a way to attract our interest and gain our attention.

But what does high-performance mean?

superior - of high or superior quality or performance;

So it is where the basic model has been modified to give an added level performance.

Where is this explicitly stated in the performance specifications of test and measurement products?

Where does it jump out at me that from the data sheet that high-performance is delivered by x, y, z so I am in control of the decision on whether I need it or not?

Well in most cases it is not. We as specifying engineers are left in swamp of data-sheets and specifications looking for the core details that give us confidence that the instrument will give us the measurement that will enable our project to be high-performance

Again, your supplier can play a key role. Involving your supplier and working with a competent organisation can help you find the correct measurement equipment for your overall needs. One that fits the framework of your performance measurement system and your objective of high-performance.

Please leave your comments and inputs. These articles are solely an opinion on the measurements we are interested in.

Rejoice in making your measurements. Demand more in measurement and enjoy this series.