Instrument calibration is the process that determines the accuracy of the equipment. The process involves comparing a reading obtained from the instrument to a reading obtained from standardized equipment. Then, one measures the variance between the two. Instrument calibration also involves adjusting the precision and accuracy of the equipment until its readings are within the acceptable range of the established standard.
Instrument calibration is done for two reasons. First, it is done to check the accuracy of the equipment and second, it determines the traceability of the measurement.
Why is instrument calibration necessary?
Owing to harsh operating conditions, electric or mechanical shocks, or exposure to extreme pressure and temperatures, certain equipment/instruments/measuring devices tend to degrade over time. This tends to disrupt the accuracy of the measurement process. Therefore, instrument calibration must be carried out on a regular basis.
However, the frequency calibration needed depends on the equipment’s tolerance level. If the equipment’s measurements are critical to a process, one should perform calibration frequently and with great precision and accuracy.
Things to Remember While Calibrating Equipment
One should calibrate a piece of equipment as follows:
- According to the manufacturer’s recommendation
- After any mechanical, electrical shock or exposure to extreme conditions
- Regularly (annually, quarterly, monthly)
Equipment calibration extends the lifetime of equipment
Equipment calibration not only ensures high accuracy, but also affects the lifetime of equipment, especially downstream equipment. Next, we’ll examine how regular equipment calibration helps extend the lifetime of certain pieces of equipment.
Calibration reduces potential damage to downstream equipment
Calibration actually helps to protect downstream equipment. How? To answer this, we’ll consider the example of a simple flow meter in a printing production line regulating heat treatment. The function of the meter is essential- it provides gas to power the heat source. If the meter supplies a lower amount that it is supposed to, the printing media could contaminate downstream equipment upon contact.
This could cause potential damage to downstream equipment. If the meter supplies more gas than it is supposed to, the downstream equipment could burn. Reading accuracy is essential for any process to function well. Therefore, calibrating instruments is imperative
Calibration identifies issues and damages in equipment
The calibration of equipment helps to identify damage in a very subtle way. The instrument may show inaccurate readings that are due to an underlying problem. These problems may not be obvious until performing a calibration test. While calibrating, the technician checks the instrument for its reading accuracy.
If the technician finds the readings to be inaccurate, he or she will be able to determine the reason for this. Some accredited calibration labs can replace defective parts or perform minor repairs. If you detect underlying issues early, you can fix them before the equipment becomes unusable.
Use the equipment calibration services of accredited labs
In-house trained technicians are best for regular testing and maintenance of equipment. The professional providing equipment calibration services should always do the calibration. These accredited calibration laboratories possess high levels of technical expertise. They know how to calibrate instrument, as well as conduct repairs and other services.
Other benefits of instrument calibration
We now know that equipment calibration prevents damage to instruments and extends the lifetime of equipment. There are also other benefits of regular equipment calibration. The following states some of the risks that equipment calibration helps to avoid:
- High production downtime
- Excessive waste in production
- Safety and compliance issues
- Regulatory/litigation concerns
- Product quality issues
An un-calibrated instrument presents a lot of risks. The cost of these risks could be much higher than the costs of calibration. Therefore, we highly recommend that a reputable and accredited company does the calibration of equipment on a regular basis, to ensure it measures accurately or within an acceptable range.
The calibration of equipment is vital to businesses where measurements are crucial. To sum up: calibration improves accuracy, and accurate equipment improves product quality. Thus, calibration enables users and businesses to have confidence in the results that they track, record, and subsequently control.
To know more about calibration equipment, you can get in touch with our engineers and we will be happy to help.