The Importance of Instrument Calibration

When someone talks about instrument calibration they are referring to the method that is used to check the accuracy of an instrument as compared to pre-defined standards; these standards can be defined by regulatory bodies or as per the use of the equipment. But have you ever wondered what the significance of this process is? The basic purpose of calibration is to minimize any uncertainty in measurements while ensuring precision and consistency.

Instrument calibration is usually done to...
Test new instruments and equipment
Test instrument accuracy after repair or modification
Carry out periodic testing
Verify measurements of instruments that correct bias or instruments that are used as surrogates for other measurements
Ensure accuracy during instrument application
Ensure smooth functioning of equipment after scheduled usage time has lapsed
Stabilize effects of shock or exposure to adverse conditions
Minimize effects of environmental changes, for e.g. - weather changes

Whether you use a digital instrument or its analog predecessor, following a fixed calibration service schedule is extremely important. The schedule for instrument calibration is dependent on:
Use of the instrument
Frequency of use
Type of instrument
Level of Accuracy required

Once you set your schedule, be sure to follow accordingly. You can carry-out surprise checks to ensure the effectiveness of your calibration service, and make changes wherever required. Such checks can significantly reduce unforeseen costs and expenses that the organization will incur during the production process while providing quality assurance. Let us look at the various benefits regular instrument calibration provides manufacturing process.

You must calibrate your instruments from time to time, simply as a safety measure as it lets you regulate and monitor the functioning of your equipment and guarantees accuracy in the final output, while ensuring instrument reliability.

Calibration of instruments is also done to avoid production of faulty or questionable finished goods. For instance, if one of the instruments in a thermometer production line hasn't been calibrated, it can result in faulty thermometers and lead to larger quality implications, which can also impact the brand value of your product.

Improper calibration can also lead to wastage of resources and time which results in duplication of efforts and thereby increasing the overall operating costs.

Timely calibration also helps you adhere to the various government and industry standards, and be on top of matters during inspections and checks.

Another benefit of regularly calibrating your instrument is the chances of discovering irregularities in your production process. Regular instrument calibration programs allow you to identify the warning signs ahead of time, while giving you sufficient time to rectify the problem before further complications arise.

Regular instrument calibration may also help you reduces chances of false passes and false failures, allowing you to maintain the quality of your final output.

If you are researching on a particular design or product, inaccurate measurements can distort your findings and significantly impact the application of the final product.
As you can see, following a regular schedule to calibrate your instruments will ensure your equipment is always working at its optimal capacity while adhering to industry standards.

About the author of this article...

Edward Simpson is a seasoned Calibration and Technical Engineer working for RS Calibration Inc.
Edward has a knack for finding faults in machines and does not rest until they are rectified to perfection. He lives in Pleasanton, CA and can be contacted anytime for matters related to machines.
He also invites people to visit his company to learn more about the type of calibration work he does.

March 2017


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