Common Causes of Calibration Problems

Common Causes of Calibration Problems

Common Causes of Calibration Problems

Calibration is an essential activity in order to maintain that your instruments are properly working.  Unfortunately, there are several common causes that can lead to calibration problems.  Here is a look at the different situations you may experience, the problems, and the solutions for them.

What is Calibration?

Instrument calibration is the primary process to maintain instrument accuracy.  Calibration is the process of configuring an instrument to provide a result for a sample within an acceptable range.

The calibration process involves using the instrument to test samples of one or more known values. The results are used to establish a relationship between the measurement technique used by the instrument and the known values.

The instrument will provide the best performance when the intermediate points provided in the manufacturer’s performance specifications are used in the calibration.

What Knocks a Digital Instrument out of Calibration?

There are three main categories that will throw an instrument out of calibration.

  • Component Shift – The major components of test instruments can shift over time. This shifting is minor and usually harmless if you keep a calibration schedule.  This shifting or drifting is what calibration can find and correct.
  • Drops – Dropping an instrument can create gross calibration errors.
  • Overloads – Exposing a digital multimeter to an overload can throw it off. Many people think that this has little effect because the inputs are fused or breaker-protected.  However, those protection devices may not trip on a transient.  A large voltage input can jump across the input protection device entirely.

Calibration Drift

Calibration drift is the process by which a measuring instrument’s readings drift into an inaccurate territory over a period of time.  Drift can specifically lead to measurement errors and related problems, including safety concerns.

Avoiding calibration drift plays an essential role in maintaining measurement accuracy.  No matter the equipment type, it is in fact a problem that you need to be on the lookout for.

What Causes Calibration Drift?

Calibration drift can occur naturally over time, particularly as the instrument gets regular usage in a lab.  It is difficult to entirely prevent loss of accuracy.  However, there are some causes that your lab can avoid.  Here are some of the most common causes of drift.

  • Misuse, mishandling, and neglect.
  • Environmental changes, such as in temperature or humidity.
  • Exposure to harsh conditions, such as corrosive substances or extreme temperatures.
  • Sudden mechanical or electrical shock or vibration.
  • Frequent use and natural calibration degradation over time.

SRP Has Calibration Solutions

Calibration problems can take the instruments out of the field and significantly slow down your operation.  To help you get back to work with accurate equipment, look for an accredited company that has the knowledge of your instruments.  Specifically, the best choice is an ISO 17025 accredited calibration laboratory.

The laboratory at SRP control systems ltd maintains one of the most extensive equipment and calibration solution providers in Canada.  By offering a wide range of calibration and services based on a lab’s specific calibration needs, they can help you maintain the integrity and calibrate in a speedy manner to keep your business running.