Calibration Procedure and Guidelines for Measuring Instruments

Calibration Procedure and Guidelines for Measuring Instruments


Reliability is a unifying feature in all science.  Reliable science ensures accuracy, reproducibility, and consistency no matter the conditions.  Your lab and science are only as good as the tools that you use.  Your measuring instruments are the key to creating the highest quality products, analyses, or results.  Therefore, keeping your measuring instruments in good condition with calibration is crucial.  Measuring instruments should be cleaned, maintained, and regularly calibrated.

When instruments do not receive regular calibrations, you can burden yourself with hidden costs from inaccurate or unreliable readings.

Measuring Instruments That Require Calibration

A measuring instrument is any tool that weighs, counts, or measures quantitative characteristics of a sample.  These tools must receive regular assessement with calibration to make sure they’re measuring accurately.

  • Manufacturer Recommendations – Manufacturers will give a recommendation on regular calibration either by an accredited lab or themselves.
  • Calibration Schedule – In order to keep all your instruments operating at their best, set a regular calibration schedule.
  • Calibrate After Any Type of Mechanical Shock or Damage – Make sure all shocks are reported quickly, so you can identify inaccuracies before they become a problem. Calibrating will also identify if any repairs are necessary.

How to Get Instrument Calibrations?

Instrument calibration is best by accredited labs.  These labs understand the instruments and the calibration or repairs that are necessary for your instrument to be accurate and traceable.  They also will be able to send you the reports and certificates indicating all data needed for your instruments if the question ever arises.

Traceability is a Key

Traceability is the most important goal of measurements in a lab.  It means being able to repeat the measurement of the same sample in different labs using different equipment and getting the same result.  It can ensure the traceability of your measurements in your lab through these three factors.

  • Use Calibrated Instruments – The accuracy of measuring naturally degrades over time. This can be caused by everyday wear and tear or consistent usage.  Calibration greatly improves the accuracy of the measuring instrument.
  • Have a Clear Procedure for How They Measure the Unit – The procedure must be recognized by industry standards.
  • Train Staff on Instruments – The staff should have an appreciation for the importance of accuracy to produce quality results. They need to be able to interpret results and know when the maintenance of instruments is necessary.

What Can Calibration Do For A Lab?

A calibrated instrument will not only help you produce high quality, reliable, traceable results, but it will also save your lab money.  Consistent calibration can identify when an instrument is in need of repairs or adjustments.  An un-calibrated instrument can continue giving quantitative measurements; however, they are inaccurate.  If you are in a lab, that could translate to inaccurate results that could harm clients.  This inaccuracy could cost you time and effort for re-runs as well as trust.  You could avoid all of this trouble with calibrations.

Calibrations are Critical

For a lab that relies on accurate measurements, calibrations are critical.  It is important to understand calibration procedures for measuring instruments, as well as how proper calibration will benefit your lab.  Always be aware of your instrument requirements and a reliable company that hs the  ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation.