How Calibration Services Extend the Life of Test Instruments

How Calibration Services Extend the Life of Test Instruments

Calibration Services

You put in the time and effort to select the best instruments for your test system.  You want to be sure that you can rely on those instruments to provide accurate measurements that meet your specifications.  For your company, it also means that these expensive test instruments need to last as long as possible.  Instrument calibration not only keeps your business profitable and inline it can also save you expenses in the long run.

Explanation of Instrument Calibration

Calibration defines the quality of the measurement parameters – such as range, accuracy, and precision – as recorded by an instrument.  It forms a crucial aspect of the quality assurance and testing phase, which is a critical part of many industries and sectors.  This makes calibration important for virtually every industry, especially those regulated by authorities like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).

Results Can Drift

Over time, there is a tendency for results to ‘drift’ when using particular technologies or measuring particular parameters such as temperature and humidity.  To be confident in the results being measured, there is an ongoing need to maintain instrument calibration throughout its lifetime for reliable, accurate, and repeatable measurements.

Delaying Calibration Risks

Delaying calibration is a tactic that businesses may consider in order to try to save money.  In the short run, yes, it may save you however; it keeps an inaccurate tool in use.  The long-term effect is far more damaging.

Risks associated with uncalibrated measuring devices could be much higher than the cost of calibration.

  • Distort findings
  • Safety
  • Inferior work product
  • Penalties for non-compliance
  • Product recall

In pharmaceuticals, any change in the quality of the product can directly affect the health and lives of the users.

Reasons that Can Affect the Calibration Timeline

Your equipment and instruments have suggested recommendations from the manufacturer about how often it will need to be calibrated.  Whether that calibration timeline is monthly, quarterly, or yearly is based upon several factors.  However, there are situations where alterations to the timeline will need to change.

  • Workload – If the use of the instrument is a lot, then it should be calibrated more.
  • Environment – If you use an instrument in extreme environmental conditions, calibration will be more than one used in stable conditions.
  • Transportation – If the instrument is in transportation frequently, then it will need to be calibrated more often.
  • Accidental Drop – If you drop an instrument, then it must be recalibrated.
  • Checks – For some instruments, it can be checked against another instrument. Check temperature sensors by using an ice-bath.  This intermediate check will let you know if it needs full calibration.

How Calibration Saves Your Equipment

After an instrument is no longer current, repair and calibration services help extend the life of your test system.  This makes the transition seamless when you are ready to migrate to new instruments or when it is in the budget to acquire new instruments.

Parts can go out of tolerance, however, testing them regularly by an ISO 17025 accredited lab they will be able to pinpoint the problem. So rather than having to get a completely new piece of equipment you can repair or recalibrate the one that you already own.

Calibration results are given in a document recording before and after an adjustment if an adjustment is made.  Giving you a full record of the instruments for a database and any audits.

Think of instrument calibration as an insurance policy.  It can save you from having more costly issues in the long run.