For years, calibration has been done according to a paper-based system. This doesn’t require an IT overlay to arrange, or the extra training that a more technological system requires. It comes with a number of significant shortfalls, however.
First off, it’s more labor-intensive. While extra IT training isn’t required and that may save some time at the outset, the actual job of recording calibration data goes much faster once that data is ported directly over to an IT system. A little sacrifice in time at the start can save a lot of time further down the line.
Secondly, any kind of trend analysis of your data becomes much more difficult with paper. Instead of porting the data into a spreadsheet and entering a formula that shows you what you need to know, someone needs to sit down with your paper records, and do everything by hand. This can result in more errors and certainly takes up far more time.
Thirdly, accessing that paper data in the first place can just be another time sink. For the amount of data many businesses collect, it’s rare that extensive paper records are stored on-site. That means having to retrieve those records (and hoping whoever had your job before you logged, filed, and stored everything in a sensible manner).
The best solution is to go with paperless calibration. A complete system for this should include direct recording of calibration data into your system, the ability to do trend analysis with your collection of data, and a more complete and immediate way to store and retrieve your data.
This will help operators and engineers who must work with your data. Not only this, but one of the hidden benefits that might not be as readily apparent will be everyone being on the same page. Arguments don’t need to happen about instrumentation, trends, or readings – and those arguments won’t have the time to escalate into personal conflicts – if your calibration data itself is readily accessible for all to look at. It’ll also make audits much less of a headache.
Ask us about ways to move toward paperless calibration, and what to anticipate in such a move.