Ensuring that a piece of equipment is functioning safely and meets manufacturer specifications is an important part of workplace safety and quality assurance. Over time, equipment will degrade and start drifting as cumulative usage increases and environmental conditions change. The degradation of equipment may not be noticeable during normal operation but could have dire consequences, including systems failure, machine malfunction, injury or even death. That’s why it’s critical to have your equipment calibrated on a regular basis.
The act of calibrating a piece of equipment or a process is the comparison of measurements using a known standard to a unit under test. The official definition of calibration put forth by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures is, “an operation that, under specified conditions, in the first step, establishes a relation between the quantity values with measurement uncertainties provided by the measurement standards and corresponding indications with associated measurement uncertainties (of the calibrated instrument or secondary standard) and, in the second step, uses this information to establish a relation for obtaining a measurement result from an indication.”
In layman’s terms, calibration certifies that the equipment or process is doing what it is supposed to do, not doing what it is not supposed to do, and doing it to the quality that is expected or required.
Some frequently asked questions pertaining to calibration are:
Q1) How often should I have my meter calibrated?
A1) You should follow the manufacturers’ recommendation or any other regulations or requirements laid forth by either the job being performed or the organization the worked is being done for.
Q2) The meter is new; does it need to be calibrated?
A2) Just because a piece of equipment is fresh out of the box does not guarantee that it is measuring or outputting correctly and should be checked and certified. A new piece of equipment should have passed through a QA check of some sort at the manufacturer, but unless it has been certified by the manufacturer there is no definitive answer as to whether or not the equipment functions precisely as the specifications state.
Q3) I compared my meter to my co-workers and they pretty close; isn’t that good enough?
A3) Comparing two meters of the same caliber does not constitute a calibration and will not give you results accurate enough to validate the readings. When a calibration is done a “Standard” is used which should be at least 4 times more accurate as the unit being tested.
Why take the risk when a simple annual or bi-annual test could give you the ability to trust your equipment do your job without having the doubt caused by equipment uncertainty. With Process Measurement Company all of your calibrations are NIST-traceable, giving you added confidence in your equipment’s readings and ensuring compliance with industry standards. Request a quote, schedule a Pick-Up, or set up an On-Site Calibration today!