Updated: Aug 31, 2022
A variety of commercial industries require a chronology of hundreds of instruments, using precision to accurately communicate data to technical teams , engineers, production and operations management teams. In order to ensure your business operates at it's optimal levels, these instruments and equipment must be calibrated to be nothing less than accurate.
So how do you ensure that your equipment is running smoothly, accurately and without substantial error?
For the best possible outcome you will need to ensure the equipment is regularly inspected, serviced and calibrated as per the manufacturers recommendations.
There may be occasions where equipment will require repair if it has not been correctly serviced or cared for, in which case the most reliable and effective solution is to call in a. expert calibration technician who can help run diagnostics, and provide insight into the condition and repair costs and turn around time which may apply,
To keep your business running at maximum efficiency with reliable and accurate results, here are six helpful tips to ensure your team is doing it's best to care for and manage your equipment.
1. Back to basics.
Just as you would normally check electrical systems and assets during a standard maintenance or quality control assessment, you will need to check a number areas of your mechanical systems as this is where errors can be produced. that may create results that could make equipment seem uncalibrated.
Occasionally when a component is not running correctly, it’s because it needs to be cleaned or maintained. The next step will be to check the fans and filters if applicable. These may also need to be cleaned monthly or quarterly, depending on the equipments requirements.
Improper care and maintenance of equipment where it may collect dirt and dust can stop a system from performing within its designated specifications. This means a piece of equipment or part may be calibrated accurately, however the fan could not be cooling it enough to run at peak performance.
2. Stick to the calibration schedule for best results.
Calibrations performed on equipment are generally certified for a certain amount of time, and the accuracy of your readings can begin to decline if too much time has passed or a service is overdue. It’s important to follow the set schedule the calibration lab has logged for each piece of equipment.
If you’re sending equipment to a calibration lab, send it as early as possible. Calibration labs can have many technicians and repair projects going on at the same time and depending on the complexity, availability of parts etc, Repairs and or calibration services can be delayed ( especially during COVID-19 staff shortages) Shipping times can be also unpredictable if you are arranging your equipment to be delivered back to you. So, send it in early and you will avoid delays where possible.
The calibration schedule is usually based on:
Type of instrument
How the instrument is used and how often
The environment it’s used in
Level of accuracy needed
3. Provide as much detail as possible.
When calling in a mobile calibration expert or sending your equipment for calibration, it's always best ti ensure you have all the relevant information about the system or instrument. Be sure to provide user manuals, schematics, technical documentation and other materials if you have them. If it’s being calibrated because you’ve noticed issues with accuracy or something isn’t working correctly, let the technician know what the issues are. Describe in as much details as possible when and where you’ve seen the problems occur and how long the issue has been occurring. It's always helpful to in addition, demonstrate or communicate to the calibration experts how you use the equipment as this can help inform what tests are done to ensure accuracy.
It can also be helpful to inform the repair/ calibration lab of how the test engineers use the equipment. Not every application is used as expected and communicating this information with the calibration lab will ensure better service and optimal performance of your test hardware.
4. Be aware of product measurement uncertainties.
Calibration doesn’t guarantee that everything is always spot-on-perfect. A calibration service and it's expert technicians follow specifications on what to test on each piece of equipment to calibrate it. That means the asset is tested per the manufacturer’s specifications and not at every single test point possible.
If your business is using a piece of equipment to the the extreme of its measurement uncertainty, the stock-standard manufacturer recommended calibration may not be sufficient.
You can ask for specific additional calibration suggestions based on how you use the product. This will provide your operators and staff with confidence that the calibration is accurate for your needs.
Whilst all of the above is important, giving the calibration technician details and a starting point for their test, will help mitigate the measurement uncertainties related to the tests your business is using the equipment for.
5. Check for damage during transit.
If you shipped your product out for calibration, ensure you take the time to perform checks when you get it back to make sure it wasn’t damaged in transit from the calibration lab back to you. Normally the courier services are third parties who are responsible for ensuring equipment is transported safely and in the proper condition.
Packages get dropped or treated roughly sometimes, which can undo the calibration that was just done. It’s important to make sure everything is working accurately before you begin using it within your business operations or production again.
If you do notice an issue or the device doesn’t seem to be properly calibrated, speak with the calibration service to avoid any further problems.
6. Perform MSA before and after calibration.
Measurement system analysis (MSA) is a great way to figure out if there is a problem with your equipment that requires calibration or to make sure your device is properly calibrated when services have been performed. MSA is a mathematical method of determining the variation within a measurement process. It is used to certify the measurements and controls being used by evaluating accuracy, precision, and stability.
If an emergency happens, test engineers and operating technicians can use MSA to understand the status of the issue before sending a device out to a calibration lab or calling a mobile calibration service.
Understanding and knowing how to perform MSA gives businesses and their staff better control of assets, and leads to better results in the long term.
Looking for specialists in calibration near you? Call us on 1300 988 101, Go Calibration is a certified and mobile calibration service trusted by industry professionals. We can help diagnose, repair and calibrate your equipment fast and with precision.