Calibration is a process used for any measurement equipment, where the accuracy need to be known or within a certain limit. The equipment or tool is used to measure samples at known values, to establish the relationship and adjust any errors.
Why use Calibration
It does not matter how precise your equipment is, if you cannot ensure the accuracy of the measurements, you will still compromise the quality of your product. Measurement equipment can degrade over time due to wear, environmental impact, improper use etc. All those scenarios can contribute to inaccuracy in measurements, which would be unknown if the equipment is not calibrated.
How is Calibration Done
Calibration is done by checking the instrument against a known reference value to see the relation or bias between measured and actual value. For example, if a pressure gage is used in the range from 200 – 1000 mBar, it would have to calibrate within that range. In that case, it would be used to measure known reference values within the range at 50-100 mBar intervals.
ISO 9001 and Calibration
If you are ISO 9001 certified or plan to implements the Quality Management System, control of measurement and test equipment is required. This means your instruments need to be calibrated on a periodic cycle to ensure consistent measurements and product quality.
Instruments are typically calibrated every 6 month to 2 years, depending on following factors.
- Importance of measurement
- Amount of wear and tear during use of instrument
- Stability of the instrument
Often historic data of previous calibrations can help determine how often equipment need to be calibrated.
In addition to the above, it is important to calibrate instruments that have been exposed to shock by for example a drop on the floor. Also some equipment might need calibration after being moved.
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