Critical Measurements Need the Most Accurate Calibration
Make sure your critical measurements don’t let you down. When you’re using instruments for critical measurements, accuracy is everything. Put simply, inaccurate measurements can cost you money in the form of decreased product yield or a losses resulting from quality issues. High-quality calibration is the solution to ensuring accurate measurements – but how should you take care of this in practice?
The right approach to calibrating your instruments will depend on the criticality of the measurement as well as any relevant regulatory or operational requirements. In many cases downtime is a critical factor to consider because uninterrupted operations keeps your customers and managers happy.
If the quality system and regulations allow, spot-checking with a reference instrument such as a handheld probe is a cost-effective way to ensure the accuracy of your process instruments. It’s important to remember that accuracy plays an important role here too. You need to understand the accuracy of the spot-checking measurement process and the uncertainty that comes with it.
When it comes to your most critical measurements, laboratory calibration is a necessity because you need to be sure that the instrument you’re using for spot-checking is providing accurate measurements. It’s also important to remember that you need to maintain the traceability chain for your measurements, which requires specialist skills and financial investment. Using a high-quality, accredited external calibration laboratory for your critical instruments is the most reliable and cost-effective way of maintaining traceability.
With so many different calibration providers offering a variety of different services, it’s important to think carefully about which service best fits your needs.
Accredited ISO/IEC 17025 calibration is a good choice for handheld devices that are used as reference instruments. Accredited calibration ensures that the traceability chain, uncertainty, and operational processes of the calibration provider have been audited by an independent third party. This saves you time and money, and means you can be confident that everything is in order when an auditor asks to see your calibration certificates. The next step is to define the content of the accredited calibration. You need to be sure the reference instrument is accurate at the measurement points that are critical for your process; selecting the calibration points from your actual operational process range is an easy solution to this.
If you’re using an instrument as a reference, you need to be 100% certain that it has been properly adjusted to ensure it is showing the correct reference values, and in many cases only the manufacturer is capable of performing this adjustment. You can read more about the benefits of using the services provided by instrument manufacturers in our blog post from December 2017.
In a nutshell, with the right type of high-quality calibration in place you can rest assured that your process-critical measurements are accurate and that you have a robust traceability chain in place for your reference instruments.