How to determine and manage your calibration needs – four options explained

Jukka Ohvanainen
Industrial Manufacturing and Processes
Industrial Measurements

Caring about continuous accuracy – especially in the life science, manufacturing, and process industries – usually results in energy savings, better decision-making, and higher end-product quality. The more critical your application the more crucial regular calibration and adjustment becomes. In many cases regular calibration is required by local legislation and regulations or internal quality requirements; your customers most likely expect it, too. 

The measurement technology and the parameter you are measuring are important considerations. Instrument manufacturers can usually give a general recommendation for a suitable calibration and maintenance interval. There may also be options for spot checking or field calibration that you can carry out yourself. In any case, in the long run it pays to commit to a trusted measurement instrument provider who invests in developing stable measurement technologies and who can help you with different types of calibration solutions throughout the product life cycle.
Let’s look at some of the calibration options.

1.    Laboratory calibration is the most accurate method of calibrating measurement equipment because the environmental effects influencing the calibration are reduced significantly. When using Vaisala’s calibration labs, you can choose an accredited ISO/IEC 17025 or a standard ISO 9001 calibration; in both cases you will get a traceable calibration certificate with as-found and as-left results to prove the accuracy. In most cases equipment can also be repaired during the calibration process if needed.

2.    Field calibration with a hand-held device is a quick and easy way of checking measurement equipment without having to remove it from the process or process area. Field calibration requires a working standard as a reference, which could be a hand-held measurement instrument that can calibrate the instrument installed in the process. Many Vaisala customers regularly return their handheld instruments to us for a quick laboratory calibration and then manage the calibration of their process instruments themselves.

3.    A field calibrator based on salt solutions can be used to produce a multi-point calibration for measurement instruments in non-critical applications. Saturated salt solutions have a long tradition of relative humidity calibration because they make it relatively simple to create a set of fixed relative humidity points. 

4.    Field spot-checking using a hand-held measurement instrument is a quick and easy way to determine whether a unit is operating properly. Spot-checking should not be confused with field calibration: in spot-checking, the stabilization time is not as crucial as it is in field calibration, and therefore it is a much quicker process. Spot-checking can be viewed as a good addition to measurement equipment maintenance, especially in critical applications.

At Vaisala we take measurement accuracy seriously. Our measurement technologies are known for their long-term stability, and we help our customers to maintain this stability year after year. This is possible even in the most demanding measurement conditions through suitable calibration and maintenance options. 
In addition to our comprehensive service center and on-site calibration services, we support our customers with their own field maintenance tasks with our wide selection of handheld measurement instruments that can be used for spot-checking and field calibration. Our Calibration Care Agreement enables continuous accuracy and regulatory compliance for handheld or any other instruments.

Are you interested in reading more about calibration? Download our Calibration eGuide on measurement accuracy or our eGuide on Calibration in practice.

Calibration agreement

Freeze your calibration costs for up to 4 years

Our Calibration Care agreement includes planned calibrations for multiple years. It is the most economical and convenient way to maintain the accuracy of your Vaisala measurement instrument  year after year.

As a Care customer you will enjoy multiple benefits from lower calibration costs to faster turnaround times:

  • Planned calibrations for multiple years
  • Transparent pricing without price changes
  • Free shipping to-and-from Vaisala
  • Priority order handling at the Service Center
  • Easy return process from Online portal
  • Access to Vaisala MyLearning

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