Calibration is a word of many definitions, just as it is a process of many different methods. The simplest way to describe instrument calibration is as follows: a process in which accuracy and precision of an instrument’s measurements are evaluated and adjusted to ensure quality results. Instrument calibration is essential to anyone handling a measuring device and should be performed frequently in order to ensure valid data results and overall safety of instrument users.
WHY IS INSTRUMENT CALIBRATION IMPORTANT
Instrument calibration is important whenever measurements are important. Overtime, measurement results have a tendency to start drifting. When an instrument begins to drift, data results become susceptible to a large sum of inaccurate measurements. To prevent drifting from occurring, instrument calibration should be performed frequently throughout the instruments lifetime. By calibrating an instrument regularly, you can feel confident that your results will be reliable, accurate and repeatable.
WHEN SHOULD YOU CALIBRATE YOUR INSTRUMENT
Instrument calibration should be performed:
- When the instrument is new
- According the recommended schedule of the instruments manufacturer
- After heavy usage or frequent usage
- If the instrument had been dropped
- Annually, Quarterly or Monthly depending on the instruments usage
RISK OF NOT CALIBRATING YOUR INSTRUMENT
Many individuals fail to realize the unfavorable domino effect invalid measurements can have on equipment, personnel and businesses. When an instrument is not calibrated or not calibrated properly the following is at risk:
An instrument that is not calibrated can lead to some serious safety issues – in some cases some instances could be life or death. For example, if an instrument is used in an electrical work zone, an uncalibrated instrument can lead to potential electrocution of the personnel.
Customers depend on businesses to do their job well, especially when relying on your company to correctly measure and maintenance their equipment to ensure they’re receiving accurate results. If your instrument is not calibrated, you are putting your customer at risk of safety issues and improper functionality of their equipment. This could lead to product failure, which in turn would cause financial grief to your company.
When an instrument is not calibrated, the quality of your results degraded, which in turn degrades your company’s reputation. If your company can not provide accurate, reliable and repeatable results, customers will become unhappy and start to for business elsewhere.
Poor quality, loss of reputation and unhappy customers leads to loss of business, which in turn means there would be no money flow. In the long run, it would be cheaper to frequently calibrate instruments than to not calibrate instruments.