WHAT IS NIST CALIBRATION

WHAT IS NIST CALIBRATION

NIST calibration, and NIST calibration alone, can ensure the traceability of an instrument’s indications. Only NIST calibration can calibrate or repair an instrument with services that trace back to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Wikipedia gives the formal definition of “traceability” as “the ability to chronologically interrelate uniquely identifiable entities in a way that is verifiable.” But what does that actually mean?

NIST calibration is dependent on six critical elements to be deemed as actual NIST calibration:

  • The instrument’s calibrated indications have to be traced along an unbroken chain, going back to a national or international standard.
  • The measurement uncertainty for each link in the traceability chain must be calculated or estimated in a way that is quantifiable, allowing the overall uncertainty for the whole chain to be calculated or estimated based on the initial test.
  • Each link in the traceable chain must be preformed according to previously documented and agreed upon procedures.
  • All those who are participating in the traceable chain must supply proof of their technical competence.
  • By the end of the comparison chain, there must be principal standards for realization of the International System of Units.
  • Calibrations must take place at regularly repeated intervals

NIST calibration requires that all of these steps be taken. When looking for a reputable calibration lab, make sure that they comply with these criteria for NIST traceability and NIST calibration.

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