The purpose of calibration is to ensure that instruments are providing accurate readings. While regular testing may be a part of ISO certification or internal quality management systems, it can be easy to forget how this impacts operations as a whole. Equipment that has inaccurate measurements can negatively affect downstream equipment and operations. The way to have calibration extend equipment life is by ensuring correctness.
Unsure what the impact is of calibration on accompanying equipment? Consider the use of a flow meter that regulates heat treatment in a printing production line. The function of that meter may be to provide gas to power the heat source. If the meter is supplying a lower amount than indicated, the printing media could contaminate downstream equipment on contact. When consider flame heating, potential damage increases. If a meter supplies more gas than indicated, equipment that is down the line could be burnt. This is why it is important to ensure reading accuracy.
Another common example is conveyor speed regulation. If parts need to move through a packaging system at a certain speed, inaccuracy can cause problems. If a conveyor moves slower than indicated, parts could back up. Excess parts can cause a jam, which can damage equipment.
A less obvious way to have calibration extend equipment life is due to damage identification. One of the reasons that instrument readings may be inaccurate is excess wear or impairment. When calibration testing is performed, the technician determines reading correctness. If readings are inaccurate, the technician will determine the reason. Some ISO/IEC 17025 accredited calibration labs will be able to replace defective parts or perform minor repairs. If issues are caught early, they can be fixed before the equipment becomes unusable.
If you have you questions about the effect calibration has on equipment life, contact the team at e2b calibration.
Image Credit:James Sutton