Calibration (or recalibration) is the process of bringing out-of-tolerance equipment down to an acceptable level. Calibration schedules (cycles) are established depending on machine criticality, operator expertise, usage frequency, uptime necessities, statutory requirements, and field of application. When an organization does not have a standard calibration procedure in place, the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) recommendations should be followed.
There are two primary ways of delivery when it comes to instrument calibration – in-house and outsourced calibration. In-house calibration is the term for a business’s decision to calibrate its own equipment. Engineers who have been trained in calibration may not be able to adjust the required instruments correctly. Outsource calibration is the process of sending instruments to a third-party laboratory that focuses on calibrating equipment. Companies may choose between certified and accredited laboratories, typically preferred by businesses for calibration of their equipment. Each approach has advantages and disadvantages, mainly depending on a company’s specific requirements.
Improper calibration, or a lack of calibration, can cause significant safety concerns both at and outside of the workplace. Following are a few factors that may cause an instrument to malfunction:
Putting a device in any of the situations mentioned above can potentially put customers and workplaces at risk. Calibrating instruments that are utilized in offices may result in greater scrap, costs, and production delays. Inappropriate calibration of instruments that influence client-made products can result in flaws that necessitate recalls and risk to customer well-being.
Therefore, machine owners shall evaluate the above-mentioned factors prior to deciding on the calibration method. The following section details the in-house and out-sourced calibration to facilitate owners in deciding a calibration approach:
Between cost-cutting and costly in-house calibration, there is a thin line. If the firm already has many functions in place that are required to do calibrations, it will be an easy transition. However, performing calibrations isn’t as simple as flipping some switches.
Cost with In-house calibration: Setting up an in-house calibration lab might be costly. Employee training, lab equipment, and space are factors that must be considered before diving into this project. Not everyone may calibrate instruments correctly. Third-party calibration labs employ a staff of trained experts who are familiar with industry standards. This process of monitoring employee performance is tedious and requires a significant investment in terms of both time and money. Employees or third-party contractors must be trained to calibrate these instruments properly.
Finally, calibration equipment and the facility, while perhaps only costing once, are expensive. The expenses of establishing a calibration lab may range from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. The total cost of purchasing all of the calibration equipment is expected to be about $250,000. The training and employment costs for staff working in and managing the laboratory are projected at around $100,000 per year. It will take approximately $75,000 each year to operate the lab. The amount it takes to set up a climate-controlled lab isn’t included here.
Time elapsed with In-house calibration: Depending on the path taken to set up an in-house calibration lab, time may be saved or many hours of labor lost. Training existing staff in proper calibration is a time-consuming process. Many instruments will require frequent calibrations because of this. This implies that 10 to 20 devices will all need to be calibrated simultaneously, which entails 10 to 20 people being preoccupied with another day’s work. Employees concentrating on completing this problematic procedure of calibrating these devices will delay other essential duties.
For certain firms, in-house calibration is not feasible. There’s no way to ensure the calibration was done correctly without the correct setup and people to do the calibrations. Now that outsourced calibration is a possibility, there are a few things to consider when selecting a laboratory.
It is all dependent on the organization and machine owners when it comes to deciding between in-house and outsourced calibration. A small company with a few products to be tested would not benefit from in-house calibrations. When employees are trained and compensated for their time, calibration equipment is acquired, and a lab has been installed in order to maintain climate control, the business may already be over its head on a $500,000 project. That investment may take at least 12 years before a return or break-even point is achieved. However, a large business that has enough money to invest in the project and instruments to back it may see the investment as worthwhile.
If a firm cannot justify the expense of setting up its own calibration lab, it’s critical that an accredited and reputable calibration facility be hired for the task. The calibration lab should be ISO/IEC 17025 certified, able to fulfill instrument industry regulation standards, and able to provide documentation of instrument calibration.
e2b calibration offers industry-leading ISO-certified calibration services. Our labs are ISO/IEC 17025 accredited and operated by a team of qualified calibration experts. Our verifiable services are unmatched in the industry. We are registered with ANAB. We are also ANSI/NCSL Z540-1-1994 certified. We have the NIST Traceable Wide scope of ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation. Contact e2b calibration for all your equipment calibration needs.