How Do Lab Equipment Calibration Services Help Extend the Life of Test Instruments?

Lab equipment calibration services are an important part of ISO certification and internal quality assurance in many industries, especially food, pharma and medical devices companies. Test equipment calibration is conducted in order to ensure that measurements or readings provided by instruments are both accurate and traceable to NIST standards.

Not only do regular laboratory calibrations ensure high accuracy, but they can also have an impact on the life of test instruments, particularly downstream equipment. Let’s look at how lab equipment calibration services and regular testing can help extend equipment life.

Calibration Services and Downstream Equipment Life

Performing equipment calibration on a regular schedule helps to protect downstream instruments from damage as well as costly malfunctions. For instance, let’s look at how calibrating a flowmeter used in heat treatment affects accompanying equipment in a printing production line:

If the flow meter is responsible for regulating fuel supply and providing power to a heat source, it’s important that it delivers the correct amount of fuel. Too little could lead to contamination of downstream equipment from printing media, while too much means a higher chance of equipment damage from burning, especially with flame heating.

In the above example, inaccurate readings from an out-of-calibration meter pose a serious threat to equipment safety and performance down the production line. It’s the same for any non-calibrated test or measurement instrument used to control certain processes, such as components used for speed regulation in conveyor systems.

Identifying Damage, Issues or Problems with Equipment

Lab equipment calibration services can also help with issue identification, another critical aspect of extending equipment life. Due to wear and tear or environmental factors, minor damage can occur in any instrument. If small issues are not identified and corrected in time, test equipment may suffer major damage and become completely unusable later.

During the calibration process, technicians test each instrument for reading accuracy. In case minor damage or defective parts are causing drift or inaccuracies in measurement, they will be able to identify the problem right away. Many calibration service providers can also repair damaged instruments or provide replacements for defective components.

Other Benefits of Instrument Calibration

Other than preventing damage to instruments, regular test equipment calibration also helps you avoid these risks:

  • Safety and compliance issues
  • Excessive waste in production
  • Product quality problems
  • High production downtime
  • Regulatory/litigation issues

Why Should Calibration Be Performed By an Accredited Lab?

While regular testing and maintenance can be conducted in-house by trained technicians, you should always look for professionals offering lab equipment calibration services. Accredited calibration laboratories have a high level of technical expertise, know how to calibrate an instrument properly, and can often conduct repairs or service too.

Instruments should be calibrated on a regular schedule, which can be determined based on:

  • Manufacturer’s Recommendations – All manufacturers provide a recommended calibration frequency for instruments. Use this to determine basic intervals between calibrations.
  • Before Critical Projects – When you need highly accurate readings for a major critical project, calibrate the instruments that will be used for it and avoid using them for other tasks.
  • After Critical Projects – After you take the measurements for a major critical project, calibrating instruments again can help you confirm the accuracy of readings you’ve taken.
  • Accidents or Damage – If you notice signs of damage on test equipment, or suspect that instruments may have been accidentally dropped or jolted, recalibrate to ensure accuracy.
  • Project-Based Testing – Certain projects require test instruments that have been calibrated and certified within a specific time frame before use. Check project specs carefully.
  • Criticality of Measurements – Depending on how often you use certain instruments for critical measurements, calibrate them annually, bi-annually, quarterly, monthly or even more often.

To learn more about onsite calibrations and lab equipment calibration services, how often you should perform instrument calibration or want to schedule calibration and repair for test equipment, contact the experts at RS Calibration today!

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