Frequently Ask Questions – Industrial Metrology
What is calibration?
In its simplest terms, calibration is a comparison of the “unknown” readings of a measuring instrument to a known reference standard, for the purpose of detecting and reporting errors in the instrument tested.
What is the difference between Calibration and Verification?
Calibration is the “comparison” of the unknown reading of an instrument to be tested to a known reading instrument known as a Reference Standard. Based on a reference standard, you are comparing the performance of the unit under calibration (UUC). Through comparison, you can determine the “accuracy and error” or how far is the reading to the true value.
Verification is a process of “confirming” that a given specification is fulfilled. It is an activity to confirm that a certain instrument or equipment meets the requirements of certain specifications, not a comparison to a higher standard.
What is a standard?
According to the International Vocabulary of Metrology (JCGM 200:2012), a Standard is a: “Material measure, measuring instrument, reference material or measuring device intended to define, materialize, conserve or reproduce a unit or one or several values of a quantity.”
Why is calibration important?
Measuring equipment are designed to meet the needs of its user and calibration provides assurance of measurements. Even the best components deteriorate or drift over time and must be calibrated on a timely basis to provide confidence in readings of the measurement instrument.
Neglecting calibration can cause direct economic losses, production downtime, quality problems and product recalls.
What are the consequences if instruments are not regularly calibrated?
Every measuring instrument is subject to ageing as a result of mechanical, chemical or thermal stress. As a result, over time, it provides skewed measured values. If the instrument has become inaccurate, this can lead to disruptions in the process or even trigger safety risks. Through calibration, this can be detected in good time.
How often do I need to calibrate my equipment?
Periodic calibration is recommended, but a time period cannot be given unless specifically requested or is a legal requirement. To determine a reasonable calibration interval, several factors need to be considered:
- importance of measurements
- manufacturer recommendations
- operating environment
- historical stability of the equipment
- regulatory requirements
- frequency of use of measuring instrument
Typically, it is recommended that calibration intervals do not exceed a 1-year recurring schedule. It is up to the user and the quality system in place to determine the best calibration schedule based on the above factors.
What is a calibration certificate?
A calibration certificate is a statement of the results of a calibration. It also contains information about the laboratory which carried out the calibration (who performed the calibration, when and where the calibration was performed and how it was performed) and about the calibration method used.
What is the ISO/IEC 17025?
The ISO/IEC 17025 is the international standard for testing and calibration laboratories. It’s a set of requirements laboratories use to demonstrate operation of a quality management system to ensure technical competence to perform specific laboratory activities.
What is laboratory accreditation?
Accreditation provides international recognition that a laboratory has the technical competence and adequate quality systems to perform specific laboratory activities. “Tested once, accepted everywhere.”
What is traceability?
Traceability is the unbroken chain of comparisons from measurements of an instrument, to a recognized national, legal standard and traceable to the International System of Units (SI).
Traceability is key to meeting worldwide measurement and regulatory requirements.
What are the calibration services currently offered by BBS?
- Calibration of Non-Automatic Weighing Instruments (NAWI)
- Calibration in Mass Weights
- Calibration in Volume
How long does the calibration activity take?
Duration to perform calibration is dependent on the equipment and method used. This is determined upon formal calibration request. Our calibration services are based on the ISO/IEC 17025:2017 Standard.