Date: Tuesday 22nd March 2022
When we send items for calibration it is with the expectation that when they return they are fit for use, working and within their given specification.
But how many of us actually consider what kind of calibration we need? How can we ensure that the equipment that we send for calibration will be suitable for our own specific needs, including the range of measurements for which they are used, and the accuracy of these measurements?
For example, if you use a digital temperature indicator with a thermocouple for measuring the temperature of the working environment that is expected to be between 10⁰C and 20⁰C, and you want to know the actual temperature to within + 0.5⁰C then why get a calibration that covers the instruments complete range of -200⁰C to +600⁰C with calibration intervals of 100⁰C? Wouldn’t it be better to have your device calibrated at 5⁰C over the range 5⁰C to 25⁰C so that you understand its linearity over this range? In this case, you could specify that the instrument is calibrated from 5⁰C to 25⁰C at 5⁰C intervals and that your required specification is + 0.5⁰C.
If you request the latter calibration from your service provider they will better understand what is required. They will ensure that not only will the device be calibrated over the range you need but also that the equipment that the calibration method uses can determine that the instrument meets its specification (their own system accuracy ought to be of the order of 10 times better than your specification).
The NPL Manufacturer Measurement Network (MMN) webinar event entitled ‘How to Specify Your Calibration Requirements to Help Small Businesses”, will be co-hosted by BMTA and will discuss this topic. A guide for small businesses to help with making decisions about specifying calibration requirements is planned for release soon after the event. The webinar will include talks from the guide’s author, a representative from a major calibration company and a speaker from the world of quality and standards.
The event will take place online at 1530 hrs on 22nd March and is free to join. Registration is essential: https://www.npl.co.uk/events/mmn-how-to-specify-your-calibration-requirements-t