How to choose the right calibration laboratory? - Sigmatest



How to choose the right calibration laboratory?

Calibration, in measurement technology and metrology, is the comparison of measurement values delivered by a device under test with those of a calibration standard of known accuracy. Such a standard could be another measurement device of known accuracy, a device generating the quantity to be measured.


Why Calibrate?

Calibration of your measuring instruments has two objectives-It checks the accuracy of the instrument; determines the traceability of the measurement. The accuracy of all measuring devices degrade over time. This is typically caused by normal wear and tear. Calibration improves the accuracy of the measuring device. Accurate measuring devices improve product quality. However, changes in accuracy can also be caused by electric or mechanical shock or a hazardous manufacturing environment (ex., oils, metal chips etc.).

If this is not detected in time, it will allow the readings to vary from the intended condition for which the equipment was bought



When to Calibrate?

A measuring device should be calibrated:

  • According to recommendation of the manufacturer.
  • After any mechanical or electrical shock.
  • Periodically (annually, quarterly, monthly).
  • Before and after major critical measurements.
  • After any reformation of the device.


Where to Calibrate?

The Calibration activities are carried out mainly in laboratories under a controlled environment viz., temperature, humidity, vibration which are monitored on regular intervals.

It is important to confirm whether the Calibration laboratory is Accredited or non-accredited before engaging with them as it makes impact on the quality of service you receive. Working with an accredited laboratory basically means that they have proven to an independent organization that they are competent to perform the calibrations listed under their scope of accreditation.

There are number of advantages of choosing an accredited laboratory:

  • Proven specialised capabilities.
  • Recognition as a Calibration laboratory as per ISO/IEC 17025:2005.
  • Reviewed by the accreditation body via re-evaluations on regular basis.

While choosing a calibration provider we must first consider our own needs. Both technical and commercial requirements should be taken into consideration.

Few other things that you must consider while looking for a calibration lab:

Calibration and Measurement Capability (CMC): A CMC is a calibration and measurement capability available to customers under normal conditions. Every instrument/equipment has a certain purpose to fulfill. To perform these functions, all equipments must function according to some specification and accuracy standard. Therefore, it is imperative for the equipment manufacturer to ensure beforehand that the instrument is calibrated according to key specification and ranges.


Cost: Cost of calibrating equipment may vary from item to item depending upon many factors. These include: engineering costs, materials for the product, amount of manual labour amidst others. To ensure quality of calibration service, choosing a competent laboratory is pivotal. Hence, making a choice purely based out of price differential can turn out to be a costly affair in the long run. Poor calibration quality can lead to recall of products and unexpected high warranty costs.


In summary, calibration is vitally important wherever measurements are important, it enables users and businesses to have confidence in the results that they monitor record and subsequently control. Calibration of measuring equipments periodically increases the certainty in measurements which in turn results in the improved quality of goods produced.


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