5 Steps to Calibrate Your Measurement Tools
The tools we use to measure physical quantities need to be accurate. In areas such as the medical field, agriculture, weather, and automotive, getting accurate measurements is critical in decision-making and performing different, important tasks. To yield correct results, measuring tools need to be calibrated regularly.
Calibration refers to the process where tools are configured to give results for a given sample within an acceptable tolerance. This process is carried out to primarily reduce uncertainties in measurements that could lead to costly errors. The following are 5 reasons to calibrate tools regularly.
1. Reduce manufacturing errors
Manufacturing processes require correct measurements to produce goods that are free from defects. Small mistakes that may result from tools that have not been calibrated can be costly in terms of time and money. This is because the production process may need to be repeated to correct the mistakes and provide high-quality goods. This would also mean using other materials hence increasing the production cost.
Calibrating tools regularly will ensure that there is no room for errors hence reduction in manufacturing defects. This, therefore, cuts down on the processing costs and reduces waste.
For example, the calibration of tools can include the sensors that monitor the process of manufacturing and are responsible for quality control. These sensors need to be calibrated to ensure accuracy.
2. Changes in temperature & weather
Temperatures, especially ambient ones, can affect the accuracy of your measuring tools. It is therefore essential to calibrate your tools regularly at the temperature you are going to operate your instruments. This is because environmental factors can introduce errors that are usually not evident but affect your overall results when testing samples.
There are also instruments that use components like electronics. These components are always affected by changes in the weather. It is therefore important to calibrate these instruments periodically at the operating temperatures. This way you will be able to eliminate the temperature-induced errors that can degrade the accuracy of your results.
3. Compliance with standards
Companies are required to calibrate their tools to be able to pass regulatory compliance standards. If you use scales that are not calibrated to meet these standards, there are chances your business will be subjected to fines, censures, and in extreme cases loss of business.
Accrediting organizations carry out rigorous inspections to ensure your tools meet the calibration standards. This audit is essential for your business to be recognized as a complaint organization. If you do not calibrate your tools regularly chances are you will never get calibration certification. A calibration certificate is only issued if your instruments are found to be accurate and serve the intended purpose.
4. Keep processes safe
Tools need to be calibrated in order to give accurate measurements to maintain the safety of products. If such measurements are not correct, it could lead to safety risks. For example, if a vehicle used to transport goods is weighed using a scale that is not calibrated, it could carry excess weight. This extra weight beyond the limit could result in damage to the vehicle and serious accidents during transport.
This could also be the case with tools used to measure temperature. Accurate measuring of the temperature of stored food is essential to ensure the food stays fresh without going bad. If a thermometer is not calibrated it could lead to wrong temperature readings. This can result in spoiled food that is then served to customers. This can lead to serious illness and possible death in extreme circumstances.
Whether made by a different person at a different time or in a different place altogether, similar measurements from a given tool need to give same results. This allows manufacturing processes to be controlled. The only way to trace measurements is by calibrating your tools regularly.
Most countries use the International System of Units (SI units) to relate measurements. Having your tools calibrated regularly will ensure that your products are up to international measurements standards. This way you are able to market your goods in all countries that use the International System of Units as a standard measurement.