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Why Calibrate Your Instruments?

In a technical sense, calibration is the bases for accuracy, assurance, and quality. It is the process of comparing the indicated reading of an instrument to a known measurement standard to establish a relationship between the values. Essentially, calibration is the comparison between a known measurement (the standard) to an unknown quantity (your instrument indicated value).

There are numerous reasons to calibrate your instruments, but the two fundamental objectives are important to understand. Calibration checks the accuracy of your instrument and determines the traceability of the measurement. Traceability can be defined as a ‘chain’ of comparative measurements, with the final link being provided by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM). With traceability come the ‘traceability chain,’ otherwise known as the unbroken chain of comparison, this is a logical and easily understood components of traceability. At Grand Rapids Metrology, our accreditations are 100% traceable. Following the unbroken chain of comparison, you will find that your instruments (if calibrated by GRM) lead to values found acceptable by national and international standards.

If you are still unsure of the importance of calibration, let’s ask this question: What are the costs and risks associated with not calibrating your instruments? Uncalibrated instruments produce inaccurate measurements which can distort findings, products, etc. There is also the likely possibility that a contractual requirement exists in which it is extremely necessary to calibrate your instruments. Likewise, commerce is dependent on globally agreed upon standards of weights and measures, for the only way to adhere by these standards is to have a traceable calibration. Not calibrating instruments may result in hidden costs and increased risks which can be much more expensive than the simple cost of a calibration service.

There are various occasions in which an instrument should be calibrated. It is important to note that existing calibrated instruments will face normal wear and tear which will degrade the accuracy of their measurements over time. Depending of the environment of the instrument and the frequency of its use, degrading can occur very quickly or over prolonged periods. As a general rule, calibrations should occur (1) periodically (monthly, quarterly, or annually), (2) when it is recommended according to the manufacturer, and (3) if measurements increasingly appear inaccurate or questionable. Keep in mind that the more often a device is calibrated, the less likely the device is to generate unreliable measurements.

Grand Rapids Metrology is proud to include calibration services in its scope of capabilities. Our team is exceptionally passionate about our work and we take it upon ourselves to provide you with the absolute best when it comes to measurements and calibrations. GRM not only performs calibrations that produce accurate results, we also want to make the process for you as simple as possible, thus we will remind you when calibrations are needed for your instruments. Do not hesitate to connect us if you have remaining question about our calibration services!

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