Calibration of instrumentation is an important part of maintaining a high level of quality and productivity within your business. Many calibration services companies offer on-site calibration for a variety of commercial and industrial instruments. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind as you search for the best calibration services available for your business:
- Look for calibration services that are certified to national or international standards. There is a governing body of the standards in your industry that certifies calibration services--be sure that you choose a company that has been certified. This way you know that the calibration services follow established industry protocols, whether ASTM, ANSI, AMRL, ISO, Mil or PCI.
A good place to begin looking is at the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a non-regulatory agency that advances measurement science, standards, and technology. NIST creates the standard reference materials that are valuable calibration standards for measuring equipment and procedures in the areas of materials science and engineering, information technology, manufacturing engineering, building and fire research, electronics and electrical engineering, and physics.
Another good resource is the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a network of affiliated manufacturing extension centers with the purpose of helping small manufacturers within the United States and Puerto Rico. At its offices, experienced field engineers and manufacturing specialists help smaller manufacturers locate appropriate resources or technologies, evaluate causes, problems and solutions, and assist in implementing new technologies or improvements. The partnership centers are independent non-profit organizations, recognized as models in federal- state partnerships.
Know the specifications for your measurement hardware as established by the manufacturer. It is possible that your application of the hardware differs from the manufacturer's specifications, but it is good to know their tolerance parameters.
The Internet is a good tool in your search for calibration services. Use your favorite search engine to search for the type of calibration services you need. The more you can narrow your search terms to fit exactly what calibration services you're looking for, the more the search engine can do some of the elimination work for you, and find the certified specialist you need.
- The National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program, administered by NIST, accredits testing and calibration laboratories, and is in accordance with the standards of the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission.
- NIST publishes Calibration Services Users Guides in the following areas: