Why Is Calibration Necessary?
Selecting the right vacuum gauge or leak standard is just the first step in helping guarantee accuracy and repeatability in your process or application. Calibration gives you confidence that your measurements are accurate and are within your required specification limits. The industry is seeing a rising demand for instrument calibration to also meet the demands of company quality systems. Process engineers are also realizing that to produce repeatable results they require reliable readings which requires not only stable instruments and reference standards, but ones that are also calibrated.
Raising the Bar on Quality and Accuracy
In a production leak test application for instance, with a leak standard that is not properly calibrated, one might get false passes leading to leaky products getting to the customer. This could not only ruin a company’s reputation, but could result in high warranty costs, or even loss of life. In an engineering lab, inaccurate vacuum measurements can distort the outcome of test results. An increasing number of manufacturers are taking the step towards ISO certification requiring them to adhere to a much higher standard of quality. Failure to comply with these contractual requirements can result in fines, loss of business, and a bad reputation in the industry. Adhering to a regular calibration regimen is critical for a company that is ISO certified. Quality departments recognize that without performing regular calibration on their instruments underlying problems might be missed and evolve into costly failures in their analyses and processes.
Choose An Accredited Lab
When choosing a calibration lab it is important to select those that are accredited in accordance with the recognized International Standard ISO/IEC 17025:2005 General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories. This accreditation demonstrates technical competence for a defined scope and the operation of a laboratory quality management system. Only a lab with this accreditation is able to provide NIST traceable calibration certificates for your instruments. Calibration labs that claim NIST traceability without accreditation often do not offer true NIST traceability unless their quality system complies with ISO or other equivalent standards.
It is always a good idea to review a calibration lab’s Scope of Accreditation as well as their Certificate of Accreditation. The scope will not only identify the range of capabilities of the lab, but also their measurement capability within each range.
LACO provides NIST Traceable calibration services for all types of leak standards and vacuum gauges. Our A2LA Accredited calibration lab complies with ISO/IEC 17025-2005, ANSI/NCSL Z540-1-1994, and with the ISO-9001 quality standard. LACO’s responsive technical support staff ensures fast delivery of a broad calibration range that encompasses all leak standard brands and vacuum gauge types.