How to Implement or Improve a Calibration Program

Calibration Basics

Any successful calibration program must begin with an accurate recall list of your test, measurement and diagnostic equipment.

  • The recall list should contain a unique identifier which can be used to track the instrument, the location, and the instrument’s custodian (Often asset management software, bar-coding systems, and physical inventories are used to help establish accurate recall lists).
  • It is important when assembling a recall list that modules, plug-ins, and small handheld tools are not overlooked. Also, you may have several “home-made” measuring devices (e.g. Test Fixtures) which will also need to be captured on your equipment list for a reliable calibration program.
  • The next step is to identify all of the instruments on your recall list which may not require calibration due to redundancies in your testing process (A commercial calibration laboratory should be able to aid you in identifying these instruments).
  • After creating an accurate recall list procedures must be established for adding new instruments, removing old or disposed instruments, or making changes in instrument custodianship. Recall reports should be run with sufficient time for both the end user and the service provider to have the unit calibrated with a minimal impact on production.
  • A late report identifying any units about to expire or already expired will ensure 100% conformity. A full service calibration laboratory will supply these recall reports and will provide special escalation reporting when equipment is not returned for service.

(Some calibration labs offer the choice of web-based equipment management systems that allow their customer to perform recall reports, late reports and keep electronic versions of their calibration certificates.)

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