Are you looking for lab instrument calibration in San Diego? Biotechnical Services is a calibration service provider serving labs in San Diego. We help calibrate companies’ instruments so they can remain compliant. This article highlights some of the errors and offers solutions to address them.
What is calibration?
Calibration is the comparison between a standard measurement and a measurement using an instrument. Generally, the standard accuracy should be at least ten times the accuracy of the measuring instruments. However, most standards accept a 3:1 accuracy ratio. Biotechnical Services offers calibration services, ensuring your devices fall within the recommended ratio.
There are two main objectives of calibrating instruments: checking the instrument’s accuracy and determining the measurement’s traceability. Traceability is the process of tracing a measurement from its source. The method also involves repairing the faulty tool.
After the process, the calibration expert will provide you with a report detailing the error of the measuring instrument. They can calibrate scales, micrometers, and other digital devices. If you are looking for professional lab equipment calibration in San Diego, Biotechnical Services is here to help.
Importance of calibrating lab equipment
So, why should you seek calibration services in San Diego? Here are the top reasons:
Improves customer satisfaction
Inconsistencies in production and tests can see your loyal customers seek products and services elsewhere. It can significantly harm your revenue and the reputation of your company. Regular calibration enables you to maintain production and service delivery consistency. For example, producing products ensures you are using the same amount of ingredients with each product.
Increases revenue and ROI
If you want to increase return on investment, calibration is one way to go about it. Companies often ignore calibrating their instruments, leading to unnecessary costs and waste. It harms the company’s revenue generation, leading to more losses than profits.
Using more than needed electric power often leads to ballooning bills down the production line. As such, your ROI is affected adversely. Professional calibration will enable you to save costs, improve productivity, and increase profit margins.
Leads to minimal downtimes
One aspect that can hurt the productivity of your company is frequent downtimes. Inaccurate calibration can damage instruments and products, halting production or testing. To mitigate these scenarios, you should seek the services of professional calibration firms in San Diego. They can identify calibration errors, helping avoid unnecessary downtimes.
It is arguably the primary reason you should calibrate your instruments. Using the wrong amount of specimens or ingredients can lead to fire outbreaks or the production of harmful gases. Besides, it can produce dangerous products for the end user.
For example, companies producing batteries and other hypersensitive products need regular instrument calibration. Calibrate your instruments regularly to avoid putting your lab technical team in danger and making harmful products.
Improves production efficiency
An efficient production system is devoid of errors. And this is achieved through meticulous equipment calibration. With inaccurate calibration, you are prone to production inefficiency, which can lead to the production of poor production. It is harmful to consumers and can lead to fines or closure.
Besides, inefficient production and lab testing can lead to waste, reducing profit margins. By calibrating your instruments, you reduce wastage and losses and increase your company’s profitability.
Like other industries, you need to comply with regulations in the medical field. Your San Diego lab should comply with International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA). Without complying with their regulations, your lab will face closure.
One way to ensure you don’t face fines and closure is to calibrate your instruments. It shows the agencies that you use suitable specimens to conduct tests or produce products. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are other regulators you should comply with.
Common instrument calibration errors
Zero calibration error
It is among the most common calibration errors of measuring devices. This error occurs when a technician mishandles a lab instrument when the lab equipment shows a non-zero output during no load. A tool with zero calibration error will produce a curve parallel to the standard measurement. It can be above or below the standard measurement.
It, therefore, has an equal effect on all calibration points, reporting similar percentage changes across the range. You can mitigate this error through regular calibration.
Span calibration error
Span calibration error falls under the system error, which zero calibration error is part of. The error produces a slope that differs from the actual measurement. Unlike zero calibration error, it is unequal among the calibration points. When you combine zero and span calibration errors, you get an error that widens as you continue using the instrument.
Linearity calibration error
Another popular lab equipment error in San Diego is linearity error. This error causes the equipment’s response to assume an irregular line. As such, it does not relate to span or zero calibration errors, which assume a straight line.
Luckily, several lab equipments provide a solution to address the error. However, this should be done with utmost care. As you’d expect, the response to linearity calibration error differs between equipment.
As such, you should consult the manufacturer. If the instrument at hand does not have linearity adjustment, you can contact companies providing lab equipment calibration in San Diego.
Hysteresis calibration error
This error occurs when lab equipment responds differently when you increase and decrease input. One way to identify the error is to perform an up-down calibration test. You should monitor the changes at each calibration point.
The common cause for hysteresis error is friction on moving parts of an instrument, with the most prone being levers, diaphragms, tubes, and gear sets. Friction is a counterforce to the relative movement of the instrument’s moving parts. As such, the instrument output will lag behind every changing input.
As you’d guess, you cannot address hysteresis error by simply making calibration adjustments. Instead, you should replace worn-out components.
These errors are because of device precision limitations. The cause of random errors include changes in environmental conditions and electrical noise.
Sources of calibration errors
So what causes the above errors? Let’s find out.
Several environmental affect lab equipment calibration in San Diego. They include humidity, temperature, and pressure. To avoid such factors affecting calibration efficiency, your instruments should be calibrated in conditions resembling the operating environment.
For example, if your equipment is calibrated in fluctuating temperature conditions, it will throw errors if calibrated in different situations.
Inconsistent methods of measurement
It would help if you used your lab equipment with their ideal measurement methods. Using the wrong techniques can often cause calibration errors. The introduction of foreign variables can cause the instrument to misbehave. For example, the incorrect load application can cause problems with calibration.
If you are using digital instruments, exposing them to an overload can bring many calibration errors. Contrary to popular belief, an overload can cause the instrument’s transient not to trip. Besides, a voltage jolt can overwhelm an equipment’s protection features.
Consistent instrument use can cause current shunts, voltage references, and input dividers to shift. However, equipment drift is a minor alarm cause since you can address it with regular calibration.
How to minimize calibration errors
Now that you know the causes of lab equipment calibration errors let’s consider how to minimize them.
Calibrate in ambient conditions
Ambient conditions are the ideal humidity and temperature levels in a testing environment. It also refers to the accurate altitude since air pressure can affect an instrument’s calibration. Ensure the surrounding electromagnetic interference, processes, and other factors are compatible with the tool.
Use forced standard machine
A forced standard machine is a standard instrument for verifying testing machines. Ideally, their uncertainty should not be more than 1/3 of the nominal calibrated instrument’s uncertainty. Its accuracy is regularly checked using a higher standard device, ensuring calibration is traceable to sources such as NCL and NIM.
Use technical personnel
If you want to do away with calibration errors, you should consult a professional lab equipment calibrator in San Diego. Biotechnical Services is a certified lab equipment calibration company in San Diego.
We perform calibration according to industry regulations. We can offer ideal calibration services in the pharmaceutical or aerospace industry.
When should you calibrate your instruments? Here are the top scenarios.
- After a critical project: If you have recently conducted a critical measuring project, have your instrument calibrated.
- Recommended interval: Different instruments have varying calibration intervals. Ensure to adhere to them.
- After an event: Instruments can be hit, causing a change in their calibration. As such, you should have them calibrated.
As you can see, lab equipment calibration is vital to the success of your lab. Biotechnical Services can help calibrate your equipment. We offer lab equipment calibration in San Diego at an affordable price.