While calibration is not a new concept for anyone in the manufacturing industry, it retains its importance by being one of the most vital processes for shop floor managers. Manufacturers are required to undertake instrument calibration processes often, to ensure consistent results.
Instrument errors can happen due to a range of factors such as environment, electrical supply, frequency of usage, wear and tear etc., and maintaining precision/accuracy are key metrics for the company's success. Calibration helps assert that accuracy.
In this article, we will breakdown, what is calibration and why instrument calibration is important. We will also see, how finding the right vendors for calibration can positively impact businesses.
What is calibration?
Calibration is the measured accuracy and consistency of your equipment against a known measurement i.e. the standard. The calibration standard is normally traceable to a national or international standard held by a metrology body. Periodic calibration helps guarantee reliable benchmarks and results for manufacturers.
Why is calibration important?
Proper calibration ensures precise and accurate reading from the equipment, which ensures producing quality products. Inappropriate calibration or deviation from the calibration schedules leads to non-confirmative products, stock lot, or even scrapping of the entire material. These would result in huge losses, as they would either have to be scrapped or recycled. Most often these products reach customers and in turn get returned or registered as complaints, therefore affecting the reputation of the company.
Examples of deviation from calibration schedules:
- In the case of a chiller application, typically in pharma or food processing, the floor temperatures play a very critical role. Even a single degree of variation could affect the product. If there is an error in the temperature sensor, which controls the chiller, the entire production carried out with that error is at stake
- Processing temperature: A cup or a packing used for sealing is to be sealed at 100 degrees C. If the sensor has an error and shows 95 degrees instead of 100, the entire lot carried out with this temperature will suffer sealing issues at the customers end.
Thus preventive maintenance and calibration are the first steps in performance control and very essential for manufacturers.
When should you calibrate your measuring device?
- Calibration needs to be undertaken periodically (monthly/quarterly/half-yearly/annually) as part of a manufacturing plant’s preventive or planned maintenance.
- If the instrument has been subject to electrical fluctuation or damage due to environmental factors etc.
- If the instrument has not previously been calibrated.
- It needs to be traceable as per ISO or legal metrology standards.
Calibration supplier evaluation process:
On Venwiz, we ensure all our calibration vendors meet the standard requirements during their registration process using a detailed toolkit. As part of our evaluation, we ensure:
- Vendors meet the regulatory and legal requirements - are equipped to check the specific requirements of instruments, Identifying & meeting these needs as part of the process.
- Check if vendor labs are NABL-accredited or have equipment for calibration that is NABL-certified. If there is no NABL certification, we check for ISO certifications.
- Access to vendors’ previous experience (which is verified), past clients, certifications & quality assessment.
- Ability to share quotations and equipment details maintaining transparency on the platform
- Calibration infrastructure- the methods they will use to calibrate test equipment. whether it will be on site or off site etc.
Below we have illustrated a few case studies of how some of the vendors listed on Venwiz have helped clients with calibration requirements saving them time, money and resources.
Case study in collaboration with M/s Cal Labs Pvt Ltd:
In this case study we look at how, M/s Cal Labs Pvt Ltd, was able to reduce downtime for their clients who are one of India’s largest paper board manufacturers, and also help them acquire NABL-accredited results.
The client discovered the following issues while carrying out internal calibration of their temperature sensors :
- For in-house calibration of 40+ temperature sensors, NABL certifications were not available (this was a problem because NABL certification of equipment is mandatory to ensure the final products pass all quality control checks)
- Undertaking it In-house would involve a huge downtime of 16hrs + (since they had just one testing equipment with 2 set points, and had to calibrate close to 40 sensors).
With their years of experience and established credentials, M/s Cal Labs Pvt Ltd. were able to quickly solve the problem by providing their clients access to a large number of equipment (dry well calibrators) and valid certifications for all these sensors.
The job which could have cost the clients extensive wasted hours was executed in just 5 hours reducing the downtime drastically by 70%
Case study in collaboration M/s Sri Calibration Pvt Ltd
The team at M/s Sri Calibration Pvt Limited works with large clients, many of whom are giants in the pharmaceutical industry, in and around Telangana & Andhra Pradesh. Given the seriousness and impact of their products, these pharma giants are often subject to stringent audits. Instrument accuracy is critical to product quality and safety, thus strict calibration practices are important
- To ensure standard compliance
- Reduce costs associated with lost batches and potential fines.
The clients were audited & happened to overlook certain critical information with respect to traceability in calibration, during one such audit.
Being one of the leaders in calibration services, M/s Sri Calibration with an expert team immediately responded to their client on an ad-hoc basis, and the clients were able to clear the audit successfully without any deviations/observations.
Case study in collaboration M/s Vaibhav Instrumentation
The team at M/s Vaibhav Instrumentation excels in the field of instrument calibration. Thanks to their experience they were able to provide their clients services beyond simple calibration. Their client base is made up of 2000+ public & private companies across India, to whom they provide - site calibration, as well as sales and repair services (for electrotechnical instruments, thermal instruments, pressure instruments, force measuring machines, hardness testing, optical instruments, dimension instruments, etc).
During an onsite calibration of equipment with one leading manufacturer, it was found that 20% of the client's equipment had errors that went beyond the range of calibration and those could not be repaired.
The team at M/s Vaibhav Instrumentation proposed the replacement of faulty equipment instead of repair. Which is not what other calibration vendors would do. The suggestion to replace and not repair established trust with their clients. They also ended up reducing the cost impact that would have otherwise incurred, had they opted for repair (as recurring issues would mean frequent repairs). This level of service and supply in calibration by M/s Vaibhav Instrumentation gave them an edge over their competitors in the segment.
At Venwiz we realize the importance & impact we can have on your businesses and provide you a platform to search & discover the best vendors. Click here to begin your search now.