Calibration is the comparison of a piece of equipment’s performance with a standard of accuracy. As well as reporting anything out of nominal regards, calibration also minimizes error through adjustment. A degradation called drift is most often offset by this process and allows a measurement to still be reliable even after experiencing some error. If a piece of equipment is properly calibrated, it can provide the company with the services needed to meet the any specification by a customer from anywhere.
The measuring equipment being used must be tested against a standard of high accuracy when it comes to calibration. The national standard says that equipment should be accurate to 0.002% but varying from laboratory to company to the final product, there are different standards. For instance, the calibration laboratory standard is accurate to 0.01%, to a hundredth rather than a thousandth. It is a safer bet to calculate to a higher standard than the one given.
Calibrations should be done on a reoccurring basis and should have evidence of a comparison result being obtained and recorded each time, as well as maintaining that calibration level. Records should include not only identification of the methods and conditions that have been met for that specific calibration process but also an identification of which standards have been used. Records of these comparisons will show trickle down until they reach the place responsible for maintaining the specific country’s measurement standards. This is known as traceability.
Before one can even begin to work with calibration, however, he must know the difference between accuracy and precision, which are both essential to the process. Accuracy is defined as how close a measurement reading is to its “true” value, while precision can be defined as how repeatable these measurements are, or how closely-grouped in the case of repeat actions. Both play a big role in properly calibrating a value.