NAICS: 541380, 811219 | SIC: 8734 | EIN: 23-292 5057 (S-Corp) | Cage Code: 1YT83 | D&B: 04-887-0732 | Size: Small Business | For Profit, Woman-Owned & Minority-Owned Business

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In-House Calibration vs. Third-Party Calibration

By | Advice & Best Practices, Calibration | No Comments

in house vs 3rd party calibration

Your equipment will only be as reliable as its calibration. Whom you hire for this work is a critical part of the process. Choosing in-house versus outsourced instrument adjustment could make or break the project. The best option depends on your company’s resources and how much you want to invest in the process. You may find a third-party service to offer more budget and time-friendly options compared to setting up tuning operations in-house.

Problems With In-House Calibration

Too often, businesses want to do every step of the manufacturing process in-house. When it comes to measurements, this choice could be costly. While keeping other parts of production close, the accuracy of picking stock or packaging products do not have severe repercussions for failures. Gage calibration can because, in some instances, lives depend on the precision of the information from the instrument.

Due to the high risks involved, the accuracy of a gage’s calibration becomes an aspect of your company’s risk management program. Some methods of calibrating instruments at your facility can increase the risks of using the equipment. Calibrating and use errors only count for some of the reasons in-house calibration may not serve your business well.

1. More Money

The cost of calibrating in your facility will vary greatly. Depending on the instruments used and employees who work at the task, you could save money or far outspend your company’s budget. How much can your facility budget for a lab, employee training and equipment? Since your facility may not use the lab for calibrations all the time, the infrequent use may not justify the money put into creating and staffing it.

To make in-house operations such as this worth the investment, the money you put into it needs to offset the cost of outsourcing the service. If your business requires calibrating high volumes of instruments, you may break even by setting up an in-house tuning service for your equipment.

Even if you save money calibrating your company’s instruments, is the service worth the effort? If you cannot feel assured of the results, using members of your business and your business’s equipment will not save you money. Your investment dividends could come out negative because poor accuracy in instruments used by your company could severely hamper the production value of what your facility creates.

2. Machines

If you choose in-house operations, you may not get the same results as from an outside lab. Larger instrument science facilities have access to larger, more accurate machines — rotary tables, interferometers, auto-collimators and more. These machines can fine-tune instruments to an accuracy within millionths of a unit.

In addition to better, more expensive equipment, labs have strict climate-controlled areas for instrument adjustments. Humidity, temperature, elevation above sea level and barometric pressure can all influence the accuracy of the gage calibration. Regulating these conditions requires more than a corner of an existing lab. You need a new facility that has adequate environmental controls for the highest accuracy in calibration. Such a facility costs a large amount of money, and if your business does not already have a lab with these features, creating one may surpass your entire company’s budget, not just the project amount for instrument calibration.

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3. Training

Those who work in specialty labs have extensive training in metrology. Their jobs during the day consist of accurately calibrating instruments from various businesses that choose to outsource the service. Because that is all they do, they excel at maintaining the correct parameters for accuracy based on the individual company’s needs and the manufacturers’ recommendations for the instruments.

To achieve a similar level of expertise in-house, you will need to train engineers to conduct calibrations. This training may take some of your current employees away from their work, reducing their overall productivity for the company. Another option will be to hire a team of engineers for your in-house lab. However, to hire such a group, you will likely need to pay a high enough salary to attract fully qualified and educated individuals, which brings up the problem of elevated compensation.

4. Employee Salaries and Health Insurance

If you take workers away from their typical jobs and ask them to do another, you may need to adjust their salaries accordingly. Hiring additional workers for a lab means paying out more money in wages and covering the health insurance for those employees.

When hiring specialists who’ve spent years in school to become experts in calibration, you may need to compensate them more. The higher salary for these workers reflects the further study and education they need to become specialists in calibration. If you train your current workers to calibrate instruments, you may still need to compensate them at a higher rate for their added responsibilities and training.

5. Longer Turnaround

Unlike third-party facilities that can operate all day, doing nothing but calibrations, your in-house lab may have a limited time for working. Because you may not have a dedicated set of workers and facility to do nothing but calibrate your equipment, the process can take longer than when you send it out. Depending on your project needs, a longer turnaround could become a severe detriment to operations.

6. Time Is the Most Important Factor

When you need calibration, time is of the essence. Without the ability to quickly get your instruments back into operation, you lose production time, cutting into profits and efficiency. While you can have an in-house calibration lab, you may prefer to hire a third-party on-site service for same-day calibration services. With such a service, you get the benefits of professional, high-level equipment without the costs incurred by keeping these in your facility all the time. For example, when you have MicronPA come to your facility, we will conduct calibrations at your location to the procedures set out ASTM, ANSI, ASME and NAVAIR.

7. Results Not Verified

Engineers in your company may have other jobs aside from adjusting instrument accuracy. They won’t know the specific requirements set by manufacturers for margins of error and calibration frequencies. Setting an instrument to too tight of a margin of error or calibrating more often than recommended by the manufacturer can both reduce the part’s accuracy. The problem this situation highlights is the lack of certification by in-house calibration teams.

Various organizations set standards for calibration labs. Meeting these requires having the equipment and staff to consistently meet national and international standards. Such strict criteria can be difficult for small labs to meet. If you must have a calibration that adheres to ANSI or ISO standards, you won’t get it from a small part-time lab in your facility. You can trust the precision of instruments calibrated in a lab meeting these standards.

Without proof of the accuracy of the calibration, you have no way of knowing how correct the instruments will be. In fields such as healthcare and aerospace, a poorly calibrated instrument could cost lives. A calibrator must prove certified accuracy to ensure verifiable results.

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Attributes of Outsourced or Third-Party Calibration

When choosing a lab for instrument tuning, you may find outsourcing your best option, especially if you need extreme accuracy and certified results. Third-party calibration companies also give you the advantage of using more of your facility for production and less for a dedicated on-site calibration lab.

1. Faster Turnaround Times

Turnaround times for your equipment calibrations can happen in just five business days, or you could get more immediate results with on-site operations from a third-party provider. If sending the equipment to a lab, your turnaround time more closely matches these times. Shipping instruments for adjustment to the OEM often requires more time because calibration is not the manufacturer’s top priority, as the service is at labs.

Relying on in-house calibrating from your team could take even longer, depending on the other work your engineers need to do. Should you prioritize the calibration, what other tasks will your workers fall behind on? If you need to stay on a timetable, sending your equipment to a specialty lab will save you time, but you can reduce adjustment time even more with a third-party lab.

If you cannot send out equipment for calibration, on-site or mobile services may suffice. With these options, you have the least amount of disruptions to your production. You have the benefit of watching the calibration team as they work, increasing the security of your expensive and delicate instruments. Depending on what you need, our on-site calibration services may finish in just a day. This minimal processing time helps you maximize your production and get back to operations quickly.

2. Lab Environment

A calibration lab environment is difficult to replicate elsewhere. Strict controls over every aspect of the environment ensure the most accurate results possible. Often manufacturers don’t use calibration labs enough to justify the prohibitive costs of creating such a strictly controlled environment. Nor to individual companies have access to purchase the highly specialized, expensive equipment used in many professional calibration labs.

For precision results, the instruments must have the same environmental conditions set forth by the manufacturer during the tuning process. Changes in heat, humidity or pressure could affect the accuracy of the instrument. Maintaining consistent conditions to those set by the manufacturer becomes especially important when shipping instruments to a lab for adjustments. Differences in elevation affect barometric pressure the gage experiences. Controlling for this factor and other environmental conditions ensures the gage performs as the manufacturer intended.

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3. Verified Results

Unless the lab in your facility adheres to strict standards and procedures, you may not have assured results from calibration. The risks of outsourcing calibration services to a third-party reduce significantly when that company holds certification from trusted testing groups.

To meet the exacting criteria of standardization organizations, a lab must prove it conducts calibration according to a strict set of guidelines both for procedures and technical ability. Because our facility meets these demands, the results we obtain are certifiable. Our labs at MicronPA hold accreditation from multiple standardization organizations. These include:

  • The American National Standards Institute and the National Conference of Standards Laboratories (ANSI/NCSL Z540-1-1994)
  • The American National Standards Institute and the National Conference of Standards Laboratories (ANSI/NCSL Z540.3-2006)
  • The International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC 17025:2005(E))

These three accreditations come from the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA). Additionally, PRI has given us certification for ISO 9001:2015 standards. With accreditation from these groups, we can service instruments for use in national or international operations. Meeting the requirements for all these groups showcases our high standards and technical abilities. It also illustrates the accuracy of our calibration services.

While we want you to trust our results, we also understand the auditors of your company need proof. Because your company likely has audits occur regularly, we prepare you for them with audit-ready reports for each calibration service we offer. Each instrument calibrated comes with a report outlining the date, part details, technician, laboratory, test results, calibration status and contact information.

4. Less Money

Because your facility does not need to invest in an on-site lab for calibration, you will save money when outsourcing the service. Thanks to same-day mobile options in Maryland, Virginia and central Pennsylvania, you can enjoy the benefits of reduced turnaround times and stringent standards. Our mobile service also comes with a cost-effective pricing model that provides competitive rates.

Money savings also come in ways you may not see. If you have a lab on site, you must pay for space, heating, cooling and machine maintenance, whether you use the equipment or not. These costs will add up over time. If you need occasional calibration, whether routine or otherwise, outsourcing may be your best option because you don’t have to pay for unused equipment or testing space.

Which Is Right for My Company?

Choosing the right calibration service depends significantly on your company’s time, budget and calibration requirements. If your facility does not already have calibration equipment, choosing in-house services could quickly put your project over budget. Additionally, having your employees do the work could cost you more in training and salaries. While cost will factor into your decision, it should not be the only consideration.

Above all else, accuracy must remain your primary goal when choosing calibration services, especially if you have a facility that uses the instruments for critical measurements that lives depend on. Doctors must trust the numbers coming from their medical equipment to make an accurate diagnosis. Pilots must believe that their altimeters give them the correct height, and manufacturing facilities must know their pressure gages provide valid values. Without proper tuning, any of these situations could turn disastrous.

Outsourcing the task to us at MicronPA gives you the knowledge of a certified facility using the strictest standards that produce verifiable, audit-ready results. We conduct calibration services for a variety of industries, including pharmaceutical, automotive, aerospace, defense and medical. Members of these sectors have trusted us for years to attend to their critical equipment needs. For more information about MicronPA’s calibration services, contact us online. Also, feel free to request a quote online to see how our services will fit into your company’s budget.

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Proper Care and Maintenance for a Measuring Tool

By | Advice & Best Practices, Maintenance | No Comments

multimeter-tool

Without properly functioning measuring tools, you may not be able to get the job done right, so it’s crucial that you keep your gages in optimal condition. Some of these kinds of tools can be very sensitive, and slight variations in conditions can cause them to malfunction and deliver inaccurate results. It’s essential that you follow proper care and maintenance procedures with all of your measuring tools.

The Importance of Measuring Tool Maintenance

Why is the proper care of measuring tools so important? Some of the benefits include the following.

  • Increase accuracy: If measuring tools don’t receive proper care and maintenance, they’re more likely to take inaccurate readings. Some of these tools take exact measurements, so even small changes can impact the accuracy of measurements. Damaged instruments may also be off by relatively large amounts. If you don’t realize your measurements are off, these inaccuracies could get in the way of the success of a job. A wide variety of factors can impact the accuracy of a measuring tool, from improper storage temperature to excessive vibrations to physical damage due to dropping it. Because damage or improper maintenance can affect accuracy, it’s crucial that you’re careful to maintain them properly. Measuring tools also fall out of calibration naturally over time, so regular gage calibration is essential.
  • Extend life: Caring for precision tools properly also helps extend their life. With proper care, many measuring instruments can serve you well for a long time. Without adequate maintenance, however, your tools will break sooner, and you’ll have to replace them earlier. Improper care increases the risk of a tool failing in the middle of a job or gradually becoming less effective, reducing the efficiency and accuracy of your work.
  • Lower costs: Following the right care and maintenance procedures can help you reduce your costs over the long term. It can help you avoid costly breakdowns, more extensive repairs and downtime. It also means you’ll have to replace your tools less often, meaning you get more out of your investments in quality instruments.

Tips for Maintaining Precision Tools

Every measuring tool has different maintenance needs, and you should receive guidelines in the user manual for each device you purchase. It’s crucial to follow these recommendations to keep your tools in optimal condition. In the following sections, we’ll look at some overarching recommendations for the care of measuring tools, as well as some more specific examples.

Storage

Storage is a critical element of measuring tool care, as these devices can spend significant amounts of time in cupboards or cabinets where they may get damaged. Be sure to follow the recommendations for how to store each tool you use. Different types of gages and tools made of different materials often have different storage requirements.

Many measurement devices come in cases, and it’s often a best practice to store your tools in these cases. If your tool didn’t come with a case, purchase one that meets the storage requirements of your instrument. Make sure it’s the right material, size and shape and that it has the right features. Often, these containers will have padding. For some types of gages, you may want to place them on a clean, dry cloth inside a case. Keeping your tools in a case helps to protect them from airborne contaminants and accidental physical damage.

Another crucial measure to take to prevent physical damage is to separate your devices so that they don’t bump into and damage each other. You can separate them using dividers or cases. Don’t stack devices on top of each other unless they’re in cases that will protect them from damaging each other.

It can also be helpful to take time to organize your devices in a cart, tray, inspection station or other location. Doing so can help make it easier to follow proper storage procedures and enable you to access your tools more efficiently.

You also need to ensure that you store your devices in the proper temperature and humidity and that other conditions are suitable for your tools as well. In general, you want to keep gages in a cool, dry place, but some devices may also come with more specific recommendations.

Be sure to keep the storage area at an appropriate temperature and keep your devices away from sources of heat, including sunlight. If your gages get exposed to sunlight or other sources that produce too much heat, they may expand as they heat up and then contract as they cool, potentially damaging them and decreasing their accuracy.

You also need to take steps to keep the humidity of the storage space at a suitable level and to take care of any moisture issues that may arise. Doing so is crucial, since excessive moisture can lead to corrosion. Air conditioning or a dehumidifier can help you control humidity and reduce ambient moisture. Placing silica gel packets in the drawers where you store your tools can help take care of any other excess moisture.

Over time, vibration can cause measuring tools to fall out of calibration, so store your instruments away from any equipment that may cause vibration or movement.

Cleaning

Another essential aspect of gage maintenance is keeping your instruments clean. Like with measuring tool storage, there are different cleaning recommendations for different types of gages and materials. Be sure to follow the guidelines for your specific tools to ensure you thoroughly clean them and avoid damaging them. Conscientiously cleaning your devices is crucial, as any residue that remains on your device may impact the accuracy of your measurements.

The material your device is made of plays a significant role in the cleaning method you should use. If an instrument is mostly aluminum, for example, avoid using alcohol, as it can cause aluminum to deteriorate. For brass, it’s best not to use anything except for a clean cloth that you’ve dampened with distilled water.

Some general cleaning tips include:

  • Not leaving your instruments in contact with dirt or oil for long periods, as oils can cause corrosion
  • Avoiding touching gages with your bare hands, as skin oils can be damaging
  • Using a soft, non-abrasive cloth to clean your instruments and ensuring the cloth is clean before using it

Scheduled Cleaning

As part of your routine gage maintenance, you should have a regular cleaning schedule in place for your devices. Various factors influence how often you should plan to clean your instruments.

  • The environment in which you use it: Some situations may cause measuring tools to require cleaning more often. If you use your tools in a dusty manufacturing environment, for example, you may need to clean them more often than if you work in a relatively controlled lab environment.
  • The task for which you use it: The job you use the tool for can also impact how often it requires cleaning. For example, pressure gage maintenance may involve cleaning it more often if you use it with liquids, as opposed to solid items. Also, if the measurements are so precise that small amounts of dirt or residue could throw them off, you’ll need to clean your instruments more frequently.
  • Legal requirements: In certain industries, rules and regulations may require you to clean tools more often. For example, food-related businesses must adhere to higher cleanliness standards than many other industries.

It’s a smart rule of thumb to inspect and, if needed, clean instruments before each use. Before using a device, look for foreign matter on it, as this material could affect the readings.

Spot Cleaning

At times, you may need to do some maintenance beyond your typical scheduled gage cleaning. This type of upkeep is spot cleaning, and is a more vigorous method you use when your routine maintenance doesn’t remove all foreign matter. Spot cleaning may involve using stronger cleaners, repeating cleaning processes until you remove all contaminants or other techniques.

Handling

Another critical element of precision instrument care is handling measuring instruments correctly during use. Taking care to avoid accidental damage and use your tools correctly can help to extend their life and ensure accurate readings.

When using a measuring tool, it doesn’t have the protection of its case or storage space, so it’s especially crucial to handle it carefully. Take care to avoid sudden shocks or rough treatment such as dropping, throwing or banging the device against hard surfaces. Placing rubber mats in workspaces can help protect tools from damage should someone accidentally drop them.

It’s also essential that you only use your instruments for their intended purposes. Never use measuring tools as hammers or to pry open other objects. Calipers, for instance, have ID jaws that come to sharp points. They appear to be ideal for cutting open boxes, but using calipers in this way cause burrs to form on the jaws. Even though these burrs may be too small to see with the naked eye, they can still affect the accuracy of the instrument.

As mentioned earlier, you may also want to avoid touching instruments that are especially sensitive with your bare hands, as the oils on your skin can cause corrosion. For some tools, minimizing the time you spend holding it or only touching it at certain points may be enough. For the most sensitive instruments or those you need to handle more frequently, you can use lint-free gloves or accessories, such as tweezers, lifters and forks, made specifically to handle sensitive instruments.

Another reason to avoid handling measuring tools for long periods is the heat your body produces. Holding an instrument for an extended period can cause it to heat up, potentially throwing off the accuracy of the unit. You should also avoid setting it on hot or cold sources and keep it away from sources of cold air or heat. Throughout the entire process of using the instrument, be careful to keep it at the proper temperature.

Training is vital for ensuring the proper handling of measuring equipment at all times. Employees should receive sufficient training for each type of instrument they will use, so they know how to take accurate measurements without damaging the tools.

Maintenance

You will also need to periodically conduct preventive gage maintenance, including regular lubrication and calibration. It’s helpful to create a schedule for when you will perform maintenance so you can ensure the necessary tasks get done. You may also want to create a system for keeping track of what maintenance tasks you complete at which times and the conditions of your various instruments. You may want to do some upkeep yourself and outsource other assignments to third parties.

One essential aspect of gage maintenance is lubrication, as it will prevent damage caused by corrosion and oxidation. It’s crucial that you lubricate each device as frequently as is recommended for each device and that you use the right lubricants in the right amounts. For many types of precision measuring tools, lightly oil them after each use. Be sure to remove any excess oil from the surfaces of the instrument using a clean, dry cloth. If a device is visibly wet with oil, it may attract particles that can cause internal wear of certain parts.

Be sure to use the right types of oils, and don’t use penetrating oils or other substances made for purposes besides light lubrication. WD-40, for example, may leave a film on your instrument that can affect its calibration. Even a thin layer can throw off the accuracy of some sensitive instruments.

Calibration is another crucial part of proper gage maintenance. Many types of measuring devices require regular calibration to ensure they perform correctly and take accurate measurements. Calibration involves comparing a measurement made by your instrument with the value of the same measurement, as defined by an accepted standard. This comparison serves to check the accuracy of the tool. If the device’s measurement differs from the standard to a significant degree, you will need to repair the instrument so it is accurate. For some devices, you may want to work with a professional calibration company that can ensure your devices have the correct calibration.

You should calibrate your instruments according to the schedule recommended for each device. All measurement devices drift out of calibration over time, so it’s vital to recalibrate them regularly. In addition to your scheduled recalibrations, you may also need to recalibrate your instruments in certain other situations, such as:

  • When it’s undergone a shock such as a fall
  • When it’s experienced harsh conditions
  • When it’s producing readings that seem incorrect

Ensure Accurate Calibration With MicronPA

To ensure proper care and maintenance of your measuring tools, it’s crucial to work with partners who can provide the maintenance-related services you need. One such partner is MicronPA.

We can perform calibrations to help you ensure your equipment is taking accurate measurements. We have received accreditation from the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation and are ISO/IEC 17025:2005(E) registered, and we are fully qualified to provide calibration services to organizations across a range of industries. We offer in-house and on-site calibration services, and our technicians will make necessary minor repairs and adjustments to bring your devices into spec at no extra charge. For every calibration, we provide a calibration label that identifies the equipment number, calibration date, the due date of next gage calibration, the identity of our laboratory and the person who conducted the calibration. Additionally, we’ll provide a long-form certificate that documents and validates all work, and we also offer online reporting and storage of calibration records.

We also offer a quick turnaround time, pickup and delivery options and calibration training. We have a wide range of calibration capabilities, including mechanical and electronic calibration, and we base all our calibration procedures on ANSI, ASTM, ASME or NAVAIR procedures.

To learn more about measuring tool care and maintenance and the calibration services we offer, contact us today.

Gage Calibration Drift

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Gage calibration drift is the process by which a gage or other measuring instrument’s readings “drift” into inaccurate territory over a period of time. Gage drift can lead to measurement errors and related problems, including safety concerns. Even when detected, gage drift can be frustrating and time-consuming to deal with in the field.

Avoiding calibration drift plays an essential role in maintaining measurement accuracy. Whether you rely on mechanical gages, electrical gages or other kinds of measuring equipment, you need to be on the lookout for this common problem.

What Causes Calibration Drift?

Though specific causes may vary depending on the type of gage you’re using, some of the most common causes of gage drift include:

  • Misuse, mishandling and neglect
  • Environmental changes, such as in temperature or humidity
  • Exposure to harsh conditions, such as corrosive substances or extreme temperatures
  • Sudden mechanical or electrical shock or vibration
  • Frequent use and natural calibration degradation over time

Some of these causes can be avoided by handling gages properly and shielding them from damaging conditions. However, because calibration drift can occur naturally over time, particularly as the instrument is used repeatedly, it’s difficult to entirely prevent loss of accuracy.

Why Does Calibration Drift Matter?

Unaddressed calibration drift can lead to measurement errors. However, in addition to skewing readings and increasing risk, calibration drift can also harm the longevity of your equipment. This fact is especially true when the drift is caused by something other than natural degradation, as some of the causes of gage drift, like exposure to harsh conditions, can also damage equipment over an extended period.

With valuable and frequently used equipment, restoring calibration accuracy is essential to preserving your investment and ensuring you’ll have access to reliable measurements when you need them.

How Can You Solve Gage Calibration Drift?

Though you can take precautions to prevent some environmental causes of gage drift, the best way to protect your equipment is to have your gages professionally calibrated on a regular basis. Depending on your industry, you may need to have instruments calibrated yearly or more often.

In addition to regularly scheduled adjustment, you may want to have a gage calibrated when:

  • It has been exposed to harsh conditions
  • It has undergone recent shock
  • It’s producing readings that don’t seem correct
  • You need confirmation of its calibration accuracy

If you’re looking for someone capable of correcting gage drift and returning your equipment to proper calibration, MicronPA can help. We perform all calibrations using approved A2LA calibration procedures, and we’ll provide you with full calibration records, including a long-form certificate that details and validates all the work done on your equipment.

Calibration drift can take gages out of the field and slow down your operation. To help you get back to work with accurate equipment, we also offer fast turnaround times. We can return your gages to you in as few as five days, if needed. Learn more about our gage calibration services, or contact MicronPA today to see how we can help.

Benefits of Accredited Calibration Services

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Does your business depend on a type of measurement instrumentation that needs to be kept accurate through calibration? If so, it’s understandable if you find yourself asking, “Do I need accredited calibration services?”

There are unaccredited laboratories and equipment manufacturers that can offer calibration services at what may seem like a bargain price. If you go this route, however, and choose to depend on the calibration services of a company that’s not accredited, audited or up to the standards of your industry, any resulting inaccuracies could wind up costing your business a fortune in recalls and reputational damage.

Fortunately, when you choose to work with an accredited lab calibration service like MicronPA, you can count on the following benefits that assure you and your business a level of confidence you can’t get from any unaccredited facility:

  • High Standards: When you choose to work with an accredited calibration service, you know the procedures used to assess the accuracy of your equipment are in compliance with the metrological organization that has granted accreditation to that lab. In the instance of MicronPA, we adhere to the highest quality standards in the industry. You can count on your instrumentation to be accurate and perform well when it’s most crucial to your product, business and reputation.
  • Accuracy: From the level of its technical proficiency to the condition of its calibration equipment, an accredited lab has been thoroughly tested, and its accuracy has been verified through independent third-party audits and assessments. This is why businesses in the aerospace, automotive, pharmaceutical, medical device and defense industries specifically choose to work with MicronPA to receive calibration services that are distinctly best-in-class.
  • Monitoring: Besides accurate calibration services, businesses need ready access to the current certificates that demonstrate they’ve been consistently monitoring the accuracy of their measurement instrumentation. For this reason, we supply hard copies of all our comprehensive certifications as well as secure web certificatesthrough our customer portal — which also provides automated email alerts for upcoming calibration services and allows you to generate organizational lists for efficient planning and notification of operators.
  • Control: Whether conducting on-site or off-site calibration services, an accredited lab will carry out its services with the utmost attention to control, so the quality of your calibration results is never in question.

MicronPA — Your Full-Service Accredited Calibration Lab

MicronPA supplies trusted calibration services to companies throughout central Pennsylvania, as well as Virginia and Maryland. For more than two decades, we’ve maintained our accreditations with the leading metrological agencies while growing our customer base by offering rapid turnarounds, comprehensive certificates and flexible on-site and off-site services.

Learn more about the benefits offered by accredited calibration services by contacting us today for a quote.

Field Calibration vs. Lab Calibration

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As an industry leader in instrumentation calibration, MicronPA offers both on-site (or field) and off-site (or lab) calibration services that adhere to the highest standards and come with complete certifications. Still, we’re often asked, “Is field calibration as accurate as lab calibration?” It’s a fair question since several reasons can influence why one form of calibration service may be preferable to another.

To first address the question of accuracy, it’s important to emphasize that all of MicronPA’s on-site and off-site calibration services are conducted to fully meet the strictest industry standards. We are also fully accredited to the following highly-respected metrological organizations by The American Association for Laboratory Accreditation — A2LA:

  • The International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission — ISO/IEC 17025:2005(E)
  • The American National Standards Institute and the National Conference of Standards Laboratories — ANSI/NCSL Z540-1-1994
  • The American National Standards Institute and the National Conference of Standards Laboratories — ANSI/NCSL Z540.3-2006

MicronPA’s decades of experience and numerous accreditations mean all of our off-site and on-site calibration services are accurate, reliable and fully traceable through our hard copy and web-based certifications.

What do you need to know about both field and workshop services to make the right decision regarding your instrumentation? Read on to learn more about both types of calibration services.

About Field Calibration

Once you’ve established that you can fully trust a mobile calibration service, the primary reasons for going this route often have to do with the installation and productivity of the instrumentation in question. What follows are some of the top reasons for employing field calibration services:

  • Total loop: To calibrate a measurement loop in its entirety, from sensor points to displays in a control room, field calibration is often the only viable method of calibrating the whole system without having to uninstall it.
  • Security: To prevent sensitive instrumentation from leaving a facility, field calibration is an option many choose for the added security it ensures.
  • Field conditions: When equipment cannot be removed or needs to be calibrated under operating field conditions, then field calibration is the best choice.
  • Affordability: MicronPA’s field calibration services are affordably priced to match our same-day service fees, which allows customers to eliminate all costs associated with shipping and handling.
  • Productivity: Without having to uninstall, pack and ship instrumentation, field calibration services support the uptime and productivity of the applications the given instrumentation is used in.
  • Transparency: When either you or your staff want to observe the entire calibration procedure from beginning to end, field calibration offers unparalleled transparency of the process.

About Lab Calibration

Of course, there are other instances when it’s preferable to have instrumentation calibrated in our lab that’s already set up for the service. Here are some of the most popular reasons for workshop calibration:

  • Best possible uncertainty: In instances when your requirements call for best possible uncertainty, it’s typically more easily achieved with stationary calibration equipment found in a lab.
  • Safety: For robust safety measures that might call for things such as thermal or electrical current overloads, a lab with sufficient built-in safety equipment and procedures can be the safest method of performing calibration.

MicronPA Can Help You Choose

As a family-owned and operated business, we’re always happy to hear from our customers and help them decide which form of calibration service best matches their needs.

For informed answers to all your calibration questions, please contact us today.

Ready to get started? Request a Quote!