Newsletter - Why Calibrate ?
Calibrations – why are they necessary ?
It’s that time of the year, quality people are on your case to get the calibration schedule completed, contacting the contractor to arrange the work before the auditors arrive, digging out old reports, trying to remember what instruments have to be done, did we get all the repairs done, and it goes on. So, why, why do we put ourselves through this ? Why do my instruments need to be “calibrated” ?
The key word here is consequence, because in order to answer the first question, we must reply with a second. What is the consequence of the measuring instrument being incorrect ? If there is no consequence to the inaccuracy, then there is no need to have the instrument checked, and some would argue, there is no need to have the instrument at all.
I remember some years ago being called by a manufacturer supplying food products on a daily basis to a large city. The call was in relation to threats by the authorities to close the factory until they had achieved a certain level of compliance. The operations people had neglected the calibration schedule on a number of critical temperature probes, and the authorities had, over time, become frustrated with the lack of progress, and issued a letter stating that if compliance was not achieved by a specific date then the factory would have to stop production.
Why were the authorities so “tough”, because the consequence of inaccurate temperature readings was potentially a lot of sick people. And at this point, I would like to introduce another keyword, confidence.
The authorities had lost confidence in the manufacturer, and were concerned about the potential consequence to the general population. The amazing part of this equation, is how the loss of confidence has the same characteristics as a snowball, once it starts, it moves fast, and it keeps getting bigger.
Fortunately, the inverse is also true, albeit not as fast moving as the snowball, once confidence starts, it can be rebuilt, it just takes longer.
In summary, when you are assessing your calibration requirements, consider the consequence of not calibrating that particular instrument; and when selecting a company to provide you with a calibration service, consider how much confidence you have in their people, equipment, and procedures.
And the food manufacturer, well, the authorities shut down production, we attended site, carried out the required checks and calibrations, and yes there were some serious discrepancies which we corrected, we issued the certificates, they got back into production, and six months later, they had stopped trading.
Why did they go ?
Maybe the consequence of their actions was that finally, their clients lost confidence.
Contact us for advice on your instrument calibrations, our IANZ accreditation gives you the confidence that we know what we are doing, and as I am sure you are aware, the consequence of using someone who does not give you the same confidence, will probably result in outcomes you do not desire.
Click on Contact Us button, fill in your details and we will be in touch to see how we can help you and your company.