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Calibration Services and Traceable Calibration

Calibration of Length StandardCalibration Services compare a measurement reading from a measuring instrument or tool with a known value from a reference instrument or standard to determine the performance limitations of the tool or instrument. Standards are prepared by various organizations, agencies and governing bodies and are universally used by testing laboratories.

A traceable calibration is performed using a reference instrument with a known value that can be traced back to a national standard, held by an organization such as NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology). Routine calibration services help ensure that measuring instruments will produce results which meet or exceed defined criteria with a specified degree of confidence.

Calibration services look at the measurement concepts of accuracy and precision. Accuracy describes how close a measurement reading or result is to the known value or correct measurement. Precision is the consistency or repeatability of the measurement readings. Manufacturers generally state expected accuracy and precision of their instruments as a designated percentage or value.

Types of Calibration

Calibration services are performed on a wide-range of measuring instruments and are typically named for the type of measurement the instrument performs, such as dimensional, mechanical, pressure, force, torque, electrical, temperature, mass, vacuum, humidity and flow calibration. Most standards and masters, gauges and measuring hand tools including micrometers, parallels and calipers, require dimensional or mechanical calibration services.