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Determining the Frequency of Calibration

Calibration Gage BlocksThe calibration of measuring tools, instruments and masters is a comparison of a measurement reading from the item being calibrated with a known value from a reference instrument or standard. Variations between the reading and the known value determine the performance limitations of the tool, instrument or master.

Inception of Calibration

It is often a good policy to calibrate measuring instruments prior to the first use. This will establish a measurement history from the beginning for future reference and comparison. Tracking the history on the instruments to make sure that they have been within the specifications will help in making decisions about calibration frequency or intervals.

Frequency of Calibration

Shorter intervals between calibrations may reduce the risk of questionable measurements. When determining the frequency of calibration, consider factors that may affect measurement accuracy:

  • How often the instrument is used
  • Environmental conditions (e.g. humidity, temperature, vibration) where the instrument is stored and used
  • The required uncertainty in measurement
  • Requirements of your company’s quality program