No two words may cause more harm in industry than “close enough.” That’s the last thing that you want to hear from someone who’s measuring a material or medium with a calibration instrument that’s a vital part of your industrial process. While the difference between 1.2 and 1.3 might seem miniscule, those differences at the measuring level can have a huge impact further down the line.
Why Would Calibration Be Needed?
In short, calibrating instruments ensures that the instrumentation is operating at its peak. There are many reasons that instruments may not be calibrated properly. The first, and most common, is simple wear and tear. If an instrument is repeatedly jostled and bumped, the internal mechanisms that ensure accurate readings may be affected. Human error is another possibility. The last person to calibrate the instrument may have done it improperly. Thirdly, external factors may have been involved. If the instrument was used in an environment that it wasn’t designed for, then the parts may have been affected. That would include using it to measure something beyond its capacity (for instance, weighting a 3,000 lb. object on a scale that maxes out at 500 lbs.)
What Can Calibration Do?
Calibration ensures that your measuring equipment is producing ideal results. During calibration, measurements are compared to known quantities. Imagine a scale with nothing on it. The user knows that this should read as zero and can calibrate the scale accordingly. Any measuring device works on the same principle. The instrument is calibrated according to some known value in a given medium. This will ensure that when you are measuring values in an unknown medium, your measurements will be accurate, and therefore, reliable. In industry, never settle for the words “close enough” when calibration should make those words completely unnecessary.