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By Carey Bourdier
Without calibration, machinery would not be built accurately, and this would mean that products were not built properly. With some products, slight problems might not be that big of a deal, but with others it could make the difference between life and death. For instance, imagine a soldier on the battlefield with a weapon that wasn’t built properly or imagine a mother driving her children around in a vehicle that wasn’t subject to advanced calibration.

While calibration as a word was not used until the Civil War, the actual process of calibration existed in the early days of the Industrial Revolution when machines were being invented and production was being sped up and improved. The word initially was used to describe the diameter of the barrel of a gun or firearm, and certainly we have heard the world caliber being used to describe weapons. However, calibration is used in all industries, not just in the production and design of weaponry.

There are many reasons why a company or government agency might be in need of calibrating services. For instance, whenever a new piece of equipment, machinery or a new instrument is put into use, it must first be calibrated to ensure that measurements and output are accurate. If you have to repair an instrument or machine or alter it in some way, calibration is needed then as well. In addition, after a machine has been in used a set number of hours or months, you will need to have it recalibrated.

In addition, sometimes machines are changed or adjusted to accommodate new customer specifications. In this case, calibration also is needed. If something catastrophic has happened, such as an earthquake, this also can affect instruments and machinery, which might mean that calibration is needed to ensure that the equipment is in correct working order.

The individuals charged with the tasks of calibration are known as calibration engineers. Not only does this job require a college degree, typically either a bachelor’s or master’s degree, you also have to earn certification. Your college course list will include classes such as trigonometry, metrology, algebra, engineering drawing, physics and perhaps even chemistry classes.

There are many different tools that are used by calibration engineers. Pressure gauges and temperature gauges are two tools used for calibration, as well as voltmeters, oscilloscopes and even different types of calipers. The type of tools that you have to use depends on what you are calibrating. There is also calibration software that you will need to learn how to use.

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Facts About Calibration

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