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By Carey Bourdier
Calibration, in basic terms, is simply a comparison between two measurements. One of the measurements has a known correctness and the other measurement is that of the device you are testing. Calibration is needed to ensure that the known correctness measurement matches that of the test subject.

The process of calibration has been around since the Industrial Revolution, but obviously these days it is much more precise. Calibration is needed for many different industries. For example, equipment needs to be calibrated in order to ensure that each piece of a product is perfectly crafted and then assembled. This could be any product from a car to a computer to the creation of packaging for food.

Calibration obviously is important before you use a device the very first time; after all ,you want to ensure that it will work correctly. However, devices and equipment also need to be calibrated every so often as the months and years pass. For some industries, calibration is required in order to gain certification. Whenever an employee notices problems with a device or instrument, it should be recalibrated to ensure that measurements are accurate. Additionally, if the machine is jostled or moved or perhaps there is an earthquake or other type of seismic anomaly, you need to calibrate. Even vast changes in temperature can affect some machinery or devices, and this might mean you need to call in someone to perform calibration services.

There are many different instruments that are used to perform calibration services, and the type of instrument used depends on the type of measurements that need to be taken. In general, there are pressure calibrators, temperature probe calibrators, block calibrators, multi-function calibrators and many more. Some are handheld pieces of equipment and others are larger or need to be placed on a level surface in order to work.

While some industries have employees on hand to perform calibration tasks, often experts are called in to perform various types of calibration. These experts are highly trained and many not only take these precise measurements but also complete any necessary repairs or adjustments. Some calibration companies can even provide the proper certification that might be required.

These calibrators or experts of calibration are called calibration technicians, and they must attend technical school and then gain five years of calibration experience before they can become Certified Calibration Technicians. Often you will find that the technician has a bachelor’s degree in metrology or perhaps mechanical engineering. Metrology is particularly helpful, as it is actually the science of measurement. These technicians spend many months and years understanding measurement and learning to use the variety of devices needed to perform the services. They calibrate all types of devices, including optical equipment, industrial equipment and electrical equipment.

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Understanding Calibration & Its Applications

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