In today’s competitive global marketplace, high-quality services and products at competitive prices are the norm. Companies are looking for ways to free up valuable resources and reduce costs, in order to stay in business while delivering both value and quality. One way to achieve that is outsourcing calibration services that lie outside core processes.
The responsibility to select calibration service companies as economically as possible usually falls to the quality professional in the company. He will base his decision on certain characteristics that define professional calibration service providers. For a production line running 24 hours a day certain calibration service companies can provide a shorter calibration.
Calibration Quality Standards & Device Specialization
Companies that provide this type of services are often specialized in certain specific industry requirements and quality standards dictated by the regulatory bodies, such as the automotive industry calibration program driven by QS-9000 or pharmaceutical industry calibration program guided by FDA regulations.
Professional calibration service providers are characterized by a high degree of technical competence of technicians and measurement results, financial stability of the company, a good quality system in place, using automated calibration procedures, the best service delivery methods and record access, ability to meet customer various needs, and quick turnaround time.
A professional calibration service provider will have established a quality system that includes both an ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation and ISO standard registration and feature a fully documented and technically capable lab. ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation is assessing how well its technicians perform tests or calibrations and requires procedures for monitoring a lab’s technical ability.
The technical competence of the calibration service provider in Illinois is a critical factor. This should imply competently trained metrology technicians as well as technically valid measurement results. The experience and qualifications of the calibration technicians are critical to ensuring valid calibrations and good metrology practices, as well as confidence in the measurement results. Technicians should have not only technical ability within their particular lab area but also demonstrate broad knowledge.
Automated Calibration Services
The capability to provide automated calibrations is also an important characteristic of a professional calibration service provider. Calibration laboratories may develop their own automated software procedures or use a commercial calibration program.
The financial stability of a calibration company is also an important aspect. On this depends the company’s reliability, viability, and flexibility. Inadequate resources allocation or financial instability could result in inadequate calibrations, excessive turnaround times, or simple lack of support.
Delivery methods and solutions for providing calibration services can also make a difference. Among the methods employed by professional calibration service providers to service their customer needs are included permanent on-site calibrations, scheduled on-site calibrations, pick-up and delivery from calibration lab locations, and ship-in/ship-out services. Some companies that provide scheduled on site calibration can also use self-contained mobile labs.
Calibration records accessibility should accommodate the customer needs. Many providers of professional calibration services offer online real time record access. This allows easy access of specific documentation and can reduce the time spent filing paperwork.
Turnaround time for calibration services can be important for customers that are working in a time sensitive field. For them can be costly to have any downtime for calibration. The instrument turnaround time according to the industry standard is five business days. However, many calibration service providers can also offer expedited service. Usually the turnaround times depend on the calibration service provider’s financial stability. A company with good financial stability will be able to better ensure that its resources, equipment and labor are available when needed.