Every electrical test equipment requires a regular Electrical Calibration Service to ensure it remains within its tolerances set by the manufacturer. Accuracy and compliance with UK regulations are critical for any company to win tenders and pass audits. So, for example, if your company is looking for a multimeter calibration service, then here are the essential criteria you need to consider.
Why Do you Need To Calibrate Your Testing Equipment?
Accuracy in testing devices only lasts for so long, as all testing equipment drifts over time. If the instrument is dropped, you can damage components, if it is exposed to a power surge or if the device has been mistreated, then its readings or measurements will fall outside of the recommended tolerance.
Traceable Calibration Certificates
After every Electrical Calibration Service, the service centre must issue you a traceable calibration certificate. So, if there is an incident, you can prove that the testing equipment you have used has been calibrated to both the UKAS and manufacturer standards.
This is the first question you need to ask any calibration and repair centre.
Temperature Controlled Laboratory
Environmental conditions affect all reference standards and test instruments used in all electrical calibrations. Standards such as ISO 17025:2017 state that all calibration laboratories must monitor and control environmental conditions. Conditions including temperature and humidity which can affect the validity of measurements of results.
After traceable calibration certificates, you need to ask the Electrical Calibration Service company if their engineers work in a temperature and humidity controlled laboratory.
Any industry that uses precision testing equipment often uses it on a daily basis, such as HVAC technicians. Most Electrical Calibration Service and repair centres offer a three to five day turnaround time.
However, there are a few specialist calibration companies that will offer other customers an onsite Electrical Calibration Service. An onsite calibration service minimises the downtime of your equipment but will come at an increased cost. If the equipment requires repairs, then it may take longer.
Turnaround times is another area you may want to consider in choosing your calibration company.
Manufacturers In House Repair Services
Manufacturing companies such as, Fluke, Chauvin Arnoux, Seaward, Megger, Metrel and Kewtech offer their own calibration services. In our experience, they tend to cost more as they charge a premium for accessories such as batteries and a replacement cable.
Research the price before deciding, as too cheap may raise concerns and too expensive may be a waste of money.
Delivery and Returns
Some companies will offer a free collection and return service, with the costs hidden in the quote for the calibration and repair. Depending on where your unit or site is based, they may or may not deliver and return to your location. Sometimes, they will have a minimum number of orders or items before they offer this service.
If they do not, then they must use a reputable postal company like UPS, Parcelforce or FedEx. This will give you confidence in the safe return of your items.
Testing Instruments That Require Calibrating
Listed below are the most common instrument types and devices that require regular calibration. If its purpose in life is measuring, it will require calibrating.
- AC/DC Voltage tester
- Clamp meters
- Continuity and circuit testers
- Earth resistance testers
- Insulation testers
- Pressure tester
- PAT tester
- Signal Generators
- Multifunction testers
- All appliance testers
- RCD testers
- All high voltage test equipment
Consultancy and Advice
Electrical products, such as PAT testers, need to adhere to different procedures from some other electrical equipment. If you are unsure, then most calibration companies will offer a free advice and consultancy service. If they charge a fee for their information, then maybe you should search for another company.
The consultancy part of their business will support their marketing and sales and there will often be an advice/news section as part of their website content.
It will be worth getting in touch with a few companies and asking their technical team a few questions to gauge a feeling for the company.