When you book your metrology equipment in for a calibration, you’ll be asked whether you require the calibration to be carried out to traceable or UKAS standards. But do you know what’s covered under each option?

Many of our customers are confused about the difference between traceable and UKAS calibrations and often ask us for advice when it comes to deciding on the right standard of calibration for their equipment.

With so much information available on the subject, we’ve brought it together in one place to help make your decision.

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If your metrology equipment has been calibrated and the results show the device is out of tolerance, then it’s likely to need an adjustment.

But where does a calibration end and an adjustment begin? What’s the difference between the two processes? And why are adjustments not always necessary if a device is out of tolerance?

Read on for the answers to these commonly asked questions:

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The differences between ISO 6789:2003 (withdrawn) and ISO 6789:2017

ISO defines the standards that torque tool calibrations must follow. In 2017, the 2003 standard (ISO 6789:2003) was withdrawn and replaced with the 2017 standard (ISO 6789:2017).

Although the 2003 standard is now classified as ‘withdrawn’, it is still requested by torque tool users and remains widely used by calibration laboratories.

Read on for an explanation of the difference between the standards and how it will affect the type of torque tool calibration your business will need.

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Over time and through constant use, the accuracy of metrology equipment can start to drift and lead to measurement errors. To avoid this, it’s important to have your equipment calibrated regularly.

But organising calibrations can be a hassle, especially if your processes use multiple pieces of equipment, or downing tools leads to production delays.

Save yourself the headache by reading our top tips on how to manage and optimise your metrology equipment calibration process.

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Torque wrench calibration

Anyone who uses torque tools knows that over time, general usage alongside wear and tear can have a detrimental impact on the tool’s internal workings, leading to the tool delivering more or less torque than intended to. As a result, fasteners may end up too loose, allowing them to back off under stress, or too tight, causing them to deform, shear, or otherwise break.

During the lifespan of a torque tool, it is bound to fall out of calibration. This doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the tool and a simple re-calibration will return the tool to delivering an accurate performance.

But businesses are often faced with a Goldilocks and the Three Bears scenario when wondering how often their torque wrenches need to be calibrated. Too often and you’ll be wasting money and causing disruption to processes. Not often enough and you could be producing faulty or defective products without realising, which you may be liable for if that product fails within the field.

So, what’s the ‘just right’ amount of torque wrench calibrations?

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Electrical testing equipment calibration

The accuracy of electrical testing equipment can drop over time. To avoid safety issues or process failures, it is critical to ensure that any electrical testing equipment used within your business is regularly calibrated.

There are no official British standards which state the frequency of electrical equipment calibrations. So unfortunately, there is no short answer to the question.

Every instrument will have a different calibration frequency requirement that comes recommended by the manufacturer. Combine that information with industry best practice which advises leaving no more than 12 months in between calibrations and you’ve got a good starting point.

However, there are also other scenarios where more frequent calibrations could be required:

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Industrial thermometers

Temperature measurement in industrial environments covers a wide variety of needs and applications. It can be carried out using a range of temperature testing equipment, from thermometers to temperature probes (including surface probes). These instruments can come with many styles of wiring configurations including from thermistors, thermocouples and RTD/PRT.

No matter what type of temperature measuring equipment you have, it’s critical to have it calibrated. Why? Because temperature plays an important role in the production of many products, and in some situations even a slight variance in the required temperature can not only affect the quality of the product but can also compromise its safety.

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It’s important to calibrate balances and scales at regular intervals to ensure they remain accurate. But what’s arguably just as important is using accurate weights to perform the scale calibration in the first place.

With just one inaccurate test weight having the potential to give unreliable measurement results across all the scales and balances it has been used to calibrate, it is important to look after your weights properly.

Read on for our top tips for storing, handling and caring for your test weights to ensure they remain accurate.

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Technician calibrating pressure gauge

Pressure gauges are commonly used within a variety of industries and sectors. From processes as straightforward as inflating car tyres, all the way through to the complexities of manufacturing aerospace parts. However, with such frequent use and the assumed simplicity of the equipment, pressure gauges are often overlooked when it comes to maintenance.

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How the new ISO standards will affect torque tool users

ISO 6789:2017 is the new ISO standard for calibrating torque hand tools and was introduced as a revision to ISO 6789:2003.

Read on for an explanation of the change and how it will affect the type of torque tool calibration your business will need.

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