Disadvantages of On-Site Calibration Service

by / Tuesday, 08 October 2013 / Published in Calibration & Repair Services, Updates

Disadvantages of On-Site Calibration Service

burned-budgetsIs the convenience of on-site calibration really worth it? While some on-site services boast about their speed and their ability to produce immediate results – that is not always a benefit. Finding a ‘quick and convenient’ calibration service may lead to sacrificing your pipette’s accuracy. Cutting corners with a calibration service that does not have the correct equipment such as an ultra-micro balance and is not working under a controlled environment will end up costing your lab more money, time, and effort on re-calibrating the same instrument(s). Can your lab really afford to re-calibrate all of your instruments, re-purchase reagents, and repeat all the hours spent on the experiment? Rather than cut corners, finding an off-site calibration service, like Pipette.com/Accutek Lab, will guarantee reliable calibration of your liquid handling instruments.

Are They Qualified?

Most calibration service company’s state they comply under an ISO 9001:2008 standard. However, anyone can claim to be metrology specialist because they may have done it for years. But a combination of years of experience and certification delivers precise calibration and better results. Although certification is a benefit, the certification that matters is an ISO 17025:2005 accreditation which “specifies the general requirement for the competence to carry out tests and/or calibrations, including sampling. It covers testing and calibration performed using standard methods, non-standard methods, and laboratory-developed methods.” ISO 17025:2005 and ISO 8655:2002, which is a compliance to the piston-operated volumetric standards, lead to a skilled and reliable calibration service. In addition, an FDA registered facility will solidify the qualification of a calibration service that can and will deliver superior results.

What is Needed to Accurately Calibrate?

Accutek-Lab-Certificate

Proper calibration takes adequate accreditation and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) traceable equipment. Two of the most obvious piece of equipment that on-site calibration service lacks most of the time are stone tables and ultra-micro balances. An important question to ask on-site calibration personnel is whether they use an ultra micro balance? If they’re answer is “no, we use an analytical balance,” then that automatically tells you that they are not using adequate equipment to properly calibrate your micropipettes. An ultra micro balance is able to precisely calibrate 20 uL (or less) pipettes while analytical balance cannot. Analytical balances are ideal for milligrams and ultra micro balances are perfect for micrograms. Stone tables are needed to reduce vibration to measure at a precise rate. If an on-site calibration service is constantly moving their balance, they may risk shifting the balances’ calibration and pipettes’ accuracy. An ultra micro balance needs 24 hours to acclimate to its environment to provide accurate results. If a balance is moved before being used for calibration it will not provide accurate results. Other calibration equipment that is needed for precise calibration is:

  • A Calibration Weight
  • Up-to-date Calibration Software
  • Controlled Environment Parameter
    • Temperature and humidity
  • Ultra Micro and Analytical Balances with Evaporation Trap
  • Distilled Water

Each of these components leads to a properly calibrated pipette. While on-site calibration services boast about their ‘speed and convenience,’ their quick and possible superficial manner of calibration is not the most efficient or correct way.

Sartorious Analytical Balance

Fortunately, an off-site service will take time to disassemble the pipette and utilize the appropriate spare parts to improve the pipette, as well as perform legitimate tests with NIST certified and correct equipment. Furthermore, off-site service will calibrate under a controlled environment as exact conditions are mandatory to calibrate properly. They will examine the seals, make adjustment to worn out parts, and re-grease parts that need it. Essentially, off-site calibration service will bring new life to your pipette and prolong its usability.

Off-Site Delivers Precise Results

Calibration is designed to identify the faults of a pipette as well as solve them accordingly and accurately. Correct maintenance of your pipette is not always achievable by on-site calibration – it is not a dependable service. A full-service program is needed to achieve maximum and legitimate results. Though on-site calibration service seems ideal because it sounds inexpensive and easy, the results can be sloppy and unreliable. The precision and dependability of your pipette matters more than the extra dollars you might save on the on-site calibration service.

For a dependable pipette calibration service, a pipette has to be clean, accurate, precise, and have a calibration sticker. Furthermore, when you receive your pipette(s), you must have access to reports and calibration history. These are basic necessities that are essential to ensure you save on reagents, samples, and time by having accuracy in your results. Pipette.com/Accutek Lab is able to provide all these necessary features when calibrating your pipettes.

Take advantage of Pipette.com/Accutek Lab’s 10% discount for new customers by scheduling your calibration service today at http://pipette.com/ISO17025calibration-service-repair or by downloading this form and contacting Pipette.com for shipping label. If you would like more information about pipette calibration, give them a call at 800-243-3232 or email them at info@pipette.com, they would be more than happy to help.

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