Pipettes keep your lab moving. While a procedure may call for several different types of lab equipment, the majority cannot be completed without a pipette. Because of this need for productivity that most labs prefer not to send their pipettes away for calibration. On-site calibration does sound appealing, your pipettes never leave the premises and may even be ready for same day pick up.  But we’ve all heard the proverb ‘If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is’.

Calibrating a Pipettelabnet-biopette-pipettes

When calibrating a pipette there are several steps, but generally, each pipette will undergo disassembly, seal & O-rings replacement, greasing the piston, calibration weighing, & then calibration data has to be recorded. All of this is done to one pipette and can take some time to complete accurately. This general scheme leaves out other variables, such as per channel calibration for multichannels or more challenging repairs that may take more time and attentiveness. 

Example Situation

Let’s say your lab has a hundred pipettes that need to be calibrated and most on-site calibration labs can do roughly 50 pipettes a day, during a 5-hour work day. If 50 pipettes are calibrated in 5 hours, then that means 10 pipettes were completed in 1 hour. Which boils down to each pipette being worked on for only 6 minutes. Attempting to complete everything needed to properly calibrate a pipette in 6 minutes is like trying to load a 384 Well plate in 1 minute with a single channel pipette. There is a high probability that not everything will be completed and leaves you open to error later on.

Not only are on-site calibration labs spending very little time on your pipette, they’re also making large profits off of it. An average price for on-site calibration is $25 per pipette, based on our estimations above, that means you are paying them $250 an hour.

The Benefit of Off-Site Calibration

While it may seem inconvenient to have your pipettes sent out for calibration, the benefits will always outweigh the disadvantages. Off-site calibration means that every factor can be accounted for, including temperature, air flow, and reliable lab equipment.  Being able to take the time needed to examine a pipette thoroughly in a controlled environment allows for accurate calibration. The American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) has even determined that there is a greater range of error on measurements recorded from on-site calibration.

Put Pipette.com Calibration to the Test

At Pipette.com we’ve been calibrating pipettes for over 20 years. Our dedication to accuracy and precision is why we have over 20,000 satisfied calibration customers. To make your calibration experience suit your needs, we have customizable service plans available. This flexibility also means you don’t pay for services you don’t need, helping you save big! As an extra bonus, we have a free pipette management system which helps you to manage, track, and simplify your pipette calibration. To learn more, visit our website or call us today at 800-243-3232!