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articles:optimizing_calibration_intervals [2020/01/14 13:16]
rrandall [Reducing Waste: Through Optimizing Calibration Intervals]
articles:optimizing_calibration_intervals [2020/01/14 13:17] (current)
rrandall [Reducing Waste: Through Optimizing Calibration Intervals]
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 Most M&TE are on arbitrary 12 month calibration intervals... as if “one size” fits all. These are typical “manufacturer-recommended intervals” - which are often extremely conservative because the manufacturer wants their calibration labs to stay busy. And most companies happily pay them to do so. Yes… over-calibrating M&TE reduces risk… but only to a degree((A MUCH better way to reduce risk is to increase the minimum "​Accuracy Ratio" between the M&TE and the tolerance of the characteristic being measured, but that's a topic for a separate article.)). Is it efficient or cost-effective?​ No. Does the reduction in risk justify workers being without M&TE or the company paying excessive amounts for this “over calibration”?​ In most situations, the answer is a resounding NO! Most M&TE are on arbitrary 12 month calibration intervals... as if “one size” fits all. These are typical “manufacturer-recommended intervals” - which are often extremely conservative because the manufacturer wants their calibration labs to stay busy. And most companies happily pay them to do so. Yes… over-calibrating M&TE reduces risk… but only to a degree((A MUCH better way to reduce risk is to increase the minimum "​Accuracy Ratio" between the M&TE and the tolerance of the characteristic being measured, but that's a topic for a separate article.)). Is it efficient or cost-effective?​ No. Does the reduction in risk justify workers being without M&TE or the company paying excessive amounts for this “over calibration”?​ In most situations, the answer is a resounding NO!
  
-If M&TE calibration intervals were optimized based upon performance,​ optimal calibration intervals for some instruments might be 18 months, 24 months, or even longer. This results in immediate tangible cost savings. And while a few instruments may require shorter calibration intervals (e.g., 9-month intervals), immediate intangible savings are realized through the increased confidence in reliability of the M&TE.+If M&TE calibration intervals were optimized based upon performance,​ optimal calibration intervals for some instruments might be 18 months, 24 months, or even longer. This results in immediate tangible cost savings. And while a few instruments may require shorter calibration intervals (e.g., 9-month intervals), immediate intangible savings are realized through the increased confidence in the reliability of the M&TE.
  
 One company I visited, had over 13,000 instruments in their calibration system. They'd contracted all of the calibrations with a metrology laboratory that "​optimized"​ their calibration intervals for them. The number of instruments found "​Out-of-Tolerance"​ dropped from 5% (650 instruments) per year to less than 0.5% (only 65 instruments)! This reduced their risk (of "​Out-of-Tolerance"​ instruments being used to inspect product), reduced their administrative costs (associated with performing "​Out-of-Tolerance"​ impact analysis), and reduced their total annual cost for calibration services (fewer calibrations were performed)! One company I visited, had over 13,000 instruments in their calibration system. They'd contracted all of the calibrations with a metrology laboratory that "​optimized"​ their calibration intervals for them. The number of instruments found "​Out-of-Tolerance"​ dropped from 5% (650 instruments) per year to less than 0.5% (only 65 instruments)! This reduced their risk (of "​Out-of-Tolerance"​ instruments being used to inspect product), reduced their administrative costs (associated with performing "​Out-of-Tolerance"​ impact analysis), and reduced their total annual cost for calibration services (fewer calibrations were performed)!