What is calibration and why is it important?

Rev. 0.1 – 27.06.2018, JKO

Calibration is about ensuring that measurements are performed correctly so you can rely on them. With a well-executed calibration, it is ensured that your data loggers measure the same values ​​as all other data loggers.

Calibrations can be required by regulations or customers and is a key part of maintaining a high quality, whether working with medicine, medical samples or food.

In this guide, we have gathered the most important concepts and knowledge about calibration of measuring units, so you know what to pay attention to.

How is a calibration performed?

Calibration is performed by comparing a value, e.g. temperatures, read by a data logger with a reference. By reading the difference between what the data logger measures and what the reference measures, you can calculate whether the data logger has measured correctly and how close to the true value the data logger has measured.

Traceability

Traceability is the most important concept of calibration. Traceability of the devices means that measurements from data loggers can be traced back to the same international standard. It guarantees that the data loggers provide the same result as any other traceable data logger.

Measurement uncertainty

During calibration, the measured temperature of the data logger is calibrated against a reference, but the comparison that is made will always have a certain degree of uncertainty. The measurement uncertainty describes how precise the two measured temperatures are when compared, thus giving a picture of how close to the “true value” a calibration can be expected to be.

The measurement uncertainty should always be shown in the calibration certificate.

Acceptable deviations

On many calibration certificates, a so-called acceptance level is specified. This indicates whether any deviations from the true value are within a defined limit and if you can rely on the uncertainty that the supplier has promised.

What should you be aware of when choosing a calibration method?

There are a number of things to be aware of when selecting a calibration method. The most important ones are listed below:

 

Traceability

In order to rely on the measurements made by the equipment, equipment must always be traceable.

Measurement uncertainty

The uncertainty about the calibration must be chosen to suit the needs of authorities or internal processes. As a rule of thumb, 0.5 °C will be sufficient when monitoring refrigeration equipment, such as refrigerators, freezers and ULT-freezers.

Accredited or not accredited

Whether or not the calibration of your equipment is accredited depends on the requirements of authorities or customers regarding the quality and traceability of the measurements made by your monitoring equipment.

An accredited calibration is always guaranteed to be of high quality, and all accredited companies have strict procedural requirements and are continuously inspected to ensure that the quality is uniform. Therefore, you can always trust accredited calibrations to follow the same international calibration standard.

Eupry’s DANAK accredited laboratory

Eupry’s quality equipment is calibrated in our state-of-the-art calibration laboratory using systematic and validated procedures. Optional DANAK accredited calibrations are available for our temperature data loggers. DANAK is a member of the European Accreditation (EA) which means calibration results such as reports generated through our system and calibration certificates are internationally recognised and accepted. Our laboratory is accredited according to ISO / IEC 17025. We can guarantee highly accurate calibrations, as well as an exceptional level of expertise. This is ensured by regular inspections performed by the approved accreditation body, DANAK.