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Calibration: The Who, What and Why

Since entering the calibration industry it has always been an interesting experience sharing what my job is and what I do. I calibrate testing equipment. This is usually met with either an explanation of understanding or completely blank stares. Sometimes you get questions about whether or not we can calibrate your piano. This we cannot do. However, for many in the manufacturing field, this is a familiar concept. You have equipment you rely on to develop your product and you need to trust these measurements are accurate and precise. This is where we come in.

Calibration is the process of upholding national standards of measurements to lower level equipment. There is an internationally traceable line of equipment from the recognized measurement standard, through our equipment standards that we are able to pass to your tools and test equipment. We hold a ISO/IEC 17025:2005 standard accreditation, meaning that we have been thoroughly examined and tested ourselves to uphold quality performance that can be guaranteed. The typical industry standard of ISO 9001 is completely covered within this 17025 standard and can be upheld.

So why get your equipment calibrated? If you aren't calibrating your equipment already you may be producing faulty products or experiencing a high number of nonconformances. All test equipment has the risk of drift over time. This means that the tolerance it was manufactured to will only hold true for a certain length of time. This is typically set to about a year before you need to get it retested or re-calibrated. Sending your equipment back to the manufacturer every year can sometimes be an option but this can take a lot of time and money. This can sometimes be your only option as proprietary claims on your tool may not have been released. However, the two best choices for calibration are either in house or vendor out sourced. So how do you choose?

Purchasing the standards required, hiring the man power and re calibrating those standards can be costly. Depending on the volume of instruments you are using and your specific needs this may be an option. Most companies however, have found that out sourcing this project can save them a lot of time and money. We take on the accreditation audits, the expenses of personnel, purchasing of necessary equipment and accessories, calibration of this equipment and the continued training required to grow in an ever evolving industry.

We are here to answer any questions you may have including whether or not we would be a right fit for you and your needs. We can travel to you or calibrate your instruments in our Roanoke, Virginia laboratory. Visit us today at

About the Author

I am Danielle Bradford and am the Quality Director at Instrument Calibration & Technical Services, Inc. I have lived in Roanoke for the past 5 years. I Graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2010 with a degree in Engineering Physics. I grew up in New Hampshire and am happy to have settled between my childhood home and where I went to college. I love my job and maintaining the quality system here at ICTS. We strive to uphold continuous improvement and search for new ways to serve our customers, including our customer portal. This is a web based portal access to our database where you can see all of your calibrated instruments, print reports and certificates and much more. All of our customers are offered access to this and can take advantage of its benefits. Feel free to email me directly at if you would like more information.

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