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Narich specialises in creating simple solutions for sometimes complex problems using non destructive light and spectral techniques

Monday, August 26, 2013

Guidelines to Calibration

Pre-emptive maintenance is often seen as a "grudge purchase" or a necessary evil like insurance. In the following article, I would like to cover the basic approach users should take to the reasons why, and frequency of calibrations.Firstly, what is calibration?

  • Factory Calibration
  • Certification Calibration
  • On Site Certification Calibration
  • Service Calibration
  • User Calibration
Factory Calibration is carried out during manufacture of the instrument to ensure that the instrument adheres to the specifications and standards as laid out if the technical data sheets for the particular instrument. Unless your instrument suffers serious damage, particularly to the Sphere (If it is a sphere based instrument) it is unlikely that you will ever have to have this calibration carried out. If you do, these are carried out either in Service Japan or Service Bremen Germany, and by nature can be quite expensive.

Certification Calibration is carried out at your nearest service centre (Narich (Pty) Ltd). There is no REQUIREMENT to have a Certification Calibration other than to assure both internally and externally (Customers and suppliers) that your system is certificated with traceability to provide the measurements according to its specifications. The Instrument may be in perfect working order before the certification is requested, to comply with your own internal (ISO) standards. Pricing for this process is managed by Konica Minolta.

On Site Certification Calibration is carried out at the customers site, particularly if a large number of instruments are in one place.It must be noted that the Quality and Accuracy requirements for On-Site calibration is lower that Service Centre calibration. It is also not possible to carry our repairs on site.
Pricing is the same as for Certification Calibration with the ADDED expense of the cost of travel and accommodation for a Service Technician. One Site Certification Calibration is only carried out by special arrangement. We will not carry out on-site calibrations for single instruments at a site.

Service Calibration is carried out when an Instrument repeatedly displays error messages (See manual for these) and in effect, the instrument needs to be repaired. The instrument will always be calibrated after a repair to ensure optimum performance.
Pricing for a Service Calibration is the same as for a Certification Calibration with the ADDED expense of parts and labour.

User Calibration This is routinely carried out b the user on start up, when changing conditions, during the start of a new shift etc. If performed without an error message, none of the above category of calibration is REQUIRED

How Often is a Certification Calibration required?.A Company or Organisation will apply their own standards, but typically an annual calibration is required. This is particularly so if you have a mandated certification period acceptable to a user group, industry or by agreement with customers and suppliers.
Technically, if NO ERROR messages are being displayed, there is no TECHNICAL reason to calibrate the instrument.
Clean environment laboratories may get away with 2-3 years without any attention being required, a dirty production environment could require intervention every six months.

How Long does a Calibration Take? Calibrations are carried out under strict conditions and require 2-4 days. Parts and diagnostics may add weeks to this however. Certification Calibration Tiles are also required to be certificated centrally on an annual basis, so no work can be carried out for 4 -6 weeks while this procedure is being carried out.

Warranty The process is warrantied for 90 days

User Data Customers are responsible to back up all user data that may reside in an Instrument Firmware Memory

FAQ's To ensure the most efficient Calibration Procedure, answers to a number of FAQ's may assist you. For instance, when sending an instrument in for repairs, also send cables, AC power adaptors etc as these may have failed, not the actual instrument. See FAQ's here

Traceability Our Certification Process adheres to the Konica Minolta Traceability Rules as seen here

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