hi-tech calibrations of all test equipment

High quality calibration service!

How To choose a calibration supplier?

Eight Tricks of the industry.

1. If a proper calibration is not needed don't waste your money

TER recently received a calibration certificate for a Tektronix DPO4054 it was only just over 2 pages long, while our procedure was 22 pages, who is correct? Our procedure is almost identical to that of the manufacturers' and tests all ranges and functions of the instrument. If an instrument does not need to be calibrated properly, ask for a limited edition calibration, then have the confidence to argue the point with your quality manager and auditor. 

2. There is no such thing as an ISO 9001 Calibration

The only ISO calibration standard is ISO_17025 or (UKAS Accreditation For Calibration).  ISO 9001 specifically state that that they do not cover calibration procedures.

3. The customer is usually liable consider your own risk

It almost always the responsibility of the customer to ensure that the calibration supplier is meeting the requisite quality standards. A few years ago TER won some work from a major UK utility company because there had been a fatality which could have been calibration related. The purchasing department, quality manager, opps manager and almost everyone who had any influence in the calibration process were threatened with manslaughter charges. After a 2 week in-house audit we won the work.

4. If it is not broke you may pay to fix it

It is very easy for calibration companies to generate a repair and to make up for a cheap calibration cost.  If you have only a few items then choose a reputable supplier and recognise that a calibration should cost no less than 80% that of RS or Farnell Components.  For companies with multiple items you can agree/check KPI. Typically Percentage of instruments that require repairing: 4.03%. Repair costs 14% of calibration costs for site-work equipment (These figures are for Utility companies whose equipment is used predominantly on-site.  Bench equipment tend to have lower breakages.).  Percentage of instruments that require repairing: 2.72% for internal equipment.

5. Cheaper quote buy New

It is very common for companies who sell new equipment to write off perfectly serviceable items. The margins in new equipment is far higher than in repairs and many equipment suppliers offer cheap calibration in order to generate renewals.

6. Make sure you are getting a calibration because the liability rest on the customer.

The calibration industry is unregulated and therefore what the manufacturer calls a calibration and what a supplier calls a calibration can be unrelated.  Beware that you do not put yourself at risk.  If you only have a few items try to opt for a UKAS calibration. Unfortunately without opting for a UKAS calibration you would be expected to regularly audit the supplier.  You can ask the supplier to show their tracability chain back to national standards. Otherwise pick a supplier that is UKAS accredited and spend some time on the speaking to the quality manager

7. Adjustment and post repair calibration charges

Should be zero.

8. If you have large lists of equipment reduce the transport

Many calibration suppliers have to travel out of their way to collect and deliver equipment. While they may offer the transport as free, it never is. Work with the supplier to reduce the transport impact.  TER has many options for this that offer other advantages to the customer.