Why Is Calibration Needed?
Calibration is a fundamental step in the process of measurement. It ensures that the instrument used for testing accurately indicates the required measurement parameter and that the instrument is performing to its specification.
Traceability is a fundamental principle in any type of calibration work. Measurement traceability describes how a calibration result - usually quoted on a certificate of calibration - can be traced back through a chain of calibrations to a calibration standard.
The standard ISO 10012-1 defines calibration as “operations which establish, under specified conditions, the relationship between values indicated by a measuring instrument or measuring system, or values represented by a material measure, or reference material, and the corresponding values of a quantity realized by a reference standard”.
According to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), the purpose of calibration is:
To know the uncertainty that can be achieved with the measuring instrument.
To confirm whether or not there has been any alteration of the measuring instrument that could create doubt about the results.
To improve the estimation of the deviation between a reference value and the value obtained using a measurement instrument, as well as the uncertainty of this deviation, at the time the instrument is actually used.