What Is Traceability In Calibration And Why Is It Important?

Imagine if you had to manually track every single calibration on every piece of equipment in your business. It would be a huge undertaking, and one that is likely not possible without some serious automation. Lucky for us, technology has progressed to a point where calibration can be automated and tracked with ease. But why is it so important to have calibration traceability? Let’s find out.

What Is Traceability?

Traceability is the ability to trace the history, application, or location of an item through a recorded chain of events. In other words, it’s a way to keep track of items as they move through a supply chain. The concept of traceability can be applied to just about anything, from food products to electronic components.

In most cases, traceability is used to ensure safety and quality control. For example, when tracing food products, companies want to be able to identify where the product came from and how it was handled along the way. This information can be used to pinpoint the source of contamination if there is a foodborne illness outbreak.

Put simply, it’s a way to ensure that measurements are precise and comparable to other similar measurements. Traceability in calibration is essential in many industries, such as medical device manufacturing, where even a small error can have grave consequences. By ensuring traceability in calibration, companies can avoid costly mistakes and improve customer confidence in their products.

What Is Traceability In Calibration?

Traceability in calibration is the ability to trace the readings of a measuring instrument to a known reference standard. This calibration traceability provides confidence that the measurements made by the instrument are accurate. Without traceability, there is no way to know if the instrument is providing accurate readings. It also allows for comparisons between different instruments, and between different laboratories. Traceability is essential for ensuring that measurements are accurate and reliable.

Why Is Traceability Calibration So Important?

When a device is calibrated, it is compared to a known standard. The process of traceability ensures that the standards used are themselves traceable to an international system of units (SI). This traceability gives confidence that the measurements made by the device are accurate and can be reproduced.
Traceability also allows for comparisons between different calibrations, providing valuable information about any changes that may have occurred. Traceability is therefore an important part of the calibration process, and its benefits should not be underestimated.

How Is Traceability Achieved In Calibration?

Traceability can be achieved through the use of transfer standards, which are used to calibrate an instrument. Transfer standards are themselves calibrated against other standards, which may be traceable to national or international standards. As such, traceability in calibration is a hierarchical process, with each step in the chain providing confidence in the calibration results.

In addition, achieving traceability often requires creating and maintaining a traceability chain – a record of all the steps in a product’s journey. This can be done using various methods, including barcodes, GPS tracking, and RFID tags. Traceability can be a complex and costly process, but it is essential for ensuring the safety and quality of products.

What Is The Time Limit Between Conducting A Calibration And A Calibration Check?

In order to ensure the accuracy of measurements, it is important to regularly calibrate equipment. However, it is also important to know the correct time limit between conducting a calibration and a calibration check. This time limit, known as the Traceability Chain Time Interval (TCTI), represents the maximum amount of time that can elapse between two successive calibrations without compromising the accuracy of the measurements.

The TCTI is typically set by the manufacturer of the equipment and can vary depending on the type of equipment. For example, the TCTI for a wattmeter might be set at one year, while the TCTI for a thermocouple might be set at six months. By understanding and following the TCTI for equipment, operators can ensure that their measurements are accurate and reliable.

So what is traceability in calibration? Simply put, it’s the ability to track a measurement back to its source. This means that if you take a reading on a machine and want to know where that number came from, you can follow the trail all the way back to the original calibrations of the device. Inaccurate readings can cause all sorts of problems for manufacturers, so ensuring your devices are properly calibrated and have accurate readings is essential for quality control. If you need help getting started with traceable calibration or want more information about how it can benefit your business, don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to discuss our services with you and answer any questions you may have.