Inspec Insights

Inspec Can Come to You

Quality control personnel want handheld measurement devices that will generate repeatable and reproducible results.  Regular and robust calibration assessments are not just critical to quality control, but essential to a company's reputation and bottom line. Out-of-calibration tools resulting from wear-and-tear, improper use, or overdue servicing can lead to enormous risks.  But there can be impediments to that ideal calibration cycle, especially for a busy shop aiming for optimum production.

According to Randy Valicento, gage technical leader at Inspec, Inc. a 27-year metrology solution provider, companies may not want to take an instrument out of circulation because it might lead to manufacturing interruptions. In addition, they may not have the resources to invest in spare equipment to use while the primary instrument is sent out for calibration.

Inspec's onsite calibration services can address these and other concerns. Inspec can handle all aspects of onsite calibration services, from scheduling to onsite service and certification delivery.

Valicento says that expert calibration technicians can be scheduled for onsite work on a regular and recurring cycle or upon request in case of emergency. Onsite calibration ensures prompt turnaround. Assuming that tools are not worn or damaged to the point that they cannot be calibrated, the operation takes about an hour. This could be a tremendous time savings; if sent offsite, turnaround times are usually measured in days.

Not to mention, by calibrating onsite companies can save on shipping costs. While shipping expenditures might be unpleasant, for some users watching a valued measurement tool being loaded onto a parcel delivery truck and bouncing down the road might be an even more unpleasant experience.

With onsite calibration, the handheld devices are brought directly to Inspec’s technicians.  Often groups of tools are dropped off at a time allowing quality personnel to continue performing their regular duties.  The calibration technicians, who are trained on myriad tools from a variety of manufacturers, initially put the measurement tool through a visual examination to make sure that the gage is working properly. The tool is then cleaned with an alcohol-based solution or with a lens cleaner, and burrs, sharp edges, and other remaining residue are removed with hard Arkansas stone.

This process take place even before the actual calibration starts. The tool is then used to take repetitive measurements against a known standard to test its accuracy and determine its traceability. Calibration results are immediately known and if the tool is successfully calibrated, the instrument can go right back on the floor. A calibration certificate will subsequently be emailed or can be accessed on Inspec’s free online gage tracking software.

A less obvious benefit to onsite calibration, at least compared to short turn-around times, minimized production interruptions and shipping cost savings, is the direct feedback from Inspec's experts. Often, an onsite technician will provide knowledge that will help extend the life of equipment.

According to Valicento, when he goes to a facility the gages he calibrates are generally in good shape. But unforeseen problems can crop up.  For example, if something is loose on a gage it may become second nature for the operator to simply tighten it before use. This tweaking may seem to work temporarily but hurt long-term accuracy. Or, gages may become obsolete or discontinued which might make them unrepairable.  Also, some gages may not pass and need to be brought back to Inspec for repair while others are not able to be calibrated onsite and they too must be brought back, however, there aren’t many tools which fall into this category.

Inspec's onsite capabilities go beyond the handheld gage variety.  They also offer onsite inspection services such as creating programs, running existing programs, application support and other related tasks. 

Also if you have optical comparators, CMMs or other vision equipment you need to train workers on, Inspec can come to your location.  Saving travel costs and minimizing down time. 

So, when it’s time for your hand tools to be calibrated or to train your staff, or you need an extra hand in the inspection lab, think about having Inspec come to you.


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