WHAT EQUIPMENT /TOOLS CAN CALIBRATE@PJB CERTIFY?
For your convenience, I’ve broken down the different categories. To answer your question in broad terms, Calibrate@pjb does the following calibrations:
1/ Temperature - SANAS Accredited,
2/ Pressure - SANAS Accredited,
3/ Electrical - SANAS Accredited,
4/ Torque wrenches - SANAS Accredited,
5/ Flow* (Primarily Endress+Hauser flow meters),
7/ Scales, and
8/ Aircraft ground support equipment
What must I have after a calibration? And what must I do with what I get from Calibrate@pjb?
After a calibration, you must have a certificate with a certificate number and a calibration date (there are a lot of things on the certificate that must be there besides those to elements) and your unit must have a ‘calibration label’ with basic calibration information.
Can you fix equipment?
Yes, Calibrate@pjb repairs equipment. When possible. But sometimes equipment is so badly damaged that it’s completely un-cost effective for you. This is why Calibrate@pjb has made it its mission help you find replacement and new equipment when the need arises.
Can you supply me with the right tools and equipment so I don’t have to hassle finding a supplier who knows what I want?
Yes, this is one field where Calibrate@pjb uses it’s industry contacts to find the most suitable equipment and tools. Some pieces of equipment are expensive. There’s no getting away from it. Other items are cheaper. But the cost should not be the first question to ask. The more important question to ask is, what are my quality requirements.
Misconceptions of Calibration: Calibration is not ‘adjustment’.
This if one of the biggest and most misunderstood aspects of calibration. Calibration is not making adjustments to your unit. Although this happen when and where possible (and a client has given the calibration facility permission to) Calibration is comparing one piece of equipment against another unit. And reporting the differences as ‘corrections’. It’s the user’s responsibility to apply these corrections to readings made.
How long are your calibration certificates valid?
The validity of Calibration certification depends on your requirements. Both your Quality manual (if you have one) and your auditing requirements will determine this.
If you do not have either of these two processes in place. But you know you require a recalibration at a later date, our standard recommendation is 1 year.
This recommendation is the standard one, but is by no means the only one. Other factors affect your final decision about recalibration times. This includes how often is the unit used. What are the manufacturer’s specifications. Is the unit moved around a lot? Or is the environment that you’re installing the unit into demanding, for example, is there a lot of vibration, excessive heat or abrasive chemicals.
The most ideal situation, if you don’t know what frequency to use, is the one I recommend to almost all our new clients. Let the equipment be calibrated yearly, for 3-5 years. Based on the unit’s performance over this period, you can determine if the unit’s recalibration period must be shortened, or if it can be extended.
Again, all these decisions must be verified by your quality manager, comply to your quality manual. And satisfy your auditing firm.
Why don't you charge less when I bring more than 5 units for calibration?
Unless you have a maintenance contract with Calibrate@pjb, we do not charge a different rate for more units. The simple fact is, to do a proper calibration takes the same time per unit, whether there are 10 units, or just 1.
How do you maintain the quality of calibrations when I have more than 10 units?
Each piece of equipment needs attention. This is why - compared to some facilities who discount their calibrations - Calibrate@pjb does not. Discounting professional work, leads to discounted attention to details. And this leads to embarrassing problems down the line that could have been avoided.
It does mean the calibration costs higher. But just like going into surgery, you don’t want the doctor to take shortcuts. The same goes for calibration.
The one solution that Calibrate@pjb offers is a Calibration Maintenance Contract. Contact us today to find out more.
Do you make “House-Calls” – and come on-site to my facility to do calibrations?
Yes, Calibrate@pjb makes “House-calls”. Because of the extra demand this places on our facility, “House-calls”, or on-site visits must be pre-booked and scheduled with us.
There is a cost associated to traveling to and from your facility. The costs do not only cover the distance traveled, but the fact that professionals are sitting in a vehicle – dead-time - stuck in traffic, dealing with potholes and moving expensive test equipment around.
Of course, we try to reduce these costs as much as possible. And one way is to properly plan for on-site visits. And this is why you need to schedule such a visit beforehand. The other reason for booking an on-site visit is that our on-site schedule is usually booked up 2 to 3 weeks in advance.
Do you charge extra for the calibration certification or is that included in the cost you list per item to be calibrated?
No, Our calibration fees include all the needed certificate and labeling that you’ll need to get through an audit. There are no hidden costs when dealing with Calibrate@pjb.
I must add, although paper has a way of hiding itself in file number 13, calibration certificates are not a mere piece of paper. It’s a legal document. For that reason, if you loose your calibration certificate(s), I have to follow a specific procedure to re-issue you with new certificates. Yes, I’ll give you new certificates. But do not expect it to be free. Once the certificates are in your hands, they are your responsibility.
What tools must I calibrate?
The short answer is every tool that is used in production or that are directly linked to your maintenance.
Another way to put it, is to look at what equipment does not require calibration. The answer lies in two places.
1) What does your quality manual state? Usually, your quality manual will cover which equipment are critical and need calibration. And through this, you can determine which of your units do not need calibration.
2) Any units used for ‘reference only’ are units that usually do not need calibration. But having said that, there are quality managers who feel they want every single unit calibrated. This takes away any auditing problems that may come up. Because what you and I think are ‘reference’ units, may not be the same as what your auditor thinks is ‘reference’ units.
When should I calibrate?
The best times to calibrate any equipment is when you are not using the equipment. This may sound like a facetious comment, but the fact is, many plant engineers assume that equipment can be calibrated while the plant or facility is running. It can, SOMETIMES. But far better to have a situation where every item is available is ready to calibrate.
There are two reasons for this.
When Calibrate@pjb metrologists are onsite, your responsibility is to make the equipment available. Undue waiting and heaven forbid, looking for units increases your costs.
Another reason why we recommend that equipment must not be in use, is from a safety point of view. The costs associated with injuries onsite make onsite calibrations riskier.
How does it work (Do you come onsite? Or must the equipment go to you?)
Calibrate@pjb does both onsite calibration and laboratory calibrations. There are a few decision you need to make:
The urgency of the work
The size and number of the units
If you need the calibrations done sooner, rather than later, then you’ll be better off sending your units into our laboratory. It will get attention far quicker. To get an onsite calibration date can take up to 10 days due to the demand for onsite calibrations.
If your equipment is unduly big or part of a process. Then onsite calibrations are recommended.
If your budget is limited, then send your units to our laboratory. Onsite calibrations are more costly. And not to be taken lightly. Like any professional, if you want a house-call, you can expect a relevant and related cost.
Who calibrates my equipment?
Our metrologists, technical specialist in the field of calibration, are verified and assessed by the South African National Association of Standard. This means you get quality calibrations done to a level far exceeding ordinary paper issuing businesses claiming ‘calibration’ services. Not only are our metrologists assessed, but our entire business process is validated and checked, to ensure that we comply to the international ISO17025 standards.
The difference can be compared to going to a home-studied ‘healer’, vs. going to a specialist team of physicians with 35 years of experience in diagnosis, analysis and surgery. Calibrate@pjb is your specialist team of calibration experts.
How is a unit calibrated?
Every unit is calibrated following approved (and proprietary) calibration procedures. You’ll see the procedure number listed on the calibration certificate you get from me.
You can not get a copy of this procedure, although you are welcome to make an appointment with our quality manager to inspect our procedures and manuals. Because of the degree of expertize worked into these procedures, you’ll need to comply to our non-disclosure agreement before such an inspection can happen.
Worthwhile Things You Should Be Asking:
How can I better use my tools so I don’t have to replace them all the time?
Usually the problem comes from inadequate training. Especially when the same mistakes are made repeatedly. Users of your equipment may be misunderstanding how to use the test and measurement equipment.
Consider our coaching programs for technicians.
Can you help me manage my tools and the calibration process?
Managing your calibrations is one of the primary services we offer. Not only does it help you reduce stress, it keeps things humming along, just the way it should.
When requesting a phone consultation, please indicate that you are also interested in the “Calibration Management”
Why Aren’t All Calibrations Equal?
Not all calibration facilities are made equal. And if you recall, calibration is a process of comparing one unit against a known standard. What some companies do, who sell calibration, is comparing their inhouse equipment with your equipment. But their inhouse equipment has not been properly assessed and calibrated against known standards and also doesn’t comply to any industry standards (besides reading in SI measurements, such as °C or kPa.) This means you never know if what your unit is reading is in fact comparing accurately to the industry standards. And this can cause huge problems for your facility when you are audited. Even more so when you rely on the measurements to finish a specific task or project. Another problem with unverified and uninterested calibration companies, is the reporting. What usually happens is, they treat a calibration certificate as just a piece of paper. This means their ‘report’ of measurements are useless and meaningless at the best of times.
I want to start now and get my equipment calibrated – what should I do next?
Please call our laboratory (on +27 (0) 972 3798) and let us know how many units you are sending in. As soon as we receive your equipment, you'll be sent an email so we can add you to our system. All this happens online.
I’m not sure if I need my equipment calibrated. Can I talk to someone?
Yes, call us on +27 (0) 972 3798 and one of our helpful administrators can quickly help you get on track. Or, email us a list of your units.
What if I have an entire plant/process/hangar – how can you help me get all the tools and equipment calibrated?
Sign me up – I need your full service – where do I sign up? Call us on +27 (0) 972 3798 right away.