When choosing a calibration company, there are plenty of factors to consider. Naturally, your equipment and instruments need regular calibration to ensure accuracy and efficiency in your work. However, this takes time and often causes delays if you choose the wrong calibration company.
Also, there are two different international standards for quality management systems that you should be aware of, and we’ll discuss these below.
What is the difference between ISO 9001 and ISO 17025?
The two standards are somewhat similar, but also quite different. In really simple terms:
ISO 9001 is a standard for quality management across all industries.
ISO 17025 lists the general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories.
So, in short, all companies should be following ISO 9001, whereas ISO 17025 is specific to testing and calibration laboratories. There are naturally some differences when you dig deeper into each set of standards. For example, ISO 9001 talks a lot about leadership, risk assessment and more strategic matters. ISO 17025 is more specifically about testing, the validity of results and processes.
Choosing the right calibration company
So, how does that help you choose a calibration company? Let’s look at why the ISO standards are important, and also some other factors to consider when making your choice.
Look for complete accreditation
If you’re hiring a testing and calibration company to check, repair and verify the accuracy of your instruments, they need the right accreditation. As mentioned above, ISO 9001 isn’t enough for calibration companies. Of course, they can implement ISO 9001 too, however, the important one is ISO 17025.
When looking for calibration companies, always check they are ISO 17025 accredited.
Does the company offer a comprehensive range of services?
This tip may depend on your specific needs, however, in most cases, a company offering more services is better. If you only have limited calibration requirements, you may not need the company to be multi-skilled. However, most companies that need calibration services also need more, such as servicing and repair.
Some testing and calibration companies have a very narrow focus, which won’t work if you have lots of different equipment needing calibration. Look for a company that does the lot – weighing equipment, temperature and humidity, pressure and vacuum gear and electrical to name a few. Even better if they sell equipment because it means you can develop a relationship with one company for all your needs.
Will they come to you?
Not all calibration companies perform on-site testing, servicing and repair. If they don’t it means more downtime for you. Look for a company that comes to you, because it’s a lot more efficient in the long run.
If your calibration company only does off-site work, ensure that pick-up and delivery is included.
Understand what’s included in the price
Finally, check carefully what’s included in the price. Ultimately, during calibration there can be additional expenses. For example, it may be identified that equipment needs adjustment or repairs. Are these included in the service, or is it testing of as found results only?
Furthermore, do you need certification of calibration? If so, ensure this is part of the overall fee and not an additional charge.
Looking for reliable, ISO 17025 accredited calibration services?
For the most reliable, accurate calibration services, give National Weighing and Instruments a call today. We offer all testing, calibration, servicing and repair services, along with products and equipment sales for all industries.