The Importance of Calibration Management in the Manufacturing Industry
As technology is advancing, and the world is becoming more automated, a lot of our work is being done by machines and equipment. From everyday items, like toys, to more complex products, such as cars and medical equipment, all kinds of stuff are manufactured using machines.
While machines and automated equipment have made the manufacturing process way easier, it has a few distinctive problems as well. One of them is the accuracy and efficiency of the machines. If the tools used to manufacture stuff are not precise enough to follow the set data, the resultant batch of products has the danger of being inconsistent, inaccurate, and inefficient.
This poses a serious threat to some industries, as in the case of medical equipment. The tools must be accurate all the time. To solve this issue, calibration management comes into play. Keep reading to know what it is and why you should incorporate it into your manufacturing process.
What Is Calibration?
For most of the products we rely on every day, the need for accuracy is extremely high. Take the example of cars. Even if one centimeter is off from the mathematical measurements, the outcome could be an increase in the number of accidents and deaths. It would be disastrous. This means the manufacturing equipment has to be accurate to the very last detail.
The process of ensuring that the manufacturing equipment is as accurate and efficient as the industry-standard reference equipment is called calibration. In this process, a device under test (DUT) of unknown value is checked against a standard device of known value to see if the DUT follows the industry standard or not.
The manual calibration of devices is the most basic way of doing it. The expert needs to put both the devices side-by-side and test them working at the same time. For example, to test a thermometer, the expert observes while both thermometers measure the temperature of boiling water.
However, the latest and better way to perform calibration is to use calibration management tools, like software that automatically schedules the calibration and performs it while you only have to supervise. Calibration management tools give you the most accurate results in no time. These tools can save businesses a lot of effort and time, and save more money in the long term.
The Importance of Calibration Management In Manufacturing
Would you want an inaccurate machine to perform surgery on you or build your car so it can tumble on the road? No one would want that. Non-precise manufacturing can not only tarnish the reputation of a company but also endanger several lives.
There are several reasons why manufacturers of all kinds, from low threat products to high-priority equipment, need to have a calibration management system in place as soon as possible.
Give Significance to Our Daily Lives
Taking medication, going out of your car, working on a computer, and performing almost every routine task have been made possible through the calibration of manufacturing equipment to churn out products accurately.
We are moving into a future that is even more dependent on technology. Consider the launch of self-driving cars. The first of their kind have already been made, and they are all set to take over in the future. Self-driving cars are a high-risk product, and they need to be manufactured with precision, detail, and accuracy. One wrong point can threaten lives.
Several more products are becoming automated and incorporating more technology into the process. With these advancements, the significance of calibration management will only rise further.
Increases Profits and Revenue
Calibration helps businesses manufacture high-quality products with consistency. This helps build a reliable name for the brand in the eyes of the public. As your business becomes more reliable and trusted for high-quality products, the revenue and profits for the business would increase as well.
Reduces Costs and Saves Money
Calibration management for the product ensures that they are up to the industry standard mark. If there are errors and inaccuracies in the manufacturing process, it could cost the business a lot of money. Let’s say you get reports of inaccuracies in one of your products that have already been launched without calibration management. In this case, you will have to recall all the products that were released in the same batch.
Taking the products off the market, paying for repairing costs, and having to destroy products that can’t be repaired can cost a huge amount of money to the business. All of this hassle can be saved by putting an efficient calibration management system in place that ensures that the products are being manufactured by precise equipment without fault.
Ensures Safety from Use of Products
There are joints and critical points in high-risk products, like cars, aircraft, and medical equipment, that need to be made with precise perfection. These products need to be made with accuracy so the process that has to be performed with the resultant product can be done accurately as well.
Lithium-ion batteries, PPE equipment to keep workers safe, and phones are some examples of hypersensitive products that need to be manufactured with accuracy and minimal error for the safety of the people using them.
If medical equipment goes wrong in treating the patient because it wasn’t manufactured properly, it can cost lives.
Increased Product Efficiency
Calibration of manufacturing equipment ensures that any errors in the tools are found and taken care of before a product is manufactured with it. As errors are reduced beforehand, the products produced after are highly accurate and require minimal to no repairs.
Accurate manufacturing equipment streamlines the process of producing products, so more output can be given in a shorter time with higher quality. This increases the efficiency of the overall manufacturing process.
How Often Should Equipment Be Calibrated?
The number of times or intervals that a product needs to be calibrated will depend on each piece of equipment. In most cases, the manufacturer of the equipment will give you information about how many times the tools will need to go through the calibration process. But if that does not happen, as a general rule of thumb, calibration management will vary with how critical the equipment produced the product.
For high-risk manufacturing, it will be best to calibrate the equipment right before the start of the production process. If your business deals with critical products, such as medical equipment, you can go for a monthly or quarterly calibration management system. For products that are not high-risk, doing calibration once or twice a year will be just enough.
If you are confused about when to calibrate still, you can contact the manufacturer of the equipment to get more information about the intervals.
Not setting up a system for proper calibration management is very risky. It can cost your business money, lead to injuries, endanger lives, and reduce the efficiency of the company. Worry not, for most of the calibration processes can be automated without hassle. Calibration management tools make it easy for you to measure your equipment against industry standards and remove any errors.
The bottom line is that calibration makes the processes, products, and the world more efficient and reduces errors. It plays a central role in the shiny new products consumers buy, and so calibration must be a part of the manufacturing process.
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