How RS Components helped an innovative engineering firm keep vital equipment in peak condition through its re-calibration service

Fine-tune your test and measurement equipment
Whatever sector you work in, having confidence in the accuracy of your equipment and the measurements they take is essential. That, of course, means that the instruments need to be peak condition. This is where calibration, or re-calibration, comes in.

“Calibration is a business-critical area,” says Richard Jeffers, Technical Director, Northern Europe, RS Components. “Without reliably calibrated instruments you cannot rely on the data the instruments are giving you. “If the products, or the potential service that you’re operating, fail because you haven’t calibrated your instruments or you haven’t measured in the right way, you’re putting your organisation at risk.”

RS can help to minimise the risk of faulty data by ensuring that equipment is accurate and up to the job. As well as being a leading distributor of test and measurement instruments, RS has offered an internationally accredited re-calibration service for the past three decades.

The challenge
A top engineering firm approached RS about its re-calibration service. For more than a decade, this organisation has forged a path in the technologically advanced and competitively compelling sporting arena of Formula One. Attaining multiple championship wins, this team has challenged the established order, opened up other avenues of engineering development and constantly pushed the envelope of technical innovation.

In another area of the business, this high-achieving spirit of adventure extends beyond the world of auto-racing and develops technical and commercial solutions for leading-edge clients across a range of industries. Due to the demanding nature of its work and the tight schedules, the reliability and accuracy of its test and measurement equipment is paramount.

The solution
The RS Calibration Sales and Support team liaised closely with the organisation’s calibration operational teams, devising a bespoke solution to meet its needs.

A two-week closure in August for employees’ holiday presented the ideal opportunity for the re-calibration to go ahead. However, this fixed deadline also created time pressures. Careful arrangements were crucial for guaranteeing that equipment would be ready immediately following the shutdown. RS ensured calibrated items had matching certificates and couriers collected items from the organisation the day before the shutdown to maximise the time available. RS returned all re-tested and calibrated items by courier on the morning after the shutdown ended.

RS offers two levels of certification for re-calibrated equipment: RS Standard, traceable to national standards, or United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). The RS laboratory in Corby, staffed by more than 20 dedicated team members, is accredited and regularly audited by UKAS, which is part of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation. These standards are accepted around the world – and UKAS-accredited certification is internationally recognised as the industry mark of quality.

In this case, RS calibrated more than 60 items of the organisation’s equipment: multimeters, clamps, current probes, power supplies, thermometers, insulation testers, frequency counters, oscilloscopes. The RS lab also arranged for OEMs to repair items when necessary.

The outcome
When the shutdown ended and the re-calibrated equipment was safely back in place, the engineering organisation was happy to be successfully set up for the start of its pre-season work.

Using a single supply partner with an accredited lab offered the firm numerous advantages. Most importantly, it provided equipment testing and re-calibration with accurate, reliable results. RS also undertook minor repairs, cleaning and battery replacement.

The knock-on effects of using the RS re-calibration service are significant, too. Selecting the internationally recognised UKAS accreditation, for example, reduces restrictions on trading globally.

Closer to home, the RS re-calibration service reassures this organisation that its instruments are operating correctly and within manufacturer specifications; it also proves to auditors and customers that it takes accuracy and quality seriously. Maintaining vital equipment using an accredited re-calibration service reduces the risks linked to contracts and tender rejections and helps to support reputation and accreditations.

As Jeffers says: “Ultimately, it’s vital that our customers are using calibration to enhance their reputation and reliability, to increase the number of companies they work with and, most importantly, to reduce the risk of their tenders being rejected because they haven’t been working to set standards.”

For more information about the RS Calibration service, email [email protected].