Frequently Asked Questions
What is calibration?
Calibration is the comparison of a measurement device (an unknown) against an equal or better standard. Calibration is all about confidence in the measurement results you're getting and assures you that your measurements are accurate within the specification limits that led you to select the instrument in the first place.
A "typical" commercial calibration references a manufacturer's calibration procedure and is performed with a reference standard at least four times more accurate than the instrument under test. The risks of not calibrating include false passes or false failures in production resulting in costly reworks or discarding products. Traceable calibrations also ensure adherence to the international standards that our commerce relies on.
Even though today's digital instruments are inherently are more stable than their analog predecessors, their tolerances are much narrower than in the past. And even the latest digitizing instruments have analog circuitry—preamplifiers, buffers, etc.—whose performance can change over time. A regular schedule of calibrations will keep your instruments in optimal condition to support your design, troubleshooting, and manufacturing work.Learn more about calibration
Why should I calibrate my instruments?
Calibration ensures measurement accuracy. Routine calibrations are your prescription for the continued health and performance of your instrument. There are also costs and risks associated with not calibrating equipment regularly.
Calibration should be part of your engineering process. It validates your measurements over a period of time and reduces the risk of rework, recalls, returns and repairs. With proper calibration you can be more efficient with your time to market and reduce your total cost of test. In the engineering lab, inaccurate measurements can distort your findings about the behavior of an emerging design. You don't want to go through unnecessary design rework because your instrument was inaccurate during design validation.
There also may be regulatory requirements stipulating a regular calibration schedule. Penalties for non-compliance from an audit may be fines, loss of business, plant shut down or worse.Read more about minimizing your risk with calibration
What calibration options are available?
There are different calibration service levels available depending on your requirements. Standard and accredited calibration services provide the traceability needed for regulatory requirements.
Standard Calibration (ANSI/NCSL Z540.1)
This service provides a calibration certificate with a calibration date and calibration due date. A traceability statement is provided. Measurement parameters not meeting the test specifications (out of tolerance) are identified and reported on the certificate.
17025 Accredited Calibration
Instrumentation is calibrated in accordance with ISO/IEC 17025 within our approved scope of accreditation. Accredited calibrations provide a certificate of calibration with the accrediting body's logo on the document. The calibration date is on the certificate and the calibration due date is only placed on the document when specified by the customer or contractually agreed. A traceability statement is provided. Measurement data and uncertainty for each parameter tested during the calibration is provided.
Some of our equipment is difficult to move. How do we get it calibrated?
Sometimes sending in an instrument to get calibrated isn't an option. From onsite service to local service centers, there are different delivery options available to meet your needs.
Local service centers – Local service centers offer free pick-up and delivery within the locality of the center, and a broad scope of accreditation which helps minimize third-party costs.Tektronix has 27 North American and 18 International locations. Find a service center nearest you.
Periodic onsite service – With this option, customers can plan ahead and avoid having to take equipment out of service to minimize impact on your design and production schedules. This is also the best option to calibrate sensitive or large equipment that can’t be moved.
“Virtual onsite service” – With the concerns surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve also introduced a new “virtual onsite” service where we dedicate the resources and standards that would have been used for onsite service but perform the service in our service center. Virtual onsites, combined with pickup and delivery service, allow for appropriate social distancing where required and offers the same fast turnaround times you would experience with a normal onsite service event.Learn more about service delivery options