Sea Technology

FEB 2018

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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Page 18 of 52

18 ST | February 2018 provided by the calibration expert, which shows the error in measurements with the measuring device before and after the calibration. Calibration Is Critical Over time, the accuracy of all mea- suring devices degrades. This is typi- cally caused by normal wear and tear. However, changes in accuracy can also be caused by other factors in the envi- ronment, including electric or mechan- ical shock, weather-related factors or a hazardous environment (e.g., oils, metal chips, etc.). Many corporations, defense contractors, Department of Defense (DOD) and other government agencies believe that all calibration is the same, and they use whichever calibration lab has the lowest price. The labs that offer an unreasonably low calibration price do so to secure the work, but then they perform only a self-test or an abbreviated calibration. Unfortunately, this is a huge risk. Just because a company provides a calibration certificate and/or a calibration sticker does not mean the unit was fully and correctly calibrated. In fact, there are a surprising number of calibration labs that rely on the false premise that all calibration labs are basically the same. Frequently, customers who initially chose a low-cost provider come back to Tra-Cal Lab for high-quality, cost-effective calibration and re- pair services. For example, calibrating a 26.5-gigahertz (GHz) spectrum analyzer takes a trained technician three to four hours to properly calibrate. In that time, hundreds of points are measured. Consequently, labs that spend a fraction of that time to calibrate a spectrum analyz- er are not doing it adequately. In addition, Tra-Cal Lab notes that preventive maintenance should be performed

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