Especially with hardness testers whether it’s a type of micro or a Rockwell hardness tester I’ll commonly get asked “What is preventative maintenance and why is it important for some in between calibrations?” This is a question that’s asked more commonly than you’d might expect.
Preventative maintenance though different for ever machine and model is exactly what it sounds like. It’s actions that you take to maintain the equipment’s calibrated state such as the lubrication of moving parts and prevention foreign debris, temperature fluctuations or other external factors from affecting the accuracy of your measurements.
“Doesn’t every calibration company perform preventative maintenance? Also why should I do it in between calibrations if you’re already doing it?” This is another common misconception that I run across whenever I’m out in the field. To assume that all calibration companies perform preventative maintenance is wishful thinking. It’s important to ask if your calibration technician performs preventative maintenance at the time of service. Most technicians that work with larger organizations will not perform preventative maintenance if the equipment reads correctly and is within tolerance.
This is usually due to either them not being knowledgeable of the PM needing to be performed for that type of equipment or the result of the calibration lab not specializing in one type of equipment and being only concerned if the equipment is within tolerance in order to issue certificate of calibration. Yes that brings the attraction of a lower price for your calibration and the simplicity of fewer vendors, but at what cost? Usually it comes in the form of an emergency repair after months or years of neglect the equipment will eventually fail and require repair or possibly even replacement.
Depending on the type of equipment, environmental conditions and the frequency of use your calibration technician might also suggest that you perform preventative maintenance in between calibration intervals. This is because some of the environmental conditions and factors such as those I mentioned before. Even poor air quality and frequent equipment use is enough to potentially affect its accuracy and stability of your measurements in-between calibration intervals. If this is the case make sure you use the correct methods suggested by the manufacturer and if you aren’t sure what those are just ask the technician or the manufacturer.
If you don’t already know it would be good to find out next time your equipment is being calibrated whether it’s a hardness tester, CMM or something as simple as a micrometer ask “Do you perform preventative maintenance?” It could save you a repair bill and the headache that comes with it! visit our site: ( www.onpointcal.com)