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InnoCal Blog

Information about keeping your instruments running accurately

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Posted by on in Electronics

When you’ve been a metrologist for more than 15 years, you find yourself sharing your expertise with other technicians. That’s what Bernard does as Metrology Engineer for InnoCal.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Bernard.gif“I research the equipment we receive for calibration and write the procedures and data sheet on how to calibrate the assets,” he told us. “I love sharing my knowledge and helping the technicians grow.”

Bernard began his calibration career in the US Navy, then did in-house calibrations for pharmaceutical companies before landing at InnoCal four years again. Since then, Bernard has become one of the go-to experts on the team.

“I really enjoy when one of my colleagues comes to me for help,” he said.

Is there anything he enjoys more? Perhaps snowboarding? And, by the way, Bernard is also an award-winning competitive shooter.

To tap into the expertise of InnoCal, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We can help you meet your regulatory and compliance needs.

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Posted by on in Mechanical

A large petroleum refinery contracted with InnoCal in January to calibrate more than 200 of their instruments on-site. Two metrologists traveled to Texas to make sure the process equipment, pressure instruments, electronics, and temperature meters were as accurate as possible. The equipment is critical for the refinery workers to use in the field to keep operations running effectively.b2ap3_thumbnail_Industrial_Petro_FromDisk.gif

Working in a trailer near the facility, the duo completed calibrations on more than 300 units—an increase of 33% from the initial request—in slightly more than seven days.

“The client told us this was the most proficient turnaround of their test equipment ever,” said Jeff Ziegler, Metrology Calibration Engineer. “It was really a positive experience—the technicians we worked with were extremely satisfied.”

Do you have an on-site project InnoCal can help with? Contact us online or call 866-466-6225.

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Posted by on in Thermodynamics

If you use a thermal imager for predictive maintenance in your plant, you recognize the value of finding hidden problems. Your thermal imaging camera can find issues that are not visible just by looking.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Thermal-Imaging.gifIn the same way, your thermal imager may look just as good as when you bought it but may not be functioning as well. The aging of electronic components over time can cause calibration shift. Your imager needs to be assessed regularly for measurement accuracy. Many manufacturers recommend recalibration at least annually.

For accurate measurement, test emissivity for the emitted energy of the object, distance to spot ratio for optical resolution, and field- of-view to determine if your target is at least twice as large as the spot size. If these three measurement processes are in line and your readings still appear off, it may be time for recalibration.

InnoCal uses radiometrically calibrated infrared calibrators to correct for uncertainties caused by emissivity and heat loss. With emissivity adjustments, a large (6”) uniform calibration surface, and tight accuracies, InnoCal’s standards can maximize confidence in your readings.

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Posted by on in Thermodynamics

What happens when your temperature controls aren’t controlling accurately? You waste energy and produce an inconsistent product. Proper temperature control improves efficiency, helping you maximize profit and ensure the reliability of your product.

Suppose your heat stays on too long. It can damage your product, your equipment, and even be potentially dangerous. Similarly, if cooling is left on too long, it can both damage your product and cause excessive wear on supporting devices. If a compressor is overstressed, it may overheat, freeze-up, and/or fail.

The monitoring and regular calibration of temperature controllers removes the guesswork of determining how well they are operating. To keep systems running effectively, ensure that your controllers are reading and responding accurately.

Because every degree matters in temperature measurements, make sure your equipment is accurate with InnoCal's expert NIST-traceable calibrations.

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Posted by on in Electronics

In the military, it is vitally important to keep test and measurement equipment running accurately.  Infrared cameras help find military targets. Engines use temperature sensors and must read precisely. The metrology and calibration organizations within the services ensure all such measurements remain within the necessary tolerances.

b2ap3_thumbnail_AsherTayag.gifMetrologist Asher spent four years in a military calibration lab conducting such testing and making adjustments to keep equipment reliable and effective. After the military, he continued working in metrology and for nearly two years has put his skills to work for InnoCal customers.

“I get to learn from colleagues with so many years of metrology experience,” he told us. Asher spends most of his time calibrating electronics, but also works on temperature, infrared, and dimensional instruments.

While he also has a strong interest in cyber security, Asher is content for now serving another mission: keeping customers’ equipment functioning effectively.

Are you confident your equipment is accurate? Contact InnoCal for a calibration or repair quote or for technical support.

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Posted by on in Thermodynamics

When measuring temperature in industrial processes, several instruments need to be calibrated regularly to deliver verifiably accurate readings.

  • Temperature sensors are typically read by transmitters. The transmitter signal relays to a control panel which displays the temperature. All three instruments in the system require periodic calibration. The most significant errors tend to occur in the temperature sensor. Because the sensor can drift, keeping it calibrated must be a priority.b2ap3_thumbnail_Digi-Sense-12-Channel-Scanning-Benchtop-Thermometer.gif
  • Calibrating the thermometer standards used to calibrate industrial thermometers is necessary. Professional calibration supplies traceability to national and international standards. Using an accredited metrology lab ensures uncertainty levels and traceability statements have been examined and independently verified.
  • The reference thermometer, drywell and/or micro-bath heat source, and precision simulator also should be calibrated regularly by a respected lab.

Have questions about how often your industrial temperature equipment should be calibrated? Contact InnoCal. Some of the most qualified technicians in the industry work in our ISO17025-accredited lab and conduct hundreds of hours of training a year to stay current.

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Posted by on in Electronics

Electrical test instruments are expected to be accurate. Yet how do you know? Normal shifting over time or simply dropping the device can affect its performance. And if you are working with tight tolerances, your readings must be precise and accurate. This ensures that the costly processes you are checking are operating effectively.

b2ap3_thumbnail_PowerSuppliesII.gifMany opt to conduct a field comparison by checking two meters. If the meters deliver the same reading, they assume they are calibrated. Yet, this is simply a field check. It can indicate if there is an issue, but you have no idea which meter is reading correctly. And it could be neither is measuring correctly.

True calibration requires that the calibration standard must be more accurate than the instrument under test—using a NIST-traceable standard. A calibration certificate verifies that the instrument is now measuring according to this nationally accepted standard. The guesswork is gone and your readings are valid.

InnoCal puts the SURE back in your measurements by providing NIST-Traceable calibration services on electronic equipment. We test the accuracy of your assets to manufacturer’s specifications and perform adjustments if necessary.

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Posted by on in Electronics

Static charge meters measure the magnitude and polarity of electrostatic fields produced by charged objects. These meters help you troubleshoot possible issues created by static electricity and potential sparks.b2ap3_thumbnail_StaticChargeMeter.gif

Found in the pharmaceutical, textiles, and plastics industries, and even forensics, static charge meters may be analog or digital and may include output capabilities to record your results.

Professional calibration of these measuring instruments ensures the validity of readings. As with any high voltage measuring equipment, accuracy is necessary to achieve reliable results that may impact safety and production processes.

InnoCal’s highly trained metrology technicians provide you with a full NIST-traceable calibration certificate to satisfy your internal and external ISO9001 auditors.

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Posted by on in Mechanical

Weight and density are crucial measurements for research, production, and testing. If your laboratory balances and industrial scales are reading incorrectly, your research results may be in question and your production quantities skewed.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Balance.gifBalances react to temperature, pressure, and gravitational changes. Moving your balance from one location to another may require recalibration.

To sustain the precision of these weighing instruments, keep them calibrated according to accurate comparison standards. Ensure your balance gets calibrated with a certified weight to prove traceability of measurement and follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for regular calibration cycles.

InnoCal can customize test points to your specific needs including those dictated by USP. Along with balances and scales, we can also calibrate your calibration masses and check weights in accordance to ASTM E617-2013.

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Posted by on in Thermodynamics

Ask Metrology Lab Technician Rich Mathews anything about anemometers and he will be able to tell you how they work. Rich spends his days in the InnoCal air velocity lab using advanced wind tunnel technology to calibrate wind speed and air velocity equipment.b2ap3_thumbnail_Rich_Mathews.gif

With a background in mathematics and computer science, Rich began his tenure at InnoCal about seven years ago. He enjoys the “hands-on” process of calibration and advises customers: “Keep sending us your equipment!”

Rich knows how critical this equipment can be and works to turn it around quickly. And while he takes pride in helping customers maintain well-functioning anemometers and capture hoods, it’s not quite the same as being outdoors on a boat.

If there’s anywhere he’d rather be—outside of the metrology lab—it’s fishing the Great Lakes.

Wondering how a metrologist could keep your equipment accurate? Contact InnoCal. InnoCal can supply a calibration certificate that will pass any audit or customer inspection.

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Posted by on in Environmental Monitoring

On April 1, a bit of foolishness is expected. When it comes to documenting your calibration history, however, wisdom will save you. Losing time trying to find your calibration certificates is a waste when there’s a better option.

b2ap3_thumbnail_InnoCal-Certificate_20150331-141213_1.gifInnotraK™, the calibration report management system, ensures that you always have access to the certificates you need as proof of calibration. The online system is available 24/7 and enables you to pull up your reports.

Have an upcoming audit? No need to panic or make massive phone calls. Just log in and bring up your documentation. The system also allows you to check service status if you have instruments currently in the process of calibration. It’s an organized, time-efficient way to keep your certificates ready and accessible.

InnoCal offers the INNOTRAK calibration report management system with calibration. Find out how this can help you!

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Posted by on in Electronics

Once your instrument is calibrated and you receive your calibration report, it should contain key test data. In addition to descriptive information about your equipment, the report should indicate:b2ap3_thumbnail_InnoCal-Certificate.gif


1.    Condition of the item as received
2.    The calibration procedure used
3.    As found/as left test data
4.    Statement of measurement uncertainty
5.    Test uncertainties (TURs)
6.    List of standards used to perform the calibration (including their calibration dates)

A signature from the technician is also helpful. This comprehensive information provides an unambiguous record of how your instrument was serviced—useful for audit purposes as well as your own records.

InnoCal provides ISO 17025 compliant reports at no additional charge. INNOTRAK, our calibration report management system, enables you to be audit-ready by accessing your data online.

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Posted by on in Air & Fluid Quantities

pH is one of the most common measurements and is used in industrial processes, research and development, wastewater treatment, food and beverage processing, agriculture, and more. pH tests the alkalinity of pools and the acidity of foods such as cheese. Because both accuracy and compliance are important for key measurements in research and food safety, keeping your pH meters or testers calibrated is necessary.b2ap3_thumbnail_Ph.gif

Professional pH Calibration

Professional calibration aligns the electronics within the meter and tests the unit according to your manufacturer’s accuracy at standard test points or those you choose. Your calibration certificate is evidence your meter is certified and meets compliance.

Questions? From pH meters to pH testers to pH calibrators, InnoCal can calibrate your instruments. We maintain a full fleet of electronic calibrators, ISO Guide 34-accredited pH and conductivity solutions, and high-accuracy temperature standards.

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Posted by on in Thermodynamics

As a military-trained metrologist, Peter has some sage advice for maintaining your equipment: “Periodic calibrations can only do so much. All it takes to knock your equipment out of tolerance is one drop,” he said. “If you suspect your equipment is not working correctly, check it or send it in for calibration.”

b2ap3_thumbnail_Peter_Sittinger.gifWith special skills in pressure, temperature, and dimensional equipment, Peter knows how valuable calibration is. These are critical parameters that can shut down production if they are reading incorrectly. Making sure equipment is in optimal shape prevents unnecessary delays or loss of production.

To keep the calibrations moving, Peter shifts from thermometer calibrations to calipers to scales to pressure gauges. He stays flexible to serve customers with a timely response.

In his time outside the calibration lab, Peter loads up on books and videos. “I love to read, write, and play video games,” he said.

Concerned about your equipment? Contact InnoCal to see how we can help with calibrations and repairs.

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Posted by on in Mechanical

Through a partnership with top manufacturers such as Cole-Parmer and Davis Instruments, InnoCal can offer time-saving advantages such as:Digi-Sense® Digital Contact/Photo Tachometer with NIST Traceable Calibration

·    The instruments you order can arrive calibrated and ready for use immediately
·    Equipment is in stock for quick delivery, faster use
·    For out-of-tolerance or unrepairable instruments, you receive trade-in/replacement discounts
·    No need to shop multiple vendors—order your equipment and calibration from one source

InnoCal is an authorized and stocking distributor for the following popular brands through Cole-Parmer: Oakton®, Vaisala, Extech®. For Davis Instruments, InnoCal is the authorized and stocking distributor for:  Fluke®, BK Precision®, WIKA®.

Find out more! Contact InnoCal for more information about the equipment you need calibrated or precalibrated.

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Posted by on in Electronics

Some call them power supplies, others refer to them as electric power converters. In either case, these units provide constant power for service in the field, research and development purposes, laboratories, telecommunications, bench testing, academia, and more.b2ap3_thumbnail_PowerSupplies.gif

While the types of power supplies may vary—from programmable to multi-range to switching to high current—they each must supply the continuous power you need to run your application.

To keep your unit’s performance reliable and delivering the current and voltage you expect, calibration is necessary. With workhorse equipment that may be used every day without a second thought, it is easy to overlook whether it is functioning optimally. Verify if your power supplies are operating according to the manufacturer’s specifications with calibration from a lab that uses NIST-traceable standards.

Since 1991, InnoCal has been providing NIST-Traceable calibration services on electronic equipment. Make your job easier by consolidating your electronic equipment calibrations with one vendor.

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Posted by on in Thermodynamics

Keeping temperature and humidity within a designated range is critical for many manufacturing and food processes. Even a degree or two out of range can create production or maintenance loss costs.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Thermohygrometer.gifA thermohygrometer measures both temperature and humidity. Technicians checking HVAC systems and scientists working in pharmaceuticals or environmental research use thermohygrometers regularly. These versatile meters also can be found in breweries and food storage facilities. With their portability and quick response time, thermohygrometers offer many advantages.

However. . .

Because thermohygrometers may be susceptible to losing their calibration, they need to be calibrated frequently for continued accuracy and stability.  Without a tested and calibrated instrument, your readings are suspect.

Many thermohygrometers are precalibrated so that once you receive them, they are ready to use. The key is recalibration when necessary to ensure high accuracy.

InnoCal’s ISO17025-accredited humidity services will reduce any doubt about the accuracy of your equipment. Our full-service temperature lab can also ensure that your temperature readings are accurate.

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Posted by on in Mechanical

If you’re like most managers, you have a variety of equipment to keep calibrated, serviced, and in compliance. From thermocouples and thermometers to pressure meters to manometers, you keep track of when the equipment needs to go out and where it goes.

b2ap3_thumbnail_General_Calibration.gifWhen you’re sending equipment out to multiple labs for calibration, this process gets more complicated. And headaches increase when relied-upon equipment doesn’t arrive back in time. You have to check your documents for each lab and make multiple contacts, which exhausts your time.

An easier way is to find an accredited lab that can handle all, or at least most, of your equipment. A lab that provides online tracking also simplifies the practice of following up—in fact, it may eliminate some of it.

To save time and unnecessary effort, consolidate your calibrations to one service provider. Use ISO17025 accredited laboratories who provide accredited calibration certificates for equipment to ensure an unbroken traceability chain. 

InnoCal conducts calibration and repair services for thousands of test and measurement instruments. We have invested in the best technicians and NIST-traceable standards so we can deliver the accurate measurements you need while calibrating all of your assets.

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Posted by on in Environmental Monitoring

Measuring humidity is essential in manufacturing plants, laboratories, museums, libraries, art galleries, and more. Too much moisture in the air—or too little—can influence the quality of products or the preservation of valuable materials. In production environments, particularly electronics manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and breweries, as well as in storage units and chemical laboratories, high humidity can produce defects and low humidity can dry products out.b2ap3_thumbnail_HumidityImage.gif

Because of the importance of measuring humidity, several types of instruments are available to perform this task and/or record measurements:

  • Thermohygrometers
  • Hygrothermographs
  • Humidity data loggers
  • Humidity indicators
  • Dew Point Meters
  • Humidity Recorders
  • Psychrometers
  • Heat stress monitors
  • Humidity Transmitters

Each of these instruments requires calibration to maintain accuracy. If readings slip even a few points, the level of humidity may exceed recommended levels and affect the items you wish to protect and preserve.

Make sure your parameters are controlled with regular calibration to ensure accuracy. For a list of recommended relative humidity percentages in production and process environments, check the Engineering ToolBox.

InnoCal maintains several humidity chambers with chilled mirror sensors capable of generating and measuring between 5% to 95% relative humidity (% RH) and dew points down to -40°C. We can also bring our chilled mirror sensors to your location for on-site calibrations. Whether you have one asset or hundreds, large equipment or small, InnoCal can supply NIST-traceable calibrations on your humidity equipment.

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Posted by on in Mechanical

Are your balances in balance? Do your scales read accurately? When weighing materials for research, testing, or production, the measurement you record will affect critical process parameters. If this reading is off, even just a little, the precision and efficiency of your work is now in question.

Ensure the validity of your weight and mass measurements with regular calibration. For balances, this means either using the services of a metrology lab or balance masses.

Using Balance Masses to Calibrate Balances

b2ap3_thumbnail_Balance-CalibrationMasses.gifElectronic balance masses are cylindrical shaped for easy stacking on balance weighing pans. Precision analytical masses feature two-piece construction and consist of a special austenitic alloy for high precision and stability. Use the guidance below to select the best calibration class for your application.

UltraClass—With weight tolerances 50% greater than ASTM E617 Class 1 tolerances, these weights combine high precision with the advantage of two-piece construction (1 g and larger), avoiding costly replacement issues associated with one-piece weights
ASTM Class 1—Appropriate for calibrating high-precision analytical balances with a readability as low as 0.1 mg to 0.01 mg
ASTM Class 4—For calibration of semi-analytical balances and for student use
NIST Class F—Primarily used to test commercial weighing devices by state and local weights and measures officials, device installers, and service technicians. Class F weights may be used to test most accuracy Class III scales, all scales of Class III L or IIII, and scales not marked with a class designation
ASTM Class 6—Meet the specifications of OIML R 111 Class M2

To sustain the precision of weight and mass measurements, InnoCal maintains highly accurate comparison standards. We can customize test points to your specific needs including those dictated by USP. Along with balances and scales, we can also calibrate your calibration masses and check weights.

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