Calibration is a necessity in many industries. The question that comes into play is whether to do it in-house or to outsource it. There are arguments for both, but the best option depends largely on your company’s resources.
You’ll need to consider the many costs of in-house calibration. It’s not abnormal for a new facility and lab equipment to cost over $250,000 let alone the $75,000 to run it annually. That’s just for the calibration lab itself. Employees will need additional training. Increased responsibility will assume increased wages. Hiring new employees to perform calibration procedures will tack on salary and healthcare costs. Routine calibration is necessary to maintain quality standards. This could lead to 10 or 20 instruments needing calibration at a time. Time is taken away from daily tasks and production. If your company is large enough to take on these costs and utilizes several instruments that need calibration, over time these costs will even out, and the company may save money. Though some companies could afford to take on in-house calibration, here are 5 strong arguments for outsourcing calibration services.
1. Faster turnaround time
Not only does internal calibration take time away from daily tasks, but the daily tasks take time away from calibration. Outsourcing consistently gets faster results. Third-party facilities operate all day focusing solely on calibrations. In-house labs have a limited time and employees to dedicate to calibration causing a longer turnaround time which could be detrimental to operations.
2. Lower OPEX
Outsourcing has a faster turnaround time which decreases the downtime of production costs. Rental costs are decreased because companies won’t have to use them as often or for as long. Spares and rentals can cost companies millions of dollars a year. Calibration labs must comply with ISO 17025 standards. Outsourcing eliminates the costs associated with in-house audits. Companies commonly save 10 to 25% on overall operating expenditures by outsourcing calibration services.
3. Lower CAPEX
Calibration is not a core competency of many businesses, but it is for third-party providers. Calibration service providers make substantial capital investments on upgraded equipment, technicians, and climate-controlled labs. In-house calibration labs may be limited to due budgets. This could force internal labs to use outdated equipment at the edge of its lifecycle. Outsourcing calibration will give companies access to state-of-the-art equipment to calibrate their instruments to the highest degree of quality standards.
4. Improved Audit Compliance
Outsource partners maintain calibration records in a centralized database and will often grant you access to check your calibration certificates 24/7. This helps prove standard compliance at the most critical time, the quality audit.
5. Higher Quality
Calibration labs must meet industry standards and regulations. Third-party accredited labs use strict measures to test and audit their calibration equipment. These accredited labs ensure higher quality assurance and more accurate results. Inaccurate calibrations could result in product recalls.
When comparing the overall costs and risks associated with in-house calibration to outsourcing, the benefits of outsourcing are evident. Emerging technologies and stricter regulations create a constant need to upgrade and audit calibration labs. If you’re still considering implementing an in-house calibration lab be sure to take into account hardware, floor space, employees, training, and turnaround time. If you decide to outsource, Grand Rapids Metrology has five different locations across the state including two calibration labs. Our labs are A2LA ISO/IEC 17025 accredited, and we provide emergency service 24/7/365.