Have you ever wondered for how long an instrument would give accurate readings once it has been calibrated and why some devices require more frequent calibration than others of the same kind used by some other person or at a different location?
Well, the frequency of tuning will obviously depend on the type of instrument you are looking at and how sensitive its readings are. Therefore, audiometer or sound level calibrator calibration which requires a lot of precision may need to be done more often than the calibration of a device which measures room temperature or humidity.In general, when you consider similar or identical devices, you would expect their tuning life to be the same irrespective of the location in which it is used. However, this is not so as there are a lot of factors which affect the effectiveness of a calibration.
One of the most common factors is the frequency of use. A device which is used regularly may need to calibrated more often than an instrument which is not that much used. This phenomenon is understandable as we all know that what is used more needs to be repaired more. For example, a ideal pressure gauge which is used 20 times in a month may need to be calibrated earlier than another identical device at the same location which is used only twice a month.However, care should be taken to ensure the accuracy of devices which are not used frequently as environmental factors such as the heat or cold, humidity, etc. in the place where the equipment is stored would affect the precision of the reading and the discrepancies may go unnoticed as the device is not used much and the user may consider the result to be normal.
Another important contributor towards how often an instrument should be attuned is how well it is being treated. Abusing devices would inevitably lead to wrong output. If you treat the equipment badly; i.e. you manhandle it, do not clean it properly after use, allow it to be exposed to undesirable conditions such as too much heat or too less heat, do not use the recommended lubricants (if needed), etc., it may not perform the functions as well as you want it to and the accuracy may not meet your expectations.
Lifespan of the sensors used in the equipment under consideration should also be taken into account as the instrument cannot be expected to deliver the desired results if the sensors are malfunctioning or if they are not functioning at all.
It is always a good choice to get a reputed calibration company to do the attuning as they can educate you on how to get your instrument to provide accurate readings for longer and how soon the next calibration should be done depending on the factors affecting the lifetime of calibration and do not forget to calibrate the devices when they are first purchased.