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Calibration Terminology

Demystify the Calibration Process with a Better Understanding of These Key Terms:

Adjustment (of a measuring instrument) 
The operation of bringing a measuring instrument into a state of performance suitable for its use.
As Found Data
The reading of the instrument before it is adjusted.
As Left Data
The reading of the instrument after adjustment or "same as found" if no adjustment was made.
A set of operations that establish, under specified conditions, the relationship between the values of quantities indicated by measuring instrument or measuring system and the corresponding values realized by standards.
Factory Calibration 
The tuning or altering of a control device by the manufacture to bring it into specification. 
Inspection by Attributes
This is inspection whereby either the unit of product is classified as conforming or nonconforming, or the number of nonconformities in the product is counted, with respect to a given requirement or set of requirements. 
International Organization for Standardization. 
Limited Calibration
Sometimes certain functions of an instrument may not be needed by the user. It may be more cost effective to have a limited calibration performed. (This can even include a reduced accuracy calibration.)
Measurement Standards
A material measure, measuring instrument, reference material, or system intended to define, conserve, or reproduce a unit or one or more values of a quantity in order to transmit them to other measuring instruments by comparison.
Measurement Uncertainty
The estimated amount by which the measured quantity may depart from the true value.
National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST)
An independent agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce charged with the improvement and maintenance of standards.
Out of Tolerance (OOT) Condition
If results are outside of the instrument's performance specifications it is considered an Out of Tolerance (OOT) condition and will result in the need to adjust the instrument back into specification.
Adjusting a measuring instrument to make it more accurate is NOT part of a "typical" calibration and is frequently referred to as "optimizing" or "nominalizing" an instrument. (This is a common misconception) Only reputable and experienced calibration providers should be trusted to make adjustments on critical test equipment.
The totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bears on its ability to satisfy given needs.
Quality Audit 
A systematic and independent examination to determine whether quality activities and related results comply with planned arrangements and whether these arrangements are implemented effectively and are suitable to achieve objectives.
Quality Control 
The operational techniques and the activities that sustain a quality of product or service that will satisfy given needs; also, the use of such techniques and activities.
Quality System
Organizational structure procedures, processes and resources needed to implement quality management. 
Traceability : 
Ability to trace the history, application, or location of an entity by means of recorded identification. 
Without Data
Most calibration labs charge more to provide the certificate with data and will offer a "no-data" option. In any case "as-found," data must be provided for any OOT condition.
Test Uncertainty Ratio (TUR)
The ratio of the accuracy of the instrument under test compared to the estimated calibration uncertainty.


Why Choose Tektronix for Multi-brand Services?

  • Calibration services for equipment from 9,000-plus manufacturers—far more than just Tektronix!
  • Extensive global service network—more than 100 points of service.
  • Superior quality—181 ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation parameters.
  • 1,100-plus associates—highly skilled technicians and sales representatives.