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Understanding the Differences Between OEM & 3rd Party Calibration Services

When it comes to calibrating your Tektronix test and measurement equipment, such as oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers, function generators, and other sensitive test and measurement equipment, there are several factors to consider in terms of quality, procedures, service levels, and more.  Typically, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like Tektronix will provide a more comprehensive level of service on their own equipment. In addition, OEMs like Tektronix provide a calibration level of expertise on other branded equipment that only a manufacturer of test and measurement equipment can provide. If you’re deciding between OEM-provided calibration services from Tektronix or calibration services from a third-party, non-OEM provider, consider the following:

  1. High level precision and traceability. Only a Tektronix calibration on Tektronix equipment ensures accurate performance and measurement precision for highly regulated industries where performance is essential and audits must be passed, such as aerospace, defense, space, medical equipment, telecom, and other critical infrastructure industries.
  2. Automated calibration procedures. With a Tektronix calibration on Tektronix equipment, the process is Tektronix-defined and automated, resulting in superior accuracy and repeatability. Third party calibrations are based on an equipment manufacturer’s minimally published or commercially defined specifications and procedures. There is no guarantee of automated processes for Tektronix-specific equipment.
  3. Comprehensiveness. Here, factory calibration includes tests to published and unpublished specifications across a full range of instrument operation. With third-party calibration, equipment is tested only to the base level shown in the OEM, commercial, or customer-defined procedures. There can be a significant gap in the number and quality of calibration test points delivered.
  4. Calibration type. For a Tektronix calibration, equipment is tested to the calibration standard default as defined for each product. Calibration service levels offered by Tektronix include ANSI/NCSL Z540.1 OOT, ANSI/NCSL Z540.1 full data, ISO/IEC 17025 compliant, and ISO/IEC 17025 accredited. Tektronix is accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 by independent third-party accreditation bodies whereas third-party calibration providers may not carry the accreditation recognition.
  5. Technician capability – A Tektronix calibration includes product experts with deep Tektronix product-specific knowledge and access to engineers who designed the product. Third-party calibration providers offer minimal in-depth knowledge of Tektronix equipment.
  6. Companion repair services – Tektronix calibrations on Tektronix equipment can also include minor repair services as needed that are usually completed at the time of the calibration service. Think of it as a 2-for-1. Third party calibration houses may or may not offer this capability, with or without Tektronix-certified parts.
  7. Delivery method – Consider the global footprint of your calibration services provider. Is your provider local? Do they offer expedited “ship to factory” options? Can they embed a technician at your site? Tektronix offers the OEM calibration expertise and flexible service delivery options that reduce turnaround time through its 100+ global labs.

Tektronix calibration services

In addition to these differentiators, using Tektronix to calibrate your Tektronix equipment can also provide these advantages:

  • Included firmware and software updates (standard)
  • Automated optimization and adjustments
  • Included electronic calibration certificates
  • Expedited service when needed
  • Safety and reliability updates (included)
  • Available CalWeb asset and compliance software for asset tracking and easy certificate accessibility.

It’s important to acknowledge that companies who require calibrations for hundreds or thousands of assets may find it difficult to send specific pieces of equipment out to the OEM for calibration services. This is where third-party calibration services providers thrive. However, we’d like to suggest that even in this scenario, Tektronix offers a unique OEM advantage. As a manufacturer of test and measurement equipment, Tektronix brings its technical expertise and OEM-level quality to calibrations on all electronic test and measurement equipment, regardless of manufacturer. 

Overall, the OEM advantage is clear: when considering vendors for calibrating Tektronix equipment, select Tektronix to receive the most accurate, most thorough, and most convenient calibration available. You’ll meet your calibration quality requirements while achieving your turnaround time and peace of mind.

View complete information on Tektronix calibration services or click here for a Quick Service Quote!