What is a commercial calibration lab?

A  commercial calibration lab provides calibration services for a wide variety of measuring instruments across multiple scopes such as pressure, temperature, mechanical, electrical, optical etc.

What is the difference between an accredited and non-accredited calibration lab?

Calibration labs which are certified for compliance to ISO/IEC 17025 are called accredited calibration labs. ISO/IEC 17025 dictates the general requirements for the competence of calibration and testing laboratories. The measurement data provided by the accredited calibration labs will be reliable and most accurate compared to non-accredited calibration labs.

 

Following are some of the leading accreditation bodies across the globe

 

  1. A2LA – American association for laboratory accreditation
  2. ANAB – ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board
  3. DAKKS – Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH
  4. EMA – entidad mexicana de acreditacion a.c.
  5. IAS – International Accreditation Service, Inc
  6. JAB – Japan Accreditation Board
  7. NABL – National Accreditation Board for Testing & Calibration Laboratories
  8. NATA –National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia
  9. SAC  –Singapore Accreditation Council
  10. UKAS –United Kingdom Accreditation Service

What is the advantage of using a calibration software over excel sheets?

Two greatest advantages of using a good commercial calibration lab management software over excel sheets is the productivity gain and compliance to ISO 17025 requirements. Excel sheets do not provide accountability, traceability etc which a commercial calibration management software gives its users.

Which is the best calibration software for an accredited lab?

Unlike non-accredited labs which could manage their business using simple asset management software, gage tracking/gage insight software etc. accredited calibration labs require much more sophisticated commercial calibration management software to manage their business.

 

A commercial calibration lab management software should have modules to manage and track assets, calibration standards, workflow for managing work assignment and tracking, calibration raw data capture, uncertainty calculations and calibration certificates.

 

It should also be a web-based application with a robust database backend which does not limit the amount of data that you could handle.

 

Read https://www.metquay.com/2019/06/mandatory-should-haves-of-a-quality-management-software-for-calibration-testing/

 

Read https://www.metquay.com/2019/04/are-you-an-accredited-commercial-calibration-testing-business-you-need-more-than-an-asset-tracking-software/

How do I configure my measurement uncertainty in a calibration software?

Most of the calibration software in the market does not allow the users to define/modify the uncertainty calculation formulae. They either ship with predefined formulae or does not even have the option to set up measurement uncertainties.

 

However, Metquay calibration, testing and asset management software ships with a unique feature which allows the users to define their own uncertainty calculations, raw data capture templates and calibration & testing certificate templates. This means that the application could be scaled to any type of instrument or calibration scope by the user.

 

To read more about this feature https://www.metquay.com/2019/08/learn-how-to-set-up-a-flow-meter-calibration-worksheet-with-measurement-uncertainty-in-7-simple-steps-using-metquay-worksheets/

What would be the license cost per user for a calibration software?

The price per user for a typical commercial calibration lab management software ranges from approximately USD 1000 to USD 2500 as a one-time license fee.

 

Other charges may include optional AMC(annual maintenance contract) which would be around 15 – 20% of the total project cost and other customisation charges if any.

How much should I spend on customising the calibration software?

Well, it may vary from lab to lab and largely dependent on your specific requirements. The software you buy should by default comply with all the ISO 17025 requirements and have all the necessary features and workflows that are common to the commercial calibration business.

 

You could find a checklist of the most important features on the below articles

 

 https://www.metquay.com/2019/02/5-points-to-consider-when-procuring-a-new-calibration-lab-management-solution/

 

https://www.metquay.com/2019/06/mandatory-should-haves-of-a-quality-management-software-for-calibration-testing/

 

 If there is anything you need in addition to the features that are mentioned in the above articles you may ask for a consultation session by the vendor and ask them to estimate the customisation effort and cost well before you finalise the project.

 

Thumb rule is, cost of customisation would be  less if you plan it right from the beginning of the project.

Should I go for a SAAS solution for my calibration lab?

SAAS ( Software as a service) allows you to pay for the software as you go such as on a monthly/quarterly/half-yearly/yearly basis. However, the total cost paid over the long term would be much higher than what you pay for an installed application.

 

For a commercial calibration lab, going with a web-based installed application over a SAAS application would have the following benefits

 

  1. The data will reside on your server, completely under your control which would allow you to directly comply with your customer’s & accreditation body’s policies
  2. The amount of data is only restricted by the storage space on your server for an installed application whereas for SAAS you may have to restrict yourself by the policies of the SAAS provider.
  3. The app can be accessed from any part of the world via an URL just like a SAAS application

How do I integrate my ERP/Accounting systems with a calibration software?

The commercial calibration management software that you choose should provide the necessary APIs(application program interface) to enable integration with third-party ERP/Accounting systems. It’s a good practice to choose calibration software which ships with APIs even if you do not need them in the short term

How soon could I start using the calibration software once I purchase it?

Well, it depends on the product you buy.

 

Metquay calibration, testing & asset management software follows the following delivery timeline which allows the customer to start using the product as soon as it’s purchased.

 

  1. Delivery ( same day)
  2. 40 hours of online training
  3. Re-branding ( 2 days)
  4. Data Migration ( 1 day)