Proper calibration of aircraft tooling and test equipment is essential when managing your overall quality and maintenance systems.
And choosing the right calibration and repair service provider is crucial, but not always easy.
There are several measures you can take to ensure your tooling and test equipment is always accurate.
Some companies send their equipment back the manufacturer for calibration.
Other companies rely on a third party calibration lab, while others try to establish their own calibration lab internally (although cost as well as the strict regulatory environment of the aerospace industry makes this practice rather uncommon).
Each of these tactics comes with their own set of pros and cons…
Below are 5 things to remember when choosing your calibration services provider in 2019 (and beyond)…
#1. The cost of having a manufacturer calibrate your aircraft tooling and test equipment is twofold.
1) An OEM will usually be significantly higher than using a third party calibration lab. If you have a number of pieces that require regular calibration, cost and turn time become important factors in your decision, and 2) Manufacturers who can calibrate your equipment tend to have longer turnaround times than third parties due to the lack of response to their customers, volume of work or shipping delays.
#2. Many test equipment manufacturers cannot provide NIST traceable or accredited calibration services for the aftermarket.
If you operate in an industry with stringent regulations, such as aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), is it important to check with your test equipment calibration provider, OEM or third party about their ability to provide such documentation.
#3. Streamline the vendor management process and reduce costs by selecting one calibration services provider to perform most of your work.
The ability to count on one calibration service provider for the majority of your tooling and test equipment maintenance requirements can maximize your efficiencies by significantly reducing your time requirements for sourcing. This streamlining process can also increase your ability to receive better service from your supplier as you will be considered a highly valued customer. This also allows your supplier to work with you in forecasting your ongoing needs. Forecasting can be extremely valuable to your business. This proactive approach lets your calibration services provider buy parts ahead of time and plan to keep a certain amount of labor hours available for your needs, thus reducing your turn times or any surprises along the way.
#4. Is the lab capable of providing you with a calibration that will meet all your requirements?
This question is very important because your tooling and test equipment needs will evolve over time as your business matures. The ongoing communication between your business and your calibration lab offers you the opportunity to find new ways to maximize the usage of your test equipment.
- Can your calibration service provider repair your equipment in addition to calibration?
- Can your provider offer unique ways of utilizing your tools and test equipment?
For Example: InterSky can calibrate certain tensiometers to read up to 11 different cables, thus reducing the number of tensiometers our customers ultimately require. Does your calibration service provider have the ability to source replacement test sets and tools for you so you don’t have to? This sourcing capability can help you tremendously if you are in a time crunch.
#5. Is the calibration services provider you are considering responsive to your needs?
- If you require a quick turnaround time from your provider, do you get it?
- Does your provider respond to your inquiries and status requests with transparency and in a timely fashion?
- Simply put- do the calibration service providers you currently work with provide the type of customer service that makes your job easier?
These questions are important ones to answer. We work in a time sensitive environment where your customers requirements are demanding. We all have deadlines to meet and exceed. You deserve a provider that places the proper amount of importance and attention to detail onto your requirements. This spells success!
What are the average turn times quoted by your provider?
Does that fit into your timetable?
Does your provider go above and beyond to get your tooling and test equipment back to you in case of an urgent requirement?
Choosing the right calibration and repair service provider is crucial, but not always easy.
- The cost of having a manufacturer calibrate your aircraft tooling and test equipment is twofold
- Many test equipment manufacturers cannot provide NIST traceable or accredited calibration services for the aftermarket
- How to Streamline the vendor management process and reduce costs
- What metrics to use when measuring calibration technician effectiveness
About InterSky Calibration Services
Located in Memphis, TN, InterSky is a full service calibration and repair laboratory providing a full scope of calibration / repair services traceable to NIST for most popular calibration, test, and measurement instruments by manufacturers such as Fluke, IFR, Aeroflex, Barfield, Druck, Pacific Scientific, Tel-Instruments and more.
Our aircraft tooling and test equipment calibration services are provided in our climate-controlled, state-of-the-art laboratory and based in the logistics capital of the U.S.A. Our customer service team is ready to quickly respond to your requests and requirements.
InterSky Precision Instruments, LLC. offers calibration services for a wide range of aviation and avionics instruments. InterSky is ANSI and NCSL Z540-1-1994 certified, NIST traceable with extensive capabilities across all categories of aircraft tooling, test equipment and instruments.