What is force calibration?

Force calibration is the process of verifying and adjusting the accuracy of a force measuring device by comparing the device's readings to known standards. Force calibration is vital in manufacturing because it helps ensure that products meet specifications.


What Are The Types Of Force Calibrators?


There are four main types of force calibrators. They are deadweight, electronic, pneumatic, and hydraulic.


Deadweight Calibrators - Deadweight calibrators use physical weights to generate a known force. The calibrated item is then attached to the weight, and the reading is compared to the available weight to determine accuracy. Deadweight calibrators take force measurements of up to about 5 grams in the lower range.


Electronic Calibrators - Electronic calibrators rely on sensors and circuitry to generate calibrated forces. They are often more precise than other calibrators, making them suitable for high-precision applications. However, they can be more expensive and require more maintenance than other calibrators.


Pneumatic Calibrators - Pneumatic calibrators use compressed air to generate a force known. The calibrated item is attached to the air source. Pneumatic calibrators register medium-range force measurements. 


Hydraulic Calibrators - Hydraulic calibrators use fluid to generate a known force. Hydraulic calibrators get used for force measurements in the higher range, up to several tons. 


Each force calibrator has advantages and disadvantages, depending on the range of use needed. For example, deadweight calibrators are relatively inexpensive and straightforward, making them suitable for low-precision applications. 


However, they may not be suitable for high-precision measurements, as they can be less precise than electronic calibrators.


Electronic calibrators are more complex, which contributes to a higher expense. Further, they require more maintenance. However, they provide accurate results even at very high forces, making them a good choice for precision applications.


How Are Absolute and Relative Sensing Techniques Different?


There are two main types of force sensing techniques: absolute and relative. Absolute sensing measures the actual force generated by the device, while relative sensing only measures differences in pressure between different points on a surface or object.


Absolute sensing is generally more accurate than relative sensing, as it considers all variations in the measured force. Therefore, it is more suitable for high-precision applications. However, relative sensing can be helpful in situations where the absolute force is not known, such as when measuring the stiffness of a material.

what is force calibration_manufacturing_alliance calibration

How Force Calibration Affects The Manufacturing Process


Force calibration is used in manufacturing to ensure that products meet exact specifications. This level of precision gets achieved by comparing the readings of force measuring devices to known standards.


Force calibration is vital at all stages of the manufacturing process, from assembly to quality control testing. It helps ensure that products are made with consistent accuracy, improving reliability and reducing defects. As a result, manufacturers who use force calibration typically experience higher profits and reduced costs.


Applications Where Precision Calibration Matters Most


Accuracy always matters, but in specific applications, it is critical. Some of the most common examples include measurement and inspection equipment, robotic arms, and medical devices. 


Even slight deviations from the correct specifications can lead to severe problems and endanger human lives in these applications. 


Because of this, manufacturers in these fields need to have high-quality force calibration systems that can maintain consistent accuracy.



Is Force Calibration Mandatory?


While not always mandatory, the answer to this question depends on the application and tolerances for error. If you are ISO certified, traceability is a requirement.  Using an ISO accredited calibration company helps you maintain traceability in your your process.  In general, force calibration is a necessary part of modern manufacturing processes. It helps ensure product quality and efficiency. Therefore, most manufacturers will calibrate them regularly.

NCSLI Traceability

How Often Should A Force Gauge Get Calibrated?


The answer to this question is malleable, depending on the application and tolerance for error. People should calibrate force gauges at least once per year. However, in high-precision applications, they may need to be calibrated more often. In addition, if a force gauge is dropped or damaged, it should be calibrated.


What Is The Purpose Of Calibration?


The purpose of calibration is to ensure that devices are reading accurately. If the device is not reading accurately to a known standard, needed adjustments can get made to correct the issue.


Calibration is also essential in research and development, as it allows for accurate measurements and ensures that new products meet the required standards.


In general, calibration helps to improve the accuracy of devices and measurements. This precision, in turn, leads to improved quality and efficiency in manufacturing. It lays a solid foundation for ensuring the continued success of modern manufacturing processes.


Notable benefits include products that have consistent accuracy, improving reliability, and reducing defects. As a result, manufacturers who use calibration typically experience higher profits and reduced costs. 


Phil Wiseman

Phil Wiseman

Phil Wiseman is Chief Marketing Officer at Alliance Calibration. He earned a B.S. in Chemical Physics from Centre College. Phil is an ASQ Certified Quality Auditor and ASQ Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence.

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