What is calibration software?
In general, the term “calibration software” refers to applications that automate all or part of a calibration process via computer control. Calibration software also allows the user to manage their calibration and asset data.
If you’ve heard about the benefits of automated calibration and asset management but are puzzled about how everything fits together, call on Fluke Calibration for solutions.
Other types of calibration software exist. At Fluke Calibration, these include data-logging software, software that generates calibration constants and references, and various add-on and plug-in software programs.
Why use calibration software?
Using software to automate all or part of the calibration process offers several important advantages.
Software automation ensures that the calibration can be performed exactly the same way by multiple operators in multiple locations, and over time. This improves the quality of your results, reduces errors and standardizes methods.
Automating the calibration process allows technicians to set up tests and then go on to perform other tasks, making more efficient use of their time. Calibrations are typically completed much more quickly, saving time and money. If the software is capable of calibrating multiple units under test simultaneously, automation increases throughput as well.
Documentation and reports
Calibration automation software typically includes features for documenting calibration procedures, storing calibration data, and producing reports, allowing you to eliminate paper records or spreadsheets.
Because calibration software does such a wonderful job of keeping accurate records of all parts of the calibration process, it can also help you comply with a wide variety of quality standards.
Common quality standards
What should you look for when selecting calibration software?
Does it handle the required workload?
Look at your calibration instruments and your workload and make sure the software you select is compatible with them. You should also try to look into the future to understand what your needs might be one, five or even ten years from now. That way you can choose a solution that is scalable and that can grow with you as your needs change.
Does it have the features you need?
Do you need a powerful enterprise solution with lots of features? Or are your needs simple (for example, you only need to automate a single calibrator or type of calibrator)?
Is it easy to use?
Is the software designed by someone who understands the calibration process? Does the interface seem intuitive?
Does it help you to run the lab more efficiently?
Will it reduce your cost? Does the software you use help you become more productive in the lab? Try to determine whether the software will help you do more calibrations in the same or less amount of time. Does the software enable fast and repeatable calibration?
Is the software flexible to fit your needs ?
Can it be installed on single workstations as well as company-wide networks? Can multiple users access the system from different locations?
Can it help you meet regulatory and quality requirements?
You may want or be required to support the traceability and record-keeping requirements of modern quality and accreditation standards, including ISO/IEC 17025, ISO 9000, QS 9000, EN 45000, ANSI Z540, and MIL STD 45662A, without having to write your own programs, set up your own databases, or test and document the system.
Does it support unified data management across different metrology disciplines?
While you may choose different applications specialized in electrical, temperature, pressure, flow, or dimensional calibration, can you manage all the data in one database?
Is training available?
Does the software developer provide training to help you and your staff get up and running quickly?
What kinds of support are available?
Where can you go when you have questions or problems using your software? Does the manufacturer provide a telephone number or an email so you can talk to a live person?
Some software developers offer premium support programs that help you maximize productivity and minimize downtown. For example, Fluke Calibration offers the MET/SUPPORT Gold program to provide premium support and services for MET/CAL®software users.
Look for other types of available support as well, including user groups, online forums, technical and application notes and other informative materials.
Is the software produced by a reputable company?
You want to feel sure that the application you choose is developed by a company that will still be in the calibration business by the time you need support. It’s also a good idea to look for a developer who is committed to the long term future of its software applications and will provide regular updates and upgrades.
MET/CAL® calibration procedures » (searchable database)
Related reference materials
MET/CAL Plus Calibration Management Software
MET/SUPPORT Gold Software Support Program
COMPASS for Pressure Software
9938 MET/TEMP II Software »
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