Calibration of Laboratory Instruments

These laboratory instruments are critical for the production process of drugs and their accuracy is of paramount importance.

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Laboratory Instrument Microscope
Picture: Pixabay
SDCO Cum Licensing Authority |
Food and Drugs Administration, (FDA) Haryana, India. |
Email ID: dahiya19@yahoo.com
Rakesh Dahiya

Last Updated on December 24, 2023 by The Health Master

Calibration process

Calibration is the process of comparing the measurement of an instrument to a known standard, in order to adjust the instrument to give accurate results in the laboratories. A calibration schedule of an instrument is a plan for regularly checking and adjusting instruments to ensure they remain accurate over time.

Frequency of calibration

The frequency of calibration of the instruments depends on many factors, including:

  • The type of instrument,
  • The intended use, and
  • The level of accuracy required.

For example, critical instruments used in the laboratory of pharma, cosmetics, homoeopathy or medical device industry settings may require calibration on a daily or weekly basis, while less critical instruments used in a laboratory setting may only need to be calibrated monthly or quarterly.

Calibration schedule

To ensure the accuracy of laboratory instruments, it is important to have a well-planned calibration schedule. The schedule should be reviewed and updated regularly, and calibration should be performed by trained personnel using appropriate equipment and procedures.

Calibration record

It is also important to keep detailed records of all calibrations, including the date, results, and any adjustments made to the instrument.

Time interval between calibrations

The time interval between calibrations of instruments depends on a variety of factors, including the type of instrument, the intended use, and the level of accuracy required.

Critical instruments

For example, critical instruments used in the laboratory of pharma, cosmetics, homoeopathy or medical device industry, such as pH meters, balances, and temperature sensors, may require calibration on a daily or weekly basis.

These instruments are critical for the production process of drugs and their accuracy is of paramount importance.

Less critical instruments

On the other hand, less critical instruments used in laboratory settings, such as centrifuges, spectrophotometers, and microscopes, may only need to be calibrated monthly or quarterly. These instruments are used for research and quality control, and their accuracy is less critical.

Infrequently used instruments

Instruments that are used infrequently or are not critical to the process, such as pipettes, may be calibrated on an annual or semi-annual basis.

Industry standards

It is important to note that the manufacturer’s recommendations, regulatory requirements, and industry standards should be considered when determining the calibration schedule.

Temperature or humidity

It is also important to take into account any environmental factors that may affect the instrument, such as temperature or humidity, and to schedule calibrations accordingly.

Risk-based approach

In general, it is recommended to follow a risk-based approach where the criticality of the instrument and the potential impact of an inaccurate measurement are taken into account to determine the appropriate calibration interval.

Conclusion:

Overall, regular calibration of laboratory instruments is important to ensure accurate and reliable results.

A well-planned calibration schedule and proper calibration procedures can help to maintain the accuracy of instruments over time.

It is recommended to consult with experts in the field, such as metrologists, or consult with the manufacturer to determine the appropriate calibration intervals for your specific instruments.

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