Recently we had a customer return an Applied Image part, a stage micrometer (SM-2), for recalibration to maintain traceability. What was fascinating, and a pleasant surprise, was that the serial number was 0001. This part was the first one of its kind, sold during the late 1990’s. Despite a scratch in the non-image area, the dimensional calibration remains stable and unchanged.
Randy Kammrad, Director of Quality Assurance at Amitron Corporation and the owner of this stage micrometer, had bought the part from Applied Image almost 20 years ago while working for another employer at the time.
“At first, I wasn’t sure who could calibrate the lab microscopes at Amitron. So I tried the stage micrometer I’ve had for almost 20 years and it calibrated with no problem! I went back to Applied Image, the original source, to get it recalibrated and was certainly pleased is hasn’t changed after so many years,” said Randy.
Applied Image has retained the original part for nostalgia. A new part was offered to Randy as a replacement at no charge to thank him for his years of loyalty.
“Using Applied’s stage micrometer ensures the calibration measurements are uniform for each microscope we have,” said Randy, “and we’re delighted to have our new part with improved traceability to NIST.”
Getting Your Standard Recalibrated
In addition to designing and manufacturing calibration standards, we also offer calibration services for customers to maintain traceability of their standards. Having calibration done is important, and most of our customers’ formal quality systems require their calibration standards to be recertified periodically. All of our calibration and recalibration services have traceability to NIST (National Institute for Standards and Technology).
When it comes to recalibration, there isn’t a set schedule to which different microscopy tools must adhere. This is dictated by the customer’s own quality system, so Applied Image does not generally specify the recalibration frequency. In most cases with our customers, we see 1 or 2 year intervals between calibrations of these standards.
Confidence in Your Microscopy Performance
Applied Image has invested heavily in developing microscopy technology for the benefit of multiple industries calibrating their systems. Provided there is proper handling and care involved, the parts are durable and reliable, as we’ve seen through Randy’s experience.
Since the microscopy industry is data-driven, it is imperative that the quality of our calibration standards allow our customers to have precise equipment. This is done not only through a stable standard, but also taking care of your standard to maintain sufficient performance. By using a NIST traceable calibration standard as part of their overall quality system, customers can have confidence in their results.
To learn more, download our eBook “Calibration, Care, and Cleaning of Your Stage Micrometer and Reticle.”