What is the difference between CALIBRATION and ADJUSTMENT
Calibration and adjustment are two similar processes that are often confused and wrongly used interchangeably. This article aims to clear up the differences.
The National Physics Laboratory clearly explains the key differences between CALIBRATION and ADJUSTMENT:
Calibration is defined as a set of operations that establish, under specified conditions, the relationship between the values of quantities indicated by a measuring instrument or measuring system and the corresponding values realised by standards.
Sometimes, however, the word calibration is misused to describe the process of altering the performance of an instrument to ensure that the values it indicates are correct within specified limits (e.g. adjusting an instrument until its reading agrees with that of another instrument). Strictly speaking this is adjustment.
Adjustment is defined as the operation of bringing a measuring instrument into a state of performance suitable for its use. This is not calibration. Although the nature and magnitude of the adjustment is often determined by a pre-adjustment calibration, sometimes known as a first calibration.
The procedure is:
- first calibration (to determine the approximate magnitude of the necessary adjustment)
- second calibration.
You can learn about our pyranometer calibration here.
An indepth article can be found on asq.
Metrologically speaking, the International Vocabulary of Metrology, V.I.M ed.3, gives the exact definition of these terms.