Self Service Check-Out – Calibration of PAT Testers moves ‘in-house’

July 31, 2012

Test and measurement equipment needs to be accurate – and you need to be able to prove that it’s accurate. For most equipment this means handing it over to a Calibration Company to compare it to their reference standards. This has also been the case for Portable Appliance Testers, until now… A new product from Calibration Specialist AMECaL is set to make the checking of PAT Testers – by the user – easy, fast and cheap. What would you say if I told you that you would never again need to pay to send your PAT Tester away (or hand it over) to a Calibration Company for an annual calibration? I thought so… Unlike most electrical test equipment, PAT Testers are not highly accurate – indeed, they don‟t carry out a high accuracy test. So why should they be treated in the same way as much more precise equipment? The short answer is that they don‟t need to be treated in the same way. Now AMECaL‟s Calibration PAT Plugs give users a cost-effective and easy-to-use means of calibrating the essential parameters of all PAT Testers – Old and New – to meet the requirements of BS EN ISO 9002: 2004. Best of all, they can do it themselves, as and when they wish. The accuracy of Portable Appliance Testers should be verified and recorded annually (or in accordance with the manufacturer‟s instructions). These handy PAT Plugs will enable users to carry out this annual verification and recording of accuracy themselves – saving them the inconvenience and cost of having their PAT equipment calibrated externally. Twenty times more accurate than the average PAT Tester, the plugs will never need to be calibrated themselves and mean users will be able to calibrate their own PAT Testers in three easy steps: All the user has to do is use the three plugs in turn on their Tester, run the tests and input the readings into a certificate. AMECaL also helpfully provides a template certificate – downloadable from their website – or users can use their own, or simply note the figures in a log book or spreadsheet. The plugs are small and light and can easily be kept with the PAT Tester, or in a toolbox, ready to carry out the calibration at any time. It‟s so quick and easy, it can even be done before every job. Users can even show their clients how accurate their Tester is while in front of them, on site. AMECaL developed the Test Plugs as part of a commonsense approach to calibration, increasingly relevant in these tough economic times. ”We‟re a UKAS Accredited Calibration Laboratory, so we‟re not relaxed about accuracy,” comments Technical Director, Steve Oxborough, “but there needs to be a sensible approach to some areas, like PAT Testing, where the Calibration procedure is simple and the accuracy involved is not particularly high.” Margins on PAT Testing are narrow enough without the cost, inconvenience and down-time involved in sending away the Tester once a year for calibration. Obviously where the PAT Tester fails the calibration, this is an indication that something is wrong with the Tester and the equipment should be sent to a trusted Calibration Company to be checked fully and adjustments and/or repairs made as necessary, but unless the equipment has been badly treated, this shouldn‟t be the norm. Because of their high accuracy relative to PAT Testers, the plugs will never need calibrating, but if a Tester fails a calibration in the future, it‟s very easy to carry out a quick test of the plugs with a (calibrated) multimeter - to ensure the plugs have not been damaged and to confirm the issue is with the PAT Tester. “We carry out a lot of fairly straightforward calibrations on PAT Testers and it seemed to our technicians that a calibration – which would still meet all of the regulatory requirements – could be carried out by the user themselves with a simple „Pass‟ and „Fail‟ simulator. Then it was just a case of creating those devices,” adds David Heppell, Sales & Marketing Manager, “While we appreciate the calibration work coming into our Laboratory, we also acknowledge that sometimes serving and supporting our customers means giving them an easier solution which will also save them money – in this case by giving them the ability to calibrate their equipment themselves.” Calibration PAT Plugs are available from AMECaL and are part of a wider range of instrumentation produced by the company for electricians and other trades requiring test and measurement equipment. For further details, contact David Heppell at AMECaL on 0191 262 2266; Fax on 0191 262 6622 or email david@amecal.com More about AMECaL: Proud of being one of the few privately owned independent laboratories in the North East, AMECaL‟s multi-laboratory operation is viewed as a premier facility. The company provides one of the UK‟s most competitive portfolios of calibration and repair services, supporting a wide range of industries both locally and nationally in all fields of calibration and on a vast array of measuring equipment. State of the art calibration services are carried out either in one of the company‟s environmentally controlled laboratories, or on clients‟ sites. AMECaL‟s exciting range of quality, professional, testing and measurement equipment has recently been launched in the UK - details of the electrical and environmental equipment in the range are available at products.amecal.com. From there catalogues and pricelists can be downloaded or requested. There is also an online shop - shop.amecal.com.

 

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