Anyone who owns a car knows that too little usage is almost as bad as too much. The fact is that complex machinery and instruments “wear & tear” even when not utilized.
When it comes to colorimeters and spectrophotometers, a number of our customers may use their instruments twice a week, once a month, while others used it continuously for 5x day for 24 hours, 7 days a week especially in high production industry such as virgin coconut oil and desiccated coconut production. And one day comes they will use the instrument to perform a measurement, the system has an error message or annual calibration and must be sent in for service.
At this stage, lets
clarify that Calibration and Maintenance Service are two different procedure.
Calibration comes with a certification; It is a procedure which the instrument
undergone checking of its measurement or readings produced to determine if it
still within the acceptable tolerance or limit and still in manufacturers
specifications. Then after these procedures are done, certificate and sticker
are to be issued deemed to be valid for a year.
Maintenance Service can be like pre-emptive procedure like routine inspection or some major part replacement of a certain part of a spectrophotometer (eg. Xenon pulse lamp) this is the common part to be replace in some colorimeter and spectrophotometer due to its age, high count of flashes, dust accumulation, liquid contamination etc.
It is not a good practice to wait for the instrument to stop working to get a calibration or maintenance service , nor wait for error messages to appear before to rush around trying to get something fixed or send it to your service provider.
Here are some tips on
proper care of your colorimeter or spectrophotometer.
1. Use only appropriate electrical power adapter from manufacturer (AC-305) or (AC-308). The internal power supply or battery may deplete or fail. This results in memory, calibration data and settings loss. The solution is to plug the instrument in every 2-3 months for 14 hours to charge any on board batteries.
2. When instrument is not use, cover it with dust cover to prevent dust accumulation on its target port. Dust is a major cause of reading error and measurement faults.
3.Always position the instrument in cool and dry place. Store away from hot surfaces and liquid storages.
4.For instruments which always subject in high operation use; It is better to regularly schedule a preventive maintenance service ahead of the annual due date calibration of service maintenance schedule to ensure tip-top performance of the instrument and to pre-empt any potential error that may arise.
5.Always consult your technical service provider if you are unsure for any settings changes to be made in the instrument or if there’s any error messages appear in the instrument.