Calibration versus certification
Before I answer the question “can a LogTag be calibrated?” I need to explain the difference between “calibration” and “certification”. The two terms are used almost interchangeably in the industry, and what most people actually mean is “can a LogTag be certified?”
Certification is the testing of a LogTag to a known temperature, and providing a report showing the measured temperature compared with the actual temperature (as measured by specially certified instruments).
For example, a certificate might show the following test results:
The purpose of certification is to demonstrate that the LogTag temperature logger is within the accuracy levels required for a specific industry. For example, if an accuracy of 0.5° is required, then the error can not be greater than 0.5°C.
It is normal to have a small error. Don’t panic. The point of the certification is to ensure that the error is within acceptable limits.
Calibration is the actual adjusting of the readings as they are stored. In theory, this means that the error is removed from the data.
Calibration used to be essential for analog sensors that were prone to “drift” in accuracy with time. These instruments were actually designed so that adjustments could be manually made. With modern digital sensors, like the ones in LogTags, calibration is basically obsolete. If the logger is recording inaccurate temperatures, we deem it faulty and replace it.
So can LogTags be calibrated?
Technically yes. There is a program that allows LogTags to be calibrated but it is only available to some NATA-accredited labs. (NATA stands for National Association of Testing Authorities.)
But should you calibrate your LogTag? No. If the sensor is faulty, it is much better to replace it.
How do I get a certificate of accuracy for my LogTag?
There are a number of labs around Australia that can offer testing with instruments that have been calibrated to NATA’s high standards. We can recommend one and organise the testing.
If you want a new LogTag with a certificate then you can call us and request one. It will add about a week to the shipping date.
Should I get my existing LogTags certified?
Probably not. Rather than have an existing LogTag certified, I strongly recommend buying a new LogTag with a certificate instead. The two reasons are:
- You won’t be without a LogTag while it is being certified.
- The new unit will have maximum battery life. We have some people certify units that are 2 or 3 years old, only to then have the battery die a couple of months later.