Newsroom

18/09/2017

Interview with John Brooks, Trescal Ltd on the Importance of Pipette Calibration

Pipettes should be regularly calibrated to ensure they continue to perform precisely and accurately. Here, John Brooks at Trescal, the international specialist in calibration and measurement solutions, explains why. In this article he will demystify the process to reveal what good looks like when it comes to implementing a successful pipette calibration programme.

“It is clear that more needs to be done to ensure that pipette calibration is tailored around the needs of a laboratory and that maintenance is not neglected,” says Trescal’s John Brooks, who heads up the Trescal Stevenage branch, a centre of expertise for pipette calibration in the UK. As a result, John and his team know only too well that with pipettes being a widely used laboratory tool - often in constant operation and frequently subjected daily to a number of external factors - performance can deteriorate with each use. John explains, “This can be caused by anything from contact with fluid which causes corrosive effects, to the general wear and tear caused by pipette handling.”

With this in mind, it isn’t difficult to see why a pipette needs to be well maintained through regular calibration intervals. However, due to the heavy reliance on the equipment, it can be a struggle for some to commit to a regular testing and maintenance programme.  

 

How frequently should pipettes be calibrated?

As there is no current legislation on how often pipettes should be tested, it is down to users to make an informed decision based on usage. However, the NPL good practice guide No 69 recommends that every pipette in use should be tested on a regular basis to determine the accuracy and repeatability of the volume of liquid it delivers.

Trescal UK follows the NPL good practice guide further, to also recommend that an assessment should be made to determine the frequency of testing appropriate to the use the pipette receives and the accuracy required from it. This should be at least once a year but wherever possible every three to four months. The factors to be considered include the amount of use, number of users, type of liquid dispensed and any manufacturer’s recommendations.

Taking a good look at the types of pipettes in use will also be a good indicator. Mechanical action pipettes, unlike the original glass pipette, contain many internal parts and could be at higher risk of a failure as there is more to go wrong. Problems might not always be evident to the operator, so also take this into consideration and ensure that equipment is checked frequently even if the pipette is seemingly working correctly. 

From this is it is clear that a quality calibration provider will be able to help identify the best intervals for testing and can also base maintenance schedules on laboratory experience to help minimise the occurrence of predictable failures in most cases.

 

What does pipette calibration involve?

When it comes to the process involved, the calibration will involve a skilled engineer inspecting the device for any signs of wear and tear, contamination or corrosion from fluids, poor pipette handling and general damage.

The calibration process follows the guideline of BS EN ISO 8665: 2002 standard and the NPL good practice guide, where compliance is tested by very accurately weighing multiple samples of dispensed fluid in a carefully controlled and repeatable manner.

The engineer will then be able to make adjustments to the pipettes to optimise performance, and, if required, replace O-rings and seals, then clean and re-lubricate prior to final compliance testing.

 

What to consider when arranging pipette calibration?

Calibration providers should be accredited to ISO/IEC 17025, which demonstrates competency in calibration. However, the BS EN ISO 8665: 2002 standard, which is the most critical ISO standard for calibrating piston-operated pipettes, burettes, diluters, and dispensers, is much more detailed and specific to pipette calibration.

Another factor to keep in mind is the schedule of the laboratory, which is crucial to keep in mind when planning a pipette calibration programme. Wherever possible, minimising downtime should be the goal. Many calibration providers, including Trescal, can offer onsite calibration services which means a significant amount of time is saved by not having to transport products between the testing facility and laboratory.

It is important to check that a calibration provider is certified to undertake onsite calibration services, so always check the UKAS schedule of accreditations and ask for proof of compliance.

 

How much will it cost?

Costs will vary depending on the type of pipette and calibration required. However, an appropriate maintenance regime will bring savings in the long run. With regular pipette calibration, the longevity of equipment is improved, meaning businesses are able to reduce the likelihood of problems occurring and the replacement of pipettes, saving potentially thousands of pounds.

Overall, it is important to have an open dialogue about requirements to work towards the most reliable and effective solution. A comprehensive calibration programme that meets the needs of laboratories is achievable with the help of a quality calibration provider. Additionally, with options including onsite calibration services, there should also be a solution to keep downtime and costs to a minimum.

To find out more about Trescal visit www.trescal.com  or to enquire about Pipette calibration services please contact info.uk@trescal.com

07/06/2017

Trescal, partner of the Aeronautics and Space industry, to take part in the 2017 International Paris Air Show

Trescal continues to strengthen its position at the heart of the aerospace and defence markets through new and existing partnerships. Representing over € 10 million per year, the business segment represents approximately 45 per cent of Trescal sales – highlighting the importance of the Paris Air Show to the Group.

Thanks to its global "One-Stop-Shop" offering in calibration services and its proven expertise in calibration management, the Group is able to guarantee a high level of quality and consolidate its unmatched position in the global market.

Trescal group participates in numerous aeronautical trade shows around the world (Bourget, Farnborough, Berlin, Marrakech, Singapore) and participates in many of the shows with its Starduster SA300 Trescal biplane.

Returning from its partnership mission with the Patrouille de France in the USA and Canada, the Trescal plane will once again take to the skies at the Paris Show, performing aerobatic demonstrations during the air show. Trescal pursues its strategy of supporting its clients where they are established through  acquisitions, industrial investments and the creation of new laboratories in Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia.
For industrial players in the aeronautics sector, Trescal wants to be a true partner capable of providing initiatives programs for their international projects.

Trescal will be present at the Paris Air Show June 19-25, 2017: Hall 2B - Stand E 155

02/05/2017

Trescal acquires Acucal Inc. in the USA

Trescal is proud to announce the acquisition of Acucal Inc., a leading calibration services provider present in Virginia, North Carolina, Arizona and Hawaii, USA.
This transaction consolidates Trescal's geographical footprint and technical coverage in the United States and has been completed with the support of Ardian, its majority shareholder.

Founded in 1987 and headquartered in Manassas, Virginia, Acucal is A2LA-accredited and has strong technical skills in DC / Low Frequency and RF / Microwave. Besides its four laboratories, the company also operates through a fleet of six state-of-the-art mobile laboratories throughout the country. With a turnover of around $ 5.3 million, the company employs 40 people and is mostly active in the Electronics, Aeronautics and Defense sectors.
Acucal's founder and managing director, Thomas Efaw, will remain in his current position and will report to Kathy Boyd, Trescal Inc. President.

With this acquisition, Trescal's network will include 20 laboratories in the US, with 450 employees. It is the 22nd acquisition since Ardian takeover in July 2013.

Guillaume Caroit, Trescal Deputy CEO, said: "We are thrilled with Acucal joining us. Their geographical presence is a perfect fit, particularly in Arizona and Virginia. Acucal's broad experience in operating mobile laboratories will provide flexibility and additional reach for the upcoming national tenders. "

Thibault Basquin, Managing Director Ardian Mid Cap Buyout, added: "This new acquisition demonstrates the commitment of Trescal's management and Ardian to actively pursue the strategy of targeted acquisitions in North America. The market is still very fragmented with strong possibilities for growth. This is another example of how Ardian supports its portfolio companies in their ambitious international development plans."

03/04/2017

Trescal acquires Gebhardt Instruments in Germany

Trescal is proud to announce the acquisition of Gebhardt Instruments, a German calibration services provider based in Ruhla (Thuringia). The transaction consolidates Trescal’s geographical footprint and technical coverage in Germany. It will enable Trescal in Germany to optimize their logistics process and to reduce turnaround time for customers thanks to the central geographical location of Gebhardt Instruments. This acquisition has been completed with the support of Ardian, its majority shareholder.

Founded in 1993, Gebhardt Instruments is a DAkkS accredited laboratory specialized in dimensional and hardness calibration and have excellent repair capabilities for hardness testers and dimensional measurement instruments. The company employs 17 people, generates a turnover of 1,2 M€ and is highly active in the automotive sector.
This acquisition is the twenty first acquisition since the change of ownership to Ardian in July 2013.

27/03/2017

Trescal participates with French Air Force PAF tour of U.S.

Trescal, the fastest growing instrument calibration and services company in the U.S., announces its participation with the French Air Force’s precision aerobatic
demonstration team, the Patrouille de France (PAF) during its tour of the U.S.  The PAF tour commemorates the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War One (WWI).

It has been more than 30 years since the PAF performed in North America. Trescal, with global headquarters in France, is one of a few companies invited to be partners on this exceptional mission which underscores the strong historical relationship between France and the Unites States. The dates of the tour are March 23 – May 6.

Formed in 1952, the PAF flies eight Alpha‐Jet aircraft.

Trescal was chosen as a symbol of the excellence of the French SME, strongly established in the United States and which continues to invest massively as well as for its advanced expertise very related to the aeronautics and defense sector.

“Trescal has a longstanding relationship with the aeronautics, defense and pace industries throughout the world,” says Kathy Boyd, president of Trescal, Inc. in the U.S. “Globally, the group generates more than 50% of its sales in this market sector. We are proud to be part of such an important event with such a dynamic presence.”

“I sincerely thank the French Air Force and also the French Government to allow a mid‐size company like us to participate in such a unique event with our US and Canadian friends, combining industry and history ! and with our aerobatic aircraft included in the program !!!” adds Olivier Delrieu CEO Trescal Group.

Trescal’s Aerobatics Plane Joins the Tour

The partnership with the French Air Patrol is highlighted by the participation of the Trescal Starduster SA300 aircraft. This aerobatics biplane is piloted by Jean‐Marc d’Hulst, the Deputy General Manager of Trescal France, a qualified pilot in advanced aerobatics. The Starduster will fly and be on display at air shows attended by the PAF:

  • Melbourne Air Show (April 1‐2) and SUN ‘n FUN (April 4) in Florid
  • Maxwell Air Force Base Air Show in Alabama (April 8‐9)
  • Stewart Air Show in New York (April 23)
  • Aero 150 in Gatineau/Ottawa Canada (April 30)
  • Trescal Mirabel Air show in Montreal Canada (May 1)

Trescal will also take advantage of stopovers by Starduster during the tour to organize private events for its customers and staff in Dallas, Atlanta, and Charlotte.