Quality assurance is a fundamental aspect of every industry and for many businesses providing accurate weighing measurements soon becomes a necessity.
This is especially true in medical applications where, on a daily basis, chemicals must be measured with extreme accuracy to not only achieve the desired results but, also, to protect the health of the end user.
Working with materials in such small quantities and with such light weights requires specialist equipment, commonly named ‘balances’.
Balances are able to record the weight of tiny objects with extreme accuracy (often to 0.001g readability or more) and, therefore, are commonplace in laboratories working with delicate substances.
Why do the measurements need to be so specific?
There are a huge number of financial and health related reasons as to why the weight recorded by balances must be so granular and, therefore, why regular, thorough calibration is crucial.
Firstly, many medical professionals (including GP’s, Doctors and Surgeons) rely on the measurements obtained by researchers in laboratories in order to prescribe medication to their patients.
In some unfortunate cases these numbers are incorrect, the individual who consumes the prescribed medication may be inadvertently under/overdosed and this can produce unwanted and detrimental side effects.
For pharmaceutical companies, prioritising accuracy is essential in order to provide customers with effective and safe medicines which will, in turn, allow for profits to be made.
Regular product recalls and retrials can lead to loss of faith in your brand from customer complaints and this can severely harm your business as a result.
However, it’s not just chemicals which require accurate weighing.
Patients themselves are regularly monitored for important metrics, one of which can often be their weight.
When measuring patients for key statistics such as weight, it is important to remove any variables and ensure the accuracy of the weighing apparatus so that results can be compared whenever it is required.
Anomalous fluctuations in weight can be a potential harbinger for impending health defects and identifying these changes can allow for medical professionals to become more proactive in their treatment and diagnosis efforts.
What affects the accuracy of balances?
There are numerous different factors which can affect the accuracy of a balance and it is important to understand these when installing, calibrating and eventually utilising the apparatus in the laboratory.
For instance, due to their very sensitive nature, even the act of transporting balances can subtly alter the mechanical parts inside which can then affect the readings provided during weighing as a result.
In addition, your location can become a factor in the accuracy of the results provided as the balance will increase the measurements displayed by 700 micrograms (0.0007g) for every 1km closer to the North Pole it moves.
Temperature is another factor to consider too, as ambient changes in the laboratory can cause fluctuations and inconsistencies in the results provided through condensation, expansion and other chemical occurrences.
As a result, it is important to ensure a regulated environment and calibrate balances often in order to maintain accuracy and consistency.