Why do you need to calibrate your crimping tools?
They may all be working fine, but how do you know they are performing accurately? And does it really matter?
In some ways, it makes sense that Crimping Tool Calibration is overlooked: the benefits are not always immediately understood, and it’s often difficult to find the root cause of the negative consequences. But the truth is, calibration is far more than a matter of legal compliance – and it should be treated as such by anybody undertaking an electrical installation.
But my crimping tool is new?
We hear you, but it makes sense to calibrate your new tool to ensure it is producing quality Crimp Connections, and performing to the standard you require from the very first use. That’s your benchmark set.
Simply put, faulty Crimping Tools produce unreliable electrical terminations. This can lead to costly failures and serious damage to your installations.
Loose terminals or incorrect compaction can lead to air gaps, which in turn can lead to overheating; the ultimate result can be a serious fault, and even fire.
Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
Poorly calibrated Crimping Tools are harder to use; working with them regularly – especially for engineers who are doing a large number of crimps every day – might appear a simple inconvenience, but the actual risks of this are starker than they might appear.
The frequent low-level strain can actually turn quite nasty, and over a longer period, many engineers find themselves with Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI), which can be both painful and actually lead to more severe, long-term problems.
If you’re working on an electrical installation or a project in the rail industry, your tools need to meet certain calibration standards such as RSE STD 024 Part 6 Rail Standard or Electrical Installation Standard BS-EN 60352-2-2006 – to ensure that your legal obligations are being thoroughly met, and you are creating a safe environment for the end-user.
The costs of not doing this can be serious: Don't get complacent with compliance - the reputational and professional ramifications can be quite severe.
Shorter Tool Shelf-Life
Crimping tools which have been used a great deal will diminish over time through normal wear and tear. Many engineers simply come to the conclusion that they are ‘passed it’ and replace these tools, but that’s an unnecessary cost.
Instead, used tools can be Calibrated and Repaired if required using expert services, which will give them a new lease of life and save the time and money that otherwise would have been wasted on replacements or attempted manual repair.
Clearly, there are some sharp costs to poor crimp tool calibration. But even acknowledging this doesn’t give us a full view of the value crimping tool calibration offers; in order to get a proper picture, we need to look at the active benefits it brings as well.
Ease of Use
Just as faulty crimping tools produce loose crimps, properly calibrated tools make the job easier, quicker and more precise. The benefits of this are clear: less stress, more efficient work and ultimately an improved final product.
When quality Crimp Connections are achieved, the need for maintenance and repairs over a longer period of time is reduced, which both makes the life of the engineer easier and makes the end-user far more satisfied.
While it may not manifest immediately, the fact that an engineer is precise and unwilling to compromise on quality – especially when it comes to smaller details – can have a huge knock-on effect in their career, demonstrating that they are a cut above their competitors. As a business owner or contractor, that reputation will guarantee you more work in the future.
What We've Learned
Those in the know will already understand the importance of attention-to-detail, but it never hurts to be reminded of how crucial even seemingly simple processes can be. Calibrating your crimping tools may seem laborious, but the combination of problems avoided and benefits accrued should demonstrate the clear returns a simple investment of effort can bring in.
While engineers can calibrate their own crimping tools, professional services often make things more efficient and easier, using specialist training, equipment and traceability methods, ensuring on-going precise measurements. The ultimate benefit is a new level of confidence and certainty in the quality of your electrical terminations.
So, instead of thinking that calibration is just an extra choice, we should all start seeing it as much needed insurance.
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