An Insider's Look at Pipette Calibration Best Practices

At TTE Laboratories, we pride ourselves on offering an ISO-accredited, audit-ready pipette calibration program that allows our clients to maximize their pipette performance and improve their scientific development. In this post, we’ll offer readers an insider’s look at our state-of-the-art facility by providing comprehensive material and photos from our lab. So please join us as we take you through a visually engaging tour of our pipette calibration best practices and ultimately showcase the TTE difference.

TTE Labs shipping and receiving area

Our virtual tour starts with an overview of the steps involved in our pipette calibration services program. It is essential that all laboratories using pipetting equipment receive regular calibration services in which their pipettes are examined and adjusted to ensure their accuracy and precision are within tolerance limits when compared to the measurement standards. When pipettes are shipped to our facility for calibration, there are 6 critical steps that must be taken to ensure accurate measurements, reliable performance and quality pipettes:

  1. Inspection: A thorough check of the equipment is performed upon arrival to determine if any visible problems are present.
  2. Preventative Maintenance: With our detailed cleaning, repair, and parts replacement process, your assays are more likely to run smoothly and accurately, without the risk of an equipment breakdown.
  3. Repairs: Extensive repair services help keep all parts of the pipette in good working condition, without delay, so you can return to your work quickly.
  4. Quality Assurance: Before and following calibration, equipment IDs are checked and rechecked, plus a final leak test of your pipette ensures it is complete and packaged for return.
  5. Documentation: Our calibration certificate states that your pipette is ISO-certified to equipment tolerances. A TTE calibration label affixed to the pipette indicate calibration service has been completed.
  6. Reminder Notice: Convenient service reminders ensure regular calibration and pipette maintenance ahead of time, to guard against pipette error and malfunction.

         Workstations require the proper tools, equipment, standards and software

The next stop on our tour is the calibration process, including the laboratory standards and required equipment. There are five levels of pipette calibration to select from, each with a specific purpose. Our ISO-certified calibration is for the highest regulatory compliance. We offer two calibration levels to meet the needs of our GMP/GLP or clinical clients and 2 basic service levels for research and academic labs. Every piston pipette type requires routine calibration and preventative maintenance to maintain performance. These includes single channel, multichannel, electronic and manual pipettes, bottle-top dispensers, burets and titrators. At TTE, our scope provides calibration for all makes and models.                                

Multichannel pipette calibration workstation

Up next on our virtual journey is the repair process, including the importance it holds in maintaining properly functioning pipette equipment. At TTE, we are proud of our repair history. Our pipette repair techs have maintained a 98 percent on-time rating  in recent years, having performed 99 percent of all pipette repairs in-house and without delay. In our lab, we have more than 1,000 different replacement parts, covering all brands and models of pipettes. We also encourage labs to perform preventative maintenance to help minimize the frequency and extent of repairs and/or replacements needed. Repairs are are an important part of maintaining performance, and a critical part of an FDA audit. Reliable repair and preventative maintenance minimizes  stress levels associated with surprise FDA inspections.

Stocking the right replacement parts minimizes turnaround

We now come to the environmental conditions stop on our tour, where we will examine how we’re able to perform accurate calibration by controlling temperature, humidity, vibration, static, and measurement uncertainty. The consistency of a controlled climate and environmental conditions can determine whether calibration measurements will be accurate, with low uncertainty values. Test equipment and results are significantly impacted by the controls in place for environmental conditions, especially the analytical balances and scales, NIST traceable weights, thermometers, and much more.

Climate control equipment at TTE

The final stop on our tour is to explore the TTE difference. We are confident in the exceptional quality we provide and can back up that confidence through our accreditation and compliance to ISO/IEC 17025:2005, ANSI/NCSL Z540.3-2006 and ISO 8655:2002. With an average of 7 years of calibration experience, our calibration staff of 19 technicians has the experience and training to provide the most detailed pipette refurbishing and preventative maintenance available. At TTE, we are proud to guarantee our signature next-day turnaround for all pipette calibration services. With TTE Laboratories’ pipette calibration services, you are assured your pipette equipment is audit ready and customized to your specific needs.                

We hope you have found this virtual insider’s tour both informative and illuminating when it comes to pipette calibration best practices. At TTE, it is our goal to achieve excellence in every aspect of our calibration lab. We feel it is important to provide a transparent look into how we operate so that clients and other labs understand the high standard we set for ourselves.