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Refractometer and Polarimeter Conformity Through Accredited Calibration

For over 100 years Bellingham + Stanley has been a leading manufacturer of refractometers and polarimeters to companies around the world looking to measure refractive index and optical rotation. These high quality optical instruments have served customers in the UK and beyond since pioneers Leonard Bellingham and Frank Stanley first introduced them in 1914.

Bellingham + Stanley box of refractometer calibration materialsWith instrumentation being used as a measure for quality control, and to control yields it is imperative that good laboratory practice is adhered to. Instrument maintenance and a program of calibration forms an important part of this process. Bellingham + Stanley offers a range of AG Fluids, Calibration Oils, Sucrose Solutions, RI Test Plates and Quartz Plates for refractometers and polarimeters to enable calibration to traceable standards. Click here to see the range of calibration solutions.

In an interview with, and first published by UKAS, Bellingham + Stanley’s Technical Services Manager spoke about what it means to be an accredited calibration laboratory and the benefits this brings to customers. It is certainly important to note that “owing to a series of multilateral recognition agreements, accreditation by UKAS is automatically recognised as equivalent in 80 economies across the world”.

This “tested once, accepted everywhere,” approach means that Bellingham + Stanley’s customers, who often work in global markets, can recognise international marques and know that their own particular country’s standards are met.

Accredited Calibration:  Ensuring your equipment measures up

(This is an extract taken from an article first published by UKAS 27 October, 2015)

In any industry, particularly those that Bellingham + Stanley provide services to, the accuracy of testing and measurement is of paramount importance.  Andrew Darkins, Technical Services Manager said: “Production and process facilities throughout the world rely on refractometers and polarimeters for quality, compliance and yield control.  No matter what the make or type of instrument, results are only as good as the calibration regime behind the measurement.”

It is this philosophy that led Bellingham + Stanley to submit its services for assessment by The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) against the international standard ISO/IEC 17025 – General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories.  Following successful completion of the assessment process, the company is now UKAS accredited for the testing and calibration of materials for optical rotation and refractive index.  This has had a positive effect on both the company and its customers, as Andrew explains:

“Bellingham + Stanley is proud to be a UKAS accredited calibration laboratory.  Depending on the instrument type, application and traceability requirement customers are able to make a choice from a range of Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) to verify almost any make of refractometer or polarimeter that they may have.  In addition, all instrumentation manufactured by Bellingham + Stanley is calibrated as part of our manufacturing process before dispatch.  The standard also forms the basis of our on-site validation procedures for commissioning new instrumentation, enabling re-certification and repair services post-sale, and providing our customers with the valuable and reliable audit trail they need to satisfy HACCP and GLP.”

Despite challenging conditions in the global economy, the company has seen a sustained and prolonged increase in sales, which Andrew attributes partly to achieving accreditation.  “Since obtaining ISO/IEC 17025 Accreditation in 2006, there has been an annual increase of approx. 10% year on year in the production of Calibration Standards.”

Owing to a series of multilateral recognition agreements, accreditation by UKAS is automatically recognised as equivalent in 80 economies across the world.  This ‘tested once, accepted everywhere’ approach is particularly important to Bellingham + Stanley, as many of its customers operate in global markets.  Andrew said: “Now that Bellingham + Stanley is a UKAS accredited calibration laboratory we can use the internationally recognised ILAC-MRA marque on all UKAS certified products.  Customers in other countries that are also signatories to the MRA will instantly recognise our UKAS accreditation, and as such will know we meet their own country’s standards.  In addition to supporting our existing markets, the MRA provides us with the potential to expand our business in to those countries that did not previously recognise or understand the value of the UKAS logo.”

Refractometer Calibration using UKAS traceable standards

Take a look at our video to see how easy it is to calibrate an RFM digital refractometer.

To learn more about Bellingham + Stanley’s range of calibrations solutions for refractometers and polarimeters visit our Calibration Materials page here.

To speak to our Customer Care team or to enquire about calibration materials, refractometers, or polarimeters please contact us today.

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