Monday, February 26, 2007

Spectro football and other games

What is your spectro really worth after the delivery guy has played football with it ?

Well, what you ordered may cost $3K, easily, if it's a chart reader. But if the guy has drop-kicked or caber-tossed it, it's probably worth zilch. Niente, nada, ├╝berhaupt nichts.

Because you don't know how accurate it is anymore.

Spectros are valuable pieces of equipment. Valuable by their calibration. What you're paying for is not the price or the materials, it's the guarantee of accuracy.

Now, I have no doubt that the instruments which Xrite, Barbieri or Minolta make are carefully calibrated at the factory. But are they still so precise when the client gets them ? Are they still precise after a year's worth of daily knocks ?

I just got an iSis XL spectro which got seriously roughed up by the UPS guy. I know it suffered: When it made dreadful profiles I looked inside and found the head cover had sprung open. I'm sure other buyers had similar experiences with their shipments.

So, I'm floating an idea: Why not deliver some physical calibration reference with every instrument ? Then whenever the urge strikes him the user could check whether the device is operating within acceptable tolerances.

Such a reference-bound diagnostic check would not only save the users worry. It would also save manufacturers headaches: Because only genuinely broken instruments would get sent back - I'd bet that nowadays quite a few service calls are really caused by user-error rather than hardware failure.


1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Definitely a good idea.
We also have sometimes doubts about the EyeOne iO measurements.
We've found out that the height of the measure head with respect to the EyeOne table results into different measurement data. But when is the distance really good and when is it almost good...?