From transit levels, inclinometers, and theodolites to custom optical equipment, your precision equipment demands proper handling, care, and storage. These crucial steps below will ensure that you can make the most of the instruments but also ensure accurate measurements at the job site.
With improper handling or proper care for these instruments, your most important pieces of equipment can prematurely wear out. The unnecessary cost of repair or even replacement can be avoided for a longer period if only your surveyors, engineers and technicians started day one with proper storage and handling procedures.
Here are some tips on how to properly store, transport, and care for your optical equipment:
Precision devices like custom theodolites need to be stored in the right environment to preserve optimal functioning.
First and foremost, you should store precision optical equipment in an area with the right climate conditions. Getting exposed to high humidity and moisture levels can affect the performance of your optical equipment. To help control moisture, using silica gel packs or installing dehumidifiers in your storage units can help.
While most of these precision measuring instruments and optical equipment come with rugged cases, it will be best to store them in such a way that they avoid impacts with other equipment. You should not stack storage cases on top of each other. Hard, durable plastic clamshell cases that provide impact resistant fillers around the optical devices is often a best-case solution.
Manufacturers and precision equipment specialists commonly receive requests for repair for transits and other optical instruments that were damaged during transportation. To avoid damages from taking place, make sure to use the recommended storage case for the device you’re using. This case should be equipped with proper protective layers like inner foam and insulation.
To make sure that the device’s accessories, tools, or other equipment won’t hit the instrument itself, they should be nested in the foam cavities designed for the instruments.
The case itself should not be dropped and secured in place when in your truck to prevent being hit by other things while in transit. Some equipment needs to be treated like a child with kid gloves, inside the cab of the vehicle instead of the trailer or truck bed.
When handling any precision measuring device, extra care should be observed. Avoid dropping or jarring the equipment — even if the manufacturer guarantees their product’s safety amid such mishandlings.
In the field, make sure that the equipment is not exposed to too much heat, dust, and moisture. The elements can play havoc with precision instruments. Should Mother Nature whip up a storm, we recommend you make smart decisions like scheduling a new date for the use of your equipment. Most instrument calibration services for optical tools are very busy and many not be available at a moment notice to get your equipment re-calibrated to NIST standards.
Only authorized and trained personnel should handle and use your precision equipment.
Care and Maintenance
After every use, make sure to clean optical instruments as instructed by the manufacturer. Proper and regular lubrication should also be done to make sure the devices are well-calibrated — and to prevent corrosion.
Wiping your equipment after each use is also essential to prevent dirt and dust from building up.
To maintain optimum performance, you should have your equipment calibrated and serviced by professionals that adhere to NIST Traceable calibration standards. This will help you maximize their shelf life and save you from spending on repair expenses that could have been prevented in the first place.
It would also help if you can recognize problem signs. Anything that’s loose or too tight requires further inspection. If the transit level or other optical equipment you are using gives you inconsistent measurements, it could be a sign that something is not working as it is supposed to.
When there are issues with your precision instruments or custom optical equipment, remember that these instruments are not designed to be repaired in the field or at the customer level.
Distributors are also not on top of the list when seeking repairs unless that distributor is recommended by the manufacturers themselves. A distributor can help you get the right custom optical equipment for your needs, but the precision instrument manufacturer should be your go to resource for repairs and calibration services.