Difference Between Equipment & Instrument

Equipment vs instrument

People working in pharmaceutical industries are frequently using the term equipment & instrument In their routine work & many of us think that both terms have the same meaning.

But the fact is not as we think.

Technically there is a big difference between these two teams and In this article, you will learn the key differences between equipment and instrument.


Equipment is a physical entity or machine which is used in pharmaceutical industries to complete a process or activity.


Example of equipment used in pharma is,

  • FBD
  • RMG
  • Blender 
  • Compression Machine 


Equipment may be used

to perform more than one function like RMG is used for pre-mixing as well as kneading.

Percussion & Accuracy

Equipment concept of precision & accuracy is less stringent compared to instruments.


The equipment is not calibrated 


As we discussed earlier no calibration for equipment means the exact term used for equipment is qualification.

In simple words, equipment is qualified, not calibrated.


The equipment maintenance plan is not strict.


Equipment occupies more space like a fluid bed dryer.


Equipment is used for processing or manufacturing.


FBD is equipment which is used to dry the granules.


Equipment usually requires lubrication to avoid any serious damage to its parts.

Compression machine has a lubrication pump to ensure lubrication of required parts.


An instrument is a device which is used to measure, analyze or identify the data.


Example of instrument,

  • pH meter
  • HPLC
  • FTIR
  • Moisture Analyser 

No Multifunctional Role

Instruments are used for a specific task.pH meter is only used to measure the pH.

Percussion & Accuracy 

The instrument requires more precision & accuracy to ensure accurate results.

If the pH meter is not accurate the results obtained will not be precise and accurate.


The instrument requires frequent calibrations to assure accurate results.


Instruments are not qualified, rather these are calibrated.


The instrument maintenance plan is very strict because if maintenance is not conducted on time, the results obtained may be objectionable.


Instruments occupy less space e.g HPLC 


Instruments are used for measuring the results of products processed by the equipment.


A moisture analyser is an instrument which is used to measure the moisture in the granules dried by a fluid bed dryer.


Instrument does not require lubrication.

Also Read

Difference Between QA & QC

Difference between disintegration & dissolution.

Difference between Validation & Calibration.

GMP vs cGMP and 21 CFR.