Calibrate before use required? Inspection Gages and Measurement Equipment

J Allen

Involved In Discussions
#1
Although we have regular calibration intervals for calibration of inspection gages, we also require that each inspector calibrate his gages (ie. O.D. Micrometer, caliper, Depth Mic, etc...) prior to inspection. He records the actual value taken in a logbook. Upon auditing the logbook I have found no variation indicating that the gage was out of tolerance and required adjustment. Unless my calibration interval is too long and gages show indications of wear, I don't see the value of performing this calibration of an already calibrated and certified gage.
I have been told that we do this because of some requirement but know one can tell me which one it is. I know it is not customer driven and I am unaware of any ISO/AS requirement.
I don't believe this is a requirement.
Who else does this? Since my gages are calibrated by a recognized source, can I discontinue what I believe is unnecessary.
 
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BradM

Staff member
Admin
#2
Re: Calibrate before use required?

First, a few compliments to you.:)
1. You are performing the calibrations and documenting it.
2. You are reviewing the logs.

Are the instruments showing wear when you check them? One of the advantages of doing what you're doing is that you have like 0 impact if a calibration failure.

A couple of thoughts:

1. If youre inspectors are verifying the gauges prior to use, could that suffice in place of the calibration?
2. Maybe you could extend the scheduled calibration cycles?


To your main question, I don't know of any requirement, unless it may be a special customer/ regulatory requirement but I personally (like that means anything :lmao:) sure gives you confidence in the system, and keeps failure investigation ( time and money intensive) to a minimum.
 
D

Duke Okes

#3
Re: Calibrate before use required?

I've never run into a requirement to "calibrate" before use. However, it isn't unusual to standardize/check before use occasionally, where the individual measures a known standard to see if the gage appears to be ok. Perhaps this is what is actually being done, with the addition of recording results.
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#4
Re: Calibrate before use required?

Here's the requirement...

7.6....Where necessary to ensure valid results, measuring equipment shall
a) be calibrated or verified, or both, at specified intervals, or prior to use, against measurement standards traceable to international or national measurement standards;


I'd bet that whoever instituted your procedure did it as a preventive/proactive process to help offset potential nonconformity of product.

Makes perfect sense to me, but then again I'm a licensed aircraft mechanic who has witnessed entire fleets of aircraft grounded because a calibrated tool was found to be out of tolerance and couldn't be traced back to when it might have occurred (We had to ground about 45 UH-1 Helicopters because the torque-multiplier for the main rotor retention nut was found to be about 150 lbs off and that's how many times it had been used on aircraft according to the tool log)....You didn't want the "Jesus-Nut" loose, trust me. It was referred to as the "Jesus-Nut" because if it failed he was the next person you'd see:lol:
 
J

JaneB

#5
I have been told that we do this because of some requirement but no one can tell me which one it is. I know it is not customer driven and I am unaware of any ISO/AS requirement.
I don't believe this is a requirement.
Hooray! You're challenging existing practice. Good for you.

(I can't tell you how many times I've found the answer is 'we do it because we've always done it and no one has ever asked that question before).
 
J

JaneB

#6
Re: Calibrate before use required?

You didn't want the "Jesus-Nut" loose, trust me. It was referred to as the "Jesus-Nut" because if it failed he was the next person you'd see:lol:
Indeed yes. And that's a damned good reason to be doing that calibration. But it is important to ask the question: is this necessary/good idea/good practice? Or not.
 

J Allen

Involved In Discussions
#7
Exactly the point I was trying to make with Management. I want value added processes being performed. I also want them to understand what is driving them to do these processes. Not because "we have always done this."
 

FilipeF

Starting to get Involved
#8
If you can demonstrate you do not need to calibrate every time you use the equipment, I believe there will be no problem.

What about if you do some testing:

Measure the same range of things calibrated and not calibrated. Register that and do some comparison. If it shows no deviation, it should be accepted in an audit.

Do remember to test for the wider range of measurements, and assure repeatability. :cool:
 
J

JaneB

#9
Exactly the point I was trying to make with Management. I want value added processes being performed. I also want them to understand what is driving them to do these processes. Not because "we have always done this."
Just so. When you start getting that embedded into the company culture, you create a foundation in which improvement becomes possible.
 
J
#10
Although we have regular calibration intervals for calibration of inspection gages, we also require that each inspector calibrate his gages (ie. O.D. Micrometer, caliper, Depth Mic, etc...) prior to inspection. He records the actual value taken in a logbook. Upon auditing the logbook I have found no variation indicating that the gage was out of tolerance and required adjustment. Unless my calibration interval is too long and gages show indications of wear, I don't see the value of performing this calibration of an already calibrated and certified gage.
I have been told that we do this because of some requirement but know one can tell me which one it is. I know it is not customer driven and I am unaware of any ISO/AS requirement.
I don't believe this is a requirement.
Who else does this? Since my gages are calibrated by a recognized source, can I discontinue what I believe is unnecessary.
Others have already given you good advise. My only comment relates to the bolded section above.

A "requirement" is only as binding as the document on which it is recorded. If it cannot be produced (documented requirement) then it does not exist, so the idea that you are doing it to comply with some "requirement" simply does not float. If a customer is requiring it then it should be part of a purchase order or contract. If it is a regulatory requirement, there should be a document spelling this out.
It may be that some customer in the past required it and it has just carried forward. :rolleyes:

There may be other reasons (internal) for doing it, but not because of a (external) "requirement".

Peace
James
 
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