Calibration grace period after due date

G

GreatManBehinD

#1
Looking for some of my concerns for calibration grace periods. We have established our calibration frequencies and what my question is there any documented evidence of grace periods after due date. Example 1 month freqency has a grace period of 1 day, 6 month has 3 day, 1 year has 5 days. Please provide me a link to some kind of document which contains these grace periods if possible and if not what is the right approach, Should we have a grace period or not. :thanx:
 
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Tom W

Living the Dream...
#2
Re: Calibration grace period

Looking for some of my concerns for calibration grace periods. We have established our calibration frequencies and what my question is there any documented evidence of grace periods after due date. Example 1 month freqency has a grace period of 1 day, 6 month has 3 day, 1 year has 5 days. Please provide me a link to some kind of document which contains these grace periods if possible and if not what is the right approach, Should we have a grace period or not. :thanx:
Not sure what you are calibrating but if it has to do with Pyrometry then AMS 2750 D has a table 10 that states allowable grace periods based on test frequencies.
 
G

GreatManBehinD

#3
Re: Calibration grace period

Not sure what you are calibrating but if it has to do with Pyrometry then AMS 2750 D has a table 10 that states allowable grace periods based on test frequencies.
These are temperature / pressure / humidity chart recorders, pressure guages, thermometers, transducers, sensors, etc.
 

Tom W

Living the Dream...
#4
Re: Calibration grace period

I would start with AMS 2750 Revision D Table 10 and see if that helps - we use it extensively in the Heat Treating industry for our calibrations on the temperature controllers, uniformity surveys for the furnace hot zone and temperature probe checks or system accuracy tests. It's got a tight tolerance on the grace period to be honset with you but it might be able to be applied to ther typs as well if you are willing to accept the time frames.
 

BradM

Staff member
Admin
#5
Re: Calibration grace period

Tom's point is a good one. Do you have any industry requirements that establishes the interval? If you're aerospace, then do what Tom suggested. If you have no industry requirements, then that's another discussion in itself.
 

Jerry Eldred

Forum Moderator
Super Moderator
#6
Re: Calibration grace period

What you are calling a "grace period", I have commonly either called a "temporary interval extension" or "late." I'll discuss both briefly below and some common industry practices.

TEMPORARY INTERVAL EXTENSION- If an instrument has (for example) a 12 month interval, that was selected for a variety of reasons; the most common of which is the manufacturer's recommended interval. The basis (in good OEM quality) is the 2 Sigma (or so) statistical probability that that is how long it can be expected (on average) to remain in tolerance (to a percent confidence level). To exceed this manufacturer's prescribed interval, it is common practice to have some historical data to support that there is not significant risk to do so. Typical data would be multiple intervals wherein the instrument has continuously remained in tolerance without adjustment. For the example, if a 12 month interval instrument must be extended for operational purposes, and it has remained in tolerance for three consecutive 12 month intervals without adjustment, you could support that (for example) a one or two month extension would not incur significant risk increase of out of tolerance readings.

LATE- As is often referred to be "grace period", how many days late an instrument can be turned in and be considered acceptable..... I'll have to give you "the company line" (so to speak) on this. I don't believe in grace periods. I don't want to sound hardnosed on this, but I feel obliged to try and provide my best advice. If I were writing a calibration quality system policy (and I have written a few), I would not include a grace period as such in them, as this defeats the statistical purpose of the prescribed interval. If I had to somehow write some such detail, I might write a "reverse grace period." That is, perhaps create an early recall date, and a true due date. I question whether a normal grace period would with stand some audits. But with a "reverse grace period", you could have the recall date lets say 2 weeks prior to the due date (including the due date on the cal label). It must then be written into your quality manual that the recall due date is two weeks prior to the interval, and the instrument must be turned in within 14 days from the due date. I don't like even that idea either, but it might hold up better in some audits.

Back to some of the prior responses. The only time I would allow grace periods would be within specific compliance to some standard such as previously listed.
 
A

Al Weisenborn

#7
Re: Calibration grace period

Today, I received the following query via email from one of my TrackPro customers.

Good morning Al,

I do not have a question about TrackPro. We are having an internal discussion here and I was wondering what your thoughts were. Do other companies allow for a grace period for calibration due dates. For example, the balance is calibrated every 3 months (+ 15 days). I have seen SOPs written both ways, but without justification or documentation we will not allow a grace period.
As you might expect, I have an opinion about this and not being shy about my opinions I decided to share them more broadly.

I have seen SOPs written both ways also. However, this approach is uncommon in regulated industries such as Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals. In my mind, it is a philosophical issue. The very word ?grace? is the most troublesome aspect of this.

What is the reason for providing ?grace?? If one needs an advance plan for being late, the implication is that one plans to be late a good deal of the time. Calibration and maintenance action intervals should be determined based upon previous experience and risk and not modified based upon convenience and poor planning.

If 105 days is an acceptable action interval as opposed to 90 days, then the interval should be extended to 105 days permanently. This should be done for business reasons alone. If a reasonable interval is truly 90 days then a good system should ensure that work is done as scheduled, Providing ?grace? tends to obfuscate the primary intent of having action intervals in the first place.

In systems that provide a grace period, I find that virtually all actions are taken at some time during the grace period. Furthermore, since the concept of grace is institutionalized, there are higher rates of failure to meet specified intervals than in systems that don?t provide grace.

One must keep in mind that any deviation from a process requirement is a nonconformance, and in regulated industry, must be treated as such. It can be argued that the very act of providing ?grace? is a deviation from normal process and thus a nonconformance worthy of Corrective Action Preventive Action.

So, in summary, the concept of grace is a wonderful thing, especially as related to unmerited divine assistance or the three sister goddesses of Greek mythology who are the givers of charm and beauty. However, the concept of grace has no place in regulated industry.
 

drgnrider

Quite Involved in Discussions
#8
As my company's calibration technician/coordinator (and ISO Management Rep), I get recall notices out at least three days ahead of due date... they may sit in my locked calibration room, out of service for a week if I happen to have a backlog for some reason, but by ISO standards, they are off the floor and received-in for calibration.

If needed right-now, (i.e.: one-of a kind gage), it usually bumps the line.

On the one-of-a-kind-have-to-send-out-for-two(or more)-weeks, I generally give 60-day, 30-day, 14-day, & 5-day notices and request if a rental is needed. The day before shipping, I collect the device and any necessary accessories as I have already made all arrangements for shipment.

This lead-time is all the "grace-period" they get. :whip:

Being the ISO-MR, helps as I can throw the "this is an ISO NC if not turned-in'! :D
 

dgriffith

Quite Involved in Discussions
#9
I have noted that grace periods are wonderful devices to wish for--as soon as you realize that you are late turning in your MTE! Then the turn-in days start to slip and pretty soon you need a grace period for the grace period.

Last minute workload changes do occur that require MTE that is coming due cal. Extensions should be requested with the approval of Quality and Supervision in some fashion and if approved a new cal tag with new due date issued.
As posted earlier by Jerry, manufacturer's intervals are statistically derived for the entire instrument population. But intervals in practice should be based on End-Of-Period (EOP) reliability.
 
M

mlaurie

#10
Re: Calibration grace period

Unless there is a customer requirement or one from the OEM of the gage you can add a tolerance window to your cal due date, +/- 30 days depending on the gage type and as long as you?ve made provision in your QMS. I never won a ?Grace Period? argument.
 
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