Calibration on AVL


Hi All,

As you are aware, it is sometimes cheaper to buy new equipment rather than calibrate it. This is especially true for Pin Gauges. I have the gauges on the calibration register and the calibration due date. However, we actually buy a new set every time.
We shop around to see who is the cheapest at the time for what we need. Do I need to put them on the AVL?


Calibration leader
The general consensus is you should calibrate to know if the pin gauge set was in tolerance the whole time you were using it.
If you just buy a new set every time, there is a chance some of the pins you were using could have been out of tolerance, and you would have no way of knowing.


Calibration leader
At our AS9100 plant, we have full pin gauge libraries on the production floor that are clearly marked stating for the user to verify every pin with a calibrated micrometer before use.
These libraries contain 2,500+ pins. No way we can (realistically/financially) calibrate or replace these every year. The signage and internal work instructions documenting the required practice of verifying before use has always held up under our audits.

We do maintain a single set of about 500 pins that is calibrated every year. This is only used by the calibration team or to settle a rare pass/fail dispute at our incoming quality department.

As far as I know, AS9100 does not mandate items must be calibrated, just that you have a calibration recall program. There are loopholes such as verifying with a calibrated device before use, but you better be able to justify it in an audit. Not sure how many pin sets you have or how big they are, but it may be worth calibrating them just to eliminate hassle in an audit.

Just for reference, the 500 piece set we have calibrated every year would cost $500 to buy a new one. I paid $922 to have it calibrated. To me, that is not bad at all. It may be double the price of buying a new one, but at least we have the full history of every pin.

Big Jim

Admin a
"When measurement traceability is a requirement. . . measuring equipment shall be . . . calibrated or verified, or both, at specified intervals . . ."

Yep, calibration is required.

However your comments about not calibrating the pins until they are used is a viable option for many organizations. Make sure you use a calibrated micrometer and that you keep a record of the calibration of the pins. A common practice is to record it on the traveler. Makes sure you also record the micrometer used so you retain NIST traceability.
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