Can I Calibrate On Demand?

imwilliam

Starting to get Involved
#1
So I'm working on getting ISO 9000 and I'm wondering about how I'm going to deal with calibration.

It's going to be prohibitively expensive and time consuming to keep every gauge in the building calibrated. I'm not even sure whether that's a requirement or not in ISO9000.

So my thought is that my policy will be to allow uncalibrated gauges to exist in an uncalibrated state, but prohibit their use in inspection. Then if work comes in that requires that gauge I can calibrate it at that time. Is this an issue with ISO9000?

I also don't want to put calibration dates on the gauges, just the gauges gauge number, I'll have to check against a master record for the gauge calibration dates and then list those dates on any inspection data/reports generated using that gauge. There's a couple of reasons for this, one of which is to drive the inspector. (usually me), back to the master gauge record to enter a little more information. The other is that again, to me a gauge with a tag that says it's out of calibration is a "violation" for lack of a better word, but I don't want the mere existence of an uncalibrated gauge to be a "violation". I also don't want to run around sticking "for reference" stickers on everything; in part because sometime a year from now a job may come in where I want to calibrate that gauge and use it.

Any thoughts or advice on this?
 
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QChas

Involved - Posts
#2
What we have had in place for 15 years for machinists with their own tools is as follows:

1) We have sets of gauge blocks that are calibrated by an outside lab
2) Prior to using a micrometer, caliper etc the gauge is "calibrated" against the gauge blocks prior to use
3) Machinists indicates on his paperwork "Verified gauge OK" with initials and date
4) Make sure you have a work instruction / procedure documenting this process

Hope this helps!
 

mmasiddiqui

Involved In Discussions
#3
What does your company offer?
Would it not be easy to have a set of calibrated gages?
See how section 7.1.5 apply to what you make for your customers. Not sure if 7.1.5.2 applies to you or not.
 

imwilliam

Starting to get Involved
#5
Hey QChas, that's exactly the sort of thing I'm hoping will work.

Mmasiddiqui, Some gauges will have to be calibrated on a regular schedule and by an outside lab, surface plates, cylinder squares and gage blocks as QChas mentioned among others. I should have made that more clear. However, something like gauge pins can be very expensive/or time consuming to maintain in calibration at all times. We also have specialized tooling, some micrometers that aren't used very often that I wouldn't want to keep "in calibration"

And as Sidney pointed out, according to 7.1.5.2 a) I don't have to. Thanks for that Sidney. I am warming up to this stuff, but the standard still devolves into a wall of text rather quickly for me. I'm sure it will get better over time.

Also looks like 7.1.5.2 b) requires only that I identify the gauge so that the status can be determined, not that I need to put "status", the calibration dates themselves, on the gauge.

Thanks everyone.
 

QChas

Involved - Posts
#6
Hey QChas, that's exactly the sort of thing I'm hoping will work.

Mmasiddiqui, Some gauges will have to be calibrated on a regular schedule and by an outside lab, surface plates, cylinder squares and gage blocks as QChas mentioned among others. I should have made that more clear. However, something like gauge pins can be very expensive/or time consuming to maintain in calibration at all times. We also have specialized tooling, some micrometers that aren't used very often that I wouldn't want to keep "in calibration"

And as Sidney pointed out, according to 7.1.5.2 a) I don't have to. Thanks for that Sidney. I am warming up to this stuff, but the standard still devolves into a wall of text rather quickly for me. I'm sure it will get better over time.

Also looks like 7.1.5.2 b) requires only that I identify the gauge so that the status can be determined, not that I need to put "status", the calibration dates themselves, on the gauge.

Thanks everyone.
Just remember to document what you do so you can reference the process
 

mmasiddiqui

Involved In Discussions
#7
Hey QChas, that's exactly the sort of thing I'm hoping will work.

Mmasiddiqui, Some gauges will have to be calibrated on a regular schedule and by an outside lab, surface plates, cylinder squares and gage blocks as QChas mentioned among others. I should have made that more clear. However, something like gauge pins can be very expensive/or time consuming to maintain in calibration at all times. We also have specialized tooling, some micrometers that aren't used very often that I wouldn't want to keep "in calibration"

And as Sidney pointed out, according to 7.1.5.2 a) I don't have to. Thanks for that Sidney. I am warming up to this stuff, but the standard still devolves into a wall of text rather quickly for me. I'm sure it will get better over time.

Also looks like 7.1.5.2 b) requires only that I identify the gauge so that the status can be determined, not that I need to put "status", the calibration dates themselves, on the gauge.

Thanks everyone.
You can argue both the sides. That was the reason, I asked you about the product you manufacture for your customer. What is your capability? How frequently do you have to measure? You know your process better than me, so you can chose the option of calibration before measurement. As Qchas pointed, you will surely need to have that in your procedure.
I would be cautious during your audit when the external auditor is watching your folks on the line should not forget to calibrate before use. Else, you may have some issues with Audit findings.
Good Luck! Wish you success.
Ninja is good with this stuff, I am surprised he has not responded to this post.
 

imwilliam

Starting to get Involved
#8
I would be cautious during your audit when the external auditor is watching your folks on the line should not forget to calibrate before use. Else, you may have some issues with Audit findings.
.
It's a good point. I'm thinking that some sort of notation like QChas mentioned should help keep everyone on track.
 

imwilliam

Starting to get Involved
#10
So a common scenario I'm trying to cover here is a new job coming in where the customer needs a quick turn around, think in on a Friday and out on a Monday, that is best checked with a gauge pin. Usually I can get a pin next day, but getting that pin calibrated by a lab in time in a situation like this is next to impossible.

To cover the "I can get a pin but can't get it calibrated" I have a submicron micrometer so we can calibrate to Z class gauge pins in house.

However, sometimes I can't get the pin, particularly if it's a half size. So, in the range where the vast majority of our works falls, up to .5. I have a set of gauge pins including 1/2 sizes in both plus and minus. But, I don't want to calibrate all these pins, just the ones I need as I need them.

However, once they're calibrated they're calibrated for a given time frame, a year or whatever.

If the job looks like it's going to repeat, I buy job specific pins, put them in a handle and give the assembly it's own gauge number.

Hope this explains what I'm really trying to cover here when I write about "calibrating on demand".
 
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