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Clarification on 7.6 Control of Monitoring and Measuring Devices Note

B

bigbirdy

#1
I have been lurking around this site for some time now:notme: and this is the very first time that I am going to post a question. I have learned a lot from the forum and thank you to the moderators and to those who share their knowledge so people like me will get a better understanding of the standard.:agree1:
My question is about the note is in 7.6: Control of monitoring and measuring devices: “Monitoring and measuring devices include, but are not limited to :test hardware, test software, automated test equipment (ATE) and plotters used to produce inspection data. It also includes personally owned and customer supplied equipment used to provide evidence of product conformity.”
What is the interpretation of the last line personally owned and customer supplied equipment…. Does this refer to equipments owned by company or equipments/tools (like calipers, gage) owned personally by workers.
We are looking at some ways to save some money by stopping/excluding the calibration of tools/gage personally owned by the workers which they used on the floor. We are thinking of attaching a sticker that will label them as reference only since all our QA tools (calipers/gage/equipment) are the ones used to verify the conformity of the products in process and final inspection. Our QA tools are properly maintained and calibrated yearly. We are wondering if that will make us non-conforming to the as9100b standard and what kinds of impact will that make when the audit comes.

Thanks
 
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G

George Weiss

#2
Greeting new poster person,
There are several ways to go with you question. Placing a "NCR", (no cal required), tag or a "for reference only" tag is an option. Ideally there are inspection points in your process which use calibrated equipment to verify critical parameters. In some cases like repair, development, engineering, and etc. calibrations are much more of an option. There are many degrees of calibration. I speak from observed fact that a significant cost savings can be had by contracting the degree of calibration with a smaller calibration lab. If you both agree to the level of calibration, then reducing the calibration grade to a FNC cal, or by another term, Standard cal, where a limited number of checks are performed to achieve a operational verification with major specs checked.
I would look into getting a wider range of calibration options. In your case, some equipment would be suited for a lesser certification. This is a subject, which needs to be negotiated at time of calibration service contract renewal, and the number of items will effect your service calibration lab’s willingness to proceed with a package deal savings.
SO: go to the people who negotiate the calibration services, and have arrangements made to get new pricing on a detailed/described limited scope/detail "special calibration". This will get you a cheaper calibration, and of course a less complete calibration. Your equipment is verified by a number of tests performed, and you just ask for less of those tests. This can, and is commercial done elsewhere. I recommend you don’t use this for all equipment, but that is your choice also,
don't go wild! please :cool:
 

Golfman25

Trusted Information Resource
#3
I can't speak directly to the AS standard, but what we do is have the gages calibrated by their owners.

You could go with a for reference only system. However, a lot would depend on your process and how long something may be produced before being checked with a calibrated gage. My experience tells me that the less informed look at gages for "calibration stickers" and if there aren't any a potential issue is created. Good luck.
 
G

George Weiss

#4
Very true. If they, (your items needing reduced calibration), are just micrometers or calipers, then having them checked before use is a common practice. Other items can be handled in a similar way.
I know that many facilities want everything to have some kind of label on them. ANY KIND. I have seen internal auditors walking around with roles of NCR and reference-only stickers. If it is not labeled, then it gets one. In some cases a voltmeter might only be used for DC volts measurements, and a limited calibration can be done.
I did read the question to be mainly be about cost. Alot of time can be spent in daily or weeking verifications to avoid an anual calibration. I have seen companies use those un-offical meters, and keep them out of sight. Bad, Bad, Bad.
The simplest is the NCR or reference-only sticker, and if anyone asks, the item is as marked.
 

Big Jim

Super Moderator
#5
The crux of the matter here lies in the portion of element 7.6 that states "Where necessary to ensure valid results . . . "

If it is not needed to ensure valid results, calibration isn't necessary.

But from a practical matter, if you are having or allowing machinists to use measuring devices for an in-processes check where that measurement will later be confirmed with a calibrated measuring device, why would you not want it to be accurate? What is the cost of scrapping something after many value added steps have been completed.

In my mind, trying to cheap out on calibrating such equipment is a wanton case of being penny wise and pound foolish.

But it is your company. You have a right to be foolish.
 
T

tbsiva

#6
Even in our company, we use a similar system. Equipments which are not used to measure the product/process characteristics are classified with a Orange sticker. The same has been referred in our QMS also. In addition to that, it has been defined that equipments which are codified with Orange sticker are only for reference and it does not require calibration.

Several audits have been passed and we did not observe any non confirmity because of this.
 
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