Digital Timer Calibration Requirements

#1
Greetings,

Have a question about calibrating digital timers..

In our facility have a lot of digital timers, most of them are used on processes that requires less than 5 seconds, it is really necessary to calibrate them?

I've been reading NIST Stopwatch and Timer Calibrations but still not clear for me.
 
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dwperron

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#2
It depends on how your are using them.

If you have a process where the actual time is critical (especially if these is a ± tolerance involved), or where you are reporting an actual time, then the timer should be calibrated.

If you are using it for something like "let it cure for at least 5 seconds" or "soak for about 3 seconds" then it is usually considered a convenience device, not a piece of measuring equipment.

Now the disclaimers.
Not all timers or watches come with specifications, so for calibration purposes how do you determine pass / fail?
And a lot of places just want to see calibration labels on anything that can measure, no matter how it is being used.
Your quality policy will need to decide how to handle these.
 
#3
If fact that's the point of using those timers.. to let the component be cured for at least 3 seconds.

About how we determine a pass/fail... Since the beginning those timers were set with a 0.1 secs tolerance and to be honest im trying to take them out from the cal system but I haven't found a solid way to justify that
 

dwperron

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#4
If you think about it, you are just using the timer as a convenience item for your operator.
Just to be sure they wait at least 3 seconds.
They could use a clock, a watch, their phone, etc. to do this, and nobody would expect those to be calibrated.

If someone pushes the calibration issue you can try pointing out the uncertainty involved. When the operators have applied the compound to the device they need to either look at the timer or push a button to determine the start time, there is no way to determine how accurately do that. Similarly there is nothing accurate as to how they respond to the timer - it could be instant, or "in a little while".
Calibration doesn't add anything to your process to diminish risk to your process, the timer is not being used for a critical measurement.
 
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