Do all personal tools need to be calibrated? Why?




Need to know if all personal tools need to be calibrated reason why is alot of tool makers own many percision tools to build progressive dies

Jerry Eldred

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Whether a tool is presonally owned, or a company owned tool should make no difference as to whether it needs to be calibrated. If the tool is a measuring instrument used to verify product or process parameters that can impact product quality, reliability or safety, they need to be calibrated.



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Ask yourself, is the gage used for product acceptance? No - don't calibrate.

Is product verified at another stage with calibrated instruments? Yes - don't calibrate.

Hope this helps.



Consider TL 9000 requirement 4.11.2.H.1 Identified Equipment - IM&TE that is either inactive or unsuitable for use shall be identified and not used for production. All IM&TE that does not require calibration shall be identified. IOW, if used for product acceptance or control of significant Special process parameters, calibrate (or verify) it. If not, identify it as Calibration Not Required. All equipment should be identified, whether calibrated or not.


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This can get sticky when you define what identification is. A tag/label? It's similar to the " you stamp every obsolete document with a red stamp that says OBSOLETE...?" question - how do you identify obsolete documents.

It really depends upon the business. Some metal working shops require employees to bring in their own 'working' equipment. In most companies this is not the case, but the issue of identification is significant. Do you label every employees tools with a "Not for acceptance" or other similar label? Can you segregate by area?

There are lots of workable schemes. You have to look closely at your specific business / company and decide what works for you while 'meeting the intent' of ensuring only calibrated equipment is used for 'acceptance' (at receiving, during processing and at final - you catch the drift....).

I have worked with shops which brought the employees tools into the calibration system data base but did not have them calibrated. I have heard arguments along the lines of "...but the tool makers are measuring critical dimensions and if they goof...." and such. You can take lots of slants on the issue. The bottom line is your acceptance of the tool is based upon checking the output. That is to say - you make a mold. The acceptance of that mold is based upon measuring a sample(s) from the mold. That sample(s) has to be measured with calibrated IM&TE. Arguably it is a good idea to make sure tool makers are using equipment which is at least 'pretty close' to 'right'. One client of mine had several sets of calibrated gage blocks and required each employee to check each of their measuring devices against them when they start with the company and then once a year -- and they are required to record what they did (company had a pretty generic form). That company believes it is cost effective to make sure that employee equipment is 'not off by a mile'.
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