Employee Owned Inspection Equipment

J

Jamie H

#1
I am interested in how others have dealt with employee owned inspection equipment. The practice that we use right now is that each employee is to calibrate their own equipment and mark it with a certain color sticker that show it is calibrated. This has been a issue during customer audits.

I am helping implement a new quality software which includes calibration. I personally feel that we need to try and get away from employee owned inspection equipment, but many in the company think this could be very expensive for the company if they have to buy more tools.

I would appreciate any input on how you have dealt with this problem.
 
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CarolX

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#2
Welcome Jamie

Hi Jamie,

Welcome to the Cove!!!!

I want to encourange you to use the search function because many times these questions have been discussed in detail. You can find the search function here

There is a seperate board that addresses calibration issues here

And to answer your question....we calibrate employee owned equipment if it is used for acceptance. We do not allow the "owner" of the gage to do it.

Hope this helps a bit.
CarolX
 

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#3
Jamie,

I agree with Carol. We treat employee-owned equipment no differently than company-owned from a calibration perspective. Only a trained and authorized cal. person is permitted to cal the equipment if it is done in-house (mic's., calipers, etc.) and all equipment cal. history is in one cal. database. If I were auditing your company -- for ISO or otherwise -- I would want to see proof that everyone doing a cal. was properly trained and using the correct procedures, standards, etc. and keeping the records properly. Also the employee-owned equipment must be approved for use prior to using it for inspection to ensure it is of sufficient quality to do the job right. This is done at the initial calibration.

Hope this helps. Welcome! :bigwave:
 
M

mooser

#4
Jamie,

I would agree with Mike about personal measuring equipment but add the following:
If only company equipment is being used to determine the acceptance of materials at each stage of the process there would be no problem handling the calibration of personal equipment as you presently do. In otherwords if Joe S, the machine operator, checks the material but Helen M, the QA inspector(she has company measuring equipment), checks the material before it is permitted to go to the next operation then it doesn't make any difference who calibrated Joe S equipment. But if you have personal measuring equipment determining the acceptance of material before going to the next operation then you should have a qualified person calibrating their equipment.

Mooser
 
A

Al Dyer

#5
As said, product acceptance is the crux of the issue that has caused so many arguements between lab, production, and set-up people for ages.

At previous companies we decided that we did not give a darn about individuals gages used during set-up or repair. They could use tape measures or gages to do their job because there was always the backup of a "dimensional" inspection performed by trained personnel with calibrated gages.

It was interesting because we could tell by the failure rate of products submitted for "production approval" which personnel were using deficient or incorrect gages and target those for action such as "re-training".

Of course all based on having a robust system of product approval before moving to subsequent operations.

Al...
:)
 

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#6
Originally posted by Al Dyer
At previous companies we decided that we did not give a darn about individuals gages used during set-up or repair. They could use tape measures or gages to do their job because there was always the backup of a "dimensional" inspection performed by trained personnel with calibrated gages.

It was interesting because we could tell by the failure rate of products submitted for "production approval" which personnel were using deficient or incorrect gages and target those for action such as "re-training".
Al...
:)
Such procedures may ensure no bad product makes it to the customer but it allows, or could allow, bad parts to be made in the first place (i.e. waste). So why not also calibrate & control gages "used during set-up or repair" to prevent the "failure rate of products submitted for "production approval." :confused:
 
A

Al Dyer

#8
That is why the failure set-up is monitored. To identify scrap that can be reduced. Let the people use their gages and then show them the error of their ways. With the data to back-up that their gages need to be part of the overall calibration or to use gages supplied by the controlled lab. This point really only comes up when a new person is hired, give them the freedom of their own tools but monitor how the tools affect the process.

Even if a set-up person uses a company calibrated gage is there not a secondary step whereby they are verified by a Q.C. function?

As said, this measure of their set-ups vs. lab results will lead to a good picture of who is doing the job correctly. Assume that people want to do the right and only correct them if they are not. This might also help at review time.

Maybe too hypothetical but maybe set-up scrap should be addressed during product realization!!!

Al...
 

Geoff Cotton

Quite Involved in Discussions
#9
We have taken a simple stance on employee owned gauges.

"If it's on-site, it's in the calibration system". And it will therefore be maintained and repaired by the company. If the employee does not agree with that, the gauge has to be removed.
 
#10
Hi Jamie and welcome to the Cove :bigwave:

We allow no employee owned inspection equipment whatsoever here. We used to issue personal (but company owned) equipment, but that meant having lots of gauges all over the place, and the matter of calibration was not handled in a good way.

Today, we have a system of process (workplace) based gauges. That resulted in a sharp reduction of the number of gauges in circulation as well as cost for calibration.

I'm still not happy with the calibration discipline, but I'll admit that it has improved a great deal.

/Claes
 
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