Equipment service dates

#1
Hi
I was just after some opinions on this. On our equipment we obviously have calibration and service due dates, and have previously raised non-conformances when they've been used outside this date.
However we have recently the discovered the part of the company that arranges the services (this department is outside the scope of the ISO certification) have windows around these due dates where the service can be performed. So potentially a service can be performed up to 60 days after the date specified on the instrument.
I feel a bit uncomfortable about his.
Just wondered what other's thoughts are.
 
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Cari Spears

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
Why does the company allow that department to have a window? Maybe make that window unilateral - it can be sent out anywhere from 60 days prior to the due date, no later than the due date.
 

John C. Abnet

Teacher, sensei, kennari
#3
Hi
I was just after some opinions on this. On our equipment we obviously have calibration and service due dates, and have previously raised non-conformances when they've been used outside this date.
However we have recently the discovered the part of the company that arranges the services (this department is outside the scope of the ISO certification) have windows around these due dates where the service can be performed. So potentially a service can be performed up to 60 days after the date specified on the instrument.
I feel a bit uncomfortable about his.
Just wondered what other's thoughts are.
Good day @iso_is_fun!;

Keep in mind that there is not a specific requirement for "calibration" within ISO 9001:2015.
What is the risk? Is measurement traceability necessary? Is the equipment in question periodically verified between calibration periods? Is calibration needed (or can verification suffice)?

I would recommend that first (if not already done) your organization assesses the risk specific to the equipment in question and determines if your organization is over-committing in regards to internally and/or customer established requirements. Are the dates for recurring calibration commensurate with the risk? As mentioned prior , is calibration necessary or can verification properly mitigate the risks?

If the "part of the company" in question uses a software or Excel functions to track assigned due dates, and a due date for 12 pieces of equipment falls on June 20th, is it realistic to have all 12 pieces of equipment "calibrated" on that day? This is likely the reason they have defined a window.

Food for thought.

Hope this helps.

Be well.
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#4
Good day @iso_is_fun!;

Keep in mind that there is not a specific requirement for "calibration" within ISO 9001:2015.
What is the risk? Is measurement traceability necessary? Is the equipment in question periodically verified between calibration periods? Is calibration needed (or can verification suffice)?

I would recommend that first (if not already done) your organization assesses the risk specific to the equipment in question and determines if your organization is over-committing in regards to internally and/or customer established requirements. Are the dates for recurring calibration commensurate with the risk? As mentioned prior , is calibration necessary or can verification properly mitigate the risks?

If the "part of the company" in question uses a software or Excel functions to track assigned due dates, and a due date for 12 pieces of equipment falls on June 20th, is it realistic to have all 12 pieces of equipment "calibrated" on that day? This is likely the reason they have defined a window.

Food for thought.

Hope this helps.

Be well.
The language of the standard notwithstanding, verification isn't different from calibration. It's a form of calibration. Calibration is nothing more than comparison to a standard and doesn't imply adjustment or correction. If you measure a standard with a device before using it, you've done calibration. Of course, the extent of calibration activities and requirements might change with the importance and risk of the measurements being done.
 

dwperron

Trusted Information Resource
#5
Hi
I was just after some opinions on this. On our equipment we obviously have calibration and service due dates, and have previously raised non-conformances when they've been used outside this date.
However we have recently the discovered the part of the company that arranges the services (this department is outside the scope of the ISO certification) have windows around these due dates where the service can be performed. So potentially a service can be performed up to 60 days after the date specified on the instrument.
I feel a bit uncomfortable about his.
Just wondered what other's thoughts are.

What does your Quality Manual (by whatever name...) say about calibration intervals? Most companies have a process for interval extensions, so it is possible that your program allows for automatic extensions of up to 60 days.
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#6
What does your Quality Manual (by whatever name...) say about calibration intervals? Most companies have a process for interval extensions, so it is possible that your program allows for automatic extensions of up to 60 days.
Yes. It's always good to provide some flexibility when past performance indicates that it doesn't present appreciable risk. Although I'm retired now, I always used to set intervals by the month and not a specific date.
 

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#7
Good luck these days not having customers require calibration as per certain standards like ANSI Z540 or ISO 17025 for any monitoring and measuring equipment. Find out if those requirements are flowed down and if so, make sure you are following them, in addition to ISO 9001 7.1.5 and your own internal procedures.
 

outdoorsNW

Quite Involved in Discussions
#8
As long as you have properly documented the 60 day extension, and as long as you do not have many calibration failures, this is not a problem. There is nothing magical about 1 year. It is often arbitrary. Some items can go longer and there are some items that will have many out of calibration failures if you go a full year between calibrations.
 

dwperron

Trusted Information Resource
#9
As long as you have properly documented the 60 day extension, and as long as you do not have many calibration failures, this is not a problem. There is nothing magical about 1 year. It is often arbitrary. Some items can go longer and there are some items that will have many out of calibration failures if you go a full year between calibrations.
Agreed,
My history is that the vast majority of items calibrated are found in tolerance about 95% of the time, so a short extension has real low risk.
As for risk, if you do find it OOT after the extension you need only to treat it as you would any other calibration nonconformance.
 
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