IATF 16949 Calibration/Verification records question


I just started a new position as lead calibration tech. at our company. We are primarily a high pressure aluminum die casting company that also machines some of those castings. I have several years of past calibration/metrology experience but not since IATF inception and since we have automotive customers, this is our bible now.

My question originates in Calibration/Verification records , specifically -

h) records of the calibration and maintenance activities for all gauging {including employee-owned equipment, customer-owned equipment, or supplier-owned equipment):

i) production-related software verification used for product and process control {including software installed on employee-owned equipment, customer-owned equipment, or on-site supplier-owned equipment).

Reading the above,,,, I understand that not only gauging used to directly measure and verify customer production needs to be in our calibration system, but also things like our maintenance technicians measurements, things like calipers, indicators, test indicators, micrometers ect. that "could" be used incidentally to gauge customer product. That requirement was in place before IATF transition I do think and every facility that I had calibration duties in followed that general line of thinking. My confusion centers around things like our maintenance tech's machinists scales, rulers, fluke meters. I get even more confused about gaging associated with out HPDC machines, CNC machines and other machinery used in the process of making our products. Does our company's Calibration Dept. literally have the responsibility of adding all the gaging associated with this equipment- the pressure gages for hydraulic and air pressure, flow meters, temperature, ring gauging for spindle runout verification and adjustment on our CNC Lathes?

It is my understanding that any gauging/gaging that that is not used too directly measure/validate our customer production does not need to be controlled. This would include things like fluke meters, rulers, tape measures, pressure gaging for hydraulic and air pressure and the before mentioned ring gauging used to indicate a spindle in as we do not use these in any aspect of measuring or validating our customer production. That is how I understood it in my previous calibration duties but as I said, after read the above,,,, I am worried I might not be correct in this line of thinking.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Forty two views and no replies? I did try a search and it's a kinda convoluted thing to search for....... No insight on this? No one??? Please????:confused:


Haste Makes Waste
I would be inclined to calibrate anything that touches the manufacturing or engineering processes. A pressure setting, for example, that is off may cause variation that is unacceptable in the product. Calibrating the process gauges will help ensure parts are made the same each time and reduce or eliminate inspection of the parts.

Personal measurement tools can be on a case by case basis depending on use and risk. My caliper is calibrated but my scale and tape measure are "for reference only". I can check if something is normal or not with "for reference" and use another calibrated gauge if the measurement is marginal or out of specification.

I think they should all be tracked in your database so you know these things have been considered.


OK,,,,, that was an answer I was afraid I would see. If this is correct,,,,, there are literally hundreds if not thousands of gauges that would need to be tracked and calibrated/verified and during so, there would be huge amounts of down time where the machines would be down due to gage removal and replacement for that calibration/verification. For a simple hydraulic, air pressure, vacuum or temperature gage that is not used to directly measure our customer's product. If this were true, I honestly can not see how a facility could do this in a cost efficient manner. I am not disagreeing, I am trying to understand this issue thoroughly so I can stand on a position of knowledge and be able to knowledgably debate this issue.

Again, if these gage/gages failed to do the job intended, the CNC, Die Cast Machine, press or whatever it was would likely stop working and even if it did not, hourly In Process Checks done on the actual parts would catch the issue. Again, these gages/gauges I am referring to are not used to determine pass/fail of our customer product. They are an incidental part of having machinery on the facility no different that a maintenance man having a Fluke Meter that is in no way used to measure no could it measure a customer part. I simply do not think that the Fluke meter would need to be in our calibration system. But, technically,,,, if the Fluke meter was defective,,,, "it could" potentially create and issue where the machine it was used on could make a bad part??????????


Trusted Information Resource
Review the second paragraph of
Records of the calibration/verification activity for all gauges and measuring and test equipment (including employee-owned equipment relevant for measuring, customer-owned equipment, or onsite supplier owned equipment) needed to provide evidence of conformity to internal requirements, legislative and regulatory requirements, and customer-defined requirements shall be retained.
Based on this, you need to calibrate/verify anything needed to provide evidence of conformity. As far as I know, there usually are no such requirements for most of the equipment you mention (such as your maintenance tech's fluke meters). The customer's requirements are usually for the machined part dimensions, not the machine's spindle runout.

However, if you have a process where requirements for such measurements are specified, the gauges are required to be calibrated.

I am not very familiar with die casting. If the pressure for the die cast process is specified by the customer or your internal specification, then you probably need to calibrate the die cast machine pressure gauge. If the pressure for the die cast process is not specified by the customer or your internal specification, then you probably don't need to calibrate the die cast machine pressure gauge.

Similarly, a pressure gauge used for hydrostatic testing of product likely needs to be calibrated per your internal, customer, and/or regulatory requirements, but a pressure gauge on a hydraulically operated chuck likely does not need to be calibrated.


Looking for Reality
Trusted Information Resource
There is one simple test I use for the question "should this be calibrated?".

Will I make a decision based on the data generated?

If the answer is "No"...the next question is why I'm bothering to measure it.
If the answer is "Yes"...it gets calibrated.
The end.

What is the point of measuring data if you don't care that it is accurate?
That's pretty much what IATF requires in a nutshell...together with the "if we find out that all measurements for the last 3 months are suspect, what then?"

Pressure gage that I don't care what it says as long as the product is good...not calibrated.
Pressure gage used for forming a product where forming pressure can affect adhesion testing? Calibrated.


Quite Involved in Discussions
Also keep in mind that if there is something that can verify parts soon after to see trends, that could help satisfy this. Another key thing is if it isn't critical widen tolerances and put on a longer interval. We have temp sensors that have tolerance of +/- 10•C and are on 60 month intervals. But they are in our system with data.
Someone in our company put calibrated rulers on our control plan as device to measure. We have them calibrated on 36M interval. Then there are engineers who put annually calibrated rulers, and customer signed off on that so we can't change it without approval...
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