Measurement Equipment - Identification of Calibration Status

Mrs Tucker

Starting to get Involved
#1
As an auditor for Automotive I have always ask operators how they know the gauge they are using is in Calibration. Generally they point to a sticker on the gauge or a sheet posted on the wall with the sticker on it and show me the next due date for calibration and that it is not expired.

Most recently a company did not use labels or post any information for the workers to know calibration was not overdue.

I am now looking for a place in the standard that requires the workers know if the gauges they are using are within the calibration dates.

Anyone know where this located in IATF 16949 ?
 
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dwperron

Trusted Information Resource
#2
Re: New to Calibration - Four Questions

I would say that this covers your question:

7.1.5.2 Measurement traceability
When measurement traceability is a requirement, or is considered by the organization to be an essential part of providing confidence in the validity of measurement results, measuring equipment shall be:

a) calibrated or verified, or both, at specified intervals, or prior to use, against measurement standards traceable to international or national measurement standards; when no such standards exist, the basis used for calibration or verification shall be retained as documented information;

b) identified in order to determine their status;

c) safe guarded from adjustments, damage or deterioration that would invalidate the calibration status and subsequent measurement results.​
 

Coury Ferguson

Moderator here to help
Staff member
Super Moderator
#3
Re: New to Calibration - Four Questions

Could a Serial Number be assigned meet your requirement b) as long as it can be traced to find if it meets the calibration status?
 

Ninja

Looking for Reality
Trusted Information Resource
#4
Re: New to Calibration - Four Questions

identified to determine their status is pretty vague, likely intentionally.

I would be hard pressed to accept that as "every operator must be able to identify the status".

I would instead look to see if any of the unlabeled gages are indeed out of calibration and still readily available for use.
If so...it is now a danger.
If not, and the company uses an effective recall system so that all gages open for use are in calibration period...I suggest that this would be a suggestion or OFI, not a finding.

Just because you aren't used to it, doesn't make it ineffective or wrong.
See if there is actually something wrong.
The lack of label is a good indicator that something might be wrong...dig deeper...but it in itself is not a wrong thing.

I can determine the status of any of my gages in the calibration system. My guys can't, and they use the gages too (and not all of them are capable of being labeled).
 

ReworkIT

Starting to get Involved
#5
As an auditor for Automotive I have always ask operators how they know the gauge they are using is in Calibration. Generally they point to a sticker on the gauge or a sheet posted on the wall with the sticker on it and show me the next due date for calibration and that it is not expired.
Most recently a company did not use labels or post any information for the workers to know calibration was not overdue.
I am now looking for a place in the standard that requires the workers know if the gauges they are using are within the calibration dates.
Anyone know where this located in IATF 16949 ?
I believe this is the wrong question to start off with. My understanding is that operators don't need to know if a gauge is calibrated (they may not even know what "calibration" is, plus it's not their job (at least in most manufacturing environments I experience). Trying to find it in the standards is futile. It's never been a requirement. Indeed in some places, it's ONLY final QC who get to use calibrated things.
 

Lyndonl

Starting to get Involved
#7
Re: New to Calibration - Four Questions

there should at least be a register of gauges by serial or gauge number showing previous and next calibration date. It should be searchable or pending calibrations should be highlighted.
It doesnt necesarily need to be at the workplace but must be monitored by the Quality department to ensure no out of date gauges are in use.
 

dwperron

Trusted Information Resource
#8
Re: New to Calibration - Four Questions

Let me put on my auditor hat.

IATF 16949 says that calibrated measuring equipment must be "identified in order to determine their status".

You tell me that you use the serial number or some other ID number, and that you can look up the status of the tool in a database.

I say "Fine. Now show me your process that has an operator look up and determine the status of every tool they use before they use it." Because if the serial number is the only way to determine the status then you must use it on every tool every day.
Not very practical, but it could work.

This is why companies apply labels to tools, so that the status is quickly and easily determined.
 

Ninja

Looking for Reality
Trusted Information Resource
#9
Re: New to Calibration - Four Questions

Indeed in some places, it's ONLY final QC who get to use calibrated things.
In some facilities, maybe...but I wouldn't treat this as a rule, standard or even a good idea. In-process testing exists for a sound business reason.

Practicality: If you are going to make a decision based on the data measured, that data better be accurate. {read, equipment must be calibrated}
If you aren't going to make a decision based on the data measured...why are you bothering to measure it at all?

Does the operator NEED to know it is calibrated? likely not.
Do they have to understand what the point of calibration is? likely not.
Do they have to know what gages they are allowed to use, and what gages they are not to use...yes.
Ideally, they would not have the ability to use a gage that they are not to use.

Let me put on my auditor hat.

IATF 16949 says that calibrated measuring equipment must be "identified in order to determine their status".
"Fine. Now show me your process that has an operator look up and determine the status of every tool they use before they use it."
You are equating "identified" and 'every operator must be able to identify'. These are not equal.

Check your premises. - Hugh Akston, Atlas Shrugged -

One very common and easy way to identify status is a calibration sticker, sure. But it is not required...only identification is required.
Good and efficient method...absolutely. Required...nope. The standard lets you do it a foolish and wasteful way as well...as long as it is done.
 

Sebastian

Trusted Information Resource
#10
IATF note to 7.1.5.2 is clearly saying that number or identifier matching calibration records is enough. Anything more on gauge than this requires issuing nonconformity against 5.1.1.2 - exposing organization on unnecessary costs. ;)

The standard lets you do it a foolish and wasteful way as well...as long as it is done.
No, addressing standard requirements in our organizational activities in a foolish and wasteful way is our independent and standalone decision.
And we put a lot of our efforts to not do it in a profitable way. Some comments here are clear evidence ;)
 
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