Nadcap - Heat Treatment Proof of Verification question for Digital results

#1
Heat Treatment cycles are required to be verified for compliance by Quality. Proof of verification is, usually, a signature/stamp.
With the new requirement in AMS2750, we are in the full process of making the transfer from paper charts to a digital system.
The digital system has two outputs: graph (pdf file) and numerical data (csv which can be converted to xls).
The Question:
From your personal experience, is it acceptable - for Nadcap o/c, to have the proof of verification on the graph only?
NB Seeing as the graph is a representation of the numerical data, the answer should be an obvious yes. But this is Nadcap.
Thank you in advance.
 
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Randall Beck

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#2
If I understand your question correctly, you are replacing your recording devices because of the new recording decimal place requirement. Would you still be printing just the graph for each job?

If so it will need to be stamped and procedurally addressed to state that after reviewing the data for each cycle (that records to the tenth place that you could show the auditor if requested), QC will stamp the graph if acceptable. Backing up this data will be critical if you don't print it all.

If you are not printing the graph then you will need to electronically sign the graph or PDF somehow for acceptance and procedurally explain that like any other electronic signature requirement for AS9100 or ISO. Our furnace software programs do not have the technology themselves to digitally stamp them for approval.

We still print the data by 2 minute intervals and the graph, but I only stamp the graph as QC approved. Several furnaces we cannot print or export the data - I can only back it up, review and verify it manually before printing the chart for stamping. I am still viewing this as all acceptable to AMS2750F.......
 
#3
@Randall Beck
The requirement in question is, AMS 2750F, 3.2.3.1:
3.2.3.1 All control, recording, and over-temperature instruments shall be digital 2 years after the release of this specification.
The two years deadline is June 2022.

Data is recorded at 1-minute intervals. From the furnace interface (on-site or remote access), we can print the graph (pdf file) and export the numerical data as a csv file.
The graph file is showing the graph along with: Furnace#, Proces Traveler#, Setpoint/Tolerance, Operator ID, Soaking time/Tolerance, Company identification.
The csv file is showing the readings at 1 min intervals for all active T/Cs and inputs (could be vacuum level, %C, etc) and the temperature low/high).

Did you get through a Nadcap Audit and it was accepted to have only the graph signed as proof of verification?

NB I remember (10-15 or so years ago) that we were able to attach/insert files to pour posts. We can't do that anymore? (lost my account details)
 

Randall Beck

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#4
(Humbly) Yes I implemented NADCAP in 2007 and have been accredited since. Currently on 24 month merit. I am part of the AMEC committee that was involved in writing AMS2750F. There was talk of extending the June 2022 deadline by 12 months as several corporations with voices louder than mine are balking at upgrading their entire furnace lines. I was not able to take part in the meetings last week so I do not know how it got left. At this point it was just a rumor for rev G coming out very soon.

We primarily use Eurotherm NANODAC Chart recorders so I have been recording everything to the 1/10th for years. I have never had an issue and have been audited by staff engineers in the past using these methods. As long as you proceduralize how your QC department authorizes the graph and have traceability back to the data - forever - you should be fine either way. I just find it easier personally to print it all and assemble the control plan packet as a whole with charts and data where I can. So do the auditors.
 
#5
I just find it easier personally to print it all and assemble the control plan packet as a whole with charts and data where I can. So do the auditors.
Yes! Agree on both counts (I and the auditors). However, there are a few hiccups along the road.
Like: Why do you need the data too? You can extract it from there (from the software) whenever you need it for an audit!!!
Thank you for your help, very appreciated.
 

Randall Beck

Involved In Discussions
#6
The short answer is its a limitation of the Eurotherm software.

The Eurotherm Review software only allows the working database to be so large and then automatically archives it and starts over. The history file is there and I can always get it, but it is a pain to change databases within the software - maybe there is an easier way or I'm not doing it right but everything else is on paper yet for our organization so I just include it in the packet.

The Long - now you have to show it actually reached 350.0°F (or whatever your defined start of soak is) for 2 hours minimum and not just 349.7° which would have just rounded up to 350°F on the recorder without the 1/10th place and no questions asked in the good old days. Now its a finding. During a NADCAP audit we audit 12 jobs with 3-6 heat and cryo processes each and I don't want to have to electronically find start/end/min/max of soak data for up to 72 heat cycles. Here's 12 completed historical packets - done.

If I have to answer questions about an 8 year old job to a customer, chances are I will need more information than just the tempering data from an old database anyway. So I make it all one pack yet for simplicity and thoroughness. That's just my opinion though. Either way is not right or wrong and might be easier than the other for someone.
 
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