Preventive Maintenance & Operating Procedures for Measurement Equipment

M

Mark Jackson

#1
Hello,

I have just produced a PM schedule for our CMM at the request of a senior manager. It is a basic list of daily/weekly & monthly checks to check that the unit is in good working order in between the regular calibration interval (i.e. wipe the air bearing guides, clean the fan, check the air supply etc).

I was however surprised when I was asked if I could use the same principle for other equipment such as Micrometers and Calipers etc.
This is because at a recent audit the visitors suggested that our inspectors should check each equipment before use and sign that it is fit for use before using it. This seems a bit extreme to me as our training already covers checks that the equipment is calibrated and in good order, and that Mic's and Vernier/Calipers should be checked at the zero point before use.

Has anyone else come across this suggestion and have you had to create a system whereby the inspectors have to sign that they have checked the equipment before use?
 
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qusys

Trusted Information Resource
#2
Re: PM & Op. Procedures for meaurement equipment

Hello,

I have just produced a PM schedule for our CMM at the request of a senior manager. It is a basic list of daily/weekly & monthly checks to check that the unit is in good working order in between the regular calibration interval (i.e. wipe the air bearing guides, clean the fan, check the air supply etc).

I was however surprised when I was asked if I could use the same principle for other equipment such as Micrometers and Calipers etc.
This is because at a recent audit the visitors suggested that our inspectors should check each equipment before use and sign that it is fit for use before using it. This seems a bit extreme to me as our training already covers checks that the equipment is calibrated and in good order, and that Mic's and Vernier/Calipers should be checked at the zero point before use.

Has anyone else come across this suggestion and have you had to create a system whereby the inspectors have to sign that they have checked the equipment before use?
No explicit requirment of ISO 9001 standard, but it could be an internal requirement.
Considering that the tech follow a procedure where it is said to check the instrument vs zero but no required to record it, it seems not valued added to have a record of this, but if you consider a "risk" for this, you may want to do so.
Pls, evaluate the costs and benefit to proceed in this sense and find a common agreement.:bigwave:
 
M

Mark Jackson

#3
Re: PM & Op. Procedures for meaurement equipment

Hi,
I can understand why we have a procedure for checking he CMM, as it is a complex piece of equipment and it requires a consistent, clean air supply as well as a clean working environment, but I've never heard of a requirement to sign for a Caliper or Micromenter before use.

The requirement to inspect equipment before use is already stated in the Quality Department Working Standard so I will try and persuade my manager that this is ok for now. The potential for a massive increase in paperwork here is vast!
 

qusys

Trusted Information Resource
#4
Re: PM & Op. Procedures for meaurement equipment

Hi,
I can understand why we have a procedure for checking he CMM, as it is a complex piece of equipment and it requires a consistent, clean air supply as well as a clean working environment, but I've never heard of a requirement to sign for a Caliper or Micromenter before use.

The requirement to inspect equipment before use is already stated in the Quality Department Working Standard so I will try and persuade my manager that this is ok for now. The potential for a massive increase in paperwork here is vast!
Agree:agree:
My answer went to this direction.
I do not know if you have an automatci system that you sue to record maintenance activities or check list. If not, you may have a burden of "paper" and my suggestion was related to this: cost vs benefits. However it is not a non conformity but only and observation or opportunity for improvement that was raised.
Howver, you shall take into account the risk, if it is "critical" for your tool that fact that technician may deviate from procedure or forget to make the zero.
An eventual check in automatic system could be the evidence that it is done.
A question: do you have evidence of some deviation of your procedure where the root cause was related to missed zero check?:bigwave:
 
M

Mark Jackson

#5
Re: PM & Op. Procedures for meaurement equipment

Hi,
I have not had a problem with measurement error that has been caused by an instrument not being zeroed correctly, although it is still possible that it could happen due to human error.
The only maintenance checking we do is at calibration time, so I am the only person who checks & maintains the equipment in that respect.
My company is trying for ISO/TS16949 so I suspect we may have to move in the direction of inspectors signing for equipment before use - but I think it is a little extreme given that the training covers this area.
 

qusys

Trusted Information Resource
#6
Re: PM & Op. Procedures for meaurement equipment

Hi,
I have not had a problem with measurement error that has been caused by an instrument not being zeroed correctly, although it is still possible that it could happen due to human error.
The only maintenance checking we do is at calibration time, so I am the only person who checks & maintains the equipment in that respect.
My company is trying for ISO/TS16949 so I suspect we may have to move in the direction of inspectors signing for equipment before use - but I think it is a little extreme given that the training covers this area.
I also work in ISO TS but I never saw a finding in this sense.
However this could be not effective as well, because the tech does put his sign off for zero but he does not perform it.
I think your practice is conform , but , again, collect some data and analyse them ( a sort of risk analysis), so that you can prove that you have considered the risk but it is low and so you accept it. Not stress about this , consider always the criticality of the operation/activity.:bigwave:
 
Last edited:

Ninja

Looking for Reality
Trusted Information Resource
#7
Re: PM & Op. Procedures for meaurement equipment

You've gotten some great feedback from qusys already, but I wanted to add a more 'overview' thought...

Some folks look at ISO/TS as a way to set boundaries to make sure things are done in an acceptable manner...documenting boundaries outside of which the process is unacceptable.

Others use ISO/TS as "Management by reams of paper". This can work, but is rarely the best approach.
The check and sign for before each use seems from your description to be an "I don't trust that you're doing it, so sign this form each time".

Between the two approaches, I think qusys hit the mark earlier....check the cost/benefit. Management by paper tends to cost more in the long run.

:2cents:
 
C

Chance

#8
Can you specify in your internal procedure that measuring equipment like calipers will be calibrated within every X months. If the calibration is current, there is no need to do anything before use except to check the calibration dates to ensure that it is still current?
 

qusys

Trusted Information Resource
#9
Can you specify in your internal procedure that measuring equipment like calipers will be calibrated within every X months. If the calibration is current, there is no need to do anything before use except to check the calibration dates to ensure that it is still current?
Hi Chance,
it happens that on some occasion it is however required a zero check before use, it depends on the tools as well as procedure setting.
It is a sort of adjustment when needed and applicable.:bigwave:
 
M

Mark Jackson

#10
Yes, the calibration interval for most of our hand-held equipment is every 12 months.
Equipment in our office/lab is well looked after, it's the stuff on the shop floor that takes a hammering!

I'm going to try and persuade the management against what he is suggesting as I think it is too much and offers no guarantees of verification.
 
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