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  Measurement, Test and Calibration
  Gage Pin Dilemma

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Author Topic:   Gage Pin Dilemma
George Trybulski
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From:Rochester, NY
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posted 20 April 1999 10:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for George Trybulski   Click Here to Email George Trybulski     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Our company is ISO registered, however I want to know if there is an "easier"way to put our gage pins in the system. Example: we name our gage sets "GP-1", "GP-2 and so on. Each pin in the set is listed on a calibration report as 1-250,1-251 in set GP-1. Have I confused you so far, let me continue. The pins larger than .150 have the set number etched on the end "1". So these pins can be traced to the individual sets. HOWEVER the pins less then .150 are not marked because of size constraints. We have 4 common size pin sets and the pins less then .150 can possibly get mixed between sets. In addition we have "and get this" 5300 gage pins in our calibration system. Is this overkill on our part ? This gage pin dilemma has been a pain in my butt for years. Any comments would be appreciated other then get rid of all the pins ! Thanks.

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Marc Smith
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posted 21 April 1999 12:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have seen this addressed with paint drops and I once saw a company use dyes. But - Use 'common sense' here. Each pin gage does not have to be identified on the actual pin. There is an allowance for 'due care' with respect to reality.

For example, if I come into your lab and it is neat and orderly and you show me 4 labeled (identified and cal sticker on box) boxes each of which contain identical sets of 50 pin gages, I may ask you:

1. Why the different sets - what do you use each set for?

2. How do you keep them apart?

If you told me you use 'due care', and the area is neat, orderly and the users are 'aware', there's not much I can say. There is reality I have to deal with. The stated requirement (show me) in QS/ISO9000 which dictates that each individual gage be identified is 4.11.2 d "...identify....with a suitable indicator or approved identification record to show the calibration status. Typically things like pin gages are identified by the box they are in. The key is the verbiage "or approved identification record. It simply does not say: "Unconditionally, each item must be individually marked or labeled." While I realize that the QS folks decided should and shall mean virtually the same thing, I have not seen them compromise the word or - yet - which implies a choice or option.

An example of 'common sense' is where they talk about protecting measurement equipment against 'adjustment'. 4.11.2 i "...safeguard ....from adjustments which would invalidate the calibration setting." Well, the question becomes just how far do you go? And to take it to an extreme, can you protect against deliberate 'sabatageOr is that even the intent? I take the inadvertent view - if normal use could cause 'inadvertent adjustment', protect against it. The point here is that most equipment is by design protected against 'inadvertent' calibration. Let's face it, if you buy a calipers it is pretty well sealed against someone accidentally changing it unless they are really trying to do so - like on purpose. Next comes the "well, seal it" which brings us back to 'Can you really protect against sabatage?" Heck, if I want to change the setting and it is sealed, I can get a seal if I really want to sabatage the instrument. So - do I place a guard by the instrument 24 hours a day to ensure no one changes it? What if the 'sabateur' buys off the guard?

Just be able to show you use 'due care' in keeping your pin gage sets 'together'. A big part of doing that is a clean, neat, orderly laboratory. Consider whether there is a significant difference in use of the sets and be ready to talk to that specifically with regard to calibration cycle length. If the auditor comes in and the place is not kept up and they notice inattention, sloppiness or such, they will drill you because the appearance will be that you do not use 'due care' in general operations.

How can you ensure that one or more will never become mixed between boxes? Well, you really can't. You should be able to show that, for example, if three boxes are open there is a positive awareness of what pin is out of what box. This is really just good methodology. If you have two boxes open and each has the same pin out, it should be because two different users are using them. If they're at the same bench together, I would want to boxes separated if they are on the bench and I would want to ask each user which box their pin belongs in. The best word I can think of to use here is awareness on the part of the user. Put them away properly after use - don't leave lying around. That sort of thing. Good practices. Cleanliness, order, neatness, awareness.

quote:
In addition we have "and get this" 5300 gage pins in our calibration system.
Sounds like a lot of pins to me! How many 'sets' do you have? How many duplicates? Could some be retired? Are they all sets 'working' or are some for cal?

Hopefully some of the other kind folks will help out here!

[This message has been edited by Marc Smith (edited 04-21-99).]

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barb butrym
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posted 21 April 1999 08:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for barb butrym   Click Here to Email barb butrym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
doesn't look like you need help, Marc....you are right on.....the appearance of the lab is what gives the auditor a comfort level for the control. What ever you do, in regard to the marking, needs to make sense...but due care is my choice

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Batman
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posted 21 April 1999 01:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Batman   Click Here to Email Batman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Agree. Keep it simple and effective. We have a few sets of gage pins, - .050 up to .750" - each box is marked as to the calib date. We only identify each set as a number, not each individual pin. We also [usually] have a few missing, so the gage guy puts a dated list of "missing at last calibration" inside each box so if one or more pins are later returned, the user will know that those are not calibrated, and can get them done; those then come off the list.

The only issue I see here is if it is routine to lend out pins to anyone. Probably need a "checkout" list so the correct pin has a chance of getting back into the correct box. I don't think this is a big issue unless you could mix "minus" pins with "plus" pins, if you have that sort of inventory.

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George Trybulski
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posted 21 April 1999 08:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for George Trybulski   Click Here to Email George Trybulski     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you very much for the speedy reply. Actually my thoughts were on the same line but just wanted other peoples imput. We do issue pins for CNC machine floor use and have "conformance sheets" that list the attribute critera that the pins check against. We use the data from these sheets for formulating final inspection acceptance, so the gage pins can be said to be used for final acceptance, so calibration is a must. My last question is this: If we state that our "tolerance" for our gage pins is +/-.0001
can we just report that the "set" is within specification without having a seperate record for each pin. When we issue the pins they are in a peg board block with the gage set and size labeled by each pin. That way when they are returned, they go back in their respective sets. WORKS FOR ME ! Have a great life ! Thanks again !

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Marc Smith
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posted 01 May 1999 12:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Subject: pins
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 18:17:27 EDT
From: GFT1005@aol.com
To: cheech@Elsmar.com


Thank you very much for the speedy reply. Actually my thoughts were on the same line but just wanted other peoples imput. We do issue pins for CNC machine floor use and have "conformance sheets" that list the attribute critera that the pins check against. We use the data from these sheets for formulating final inspection acceptance, so the gage pins can be said to be used for final acceptance, so calibration is a must. My last question is this: If we state that our "tolerance" for our gage pins is +/-.0001 can we just report that the "set" is within specification without having a seperate record for each pin. When we issue the pins they are in a peg board block with the gage set and size labeled by each pin. That way when they are returned, they go back in their respective sets. WORKS FOR ME ! Have a great life ! Thanks again !

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