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  Measurement, Test and Calibration
  Personal Gages

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Author Topic:   Personal Gages
posted 23 June 2000 01:59 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Paersonal own gages such as set up do they have to be calibrated and tracable per qs-9000 standards. I have heard so many different stories,

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Jim Biz
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posted 23 June 2000 02:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Biz   Click Here to Email Jim Biz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are a number of threads here discussing pros & cons of the issue.

What happens here in our ISO-9002 system is "yes" we treat personally owned measurement equpt just like any other gage - the only difference is that we identify them by operator clock number....


[This message has been edited by Jim Biz (edited 23 June 2000).]

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Jerry Eldred
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posted 23 June 2000 03:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jerry Eldred   Click Here to Email Jerry Eldred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think the main issue is that you have to have control such that regardless of whether a tool/gage is personal or company owned, you know that only properly calibrated instruments can be used in any place where it can affect product quality or reliability.

In the case of personally owned gages, some companies take the route that they are not allowed on premises. This is a simple solution, but sometimes not practical. Some other companies allow personal gages, but require that they be placed on the calibration recall system the same as company owned gages.

Either way is okay as long as you KNOW (not pretty sure, but KNOW) that ONLY properly calibrated gages/tools can be used as above. You have to be able to guarantee that product measurements meet the required accuracy. And whether personal or company owned, you MUST have unique identification of some sort that unambiguously enables the user to know the current calibration status of each specific gage/tool.

You will of course meet with the individual personal bias and prejudice of individual auditors, so that a perfectly satisfactory methodology will seem to be unsatisfactory in the view of some auditors.


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posted 26 June 2000 03:44 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One option that was not brought up was to clasify all personal owned gages shall not be used for acceptance of product. This is the rout we take with "functional gages" and with the inexpensive plastic calipers that are available. But since our personal owned gages, such as dial calipers, are used by production personnel for accepting product, the calipers are part of the caliration and recall system.

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Jerry Eldred
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posted 26 June 2000 04:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jerry Eldred   Click Here to Email Jerry Eldred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I tried to be deliberately a little vague on this, as I know there are many variations in industry. I did attempt to stick with the central issue, which is assuring that product be tested ONLY with properly calibrated instruments, which are adequate for the intended use.

In the case of marking personally owned gages as "do not use on product", I won't try to adjudicate whether or not that is acceptable, as that's not my place. I think that enters a grey area (depending on the particular company), and on some of the specifics.

There are cases where I think it questionable as to whether that method is prudent, and others where it would not be an issue. If there are personally owned gages that closely replicate calibrated production gages (similar accuracy, range, etc.), and the personally owned gages are used in a production area, it may pass the audit, and it may not. In such a case, one could envision an auditor querying as to why two similar gages are in the production area, and how the factory could guarantee those uncalibrated units would never be used to verify product. In such a circumstance (as an example; or similar), I would recommend against such practice. It would also become confusing, and you may have to show evidence that production pepole are trained as to which ones to use, and when.

The other end of the spectrum would be gages that are self-evident to not apply to product test, and/or which are used in areas where the potential ambiguity does not exist.

And 'ambiguity', I think is the operative word in determining if employee owned gages could be labelled as 'do not use for production' or not. If it creates a reasonable ambiguity, I don't think it wise to place uncalibrated gages in production. I could envision in such an ambiguous circumstance, a diligent auditor putting a great deal of effort into proving one way or the other as to whether evidence exists that those uncalibrated gages could have been used on product or not.

Okay... enough said.


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