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Author Topic:   Calibration Stickers
donnammurphy
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From:Athens, GA, USA
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posted 18 December 2000 12:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for donnammurphy   Click Here to Email donnammurphy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My problem deals with calibration stickers. Our processes invole our tools and gages becoming exposed to heavy amounts of oil. Therefore, the stickers are constantly coming off. Since we run 6 days a week with 3 shifts, and have over 100 tools, I find it almost impossible to maintain that the gages are identified with the calibration status. I'm aware the standard states in section 4.11.2.d that we "shall identify inspection, measuring, and test equipment with a suitable indicator or approved identification record to show the calibration status", but is there another way. Can we state that all tools issued in production are considered calibrated? Any advise would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Jim Triller
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posted 18 December 2000 12:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Triller   Click Here to Email Jim Triller     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A method we have used successfully was to engrave a unique number on each tool. We then maintained a matrix of those tools (in this case online but this can work with hard copies as well) where the tool was identified, what it was used for, the date of last calibration and the due date for next calibration. We made the matrices readily available, next to where the tools were maintained to facilitate easy verification. It worked well.

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Jerry Eldred
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posted 18 December 2000 01:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jerry Eldred   Click Here to Email Jerry Eldred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I once had a debate with a very well versed quality manager about this issue. He wanted to know why we have to put stickers on all the equipment. His contention was, "why couldn't we just maintain a good recall system"?

An interesting point of view that probably would go over like a lead balloon with an auditor. So I don't recommend that. However, it did evoke a great deal of thought on my part about the whole issue.

The issue is having an effective method to assure that the user of the instrument can not use an out of calibration instrument (past due date). How you do that can take many forms. At my former lab (that factory shut down before I could complete implementation), I connected my recall database to the production control database. When an operator in the factory attempted to perform measurements on an instrument past due calibration, the system would not let them perform the measurement. Having given that manager's comments a great deal of thought, it was my intent to eventually have all measuring instruments logged into the production database. Even portable test equipment used in maintenance. Maintenance or product testing could not be completed on any instrument past due calibration. Once a system like that were fully implemented, it would make calibration stickers obsolete.

Obviously, not every company has such an elaborate system to use. I bring it up to make the point that there are countless methods to fulfill the need to make sure an operator knows not to use past due instruments. I have seen companies color code the epoxy sealant in the handles of torque wrenches. Then there were little cards (about the size of pocket calendars) given to each owner, a supply of them to hand out with each new calibration, large color signs hung all over the factory, and other measures to make sure the operators identified whether their tools were past due or not.

I think you can get pretty creative, and make something that works well for you. You could engrave unique ID's on the tools and keep something posted to assure they can't be used past the due date; You could automate it somehow; you could investigate oil resistant labelling; or many other options.

Jim Triller in his reply above offered another creative method. I don't believe it is implicit anywhere in newer standards that the labelling has to be a 'calibration sticker' on the unit with cal date, due date, ID, etc. That is a convenient standard method that works well for many applications (in those cases, if it ain't broke, don't fix it).

However, there are always the exceptions, and circumstances where creativity has to be applied.

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donnammurphy
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posted 18 December 2000 01:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for donnammurphy   Click Here to Email donnammurphy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I do have serial numbers engraved on the tools now, but it is my understanding that tools and gages must be identified to show calibration status. One way of identifying the gage as being calibrated is to have a calibration sticker on it. (All of our gages are maintained in a database and updates are made when the calibration tech performs calibration.) Are there other ways to show a gage has been calibrated without using stickers? Or am I way off base and this isn't a requirement?

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Marc Smith
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posted 18 December 2000 01:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Several methods have been discussed here - I can only comment is one of the 'intents' here is to ensure folks who use the measuring device know it is acceptable to use. How do they know if its in the calibration period or not.

I was in 1 shop which did machining and there was no way to keep a sticker attached (see Jim Triller's response above) as the fluids would dissolve the label stickem, etc. They had a matrix posted at each station with the appropriate cal sticker next to each device listing. The matrix referenced each device's serial number. The device users could show how they use the listing to ensure they do not use a device which is past its recall date. This was acceptable in a QS facility.

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Jerry Eldred
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posted 18 December 2000 01:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jerry Eldred   Click Here to Email Jerry Eldred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with all of the above posts above.

I would just elaborate a little and state that calibration stickers are the default. They stand up the best in an audit.

Whenever you deviate from that (and as in your case as well as others, those legitimate cases do exist), you begin treading on thinner ice. My cautoin is that whatever alternate method you use, you have to convince an auditor that all operators know calibration status of their tools.

I think a few details you must cover (perhaps others I miss) include:

-Auditor can't find any instruments past due date.
-Auditor could ask any operator how they know the calibration status of their tools or gages, and they can answer.
-You can demonstrate an effective system that assures both of the above.
-Auditor finds any tool or gage without a sticker on it. They take that tool or gage to someone other than the normal user (but someone woh could reasonably be expected to have access to it), and ask them how they would know whether or not that tool or gage is within it's calibration interval.

I don't believe you are way off base at all. To be more specific to your question. You do not have to use stickers. You do have to be sure the user has an effective method to absolutely know whether their tools or gages are in or out of tolerance. My recommendation is that doing anything other than stickers should be only when you simply can not use them. If that is definite, it is then quite reasonable to create an alternative method. If it were me, I would even expend a little effort to find oil-resistant labelling before I resorted to other methods. There may well be some of those.

Hopefully the combination of the above replies have covered your question.

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Sam
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posted 18 December 2000 04:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sam   Click Here to Email Sam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Para 4.11.2.d)of the QSR states
"identify inspection, measuring and test equipment with a suitable indicator or approved identification record to show the calibration status."
"NOTE: A serial number tracesble to the device calibration record meets the intent of this requirement."

The standard does not require the operator to know whether or not the gage is calibrated.
IMO, a unique identifying mark and a record of calibration is all that is required.

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John C
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posted 18 December 2000 05:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for John C   Click Here to Email John C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
donnammurphy,
"approved identification record". I think that's the key, along with Jerry Eldred's 'good recall system'. If you have 98 calibration tools and they all get calibrated on 21st June, then they are all within cal dates until, eg; 21st Dec. Then they all get done again.
The question is not, 'will the auditor buy it?' but 'could it work?', 'does it make a significant saving?' and 'are we sufficiently in control and committed to make it work?'. If the answer to these questions is yes, then give it a try and let us know how it goes. If the auditor shoots you down, then it will probably be because your control is not impressive enough otherwise, to give confidence in this method. So, then just engrave the tools and maintain your approved identification record. Don't worry about labels, in your case, it's probably cheaper to control via the record than having people looking at labels every time they use a tool (which they don't do anyway).
Most smart (which means cheaper) ways of doing things were once considered impracticable.
rgds, John C

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Al Dyer
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posted 18 December 2000 07:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Al Dyer   Click Here to Email Al Dyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
100% agree with Sam. A serial number traceable to calibration records works well.

We are taking it to a level where all personnel are able (and must) access a data base of gages due for calibration (before production on all shifts) and what to do when a gage at the station is past calibration due date.

If we get notice that an operation has a "past calibration" date we know that the calibration system is not effective and then determine the root cause and implement corrective action.

ASD...

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Marc Smith
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posted 19 December 2000 01:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
> The standard does not require the operator to
> know whether or not the gage is calibrated.

Correct - it does not specifically require that but I would frown upon a situation where the operator had no idea whether the device they were using was 'legal' to use. Reliance solely upon a recall system is dangerous in my opinion. I admit this is my paradigm - If I ran into a situation where the operator did not know if the device they use is OK or not to use (calibration status) I would expect a much stronger system than just a recall system because of all the failures I've seen in recall systems.

And I have seen auditors require it on the basis of training necessary to do their job. Last summer at Ford operators knowing whether their gages were 'in calibration' was required by the auditors in the QS audit. At a Borg-Warner QS audit a year ago this was also required by the auditors - that's where they had the matrix posted at each bench for IM&TE used there -- operators had to show they knew they have to 'be aware' of the calibration status of any IM&TE they are responsible for using.

The criticality of the measurement is sometimes also important -- I sure wouldn't want someone operating a CMM in a critical machining operation who had no idea what the CMM's calibration status is.

I also admit I've never worked with a company where the operators were not required to know the calibration status of the devices they used.

I have seen auditors cite minors for operators not understanding basics such as "If you are using your caliper and you drop it on the floor, what should you do?" We all know the answer to this, don't we??

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Jerry Eldred
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posted 19 December 2000 02:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jerry Eldred   Click Here to Email Jerry Eldred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I cretainly agree that the operator MUST know the calibration status of his or her measuring instrument. This is a given regardless of what system is used.

I brought up an automated method in an earlier posting wherein use of the instrument is prohibited by the lot tracking system in a production environment. In such an automated case (and I am certain any auditor would dig pretty deep to make sure the system is effective), there would be no need for an operator to know calibration status as the lot tracking system would not allow them to use it if it is past due for calibration.

But even in such an automated system, you could say that indirectly, the operators knew the status, because when they try to log the product through a test using that instrument, it will not allow the operator to process the product through due to the past due calibration. There are many more bells and whistles in these systems (automated emails to all appropriate people beginning 30 days prior to calibration due date, overdue notices automatically escalated to higher management for any critical measurement tools, and in some highly automated tools, the tool itself is connected into the network and is shut down when it becomes overdue calibration).

Bottom line regardless of whether you use or do not use stickers is that there MUST be some effective method to guarantee measurements on product are traceable (i.e.: in current calibration). Labelling (stickers) is the stereotype method of doing this, and for the most part should be used.

And when ever labelling is impracticable, there still MUST be an effective method to GUARANTEE that measurements are traceable. You can accomplish that however you want. The debatability of method comes in when you user a weaker method. For example, if you hold regular training for operators regarding assuring they only use currently calibrated instruments, it becomes weak. What you have done is improve probability that measurements will be traceable.... Let's use less formal language.. assure you make 'good' measurements. Putting up a list is a good idea when you can't use labelling. But you have to further prove that people read the list. If I were an auditor, that is the first question I would ask... "how do you know the operators will read and abide by the list?"

You may even need to go so far as putting a place on the list for the operators initials and date. This way you will have evidence that the operator actually looked at the due date for his or her instrument. Automated emails or documented emails with return receipts are another option. I think all of this is one of the reasons why labels are so popular (and I have customers who don't read them even when they are on the instrument).

So even with labels it is sometimes difficult to assure the tool can't be used past the due date.

I have struggled many times over the years with the concept of GUARANTEEing that only currently calibrated instruments are used for measurements. Short of complete automation, you can't fully guarantee the above. What you can do is put together a menu of methods that together will reduce probability as much as possible of using overdue instruments.

Alright.... enough of my babbling for the day.

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Elberth Ardila Tabera
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posted 26 December 2000 07:57 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with all of you about the calibration process and documentation.
In our company we had the some problems with oil in stickers, but now we put in tools that are in oil enviroment a point of special paint, with diferent colours. (depend the expiration date of calibration), and has a table near the site of work with a colours, according to the date, the workers know the status of the tool.

It was good solution for our problems of tickets

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jesserae
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posted 30 January 2001 06:42 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a very interesting thread, and lots of good input.

You might want to obtain a copy of the "ANSI/NCSL Z540-1994 Handbook" from NCSL. (http://www.ncslinternational.org/) It contains all the sections from the standard plus "Interpretive Guidance" and many "Examples". Go to Section 8.2.

This is a copyrighted document so I can't paste the info here.

Hope this helps.

Jesse Morse
Z540 Standards Writing Committee Chairman
NCSLI

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QC-7
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posted 30 January 2001 10:49 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I too do the calibration for gages ina very oily environment. I have found that with the oil resistent labels with attached clear cover work fine. I first clean the area with alcohol. This cleans the surface for better adhesion. The Q-cees brand seems to work well.

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Slick
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posted 08 February 2001 02:17 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We cover our torque wrench stickers with a clear wrapping tape, it works well. With all of the tapes on the market you should be able to find one that would work for you.
We dont sticker all of our tools there are cases where you can't, like gauge blocks. But we do put the sticker on the tool drawer where there are located. Our ISO auditor accepted this as long as there was an asset number to refer it to the sticker.

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DanC
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posted 10 February 2001 10:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DanC   Click Here to Email DanC     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We've had a similar problem with gages in environments with cutting oil and coolant. Our solution is to use the gage ID engraved on all our gages and a laminated list of the problem gages posted at the site of the gage use. When we recalibrate the gages, we only need to place the calibration stickers on the sheet beside the description. We recently finished our pre-audit for ISO 9000 and the auditors were satisfied with our implementation. This solution has also been useful for items that are too small or awkwardly shaped for a label.

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JeremyS
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posted 02 March 2001 08:37 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The solution we came up with here is the cover-all labels by Q-Cee's(1-800-950-4922) and they also come in enough colors that we also color code per month of when due (easy to find and recall). Also for the gages that just soak in coolant, we wrap the coverall labels with just Scotch tape.

Of the 2500+ gages we rarely have any fall off, nd it is simple/easy to read.

P.S. If you keep track of a lot of gages, GageTRAK is a good program by Cybermetrics (www.Cybermetrics.com) and it has packages that also come with label makers, PDAs, and Calibration procedures

JLS

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Bill@Owens
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posted 22 March 2001 02:43 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My question is whether or not you can have a master set of gages which the company owns and keeps certified by outside sources, and have all personally owned measuring equipment considered subordinate to the masters without certified calibration? We have 335 hourly machinist with as many as 5000 to 17000 gages. This number does not include the masters, (and gages the company feels are too expensive to expect our employees to own). I have just been asked to get our shop compliant to the ISO 9000/2000 standard and I have yet to get any formal training. Will auditor training (internal/ lead) answer these types of questions?? Any information will be greatly appreciated.

bill.wurtz@owens-ill.com

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Al Dyer
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posted 22 March 2001 03:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Al Dyer   Click Here to Email Al Dyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bill, before I shoot from the hip:

Are employee owned gages used to verify that product is approved for further processing?

or,

Are employee owned gages used during a machine/product set-up with the subsequent product taken to a lab where a first artical inspection is performed with gages that are part of the calibration system?

I ask because in my experience the set-up personnel use their own gages to set up a machine to meet print specification although their set-up parts are submitted to a controlled lab that verifies that the set-up is acceptable, parts are within specification, and production may proceed.

Generally, I would say that if a gage is used to approve/verify a product for further processing it needs to be included in the calibration system.

ASD...

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Dan Larsen
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posted 22 March 2001 06:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dan Larsen   Click Here to Email Dan Larsen     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with Al...if you can show that (within your system) parts are not subject to processing unless checked by a calibrated gage, the employee owned gages can be excluded. Just make sure the setup parts and final inspections are routed through an operation that involves a calibrated gage.

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energy
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posted 23 March 2001 08:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for energy   Click Here to Email energy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Like Al said, as long the „ Process Inspectionš is done with calibrated equipment, personal tools are irrelevant. We allowed this system, in my previous life, but when the was a disagreement between the Operator and the Inspector over product acceptance/rejection tolerances, the calibrated instrument was the understood winner. If a company can stand the occasional making of scrap $$ loss, rather than ensuring 17,000 instruments are calibrated, I feel it will fly. Of course a Customer/Auditor may ask „Will it affect customer schedule/delivery if the parts are lost to an event caused by using un-calibrated gages. To eliminate this, no personal gauges were allowed in our plant, unless they were entered into the Calibration System. But, we were only talking about a dozen personal micrometers, in our case. Not the 5000 to 17000 gages that Bill@OWEN mentioned. JMHO
energy

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Sam
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posted 23 March 2001 09:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sam   Click Here to Email Sam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Al, I agree, but food for thought.
During the process most operators are required to check their own work periodically. Let's say that an operator is required to inspect every tenth piece(uncalibrated gage), but the inspector only makes one trip in the morning and one trip in the afternoon (calibrated Gage). What assurances/evidence do I have that the process is in control. IMO, using a non-calibrated gage, for whatever reason, can only create additional headaches.

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Bill@Owens
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posted 23 March 2001 12:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bill@Owens   Click Here to Email Bill@Owens     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you all for responding. In answer to some of your questions, our shop does not use set up personnel per' se. Each machine operator is in charge of the set up of the job as well as having the first part inspected. If the first part is non conforming to the print, then the operator is responsible for making adjustments to the machine or set up. Then, he/she will need to get another part verified before full production may begin. The non conforming part is then tagged as scrap. Once an operation has been completed, (but before it is moved to subsequent op's), the line inspectors take a random sampling of parts and verify the spec's. If they are acceptable the job will proceed to the next workcenter. There is also a final inspection prior to the product being used in assembly/ put on a shelf/ shipped to a customer.

Another facet to this question is traceability. Do I have to identify every gage used to check a particular job so that two years from now when we ship a part from the shelves, we will be able to trace a specific part from an order of parts back to the gages used to verify it? I think we would need a Cray supercomputer to store that level of information, and each part within an order of parts would have to have a unique serial number wouldn't it? As it is now, when an order of parts are completed and put into stores, the original work order traveller with it's associated serial number is trashed. Our computers will always be able to say who ran what parts on specific past orders and when, but we would not be able to pull one off of the shelf and tell you who ran that particular part. This is akin to a stock replenishment program where you have 5000 screws in a drawer. When you get down to 2500 there is an automatic re-order for 2500. How can you trace a particular screw to its original manufacturing processes including whether or not the gages used to verify that particular screw were calibrated or not? Even lot traceability has flaws due to the lot having been made over a period of a week for instance. You could have four different operators running the parts and two or three different inspectors using different gages to inspect said parts.

I appologize for the length of this question, but you must realize that his has been the first place I have come across where real questions and answers are being exchanged. This is my first experience with a forum, and I find it to be a great source of information. The format is very helpful to a beginner. Thanks again.....

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Bill@Owens
bill.wurtz@owens-ill.com

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energy
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posted 23 March 2001 01:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for energy   Click Here to Email energy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Again, I will draw upon my experiemce in my past life. As a manufacturer of life support equipment for the Navl Submarine force, we were required to provide chemical & physical certifications for all parts wetted by Oxygen/Hydrogen. For overlapping lots, I sent copies of every certification for that particular part. When we had our catastrophic loss of a nuclear sub, they imposed "Level 1" traceability. That was certification to that material by special serial number, traceable from the cradle to the grave. After a few years, they would fall back to the previous method. I never had a problem with sending mutiple certs. Your customer has to impose that kind of traceabilty requirements on you before you start tracking individual lots. At least for MIL-Q-9858 or Mil-I-45208. Why would you trash previous job travelers anyway? I would bag them separately, barring size restrictions. There's history there that can be used when "Memory" fails.Again this MHO.
energy

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Al Dyer
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posted 23 March 2001 02:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Al Dyer   Click Here to Email Al Dyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sam,

Point well take. I would surely not let an uncalibrated gage be used to verify a dimension during the production process.

In my situation the "uncalibrated" gages would be limited to the initial process set-up and verified with calibrated gages during in-process and final artical inspections.

The problem might be the paradigm of set-up personnel not wanting serial numbers on their personal property, as they may move from shop to shop. This is not to say whether they or right or wrong, just my past experiences.

In my perfect world (hahahaha) all gages in the facility would be calibrated, employee owned gages not allowed, and the company supplying all of the required gages.

This is one of those battles that I decided not to fight, but to work into the current process. It's all in the dynamics and requirements of individual companies.

ASD...

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Al Dyer
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posted 23 March 2001 02:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Al Dyer   Click Here to Email Al Dyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Boy, this topic has really evolved from the original post concerning calibration stickers!

anyhooo, a good discussion!

ASD...

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energy
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posted 23 March 2001 04:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for energy   Click Here to Email energy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay Al,
Back to stickers! We've all seen, and, I've done it...The auditor/Inspector sees the sticker, walks over and sees it is current. Bam! He hardly ever asks to see back up data. Maybe that particular one. That portion of the audit/inspection goes away. But, don't display positive indications of the calibration status and he will spend more time in your metrology department than he/she has to until they are sure you are compliant. And, we know we don't want that. Oil, water, etc..Use protected high visibility labels. You can't see the forest for the trees!

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Neil
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posted 23 March 2001 04:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Neil   Click Here to Email Neil     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To get back on the thread of calibration stickers. We are QS9000 registered and we do not use stickers on the gauges. The usual information found on the stickers is placed on the daily check record that has to be completed before using the gauge each shift. Anyway, it is naive to think that the an operator looks at the sticker to check gauge calibration status before using it. A good recall system that ensures that only calibrated gauges are available in the work areas is your only REAL assurance.

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KeithKokal@aol.com
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posted 24 March 2001 06:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KeithKokal@aol.com   Click Here to Email KeithKokal@aol.com     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Calibration stickers have been a problem on many types of small hand held gages since the beginning of time. In a production enviornment where labels are not practicle, gage pins, gage blocks, the instrument case has allways been acceptable. I recommend you put the labels on a shelf, or drawer where similar gages are and let your recall system do the rest. Any ISO or QS auditor that does not understand this and writes a finding is wrong. On a similar note, when we had our A2LA ISO Guide 25 assessment, our assessor wasted no time on labels. The real test of if your equipment is calibrated is in your records.

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spanky
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posted 19 April 2001 10:27 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In our facility we have engraved serial numbers on all our instruments and have each instrument in a piece of software that maintains records/traceability on when each instrument was last calibrated, the calibration frequency, etc. Our QS person then runs a monthly report on what needs to be calibrated and performs the calibrations. There are therefore NO out of date, out of calibration instruments on the shop floor. Each operator also performs a first of shift verification that the instrument is still in calibration, and exchanges it if it is not (as well as performing recall). We have never had an auditor insist that the OPERATOR know the calibration status, as long as it could be identified (via the software) and the system of calibrating instruments based on that software's report is strong. We went to this system after having problems with stickers, and our auditors have never had a problem with it... it satisfies the intent.

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Jerry Eldred
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posted 19 April 2001 11:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jerry Eldred   Click Here to Email Jerry Eldred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I quite agree. What is important is your confidence level that when a measurement is made, that it is right. The method (oversimplified) for doing that is through assuring proper traceability of the instruments, appropriate interval (establishes % confidence of unit remaining in tolerance for prescribed amount of time), and that only traceable measurements with appropriately accurate and stable instruments are made.

One of the historical methods for accomplishing this is through the so-called calibration label. With a label on the instrument stating the calibration status, the operators have historically been given the (reasonable) responsibility for knowing that when they make measurements to products that those are "good" measurements.

I think that criteria is a hold over from the old MIL-STD-45662(A) days. So much has evolved since that time that there are much better methods for assuring this. What has to be proven to an auditor is that measurements are "good." As the calibration sticker is such a time proven "standard" method, when you can show effective utilization of the "calibration sticker" method, it is short, sweet, and hopefully no questions asked.

But since the other method you mentioned is "out-of-the-box", although it is a good method, an auditor may be more likely to question. If for no other reason than because the auditor is not intimately familiar with it.

As factory automation becomes more and more universal, automated methods for assuring calibration is current on test equipment will become more common. And it appears that more auditors are becoming knowledgable about the automated methods.

There may be a parallel here at my work. We wear badges to show we are employees. But little by little, they are installing proximity identification equipment wherein I could have my badge in my pocket with a smart card chip inside, and the proximity identification equipment tells whether I am a legitimate employee or not, and consequently either opens a door for me or locks it to keep me out of unauthorized areas.

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sgiorgi
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From:Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
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posted 20 April 2001 06:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for sgiorgi   Click Here to Email sgiorgi     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is not necessary to have a calibration sticker on the instrument itself and in some cases it is impossible to do so.

A weight used to calibrate a balance cannot and it is pefectly acceptable to have the sticker on the box for it.

You must however be able to trace the instrument back to the box/cupboard where it is stored with an id number.

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