Ever missed a calibration due date? This is referred to as past due calibration. Past due calibration occurs any time equipment misses scheduled calibration testing. Concern is raised when this happens because instrumentation may not be performing correctly or giving accurate readings. If an instrument is used to pass or reject parts it is important to verify that it meets tolerances. This does not necessarily mean that an instrument is out of calibration if the due date has passed. The only way to be sure is to test calibration.
Why are Calibration Dates Important?
Calibration of equipment and instrumentation is a necessary part of the quality control process for many organizations. During the calibration process, a technician performs various tests to validate equipment accuracy. If testing shows that the instrument is operating accurately within specified tolerances, it is said to be in calibration. If the instrument operation is inaccurate, or can not meet specified tolerances, the technician will adjust or calibrate the instrument to correct the issue. When this happens, the equipment owner may need to review any of the parts tested with the equipment.
Once instrumentation is identified to be past the calibration due date, there are a few different actions that must take place. A corrective action may need to be issued per internal quality control guidelines. It must be determined if the instrument was used after the calibration due date had passed. Any work done using the tool should be identified.
The tool should be sent for calibration as soon as possible. If there is a waiting period, the tool should be taken out of rotation and clearly marked as past the calibration due date. If the tool fails calibration, the Quality Department must determine what will happen with any orders or repairs the tooling was used on.
Manual processes make it difficult to track calibration dates, especially when there are hundreds or thousands of tools that require testing. In addition, ensuring that tool calibration occurs on time can eliminate unnecessary backtracking. An automatic alert system takes the burden off of managers or quality personnel to remember calibration due dates. Systems like Anytime Assets have automated alerts that make it easy for managers to identify upcoming calibration due dates. The asset management tracking system allows managers to request quotes, schedule calibration testing, or print shipping labels. Regardless of the solution selected, make sure that a system is in place to prevent calibration past due situations from occurring.
If you have any questions about what to do when encountering equipment that is past the calibration due date, contact e2b calibration.