A torque wrench is one of the most versatile, universally used tools in the manufacturing and aviation industries. While they may not seem that complex, these tools need to be accurate to ensure that fastenings will hold. This requires ensuring that just the right amount of torque, not too little or too much, is applied. To ensure that fastenings are tightened to the correct level, it is important to maintain a torque wrench properly.
Dropping a torque wrench is one of the most common ways to damage reading accuracy. Opinions differ as to how fast this can throw off accuracy. Some managers and technicians believe that a single drop can render a wrench useless, while others think that damage only results after multiple incidents. Even though these opinions differ, most people agree that impacts from falls will damage accuracy.
To minimize instances of wrench to floor contact, use a tool belt, box, or chest to move tooling between jobs or locations. While it may seem tedious, it’s the best way to ensure that tooling doesn’t get damaged. Make sure to keep the torque wrench in a secure place, such as the options listed above, when not in use.
Proper storage differs based on how often you use your torque wrench. If you don’t use it often, less than once per month, the wrench should be wound down before being put away. Don’t wind down to zero, instead wind down to the least setting. The winding down prevents wear on the spring. If your wrench gets regular use, winding down is not necessary before storage.
Avoid Loaning Tools
If you provide your own tooling, this will be incredibly simple. As hard as it can be to say no when someone asks to borrow a tool, it is the only way to ensure that nothing will happen. Speaking from personal experience, people tend to care less about tools that they do not own. If a person that is borrowing a tool drops or damages it, they may forget (intentionally or not) to let you know.
Check Shared Tools Before Use
The best practice if you are in a situation where you must loan a tool, or are using company issued tools, is to check accuracy before you need to use the tool. The simplest way to do this is to check the torque wrench against another wrench that is known to be in spec.
Torque Wrench Calibration
The best way to ensure that a torque wrench is working correctly is by calibration. During the calibration process, the wrench is checked to determine if it is within standards. If the tool is not within spec, the company is notified. The calibration lab will adjust or repair the wrench to make sure that it meets necessary standards.
Although there is a routine calibration cycle for this type of tooling, calibration needs may differ on use. Technicians that use their tooling more frequently often shorten calibration intervals on their equipment. If equipment is thought to be damaged or out of calibration, it can always be sent in for inspection.