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equipment service dates

Discussion in 'ISO 9001:2015 - Quality Management Systems' started by Qbot123, Sep 9, 2020.

  1. Qbot123

    Qbot123 Member

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    Hi
    I was just after some opinions on this. On our equipment we obviously have calibration and service due dates, and have previously raised non-conformances when they've been used outside this date.
    However we have recently the discovered the part of the company that arranges the services (this department is outside the scope of the ISO certification) have windows around these due dates where the service can be performed. So potentially a service can be performed up to 60 days after the date specified on the instrument.
    I feel a bit uncomfortable about his.
    Just wondered what other's thoughts are.
     
  2. John C. Abnet

    John C. Abnet Well-Known Member

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    Good day @Qbot123
    Welcome to the site.

    Keep in mind that there is not a specific requirement for "calibration" within ISO 9001:2015.
    What is the risk? Is measurement traceability necessary? Is the equipment in question periodically verified between calibration periods? Is calibration needed (or can verification suffice)?

    I would recommend that first (if not already done) your organization assesses the risk specific to the equipment in question and determines if your organization is over-committing in regards to internally and/or customer established requirements. Are the dates for recurring calibration commensurate with the risk? As mentioned prior , is calibration necessary or can verification properly mitigate the risks?

    If the "part of the company" in question uses a software or Excel functions to track assigned due dates, and a due date for 12 pieces of equipment falls on June 20th, is it realistic to have all 12 pieces of equipment "calibrated" on that day? This is likely the reason they have defined a window.

    Food for thought.

    Hope this helps.

    Be well.
     
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  3. BradM

    BradM Moderator Staff Member

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    My opinion.... I think it’s OK to perform service a bit earlier than the due date. But I wouldn’t go much past the due date. Intervals are chosen for a reason.

    Now if an instrument is out of service (at a vendor to be calibrated) I don’t consider that past due. I am just concerned with instruments in active use past their due dates.
     
  4. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Calibration recalls based on dates create these superficially "bad" situations. Look at the data from previous calibrations and see how robust the equipment is before deciding anything.
     
  5. Rustle

    Rustle Member

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    If you know your provider is going to come up to 60 days after the date you have marked as due would suggest changing your due date to reflect this and if this isn't acceptable you need your provider to change their terms to check by the due date.
    I'm having problems with this a lot just now as servicing and calibration is behind in a lot of places due to COVID-19 lockdown. With my clients I'm just marking it up internally as an N.C. and the certification bodies are all being reasonable about it as outwith the clients control.
     
  6. Eric Twiname

    Eric Twiname Well-Known Member

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    Old thread, but new post so I figured I'd chime in.

    We always had a "one calendar month" window after the "recall date" built into the system to allow for scheduling delays bringing in an outside calibration service.
    The items to be calibrated flagged a month early, but there were so many gages to do that we often couldn't get the folks on site (two persons, two days each) due to their scheduling...building a month "grace period" into the system erased the problem without having to flag everything two months early (though that was a viable option).

    Second to Andy: review the gage history and risk...and see if some of the calibration cycles can be lengthened...saving money is always a good idea.
     
  7. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    ;)
     
  8. Liam S

    Liam S Member

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    A good way to cover equipment that is out of calibration date, is to carry out an Internal Calibration Test to bridge any date gaps.

    For example, if you have a Vernier that maybe passed its calibration date, then carry out 5 or 6 measurements on some 'in calibration' slip gauges and record your results. Then, attached your slip gauge calibration cert to your report/findings/results. Obviously depending on how complex your equipment is would depend on how in depth you would need to go with your own bridging calibration test.

    All this whilst obviously already arranging an 'actual' calibration test for your equipment to be done of course, but this should be enough whilst you wait :)
     
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  9. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    That's called "verification" Liam... No need to create new terminology for a well known technique. Well designed calibration systems include a "Recall Extension" form to provide the record and authorization for this delaying of calibration. Of course, if you don't use dates - which are not a good control anyways - you won't have to create such a bureaucracy.
     
  10. Liam S

    Liam S Member

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    I wasn't trying to change any terminology Andy. I was just trying to make it clear / explain incase someone wasn't aware of this without being rude.
     
  11. Eric Twiname

    Eric Twiname Well-Known Member

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    I understand Liam's "patch" for when things don't work right... and said patch will work (for verification, which is often all that is required).

    For myself, I find it so easy to not need the patch that I've never systematized it...
    That said, it would work...just like using a hammer to drive a screw will work (and yes, I've done that one, more than once).

    If the system doesn't work, use a patch while you repair the "real" system...but dig your heels in when someone tries to make the patch part of the system...that's my thought FWIW.
     
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  12. BradM

    BradM Moderator Staff Member

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    Good idea. Writing up an approach in advance should something still be needed and has exceeded the calibration date can be useful. A thought came to mind... maybe build it in somewhere that the customer/user understands and accept the risk until the "official" calibration can be completed.
     
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