Equipment calibration has always been a necessary part of maintenance. Regardless of the type of gaging equipment, calibration is a must for the purpose of maintaining quality. The accuracy of measurements taken with gaging equipment can start to degrade over time due to wear and tear brought on by extreme temperatures and harsh conditions. Without regular calibration, it can result in parts being made with incorrect dimensions. This can lead to costly rejections and repairs, as well as a decrease in product quality.
The following points will further explain the reasons gage calibration is important.
Gaging equipment is used in the field of engineering and design for measuring parts. Using gage devices is essential to get dimensional information and determine whether a part or an object meets a standard or a system. As mentioned, the accuracy of a gage device can degrade over time. Hence, to ensure that it provides accurate readings and is performing its job correctly, regular calibration is a must. This process verifies and restores the accuracy of the gage as needed.
Poorly calibrated gage creates inefficiency and can significantly impact quality and safety. When there’s no accuracy, the rate of rejected parts will be high. On the other hand, accurate gaging devices improve product quality. Also, they help with quality control as they can quickly spot parts that do not meet standards earlier in production. It is important to calibrate devices in order to maintain the integrity of readings and the accuracy of measurements.
OEMs these days are demanding suppliers and companies to establish calibration programs for their measuring equipment. According to ISO 9000, companies should continuously examine their programs for weaknesses and make improvements. Meanwhile, ISO 9002 states that suppliers must calibrate equipment and devices used for inspection, measuring, and testing at prescribed intervals against certified equipment. To help them stay compliant, some large companies hire specialists in calibration methods while others use calibration services.
Keep the Company’s Reputation
If a company doesn’t detect rejected or poor-quality parts, its customers soon will. These errors or inaccuracies can lead to costly consequences, including damaging a company’s reputation. To protect the company’s image, gage calibration is necessary.
Tips on Gage Calibration
How to choose the right calibration company? Take note of these tips:
- Ask for Certificates – When choosing a calibration house, make sure that they provide you with a certificate of calibration. This is important for compliance. The certificate must include the following information:
- The serial number and description of the gaging equipment
- The serial number of the gage used for the test
- Tolerances of the data or level of uncertainty of the calibration
- A statement of traceability to nationally recognized standard
- The serial number of the NIST test where the house based its standards
- Reference temperature
- Date of calibration
- Signature of the technician
- Test results
The house must also indicate that the gage was adjusted or recalibrated in the certificate.
- Look for Documentation – ISO 9000 requires calibration houses to document their methods and procedures in a manual. You should ask about them before enlisting their services. If unavailable, find a different calibration house.
- Consider Reputation – To date, there haven’t been any standards for calibration houses. That’s why you must be extra cautious. Reputation can be a good starting point when choosing a company. Still, don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions to gauge the company’s experience, expertise, and reliability.