To answer the question of past due calibration, we must first look at the calibration process. Calibration of equipment and instrumentation is a necessary part of the quality control process for many organizations. When equipment is sent for calibration, a technician will perform various tests to ensure 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. This process is performed at a regular time, or calibration, interval.
Calibration Past Due
Calibration past due refers to a situation where an instrument was not checked for calibration at the designated interval. The implication is that anyone who uses the instrument is unsure of performance accuracy or result validity. 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.
If any equipment is identified to have passed the calibration due date, there are a few different actions that must take place. Internal quality procedures may require a corrective action to be issued. 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. The best way to ensure calibration due dates are maintained is with an automatic alert system, saving personnel from using calendar reminders or written notes. An asset management tracking system can make the calibration due date process easier. Systems like Anytime Assets have automated alerts that alert managers when items are due for calibration. Within the system a manager can request a quote, schedule calibration, 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.