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Calibration of equipment - Frequency and specific equipment

calibration frequency equipment

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#1 DeeTeeQA

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 02:30 PM

Hello everyone,

 

I enjoy browsing the site for help with many issues that I am encountering as a QA, IFS PACsecure coordinator, and several other hats I wear on the job daily.

 

We are a small flexible packaging manufacturer (about 40 employees) and we are working toward our IFS PACsecure certification.  There are so many questions that have come up, I have only been with the company a little over a year.  They have always had GMP 3rd party audits, so going for this certification is rather interesting.  I get the whole, "Well we never had to do that before, why start now?",  or "We can explain our way out of having to do that, right?"  To which I answer, not the same standards as GMP, the auditor is going to look more deeply into why and how things are done around here.

 

On to the calibration issue, we just recently had our floor scale calibrate (or checked).  The scale came out accurate.  :spoton: So at least now we have documentation that states it is accurate.  We also sent out our 20# weight for calibration, so we have documentation on that also.  The 20# weight is used for in-house calibration.

 

We have the floor scale, a small shipping scale, a tensile tester and an oxygen barrier tester.  Does any one have any suggestions on frequency of outside calibrations on these instruments?  And do the micrometers used on the production floor need to be calibrated (internal or external) if yes, how frequently?

 

Our current schedule:

Floor scale: External - annually,  Internally - monthly (spot check, documented)

small shipping scale: internally - monthly (documented on maintenance system)

tensile tester: internally - monthly

Oxygen barrier tester: internally - every 3 months

micrometers: ?

 

Any help, suggestions and/ or ideas would go a long way in helping us out.  Some good reasoning behind suggestions will also help when making my case to management. :spoton:

 

Thank you,

Nita


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#2 Charles.C

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 03:09 PM

Hi DeeTeeQA,

 

This is a fairly frequent (!) question. Often associated with a desire to link the frequency with a risk assessment (RA).

In practice, afai can see, the initial calibration interval is often semi-arbitrary. Can try the first 3 threads below for some details/attachments (maybe some overlapping).

The RA aspect if desired is often achievable by a work-around (see last link).

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...ers/#entry87841

http://www.ifsqn.com...ion/#entry32861

http://www.ifsqn.com...ncy/#entry91867

http://www.ifsqn.com...ate/#entry56043


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#3 DeeTeeQA

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 05:10 PM

Thank you Charles.C.

 

Scanning the documents helped figure out the frequency of calibration and to some extent the spot-checking of the scales.

 

Do you have any ideas on the percentage of weight to use in spot checking?  The plant manager asked this question so we can have the designated weight on hand for checking the accuracy of the floor scale.  The floor scale maximum capacity is 5000#, we had the external company test the accuracy with 100#, 1000# and 2000#.  This worked for an initial calibration check.  For an internal monthly check, do you think we could get away with 50# or maybe 100#?  Then any deviation would warrant a call to the calibration company.  Is this about right?

 

Thank you again for helping with this.

 

Nita


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#4 Charles.C

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 05:57 PM

Hi Nita,

 

# = ? Lb ?

 

IMEX, the usual requirement is to prioritize for routine checking across the range of usage.

I doubt that there will be zero deviation, there is usually a tolerance.


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#5 DeeTeeQA

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 06:29 PM

I guess my question is this, if we have a floor scale that weighs up to five thousand pounds, would we be able to use a twenty pound weight to check accuracy?  We have a twenty pound test weight already for the small parcel scale and the tensile tester, hoped we could use that same weight on the floor scale.  Maintenance and Plant manager would like to know, so they can determine if we need a weight of greater value.

 

Thank you,

Nita


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#6 Charles.C

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 06:53 PM

Hi Nita,

 

It's like my previous post.

 

I assume you will use the 5000lb scale for measuring items  >> 20lb

 

So, IMO, the answer is No.


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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