Jump to content

  • Quick Navigation
Photo

Calibrating scales

Share this

  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

bettyjaneqa

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Active
  • 2 posts
  • 0 thanks
1
Neutral

  • United States
    United States

Posted 09 July 2024 - 04:50 PM

I work for a small confectionary production facility and the owner wants to get SQF certified (Module 2 and 11). One of the things we need is scale calibrations. I know these should be done externally, but the owner wants to do it internally since it would be cheaper. I have looked through the code and have not found anything that says these calibrations have to be done externally. The code just states the methods have to be documented and met national/international reference standards. Can we do this internally? If not is there a clause that I can use to show we need it externally?



PrplomSolved

    Grade - MIFSQN

  • IFSQN Member
  • 56 posts
  • 2 thanks
13
Good

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Athens, GA

Posted 09 July 2024 - 05:45 PM

I work for a small confectionary production facility and the owner wants to get SQF certified (Module 2 and 11). One of the things we need is scale calibrations. I know these should be done externally, but the owner wants to do it internally since it would be cheaper. I have looked through the code and have not found anything that says these calibrations have to be done externally. The code just states the methods have to be documented and met national/international reference standards. Can we do this internally? If not is there a clause that I can use to show we need it externally?

I know in our laboratory it was explained to us that there are further specifications and much more added work to be a 'calibration' anything. We 'validate' the scale/balance by testing NIST traceable weights on the scale but still have a 3rd party come and calibrate annually. Now I know you're a food processing facility but I would believe you would be held to a similar standard to calibrate internally. 

 

I hope someone could clarify from the production standpoint, I work in a 3rd party food micro lab. Hope this helps though :)


Austin N.

Principal Laboratory Technician 

AEMTEK Athens


MDaleDDF

    Grade - PIFSQN

  • IFSQN Principal
  • 592 posts
  • 224 thanks
462
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Male

Posted 09 July 2024 - 05:46 PM

What are your qualifications to do this?    I don't honestly see how you can do it yourself unless you have some sort of background, training, etc...

And how much savings are we talking, a few hundred bucks?   I think my bill to do every scale in my building last year was like $900?   And we have a lot.

The mantra of "we don't know what we're doing really, but hey, it's cheaper..." may be a dangerous one...



souswes

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Active
  • 14 posts
  • 1 thanks
2
Neutral

  • Earth
    Earth

Posted 09 July 2024 - 06:07 PM

I know in our laboratory it was explained to us that there are further specifications and much more added work to be a 'calibration' anything. We 'validate' the scale/balance by testing NIST traceable weights on the scale but still have a 3rd party come and calibrate annually. Now I know you're a food processing facility but I would believe you would be held to a similar standard to calibrate internally. 

 

I hope someone could clarify from the production standpoint, I work in a 3rd party food micro lab. Hope this helps though :)

We do similar at my facility. NIST weight to verify calibration. The program is written so that if any scales are non-conforming they are tagged and removed from production and a third-party is called. Never had an issue with this. 

Seafood facility. 



G M

    Grade - PIFSQN

  • IFSQN Principal
  • 596 posts
  • 114 thanks
174
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Male

Posted 09 July 2024 - 06:32 PM

One way or another you will end up paying for external services.  If you don't have some third party calibrate the scales, then you will need to have the weights you use to perform the calibration yourself certified, and possibly the person performing them will need to be officially qualified or licensed.



MDaleDDF

    Grade - PIFSQN

  • IFSQN Principal
  • 592 posts
  • 224 thanks
462
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Male

Posted 09 July 2024 - 06:44 PM

We do similar at my facility. NIST weight to verify calibration. The program is written so that if any scales are non-conforming they are tagged and removed from production and a third-party is called. Never had an issue with this. 

Seafood facility. 

yeahhhhh, that's verification, not calibration.   Big difference....   I do that every Friday on every scale in my facility.   If you have never had an issue with this, I'm surprised, or an auditor just hasn't caught you yet.....


Edited by MDaleDDF, 09 July 2024 - 06:45 PM.


SQFconsultant

    SQFconsultant

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 4,769 posts
  • 1157 thanks
1,174
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Just when I thought I was out - They pulled me back in!!!

Posted 09 July 2024 - 07:50 PM

Owner is correct, you can most certainly do your own calibrations, write a procedure for it, establish how often,  often, create a log for it, etc.

 

All you need to do is find out how to calibrate and begin. 


All the Best,

 

All Rights Reserved,

Without Prejudice,

Glenn Oster.

CONSULTANT

 

https://t.me/MVIDigitalWarrior

 

 

 


kingstudruler1

    Grade - PIFSQN

  • IFSQN Principal
  • 893 posts
  • 298 thanks
276
Excellent

  • United States
    United States

Posted 10 July 2024 - 01:52 AM

ill only add that if you are using the scale weight as the sell weight, they would need to be legal for trade and there is usually a state agency that will want to check them throuought the year.  


  • G M likes this

eb2fee_785dceddab034fa1a30dd80c7e21f1d7~

    Twofishfs@gmail.com

 


jfrey123

    Grade - PIFSQN

  • IFSQN Principal
  • 728 posts
  • 197 thanks
366
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sparks, NV

Posted 10 July 2024 - 03:58 AM

ill only add that if you are using the scale weight as the sell weight, they would need to be legal for trade and there is usually a state agency that will want to check them throuought the year.  

 

100% this, and I'll add on to mention that the scales used in processing prior to your sale weight scale(s) need to be calibrated and accurate from a traceability perspective.

 

In house verification is all I've ever written programs for.  You absolutely can create your own in-house calibration program, same way some facilities do their own EMP monitoring for pathogens in-house.  But maintaining calibration of your own scales is not a light task, nor would the supporting documentation and training be easy.  Having never done one, I could see an auditor wanting some form of certification that your employee responsible for calibration is able to do it properly.  I think that's why so many of us opt for third party companies to calibrate the scales.


  • G M likes this

Dorothy87

    Grade - MIFSQN

  • IFSQN Member
  • 187 posts
  • 54 thanks
56
Excellent

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:York
  • Interests:Antiques, Art, Sailing, Furniture renovation

Posted 10 July 2024 - 08:42 AM

;) 

 

how many scales do you have? I would avoid procedures, training, monitoring etc and calibrate them once a year by external service...

 

external service for a few scales shouldn't be that expensive



Scampi

    Fellow

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 5,621 posts
  • 1537 thanks
1,650
Excellent

  • Canada
    Canada
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 10 July 2024 - 12:06 PM

Check out the price of calibrated and certified weights (and know that those will have to be re-certified annually) and you'll see it's not cheaper than a 3rd party


Please stop referring to me as Sir/sirs




Share this


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users