Having the right and best equipment for the job is crucial to guarantee the highest quality level. Monitoring and Measuring Resources is the clause in the ISO9001:2015 that focuses on this. Regardless of the standard you are certified for, having proper equipment is crucial to do a good job. Make sure you manage it properly and calibration is done on the equipment.
Before a company can even start managing the equipment effectively, it is important to have a clear description and list of tools that need to be monitored. Especially in the definition, there are endless debates on which tools should be part of this calibration and which don’t. A couple of tools that are always up for debate are the roller gauge and measuring tape. Some claim they should be calibrated, while others claim them to not be that critical. Whatever approach you take, make sure you have a clear definition on this, and of course, this definition can change over time.
When the definition is clear, make sure all the tools within this definition are known and identified. A clear time interval for calibration should be set. Either based on time or usage is a great way to define this. The list should hold the important information for the organization to identify the different tools—and don’t forget to calibrate intervals. Most of the time, it also helps to list the brand of the equipment and the location where people can find it. Some common registrations we see are something like this:
|Name||Brand||Location||Supplier||Serial nr.||Comment||Picture||Next Inspection Date||Time Interval||Inspector|
Most of the time, a third party performs calibrations or inspections. Make sure you find a reliable party relatively close by. Together with them, plan the calibrations based on your needs. Some companies have breaks during which they can calibrate most of the equipment. Other great approaches are during holiday seasons or, if possible, when production is in a low season. Make sure you create a schedule that fits the needs and characteristics of the company.
When the equipment is selected and added to the calibration plan, make sure this plan is monitored. It is important that the equipment/tools are calibrated and inspected within the intervals to keep the quality of the products they are used for high. To manage all the tools properly, notifications on when equipment needs to be calibrated will help a lot. These notifications allow the company only to act when this is required. Also, this way, no equipment falls through the cracks, which means that it is less likely that uncalibrated equipment is used.