What Is An Equipment Calibration Log?

An equipment calibration log is defined as an important document that is used for the purpose of documenting the various types of equipment that need to undergo a calibration process. It also records every kind of corrective action that was done for every malfunctioned equipment and logs down the equipment’s location for easier identification whenever it needs to be calibrated again in the future.

Advantages of Equipment Calibration

Here are the different advantages that come with proper calibration of equipment, especially when done at an accredited laboratory:

It avoids the costs of false accept and reject. False product acceptance occurs when a product or the manufacturing process is out of specification but nothing indicates it and no one is aware of it. False acceptance is especially costly because the defective product is shipped, resulting in significant costs for handling the recall as well as damage to the product and company brand. The possibility of a faulty product being used by consumers and causing harm to the consumer as well as liability to the company is perhaps the most serious risk. False rejection, on the other hand, occurs when a product is produced within specification but erroneous measurements falsely report it as out of specification. A good product is incorrectly scrapped at the expense of the company’s profitability.It saves money by increasing production efficiency. Profitability is improved by an efficient production process that is free of mechanical shutdowns. Calibration saves money by ensuring that test and measurement devices accurately measure and detect potential manufacturing problems before they occur. Rather than waiting for failures that cause production shutdowns, problems can be addressed proactively during normal maintenance times.It saves money by extending the life of the equipment. Calibration contributes to the longevity of various instruments and manufacturing equipment. As an example, we can have a look at how common motors are in the manufacturing industry. The rotating parts of a motor can become imbalanced and misaligned over time. The motor may fail unexpectedly if it is not diagnosed quickly using calibrated, accurate test and measurement devices. A calibrated and accurate vibration monitor or infrared thermometer will detect problems early on, allowing a low-cost tune-up to avoid costly replacement.It delivers a high return on investment. Calibration is frequently one of the most profitable investments a company can make. As an example, have a look at a potato product manufacturer who must heat millions of gallons of water to a specific temperature range each year. It doesn’t take much for a drifted thermometer’s inaccuracy to quickly add up to energy costs that are many times the cost of calibration. In summary, calibration helps increase profitability and ROI by saving money, increasing production efficiency, and extending the life of the equipment.It improves safety. Calibration-assured accuracy can improve safety by assisting in the maintenance of the proper environment for certain processes, particularly those that are hypersensitive. Lithium-ion batteries are an example of a hypersensitive process that necessitates precise measurement and control to ensure the safety of factory workers. Because lithium reacts easily with water vapor to form dangerous byproduct chemicals, lithium-ion batteries must be manufactured in an environment with less than 1% relative humidity. Companies that manufacture rocket fuel, on the other hand, require high humidity to control static and reduce the possibility of explosion. Precise environmental measurements ensured by calibration of these and many other hypersensitive processes aid in the safety of people.It helps organizations comply with government regulations. Government regulatory bodies that require strict adherence to regulations include the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In the case of the FDA, there are regulations in place regarding the precise chemical makeup of drugs. To help ensure accurate measurements and the safety of all those who take the drugs, the test and measurement equipment used to verify accurate measurements and the performance of manufacturing equipment that controls the chemical makeup of drugs must be calibrated on a regular basis. In the case of the EPA, there are emission regulations in place. Companies that use mercury in their manufacturing processes, for example, must calibrate the many sensors that monitor emissions to ensure that mercury does not escape and harm the environment and all who live within it.

Risks That Can Come With Lack of Equipment Calibration

Listed below are the different risks that can come when your equipment has been out of calibration for a long time or has been improperly calibrated:

It can affect the quality of products during the manufacturing phase. If you are unable to take accurate measurements, it is inevitable that your manufacturing or production processes will suffer, resulting in problems with the quality of your finished products. The presence of food and plastic casings are two examples of poor quality caused by the use of uncalibrated equipment, such as poor temperature regulation.It can affect the health of the consumersNot calibrating equipment that controls the temperature in storage areas with perishables is unsafe because it can lead to your perishable products spoiling, which can lead to an increased risk of illness for your customers as a result of your food spoiling. This can also result in your company incurring unneeded losses. Using uncalibrated equipment to monitor the proper temperature in a food or pharmaceutical storage unit will result in the spoilage of perishable items in your storage and endangers the health of your customers.It can cause harm to other equipment and employees. Using uncalibrated equipment will result in increased downtime and unexpected failures because it can affect and damage other parts of your machinery and lead to wastage, which can be costly for your business and dangerous for your employees to operate the uncalibrated work equipment.It can increase overall cost and maintenance. Poorly calibrated equipment can waste your company’s resources, time, and manpower, as well as spare parts. Because your equipment is performing optimally as a result of regular calibration, regular maintenance can reduce downtime, increase reliability, and help you save energy. Calibration of your equipment on a regular basis will help you save energy and lower your maintenance costs while getting the best performance out of it.It can lead to unsatisfied customers. You will almost certainly face criticism from dissatisfied customers for producing sub-par products as a result of your equipment not operating optimally due to a lack of timely calibration services. It is important to not let this happen because your customers won’t be able to wait long before switching to a different replacement product.

Different Types of Calibration

Here are some of the most frequently performed types of calibration done on equipment:

Steps in Properly Calibrating Equipment

What happens when measuring devices become inaccurate over time? It will need recalibration, of course. How extensive is it? It totally depends on how inaccurate the measuring device has become. How should it be done? Here are the steps to follow:

  • 1. Identify the Measuring Equipment

    Create a comprehensive list of every device in your facility that is used to measure something in this step. This includes thermometers, gauges, and other similar devices. Then, consider whether all of the listed devices are still useful. Devices that are no longer in use should be removed or labeled as not being checked for accuracy on a regular basis. Check with the managers, supervisors, and employees in the area before removing any device to ensure that it is not in use. One idea is to put a sign on the instrument stating that it will be removed unless management is notified that it is being used. The last thing you can do here is to label the devices.

  • 2. Determine the Calibration Requirements and Perform Accuracy Checks

    Ensure that the instrument is capable of handling the calibration standards in this step. A 100-pound weight on a sensitive table scale would be an extreme example. Similarly, if exposed to rapid temperature extremes, a bimetal or dial-type thermometer can be damaged. After that, run an accuracy check. Accuracy checks determine whether or not the instrument is reading the true or correct value at a single point. Checking the accuracy of a thermometer on a regular basis, for example, by immersing the probe in an ice slurry to see if the thermometer reads 32ºF.

  • 3. Outline the Methodology

    After performing accuracy checks, you can now determine the calibration methodology in this step. Each method of determining the accuracy of a measuring device should have clearly defined procedures that a trained individual can follow. The manufacturer of the equipment is a valuable resource for accuracy checks or calibration procedures. Keep in mind that these procedures do not have to be complicated.

  • 4. Perform the Corrective Actions

    When a device is identified as being outside of the acceptable range, a clearly defined corrective action is required. The obvious first step is to correct the device right away. If that is not possible, consider whether it should be used. If you decide to keep using it, include a documented explanation of any resulting monitoring record as to the deviation.

    An often overlooked corrective action is determining whether product safety (such as critical control point measurement) or Quality Has Been Compromised. While conducting the investigation, all products may need to be held back to the last acceptable, documented check/calibration of the device.

  • 5. Perform a Verification Process

    This step includes many more steps, such as ensuring that the personnel performing the check/calibration are following the procedures and are questioned about what they would do if the device was inaccurate, ensuring that the procedures and acceptable deviation range remain valid, and ensuring that the list of devices to be calibrated remains accurate.

  • 6. Document the Process

    The last step would be to document the entire calibration process from identifying the instruments down to the verification process. In documenting the calibration process, keep in mind that it should follow any established federal, state, local, or company requirements for the documents that have the ability to accurately recreate the history of the product.

FAQs

How often should equipment undergo calibration?

This is determined by the importance of the measurements to your product or service, the amount of wear and tear that the instrument will experience in service, the stability of the instrument itself, and a review of the calibration records that already exist to determine whether an adjustment was previously required. For most types of equipment, a 12-month interval is the starting point. If adjustments are to be made, a 6- to 9-month interval is required.

Which of my equipment should be calibrated?

Calibration should be performed on all types of measuring and testing equipment. This is due to the fact that the performance of measuring and testing equipment can change over time as a result of the environment to which it is exposed, wear and tear, overload, or improper use. The measurement and test equipment’s accuracy should be checked before use and calibrated on a regular basis or after exposure to influence factors.

What is metrology?

Metrology is a technical term that refers to all measurement-related activities and procedures. The ultimate goal of metrology, also known as measurement science and its application, is to ensure accurate, comparable, and repeatable measuring results. Metrology is classified into three types: scientific, industrial, and legal metrology.

Calibration is important because it helps assure accurate measurements and they are required for most types of research, development, and innovation. It is also required for the safe and profitable production across all industries that we benefit from every day. It is also equally important that an equipment calibration log be made after the process. As said earlier in this article, this is because nearly all companies require documentation of their activities, especially ones that are as extensive as calibrating equipment. In this article, you can acquire ready-made examples of an equipment calibration log so that you can have something to use as a reference when you need to make one.