Helping Clients with Instrument Calibrations
Every plant has some kind of system for maintaining calibration operations and data.
There are several different ways for managing calibrations and they differ greatly in terms of quality, efficiency, accuracy of data, cost- effectiveness and level of automation.
The ways generally used to maintain & manage calibration assets are through either;
- Pen & Paper – Time consuming, typing errors & calibration interval planning difficult.
- Do-it-yourself databases (Excel, Access) – Still time consuming, typing errors are common.
- Calibration module of a Maintenance Management System – May not meet regulatory requirements.
- Calibration Software – Improve quality & efficiency through streamlining calibration process.
Calibration software such as CMX Calibration Software is a tool that can be used to support and guide calibration management activities.
Documentation is an essential part of the calibration management process.
ISO 9001:2000 – “Records of the results of calibration and verification shall be maintained.”
Generally, 50% of a technician’s time is spent on paperwork
- Preparing calibration instructions
- Making notes of calibration results in the field.
- Documenting and archiving calibration results.
This time is dependent on the number of instrument requiring calibrations & the calibration intervals for different instruments.
Typical Calibration Management Tasks
- Plan works – Identify calibration items, data in CMX & applicable tools.
- Organize – Technicians & assign tasks – This may include inductions & other training.
- Execute – Plan & perform calibrations according to plan.
- Document – Calibration results stored in CMX for future reference & to schedule next calibrations.
- Analyse – Review calibrations for any corrective actions or to adjust intervals based on calibration history.
General challenges in managing calibration include;
- Number of Instrument.
- Planning & tracking each instrument calibration procedure.
- Documenting every calibration and the documents need to be accessible for auditing.
- Analysing & improving efficiencies to reduce cost & optimizing calibration intervals, reducing/increasing.
- Paperless calibration management – no manual documentation procedures.
- Analyse whether you need to increase or decrease calibration frequency – good instrument performance justifies reduced calibration frequency.
- Regulatory compliance (e.g. ISO).
- Create, manage and store calibration data safely and efficiently.
- No more typing errors when documenting calibration data.
- Streamline and automate the entire calibration process, reduce time spent from start to finish.
- Replace manual procedures with an automated and validated process.
- Cut production down-time.