Instrument calibration leviosaWe all are probably aware that the only way we can verify that what we have manufactured meets the relevant design specification is to measure and/or test it.

And therefore, it goes without saying, that the only way we can be sure that we are measuring/testing it correctly, is to ensure the equipment used in that process is in current and relevant calibration.

This is all pretty standard stuff and most of us can appreciate the implications if we get this wrong. For example, the product can fail in service, the failure could possibly endanger one or more life's,... and endanger the environment or cause a fire,... or it could cause a processed batch of 'substance' to be rejected, costing hundreds, thousands or tens of thousand of Dollars, Euros and/or Great British Pounds.

Therefore, in understanding the consequences of failure, what equipment calibration and/or equipment service controls do we have in operation in the vast majority of businesses?

We tend to put paper stickers on instruments/equipment with handwritten comments on when the next calibration service is due. That's OK, but it is only part of the solution.

We may also have a calibration log stored in someones filing cabinet, or if we are lucky, the log entered on an excel spreadsheet on someones desktop PC. BUT are these measures really enough... really?... especially given the magnitude of the failure consequences? In some industry sectors, perhaps they are? In other industries, such as the Nuclear, Offshore Oil and Gas and Petrochemical sectors... they are probably not.

What is best practice?

Well, there is no one 'static' answer for this as best practice techniques change with time and technology available. However what we can say is that we will significantly improve our risk register if;

1. ALL equipment and instruments are tagged with a serial number

2. All serial numbers are recorded on a central database

3. The central database is visible to multiple/all users of the system, preferably within the company itself

4. The data in the database is linked to a Real Time, KPI dashboard management system, again, which is accessible to more than one user.

5. The data is fully entered and displayed in a manner that it easy to understand, and hence actionable by the users.

Points 3-5 are where most systems fall down, however this five point plan is what "Best Practice Calibration looks like at Leviosa".. read more