We take measurements seriously
We pride ourselves on manufacturing high-quality products. To keep this up, we have to make sure our measurements are correct.
To ensure our measurements are correct and consistent, we verify our tape measures and other tools once per quarter. The quarterly Measuring Tool Verification Day is a serious day for our Quality Department. They spend the entire day ensuring that each measuring tool on the property is still in good operating condition and that the verification is documented properly. The tools we verify range from tape measures to calipers and micrometers.
We use a calibrated ruler to verify the tape measures, and we use a calibrated gage block set to verify the calipers and micrometers. There are processes in place for any tool that fails the verification. If the tool cannot be re-calibrated by us or by a third party, it is made inoperable and discarded.
Benefits of periodic verification
An obvious benefit of verifying measuring equipment is that it satisfies a requirement for the ISO 9001:2015 standard. But periodically checking your tape measures and other measuring tools is a great idea for all manufacturers, including those who are not working toward achieving or maintaining certification to a specific standard.
Checking equipment periodically benefits companies even when it isn’t required, because it allows employees to know that their measurements are accurate. Accurate measurements across the board help the company ensure consistent quality throughout the entire operation.
If it’s not documented, it didn’t happen. Keeping records of all calibrations/verifications/validations is extremely important. You want employees, customers, and auditors to know you’re verifying measuring equipment according to schedule. Furthermore, if it’s not documented correctly, auditors are sure to find it. As with any document, verification records for measuring equipment must be complete and they must be legible. Best practice is to test each measurement three times on a caliper or micrometer, and to record each of the three readings on your calibration form. The purpose of this is to ensure that the equipment reads the same each time. This translates into measuring your products consistently. A tool that doesn’t measure consistently is not worth using, and should be re-calibrated or discarded.