As it relates to ISO 9001:2008, "calibration" is the relationship between a set of operations and the related values realised by International Organization for Standardization (ISO) requirements. The website ISO 9001 Help characterises ISO calibration requirements as pertaining to the safety and structural integrity of equipment used in a laboratory or industrial settings to measure the volume of a given material. Several private companies also offer ISO-compliant calibration services.
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Overview of the Standard
ISO 9001 covers the calibration of any machine used for industrial production; the ISO characterises Standard 9001 calibration requirements as generic and intended to apply to all organisations. ISO calibration requirements work as part of a system that consistently provides a product that meets customer requirements as well as any legal requirements and aims to enhance customer satisfaction by consistently improving production machinery.
Calibrating Your Machines
A company may either initiate its own calibration checks or may employ an outside firm to do the testing. Costal Calibration Laboratories (CCL) is a company that specialises in ISO 9001calibration; according to CCL, having an outside organisation calibrate your company's equipment adds credence to your claim of ISO compliance. CCL and similar calibration companies also offer training for your employees if you would rather handle the job yourself.
ISO 9001 Calibration Requirements
ISO 9001 requires calibration for gage blocks, micrometers, pin gages, calipers and thread gauges; according to Industrial Calibration Services (In-Cal), the standard also calls for calibration of a variety of digital measuring devices, including voltmeters, oscilloscopes and power supplies. The standard also governs calibration of mechanical gauges, transducers and other measurement tools, even those relating to the temperature of ovens and other heat controllers. In-Cal also recommends additional calibration for manufacturing and testing equipment such as furnaces and presses.
Frequency and Validity of Calibration
The ISO requires surveillance audits every three years to check for compliance. This means you will need to recalibrate your machines and tools at least every three years to maintain your ISO compliance. According to QC Inspect, the purpose of these audits is to assure your entire operation is maintained in compliance with ISO 9001; a third party, such as ISO QAR can perform these audits. The website ISO 9001 Help suggests testing your equipment at regular intervals whether or not an audit is imminent. ISO 9001 also recommends checking the validity of your external lab if you use one, as well as ensuring your equipment, once tested and certified compliant, is not tampered with and is adjusted as necessary in case the ISO updates Standard 9001.
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