Extending Calibration Schedule Base on First Use Date

by Tim

I’d like to know whether it’s an acceptable practice to store a piece of calibrated equipment for a period of time, then “start the clock” on the calibration interval when the equipment is used for the first time. For example, you have a pressure gage, torque wrench, or micrometer that was calibrated on 6/1/15. The next calibration due date shown on the label and the certificate of calibration is 6/1/16 (1 year). After calibration, this piece of equipment gets placed in storage and is not used. On 9/1/15 there is a need to begin using this piece of equipment. It’s been suggested to me that the calibration can be considered valid through 9/1/16 because the item’s use does not exceed 1 year. Of course records would be kept to reflect the in-service date, and the label would be edited to show the new calibration due date. As I’ve never seen a calibration program where this is done, I question w

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First Use Date
by: Jack Jones

Hi Tim, I am currently studying this specific topic as part as my Final Project for my foundation degree in Metrology. I think there is a real benefit to be had from introducing a 'first use date', however, there are some equipment(s) that i have opted to avoid. These equipment's are specifically if they then go on to calibrate other equipment e.g. Gauge Blocks. The risk is amplified when adding multiple equipment's into the traceability chain. I have also opted to avoid electronically controlled dimensional equipment as have found decay of components over time for electrical components is a topic all of its own. There is some real cost saving benefits to introduction on equipment such as micrometers, verniers etc.

Bexcellence.Org response
by: Robert

Great question!

I haven't come across this either. However below are my thoughts

This is a system related issue. Does the company's calibration system documentation actually state they allow for this? Does it state how they handle delay use and extension of the calibration schedule. Is this extension reviewed and approved by the authority (not the calibration tech) but by Quality Assurance. Does the system keep accurate records that include the reasoning for the due date extension?

The company determines the calibration frequency, but this is predetermine based on multiple factors. The company should have documentation that describes the frequency and exceptions to that frequency. The documentation should describe how they shorten or extend calibration schedule. In my opinion, some authority must review any extension of the calibration schedule.

Also I be concerned with storage and exactly how they prevent the use of the instrument until the first "check out" date.

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