CR4® - The Engineer's Place for News and Discussion®


Previous in Forum: Buffer Storage Tank   Next in Forum: Assembly of Weldments and Significant Figures
Close
Close
Close
32 comments
Participant

Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 4

Checking Calibration of Tape Measures, Levels and Squares

11/25/2014 2:18 PM

Every time audit hits, this area is always marked as a negative as there isnt really a great way to show them that these tools are calibrated. Even though you know they are. But there is a product that just came out that checks calibration of these tools, mounts on the wall for all to use, and best part is on audit review it came up on the top lists of things they liked! Just thought I would share and see if there was anyone else out there that runs into this problem. Website for the tool is www.thecalibrationstation.com

Register to Reply
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 39679
Good Answers: 1573
#1

Re: Checking Calibration of tape measures, levels and squares

11/25/2014 2:36 PM

How does one calibrate the Calibration Station?

Are there labels/stickers to attach to the calibrated devices?

How is the calibration interval established?

Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - Don't Know What Made The Old Title Attractive... Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member United States - US - Statue of Liberty - 60 Year Member

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Across the street from Glacier National Park
Posts: 6364
Good Answers: 263
#2
In reply to #1

Re: Checking Calibration of tape measures, levels and squares

11/25/2014 3:17 PM

"How does one calibrate the Calibration Station?"
Hit it with a known good tape measure, level, and square.

Are there labels/stickers to attach to the calibrated devices?"
There are labels and stickers affixed when new... but they inexplicably migrate.

"How is the calibration interval established?"
Calibration interval should be set at event minus one hour, event being an erroneous measurement.

__________________
Semper Ubi Sub Ubi
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 39679
Good Answers: 1573
#3
In reply to #2

Re: Checking Calibration of tape measures, levels and squares

11/25/2014 3:40 PM

All valid except #3.

The calibration interval shall be one day prior to the audit. (I used to be a specification writer, it's shall, not should or will)

Hey, those labels are expensive. Why waste them?

Seriously OP, it looks like a good item to have.

Register to Reply
Participant

Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 4
#6
In reply to #1

Re: Checking Calibration of tape measures, levels and squares

11/25/2014 4:52 PM

When you first mount it you mount it using your master tools to level it, then tighten. Then they recommend checking it once a month with the master tools. If its off you just losen the brackets, set it right and tighten again. Basically, it makes a spot where any employee can walk up and check their tool. Has mounted basket for tool decals as well. Its nice because now all the tools arent being checked by one guy, which takes forever. Niw he is just checking the single unit. I sure know the auditor loved it!

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 39679
Good Answers: 1573
#9
In reply to #6

Re: Checking Calibration of tape measures, levels and squares

11/25/2014 5:19 PM

I'm curious what industry you are in.

Calibrated tape measures seem foreign to me.

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1876
Good Answers: 67
#10
In reply to #9

Re: Checking Calibration of tape measures, levels and squares

11/25/2014 5:23 PM

"Calibrated tape measures seem foreign to me."

Read the label, silly: Made in China

Unless it's migrated to somewhere else, like your computer. They are gregarious. Amorous even.

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 39679
Good Answers: 1573
#11
In reply to #10

Re: Checking Calibration of tape measures, levels and squares

11/25/2014 5:32 PM

Oh. Well, never mind.

Register to Reply
Participant

Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 4
#12
In reply to #9

Re: Checking Calibration of tape measures, levels and squares

11/25/2014 5:46 PM

Manufactoring :) You get marked down ever audit for not having a method to show them they are calibrated. Even though they are tagged that they are. So when they saw this station and that we could prove to them right there that they are accurate, they loved it and we didnt get negative marks in that area of audit.

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1876
Good Answers: 67
#13
In reply to #12

Re: Checking Calibration of tape measures, levels and squares

11/25/2014 6:03 PM

They don't believe your documentation? Too bad your tools don't require direct NIST traceability because then you'd have good reason to pack them and your 'show' tools off to NIST's Physical Measurement Laboratory in Gaithersburg, Maryland and be rid of them until next time, but be sure to get your tools back.

Your inspectors didn't demand your calibration station's metrologic pedigree? I bet they judge books by the covers, too. Morons. If it has blinking lights and a readout, it must be right.

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Hemel Hempstead, UK
Posts: 4108
Good Answers: 229
#4

Re: Checking Calibration of tape measures, levels and squares

11/25/2014 4:12 PM

Only seems to check the first 30 of 40 cm (a foot or so) of the tape measure, what if there's a stretched section in the middle?

__________________
We are alone in the universe, or, we are not. Either way it's incredible... Adapted from R. Buckminster Fuller/Arthur C. Clarke
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 39679
Good Answers: 1573
#5
In reply to #4

Re: Checking Calibration of tape measures, levels and squares

11/25/2014 4:21 PM

IIt's the first foot that goes out of calibration.

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 18963
Good Answers: 1104
#7
In reply to #5

Re: Checking Calibration of tape measures, levels and squares

11/25/2014 4:58 PM
__________________
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. A.E.
Register to Reply
Guru
United Kingdom - Member - Old New Member

Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: South east U.K.
Posts: 3306
Good Answers: 81
#8

Re: Checking Calibration of Tape Measures, Levels and Squares

11/25/2014 4:58 PM

Try this.

__________________
I didn't have a really important life, but at least it's been funny (Lemmy Kilminster 1945-2015)
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 5632
Good Answers: 561
#14

Re: Checking Calibration of Tape Measures, Levels and Squares

11/25/2014 8:38 PM

How do these things get out of calibration?

Register to Reply
Commentator

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Sydney, Australia.
Posts: 83
Good Answers: 10
#17
In reply to #14

Re: Checking Calibration of Tape Measures, Levels and Squares

11/25/2014 10:49 PM

The tab or hook on the end is probably the biggest contributor. Kinks aren't good - stretching seems like it would be a possibility. Readability goes with wear and tear of the scale - if you can't read it, you can't measure with it or calibrate it. We would also check the tape for straightness, broken bits etc. and the whole assemble for smooth operation.

Register to Reply
Anonymous Poster #1
#15

Re: Checking Calibration of Tape Measures, Levels and Squares

11/25/2014 10:21 PM

Of course calibration check of MMDs aka Measuring and Monitoring Devices are an important audit point in addition to other audit points as per ISO 9001:2008.However, I never come across measuring tape calibration check during both external and internal audit.

Register to Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Queensland, Australia.
Posts: 143
Good Answers: 4
#16

Re: Checking Calibration of Tape Measures, Levels and Squares

11/25/2014 10:43 PM

Calibration auditing of basic engineering tools? Good lord, what is the world coming to!?

A tape surely could not be out anymore than a couple of mil out over a few metres, which I assume would be well within any tolerance for something you were constructing using such a rudimentary tool?

For a standard engineers sqaure, place it against a true/flat/sqaure edge, mark a line, then flip it the other way. If the marked line does not line up with the edge, the sqaure is out....bash it with a big hammer until it is sqaure again, or throw it in the bin and get a new one.

For a level (assuming a spirit level here), place it on a level surface, check where the bubble is, flip it. If the bubble is not in the same spot, the level is out. If it has adjustment, adjust it, if it doesnt, chuck it.

This is first year fitting skills we are talking about here.

A calibration auditor.....of basic hand tools? That sounds like someone who is trying really hard to justify their existence.

P.S. That website didnt work for me, so I could not suss out this mysterious magical calibration device, but I would like to.

__________________
Fish dont know they're underwater.......think.
Register to Reply
Guru
United Kingdom - Member - Old New Member

Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: South east U.K.
Posts: 3306
Good Answers: 81
#21
In reply to #16

Re: Checking Calibration of Tape Measures, Levels and Squares

11/26/2014 4:47 AM

Link is http://lixertools.com/ there's nothing magical about the device, just has traceability.

__________________
I didn't have a really important life, but at least it's been funny (Lemmy Kilminster 1945-2015)
Register to Reply
Participant

Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 4
#25
In reply to #16

Re: Checking Calibration of Tape Measures, Levels and Squares

11/26/2014 9:21 AM

It is a part of any ISO 9001 audit. They look at any devices, even the simple ones, and want to see an appropriate procedure for them.

Register to Reply
Guru
Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member Engineering Fields - Piping Design Engineering - New Member

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Richland, WA, USA
Posts: 19903
Good Answers: 748
#18

Re: Checking Calibration of Tape Measures, Levels and Squares

11/25/2014 11:42 PM

Who conducts your audits--Inspecteur Clouseau?

__________________
In vino veritas; in cervisia carmen; in aqua E. coli.
Register to Reply
Anonymous Poster #2
#19
In reply to #18

Re: Checking Calibration of Tape Measures, Levels and Squares

11/25/2014 11:43 PM

Hey, it could be worse--Inspecteur Javert!

Register to Reply
Guru
Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member Engineering Fields - Piping Design Engineering - New Member

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Richland, WA, USA
Posts: 19903
Good Answers: 748
#20
In reply to #19

Re: Checking Calibration of Tape Measures, Levels and Squares

11/25/2014 11:44 PM

That's nothing--it could be Nurse Ratched.

__________________
In vino veritas; in cervisia carmen; in aqua E. coli.
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 5632
Good Answers: 561
#22

Re: Checking Calibration of Tape Measures, Levels and Squares

11/26/2014 7:32 AM

Checking calibration of a level is easy. Find a flat level surface (or one that can be adjusted until it reads level). Now, turn the level 180 degrees. If it still reads level, it's level.

Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru
United Kingdom - Member - Old New Member

Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: South east U.K.
Posts: 3306
Good Answers: 81
#27
In reply to #22

Re: Checking Calibration of Tape Measures, Levels and Squares

11/26/2014 10:55 AM

I turned it 180┬░, now it's upside down.

__________________
I didn't have a really important life, but at least it's been funny (Lemmy Kilminster 1945-2015)
Register to Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Fans of Old Computers - PDP 11 - New Member Technical Fields - Architecture - New Member Hobbies - HAM Radio - New Member

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Maine, USA
Posts: 2122
Good Answers: 69
#23

Re: Checking Calibration of Tape Measures, Levels and Squares

11/26/2014 7:44 AM

We don't need no steenkin' calibrated tapes!

__________________
Tom - "Hoping my ship will come in before the dock rots!"
Register to Reply
Guru
United Kingdom - Member - Old New Member

Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: South east U.K.
Posts: 3306
Good Answers: 81
#24
In reply to #23

Re: Checking Calibration of Tape Measures, Levels and Squares

11/26/2014 8:10 AM

Must have the same builder.

__________________
I didn't have a really important life, but at least it's been funny (Lemmy Kilminster 1945-2015)
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 593
Good Answers: 15
#26

Re: Checking Calibration of Tape Measures, Levels and Squares

11/26/2014 10:48 AM

This is the kind of thing a DIY-er never thinks of.

In general, what is the accuracy of the tape measures we buy for $.99 (or $19.99 - how much can you pay for a consumer-grade tape measure?) at Walmart or ACE Hardware?

__________________
Ignorance is no sin. Willful ignorance is unforgiveable.
Register to Reply
Guru
Canada - Member - New Member

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Canada but south of 49
Posts: 726
Good Answers: 17
#28

Re: Checking Calibration of Tape Measures, Levels and Squares

11/26/2014 11:00 AM

Oh yes, the ever present argument!! Calibration generally means that you can make adjustments to the instrument. I had this discussion with external auditors many times when we first became ISO 9001 certified, and, eventually I got the agreement from the auditors that one cannot "calibrate" these basic measuring tools indeed cannot be "calibrated" but only checked or verified for accuracy. If a tape measure isn't correct, you really can't "adjust" it. Well, you probably might be able to if you spent a lot of time with the end hook, but I have always found it less expensive to just replace it. Squares, yes you may be able to tweek them, but for the price of replacing, it doesn't make any sense, at least to me. For your basic bubble levels, unless you have purchased a really expensive one which has the capability of having the bubble adjusted, again, replace it.

Yes we have to have something to check these against, traceable to some standard and since I do not want to spend the $ on procuring and "maintaining" them, I found a company that does have the required equipment and I just take them in and have my "master" pieces of equipment checked which in turn is used to verify the equipment actually used in fabrication.

All you can do is set up a record sheet showing the ID number of the tool, establish a check frequency and record your findings, whether acceptable or you replaced it. In our documentation, we call these instruments "non precision".

Previously in another company, I made it a policy that inspectors shorter tape measures were removed from service every month, and just replaced. Again, this was a financial decision. Documentation from the manufacturer always satisfied the auditors.

__________________
Never stop learning
Register to Reply
Guru
Technical Fields - Project Managers & Project Engineers - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 631
Good Answers: 33
#29

Re: Checking Calibration of Tape Measures, Levels and Squares

12/03/2014 4:29 PM

Not to be a name dropper but I once had a few beers with the guy that patented the magnetic end tape measure that has become popular recently. I am not going to drop his name because I don't remember it. I could look it up but it does not matter to me and I am sure he does not remember my name either.

We were part of a larger party on the roof of a hotel in Indianapolis, I don't remember the name of the hotel either.

Maybe it was quite a few beers...

__________________
Hey Isaac, catch! ...oops, that's gonna leave a mark...
Register to Reply
Guru
Technical Fields - Project Managers & Project Engineers - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 631
Good Answers: 33
#30

Re: Checking Calibration of Tape Measures, Levels and Squares

12/03/2014 4:39 PM

I forgot to mention it was the night before... or the night of the Indy 500...da beers...But anyway, the calibration practices the racing industry uses could and maybe should be an example how to properly maintain a properly calibrated tool crib.

__________________
Hey Isaac, catch! ...oops, that's gonna leave a mark...
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Lost Wages Nevada
Posts: 1501
Good Answers: 51
#31

Re: Checking Calibration of Tape Measures, Levels and Squares

12/21/2014 10:50 PM

Ok here it goes. Working in the motion picture biz we all calibrated our tape measures so that when two different people are working on a project that must match or fit together in some way. Also when I was programming CNC routers for an ikea style of furniture company there were tape measure calibration stations all over the shop. The biggest culprit was a tape measure that was recently dropped and the tip or hook gets bent causing it to read incorrectly. Every employee was trained in the art of tip repair and they were held accountable for their tape measure being accurate and the supervisor would do random spot checks. Very rarely would a tape measure be the issue when the build would not fit. It was typically operator error in reading the tape measure. I rarely have fit issues in anything I build because I keep my tools calibrated including my tape measure.

__________________
Though it does seem he frequently has a Swiss Army knife or Leatherman and a roll of duct tape with him.
Register to Reply
Guru
Canada - Member - New Member

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Canada but south of 49
Posts: 726
Good Answers: 17
#32

Re: Checking Calibration of Tape Measures, Levels and Squares

07/21/2015 9:46 AM

Had some time today, so I looked at the video. I think there is a misnomer here,,, I do believe what they have is a "verification station".

__________________
Never stop learning
Register to Reply
Register to Reply 32 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Anonymous Poster (2); claritysable (1); Doorman (1); europium mkII (2); jvejil (3); Kevin LaPaire (2); lyn (5); Lynn.Wallace (1); Malcolm Stephen (1); Massey (2); Nigh (4); Original_Macgyver (1); Randall (1); Rixter (2); SolarEagle (1); Tom_Consulting (1); Tornado (2)

Previous in Forum: Buffer Storage Tank   Next in Forum: Assembly of Weldments and Significant Figures

Advertisement