Original Date: 05/01/2000
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Calibration Delinquencies
Calibration delinquencies are the result of equipment being in use beyond the calibration due date, and are directly related to the scheduling method for the calibration process. Previously at Northrop Grumman Defensive Systems Division (DSD), each equipment custodian received a due list that indicated which test equipment needed to be calibrated within the next 30 days. This handwritten method provided insufficient notification and was prone to data entry errors. As a result, delinquent items were a common occurrence. Late notices were then sent to organizational supervisors followed by second notices to the department heads. This reactive approach also created a strained working relationship among all involved parties.
In late 1993, Northrop Grumman DSD revised its method for scheduling equipment calibrations by setting up a two- step process. On the first day of each month, the equipment custodians receive a 45-day projection of the laboratory’s calibration needs. Additionally, a short list is posted daily and alerts the custodians to items due that day or the next, which have not been returned to the calibration laboratory. This calibration scheduling method enables three equipment custodians to handle over 6,000 items.
By using a proactive method, Northrop Grumman DSD decreased the number of delinquent items from more than 40 in 1993 to zero in 1996, and continues to maintain this level today. Additional benefits from this method include timely out-of-tolerance identification, reduced risk of using out-of-tolerance equipment, a 30% reduction in administrative tasks, and a good working relationship among all involved parties.
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