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AS9100 Question Ref Only Tools in Inspection Room

RocknRon

Plastic
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Mar 30, 2023
We are a small AS9100 Certified Manufacturer. I have two questions. One, Our ISO Consultant has told we we cannot have any Ref Only Tool in the Final Inspection Room. Is this true? Are we not allowed to have ANY tools in Final Inspection marked as Reference Only? Two, We have a granite table that was certified to Grade B. We do not hold tight tolerance here and we have determined that a Grade B Surface Plate Table is adequate for our inspection. However our consultant says we cannot use a Grade B Surface Plate table to perform Final Inspection on. He states Grade B is for the Floor and Grade A is what we need for Final Inspection. What are your thoughts on this?
 
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We are a small AS9100 Certified Manufacturer. I have two questions. One, Our ISO Consultant has told we we cannot have any Ref Only Tool in the Final Inspection Room. Is this true? Are we not allowed to have ANY tools in Final Inspection marked as Reference Only? Two, We have a granite table that was certified to Grade B. We do not hold tight tolerance here and we have determined that a Grade B Surface Plate Table is adequate for our inspection. However our consultant says we cannot use a Grade B Surface Plate table to perform Final Inspection on. He states Grade B is for the Floor and Grade A is what we need for Final Inspection. What are your thoughts on this?
I'm no expert. And the standard is deep. But near as I can tell. You must be able to show that the plate Is calibrated on a regular basis (yearly). I can't find anything that states It must be a certain accuracy, for Instance a Grade A plate. But Grade B plates are pretty much shop floor plates. And Grade A plates are Inspection plates. Sooo there Is that.
 
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What do your procedures say? You can write what works for your situation, ship building is much different than optics.

Ours say:
Any uncalibrated tool should be marked for reference use only.
Any unmarked / uncontrolled tool should be regarded as being marked for reference only. (That sentence has saved us from a finding.)
Only calibrated tools shall be used for product acceptance......
 
The instrumentation needs to be sufficiently accurate to inspect to the accuracy required by the job. No more. No less. If the inspection requirements can be met with workshop grade equipment, but you choose to keep them in an inspection room instead of on the bench, thats all to the good.
 
You pay a guy to get you in compliance and want to argue with with him with internet advise for backup? Sounds like you want the bill to double next time..
 
It's all about what the QMS that you control says on the matter.

AS9100 primarily works to hold you to your own standards. You document a procedure - you have to follow the procedure. What does your procedure say?

Which I have always found funny with iso9100 When you can set your own standards and procedures, you can leave things wide open, but you have that little ISO9100 next to your name.
 
Which I have always found funny with iso9100 When you can set your own standards and procedures, you can leave things wide open, but you have that little ISO9100 next to your name.

There is certainly a limit about how wide open everything can be, but you are right. AS9100 or ISO9001 primarily serve to show that you follow your own procedures consistently; the standard dictates that you have a quality policy in place, but it definitely doesn't specify a level of workmanship.
 
We are a small AS9100 Certified Manufacturer. I have two questions. One, Our ISO Consultant has told we we cannot have any Ref Only Tool in the Final Inspection Room. Is this true? Are we not allowed to have ANY tools in Final Inspection marked as Reference Only? Two, We have a granite table that was certified to Grade B. We do not hold tight tolerance here and we have determined that a Grade B Surface Plate Table is adequate for our inspection. However our consultant says we cannot use a Grade B Surface Plate table to perform Final Inspection on. He states Grade B is for the Floor and Grade A is what we need for Final Inspection. What are your thoughts on this?
You can word your way round this sort of thing. As boosted says ISO is about proving you follow documented procedures rather than formal limits of precision. But you have to be reasonable about things if folk are to find the certification meaningful.

Which is where your consultants suggestions come in. By definition grade A surface plates are accurate enough for inspection purposes of "anything" made to what might be called normal levels of precision. Banning Reference Only tools and instrumentation ensures that any measurement made is inherently traceable.

Which makes life easy.

If a grade B plate is in fact suitable for your inspection requirements you have to write into the ISO document what tolerances et al are involved that make a grade B plate suitable and explicitly state the required accuracy of the grade B plate. Simply stating Grade B won't be acceptable in that way that Grade A is. Grade A is explicitly said to be suitable for inspection purposes. Your Grade B is good enough plate will be one whose specified accuracy falls into Grade B. For ISO purposes that doesn't mean any Grade B plate will do even though in practice that may well be the case.

If you have reference only instrumentation you need to define where they can be used. In many cases its perfectly acceptable to use reference only kit for preliminary setting up or to measure things with inherently wide variation to save wear and tear on the good stuff. But you have to be explicit as to what and where.

Given half a chance ISO documentation multiplies like rabbits on fertility drugs so getting into explit documentation in the main documents is always a bad idea. Have lived through a turbocharged version of the documentation expansion effect at DERA / DRA / QinetiQ where it was decreed that everything for 6 establishments should go into one document. The final master copy of which allegedly filled 40 filing cabinets, our departmental subset filled one with significant overflow. I'm convinced that the only sensible way is to use appendices or similar for the details.

Something along the lines of "Inspection shall be performed by qualified staff using suitably calibrated equipment as defined by the inspection requirements specified by the designer or to local inspection requirements A, B, C ... (et al to however many you need )" will avoid boatloads of trouble. So if you need to do things differently just add another appendix. If appendix B covers everything that can be done on that grade B plate then go for it. Just make sure that the drawing or process documentation says inspect to appendix B.

Always remember the ISO document is controlled. What it refers to isn't. Although you'd better make damn sure that the reference describes suitably accurate procedures for the job.

Clive
 
Not that I'm ISO anything, but I certainly wouldn't have Ref-Only measuring tools in inspection.

Think about it, how do you think a customer is going to react when he see's a mic or some other measuring tool with a Ref-Only sticker next to his part when he's in inspection.

As for the Granite plate, insisting a Grade A is required in Inspection, and not Grade B is just asinine.
 
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Did the consultant look at any of your drawings? Perhaps he realized you need a plate that is 1/10 the flatness of your tightest flatness callout. I’d just get the plate re-lapped.

And no you should not have any for ref only tools in final inspection. What is the purpose of having them in that room?

We’re ISO and AS9100, it’s not that difficult. For example all of my personal tools are for ref only. We have calibrated tools available in the shop to keep the auditor happy.
 
From where I come from, reference tools were things like scales, rules, tape measures and such. Mics, dial, digital calipers were never marked "for reference only", they got a calibration sticker slapped on them. IF they would not meet calibration requirements, they got scrapped and removed from the shop. A few of us came home with some pretty nice tools at times.
Like others said, it all has to do with how your manual is written. Like most shops, the manuals are over written by people that do not have a clue what they are doing. Just saying. I may be wrong.
 
We are a small AS9100 Certified Manufacturer. I have two questions. One, Our ISO Consultant has told we we cannot have any Ref Only Tool in the Final Inspection Room. Is this true? Are we not allowed to have ANY tools in Final Inspection marked as Reference Only? Two, We have a granite table that was certified to Grade B. We do not hold tight tolerance here and we have determined that a Grade B Surface Plate Table is adequate for our inspection. However our consultant says we cannot use a Grade B Surface Plate table to perform Final Inspection on. He states Grade B is for the Floor and Grade A is what we need for Final Inspection. What are your thoughts on this?
1. Your RFO tools should be controlled, we have ours under lock and key per policy.
Risk, RFO tools mistakenly could be used to verify product comformance.

2. Grade B surface plate acceptance, that is between you and your customer, if it is not in the AS9100d or ISO9001 standerd he or she(auditor) has no business talking about it. If you want to really shut them up list grade "B" as an acceptance level in "your" calibration procesures.
3. Your audior is doing a "supplier audit", most auditors at third party registrars are wnat-to-be ISO auditors, just have them find it in the standard, A good ISO auditor is going to spend time with your non-conformances, internal and external, looking for systemic issues, this could easly lead them to your control of measurement tools but it looks like your auditor is just going with what they know, pretty much just wasting your time.
 








 
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