There are several elements to putting together such a calibration and maintenance program that can help you to direct your resources to where they will do the most benefit. The following are some keys to putting together a solid program:
Put a program in place as soon as you start acquiring significant equipment so that keep things running smoothly and avoid costly repairs and quality control problems, and to get a validated CMMS system that can grow with your organization. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming equipment will keep running just because it has run flawlessly for months or years.
There are many bad results that can come of mismanaged calibration and/or maintenance including the following (not that these apply to regulated and non-regulated companies):
Unscheduled Downtime: A critical piece of equipment goes down. Production stops, and you are forced to schedule repairs ASAP. You pay premium prices for parts and labor, because the need is urgent. Some parts may have long lead times, or not be available. You may suffer reputational costs with customers waiting for delivery.
Out of Specification (OOS) Product: Quality control may indicate that product is not maintaining its historically high quality. If you have no calibration and maintenance program in place, tracking down the problem is substantially more difficult if you don’t have confidence in the readings that may be indicating that there is a problem.
Root Cause Analysis (RCA): Suppose you find product that is out of specification and you are trying to determine the cause. If there is no calibration and maintenance program in place, it is far more difficult to pinpoint changes that may have affected your production system. This can cause a very significant impact on your ability to correct the problem and regain your historical quality standards of production.
A dependable calibration and maintenance program using a validated CMMS system can go a long way to keeping your production and quality testing running. Alternatively, an inappropriate system can bog you down with paperwork, delays, unpredictable performance, and myriad other problems. Take care of your equipment and relax, knowing your management will be happy with the consistent quality that they have become accustomed to.