Torque calibration is critical to every type of manufacturing operation to varying degrees. Since the failure of an inexpensive fastener can destroy costly equipment, this is one area in which preventative maintenance, as well as monitoring, can save your company the embarrassment of equipment failure, can provide your clients with safe products and can prevent monetary penalties. A loosened fastener can be life-threatening to many end users of certain products.
However, the process can be tedious and time-consuming in-house. Many companies will complete audits for you in a very professional manner. There are many types of examinations for calibration of torque including :
• Electrical test and Measurement Equipment
• Pressure Calibrations
• Metrology Calibrations
• HV PPE Testing
• Torque Wrench Calibration
Some testing is required in a laboratory setting while others can take place on site.
How Does A Torque Calibration Audit Work? Fasteners
Torque auditing detects over or under torqueing of fasteners as well as indicating any fasteners that are absent. There are many industries in which the integrity of fasteners is critical. Think about the manufacturing of equipment that is used in life-threatening situations such as spaceships, submarines, and even the everyday passenger jet. In other circumstances, the failure of a fastener might not be, but the failure of a fastening would be very costly such as in the manufacturing of satellites.
In some industries, regulations for in-house monitoring demand that the company uses a torque verification system that records the data of each tightening and the calibration of the tool that was used. In the past, this was completed by workers and was open to human error as well as being time-consuming.
A more modern approach is to use software that validates the tool’s calibration setting. Yearly testing of the software system ensures accuracy.
Automobile Industry Torque Calibration
Most automobile manufacturers have a check on a specific safety part several times in each shift. For example, the bolt on the seat belt on the passenger’s side is checked in several vehicles one after the other as they leave the line. This is completed to maintain quality control of the product as well as to monitor the operational integrity of the plant equipment.
Factors that can Affect Joint Relaxation
Three conditions can cause fasteners to loosen and therefore there is a need for more auditing in these situations. They are temperature variations, whether there are lubricants in contact with the fasteners and the materials used in the joints. Some practical examples explain these conditions. In painting parts that have been fastened together, the heat from the painting process can loosen the fasteners. One solution to this issue is to check the torque reading both before and after painting.
From a different perspective, if the audit is carried out by an individual, distraction on the factory floor can cause errors in the audit process.
Software Assistance for Torque Calibration
Since many of the audits are still completed by humans, it is essential to assist the auditors with their task. Learning how to use the auditing tool in many situations is relatively simple but locating all of the fasteners to be checked can be a daunting task. Consider the fasteners in an airplane. Most of them would be considered as critical for safety. How does a staff member ensure that all will be checked? There are graphic-aided torque measurement software tools to display each fastener and in more sophisticated tools to present the required specifications as well. The software can monitor each fastener as it is tightened.
In some instances, such as attaching the wing to an airplane fuselage the correct torque is reached in a systematic manner. The fasteners must be tightened to a particular calibration in an exact order. Once this first round is completed, the fasteners are tightened again in a specific sequence. The software is programmed to guide the operator in this complicated task. Missing even one fastener would be critical to the integrity of the airplane.
This software also has the benefit for training. The system shortens the time significantly since the training is not dependent on the capabilities of human memory.
How Do You Maintain Your Tool Accuracy for Torque Calibration?
Each manufacturer of tools performs a series of tests to determine that the device is functioning correctly before it leaves the plant. There are strict guidelines to ensure the tool is working correctly, including using the fastener 25 times in hard and soft joints. Assemblers are advised to check the tools they use at least once a year and more often if they are heavily used or are used for critical applications. The calibration of these tools can be on site, or they can be sent to a laboratory that is certified for testing.
Since precise torque calibration is essential for many circumstances, it is important to establish routines in your plant that comply with regulations in your district. You can count on the professionalism of companies who specialize in this area to guide your policies.