• Transformational Approaches to Calibration Management


Transformational Approaches to Calibration Management


S. Douglas Wheeler, President, GageList, Houston, TX, USA


Calibration, Quality Management, Third Age Computing


Aviation/Space, Chemical, Energy



Calibration management is a time-consuming and resource-intensive process; one that’s critical to successful quality programs, and a key requirement for ISO 9001. But many calibration software solutions are as much as twenty years behind the rest of the software industry. From klunky, outdated interfaces to complex functions that require intensive user training, legacy systems can often do as much to hold organizations back than as they do to reduce effort and cost. This presentation provides a dependable matrix of strategic criteria to drive better decisions for improvement of operational performance.

Historically, business process automation saves organizations 50% to 70% in labor costs. That range, of course, is based on an aggregate of low-percentage and high-percentage improvement results. Douglas Wheeler will discuss how Third Age computing can maximize the delta between mediocre process improvement results isolated to silos and significant improvements in performance on the organizational level.

Some of the organizational productivity factors Wheeler will focus on include:

  • Simplicity: Quality management, metrology and calibration are complex disciplines. The last thing these specialties need is another discipline to become an expert in. Simplicity is a key factor to evaluate when choosing software. Learn how to define, look for, and select the level of simplicity required for your calibration program.
  • Portability: In a distributed work environment with large plants in different locations, it doesn’t make sense to have software users tied to a desk. Multiple users need to be able to perform critical functions wherever the work is. Learn how portability will change the way you work.
  • Elimination of Silos: Calibration software decisions are typically made by the process owners and weighed in relation to how they affect a small number of people’s workflow. The reality is that calibration management and compliance impact many departments. Collaborative SaaS products eliminate the gatekeepers and allow many simultaneous operations performed in disparate locations, so operational tasks don’t stack up on one person’s desk and get prioritized not based on each task’s importance, but on how they impact the gatekeeper.
  • Collaboration: To create maximum efficiency, calibration software needs to allow multiple users to perform unrelated tasks in disparate locations, all at the same time. For example, an internal auditor should be able to produce reports and review certificates while a shop floor employee inventories gauges in a particular location, a purchasing manager determines which tools need to be replaced soon, and a technician performs and records calibrations. This sort of time compression is essential to organizational productivity, but most applications can’t do that. Scenarios that eat calibration time are often hard to spot; this in-depth talk will show you what to look for.
  • Leveraging the Cloud: Cloud-based products are easy to distribute and never require users to upgrade licenses or the equipment they run on. Understand some of the metrics used to perform cost-benefit analysis on SaaS vs. Desktop software.
  • Ease of Adoption: Web-based SaaS (software-as-a-service) products are accessible using any web browser and most require very little training, while desktop systems require IT involvement and are usually complicated enough that they require intensive training. Learn how to reduce your software training expense and free your calibration people to do more of what they’re paid to do.

The software landscape is changing in many ways. This presentation will help you use concrete evaluation criteria to select solutions that best fit your environment.