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We have a build approaching but one of our PSU's used in the function tester will be out of calibration in 3 weeks. Most likely we will complete the build whilst the PSU is still within it's calibration date but if the build overruns there is a danger that the PSU will go out of calibration.

I can send the PSU for calibration now but this will delay the build or hope that we encounter no major issues and the build completes before the calibration expires.

Realistically, calibration is based on probability. Calibrated now, so probably good for a year.

Extending a day or two past the calibration due date should not really adversely affect the test outcome but I am concerned about the legality.

Does anyone know what the legal impact obligation is during manufacturing with relation to the calibration date of test equipment?

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    \$\begingroup\$ First of all, there are no worldwide laws about that, so without knowing where you are from, no one could tell. secondly, this is really a site about EE design, not legal advice. Maybe people on the new law.EE know, but I am not sure about their policy, they surely will not give any binding legal advice, and really, you should ask someone you pay for giving binding legal advice than to rely on random people on the interwebs that might think this or that. \$\endgroup\$ – PlasmaHH Jul 21 '15 at 10:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ask yourself why it needs to be in calibration in the first place. Not everything is calibrated, so why this item? Surely not just because the manufacturer could calibrate it. Who or what is actually driving that requirement? Ask them how important it is. If you decided it's required by law, then you're out of luck. If not, perhaps the requirement can be relaxed, or satisfied by analysis. Perhaps you can transfer calibration yourself, and record that. \$\endgroup\$ – tomnexus Jul 21 '15 at 10:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @tomnexus thanks for the feedback. We are based in the EU, I appreciate this is not a legal forum but it is more an electronic test manufacturing question. As a matter of course, for me, test equipment should be calibrated. It an item calibrated because it could be calibrated. \$\endgroup\$ – Quantum4 Jul 21 '15 at 12:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you have a calibrated voltmeter (ditto ammeter if appropriate) you can use it to independently verify the actual PSU voltage. If you document this as part of the process for this one build you have a strong case that there was no probability involved in (this aspect of) the process. \$\endgroup\$ – user_1818839 Jul 21 '15 at 12:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ One alternative or back-up plan is to rent an in-calibration psu. \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Jul 21 '15 at 14:35
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IANAL, but it seems to me that the only legal impact of using an out-of-calibration power supply would be the extent to which it violates the terms of the specific contracts you have in place with your customers.

Outside of that, you simply need to evaluate the risk that the power supply will actually be outside of its performance specifications, and the extent to which this will affect the specifications of the gear you're producing and/or testing with it.

It isn't as though the power supply will suddenly change its characteristics on the day that its certificate expires — the date on the certificate is just a conservative estimate on how fast the unit's parameters drift or age with time. You could conceivably go ahead and do the production run past the date on the certificate, and then have the calibration lab tell you whether it was in fact out of calibration afterward. If not, then you have no exposure at all.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Note it could be pretty subtle what you've contracted for. For example, if you advertise that you're an ISO9000 facility, and your documented procedures say you use calibrated instruments, you shouldn't be surprised if the customer considers that part of the specification of the product they agreed to purchase. \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Jul 21 '15 at 15:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1, no one cares whether your test equipment is calibrated or not provided your end product meets its advertised specifications, with some exceptions such as medical devices. \$\endgroup\$ – whatsisname Jul 21 '15 at 16:51

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