To ensure flawless products, we also need flawlessly operating equipment and gages. And in order to be able to transmit the corresponding calibration data easily, safely and conveniently, there is the guideline VDI/VDE 2623. This article reveals what exactly it is all about.
Okay, they are perhaps not quite as well-known as their relatives, the DIN standards. But at least most of us have heard of them: we are talking about the VDI guidelines. They contain trend-setting assessment and evaluation criteria for various fields of application, from drinking water to product development. They thus provide experts with valuable decision-making aids and the certainty that they are proceeding in accordance with a recognized rule of technology.
The Association of German Engineers (VDI) has been drawing up the guidelines since 1884. Fun Fact: they are actually pure “guidelines.” Thus, unlike DIN standards, VDI guidelines are not binding, but rather generally accepted recommendations. The “VDI/VDE 2623” guideline belongs in gage management, where it is intended to simplify the exchange of data by defining a fixed data format for the exchange.
Why do gages have to be calibrated at all? Calibration is done to ensure that what is displayed on the inspection equipment also corresponds to an international “standard” of the unit of measurement used. This is the only way that different persons testing the same products can also arrive at corresponding results. The company must therefore have individual inspection equipment for different measuring tasks with all the necessary units.
A lot of different data is needed to calibrate gages. And then, of course, many other results are produced during inspection, which in turn have to be processed. Often, this data is already available digitally – but by no means in a standardized form. This makes it difficult to process and forward the data. If the data is to be sent to a business partner, for example, an often complex individual solution must be found or even developed.
The remedy for this uneconomical and error-prone way of working is the VDI/VDE 2623 guideline published in 2012. The VDI update appeared in November 2020. The guideline standardizes the data format for gage management, using the so-called Calibration Data Exchange data format, or CDE data format for short. This makes it possible to exchange gage data securely between different applications and databases, even online.
Thus, if VDI/VDE 2623 is applied, a reliable and fast exchange of gage data between different systems (for example, departments, plants or calibration service providers) is ensured. For quality assurance, this offers the great advantage that all relevant data can be easily collected and summarized.
Inspection equipment calibration becomes particularly convenient when it is digitized – for example, with the BabtecQube or BabtecQ gage management software solutions. With the “Equipment & Gages” service of the cloud-based BabtecQube platform, all master data can be maintained at a central location, equipment can be monitored, and operational readiness can be ensured. As the icing on the cake, the complete history guarantees traceability and lifecycle monitoring. All changes of ownership and location, calibrations and inspections are automatically documented – optionally with photos, documents and comments.
Even if the inspection equipment calibration is carried out by external service providers, the uniform digitization of data in accordance with VDI/VDE 2623 brings enormous advantages. Once the equipment due for delivery has been compiled, the master data is simply transmitted to the calibration service provider in bundled form. As soon as the service provider reports back with the results and certificates in digital form, they are sent directly to the inspection equipment at the push of a button. To ensure that everything is transferred securely, the exchange with the BabtecQube is of course based on VDI/VDE 2623.