Meets Nuclear Industry Assessment Committee (NIAC) Requirements
Organized in 1994 as a result of an industry initiative to share audits among members, the Nuclear Industry Assessment Committee (NIAC) has fulfilled its charter by performing supplier qualification activities at the highest industry performance standards while eliminating the redundancy and costs associated with duplicate audits.
Quality Assurance Program
PH Tool™ maintains a stringent ISO 10012 compliant Quality Assurance program governing the precision manufacture and accurate, repeatable inspection of NDT reference standards and test blocks. The quality program at PH Tool has been designed to meet the requirements of these specifications:
- 10 CFR 50 Appendix B
- NQA-1, 1994 Ed. through and including 2008 Ed., 2009 Addenda
- ANSI N45.2
- ASME Section III Division 1
What kind of paperwork comes with standard test blocks? All calibration test blocks ship with a NIST-traceable Certification Report stating that the block meets applicable specifications. A Material Test Report (MTR) is also included to maintain heat or lot traceability of the raw material to the producing mill. PH Tool also includes a Positive Material Identification (PMI) Test Report with all standard blocks, showing the results of a chemical analysis obtained in-house with our XRF analyzer. The PMI report adds an extra level of certainty that the correct materials were used in manufacture. If this is not enough, customers also have the ability to purchase a Full-dimensional Inspection Report, showing all of the as-built dimensions of the block. This is not merely a close approximation of accuracy; the dimensions must be carefully obtained and compiled into a report detailing all of the critical dimensions of the block design.
Custom EDM Notch, FBH, or other NDT reference standards include a NIST-traceable Certification Report as well. The as-built dimensions of the EDM notches, FBHs, or other machined features are always included on the report so that you know the precise size. In cases where PH Tool supplies the material, the MTR and PMI Reports will also be included.
In addition to the inspection of newly-made standards and test blocks, PH Tool also offers recalibration/recertification services. This service is offered on products manufactured by us, as well as by other manufacturers. Typical items that we recertify are: EDM notch standards, ultrasonic test blocks such as IIW and step blocks, and ASTM flat bottom hole reference block sets made to ASTM E127 and E428. Standards of unknown origin or with missing documentation may be able to be recertified, saving the expense of replacement. PH Tool offers a convenient recalibration reminder service on blocks to be recertified on a regular calibration frequency.
How often should I have my Ultrasonic Test Blocks recertified?
This question is becoming more and more common. Ten years ago, customers rarely sent UT blocks back to the manufacturer for recertification. Now, many do. We estimate that at this time, 15-20% of buyers send their blocks back to us to recertify. It may be that auditing or certifying agencies are beginning to look at test blocks as Measuring & Test Equipment (M&TE) and require that they be verified as time passes. We have seen situations where blocks that have been used extensively begin to exhibit dimensional changes. We have even observed blocks that are worn to the point that they no longer meet the intended specifications. Conversely, some blocks still look absolutely new after 10 years. Clearly, block condition, and the need to recertify, is influenced by the amount of use/abuse to which the block has been subjected.
PH Tool does not impose any calibration frequency on its blocks. We know they are perfect when they leave here, and we trust our customers to decide what makes sense for them. If you are considering having us recertify your test blocks, our suggestion is a 24 month calibration frequency. Some of our customers do this as frequently as every 12 months. It is really up to you to decide, based on your evaluation of the blocks and their use, and your internal Quality Assurance program.
We have a recertification reminder system in place at PH Tool that sends email reminders 60 days before the due date. Recertification reports are modified a bit from those for other blocks to include the original manufacture date, the recalibration date, the calibration frequency, and the next recalibration due date. In addition, much more dimensional data is provided on a recertification report compared to a new block cert, as every feature of the block is reported. We are happy to recertify PH Tool manufactured blocks as well as those made by others. Should you want to order new blocks with full dimensional certs upfront, let us know that when your order is placed. The cost of this service is discounted significantly at the time of new order placement. Contact us for recertification pricing and with any questions you may still have about this service.
Quality Assurance Equipment
Some of the equipment we use to inspect standards includes:
- Ten (10) Video Measuring Systems
- Coordinate Measuring Machine
- Micrometers, verniers, height gauges, bore gauges
- Pin gages
- Gage blocks
- Microrule Master Scale
- Climate-controlled laboratory environment
- Pratt & Whitney Vertical CMM
- Dial indicators
- Granite surface plates
- Specialized inspection equipment
That’s right, every reference standard and test block manufactured at PH Tool undergoes a comprehensive 100% inspection and certification traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Standards containing EDM notches, flat-bottomed holes, side-drilled holes and micro-holes include reliable Certification Reports containing as-built dimensions. Standard test blocks are issued with certification reports stating compliance with applicable block specifications. Material Test Reports (MTR) are issued on all standards where PH Tool is supplying the raw material and ensures that heat/lot number traceability has been maintained. All Measuring and Test Equipment (M&TE) used at PH Tool is calibrated in accordance with:
- ISO 10012-1
- ANSI/NCSL Z540-1
Quality Assurance Manual
The current revision level of our Quality Manual is Rev. 3, dated August 31, 2017. If you are interested in receiving a controlled copy of this manual, or to schedule an on-site quality audit, please contact Pam Martin at 267-203-1600, ext. 102 or firstname.lastname@example.org.