CQI-9 Special Process Heat Treat System Assessment and Calibration


AIAG - Automotive Industry Action Group- released CQI-9 in March of 2006. The goal is to "include a reduction of campaigns, spills, recalls and warranty claims related to heat treated components. The management system will emphasize continual improvement, defect prevention, and the reduction of variation and waste in the supply chain." This is achieved by performing a Heat Treat System Assessment- HTSA.


CQI-9 Special Process Heat Treat System Assessment and Calibration

Section 1.3 of CQI-9  specifically mentions ISO 17025 - general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories.


Section 3.1 Thermocouples gives clear instructions on calibration.

3.1.2 Calibration of Thermocouples requires traceability of calibrations to NIST or the appropriate National Metrology Institute. requires all thermocouples to be calibrated prior to use and calibrated in the range they will be used. requires calibration certificates include actual temperature reading, nominal test temperature, correction factor, who performed the calibration, and method used. does NOT allow interpolation for values above or below the actual calibration test points.

Note: This is why it is extremely important to specify calibration ranges on your calibration request and purchase order to your calibration company.


Further instructions are given for Heat Treat System Assessment in Section 3 -Equipment of CQI-9 forms.

"The calibration and certification of the process equipment shall be checked at regular specified intervals."

"Temperature uniformity surveys shall be conducted ..."


CQI-9 Process Table A states:

Process and Test Equipment Requirements

A1.4 Furnace weigh scales shall be verified quarterly and calibrated annually at a minimum.

A1.5 requires minimum annual calibration of Dewpointers, 3-gas analyzers, spectrometers ad combustion analyzers.

A1.9 requires hardness testing equipment be calibrated at least annually.

A1.11 requires refractometers be calibrated annually.


A2.3 requires a SAT- System Accuracy Test.

A2.4 requires a temperature Uniformity Study-TUS- be performedpyrometer calibration display iso 17025 accredited alliance calibration-1.jpg

A2.7 Infrared pyrometers shall be calibrated annually.

It is also implicit in meeting customer requirements the all recording devices such as temperature controllers be calibrated.


Table 3.1.1 requires a calibration accuracy of ± 1.1°C process thermocouples.

Table 3.1.2 requires a calibration accuracy of ±0.6°C for primary and secondary standards.

Table 3.1.3 specifies the calibration intervals for thermocouples and what standards be used.

Table 3.1.5 specifies the number of times a thermocouple can be used.


The calibration requirement for instrumentation is specified in CQI-9 section 3.2.





3.2 Instrumentation requires traceability of calibrations to NIST or the appropriate National Metrology Institute. requires that any external calibration be  ISO 17025 accredited.

3.2.4 requires calibration of all control, monitoring and recording instruments quarterly unless you perform a System Accuracy Test- SAT- quarterly.



Technical Questions?     Contact us.

3.2.5 covers everything required on a calibration report/certificate and calibration status sticker.

Calibration sticker/label requirements:

  • Date the calibration was performed.
  • Due date of the next calibration.
  • The technician who performed the calibration.
  • The serial number of instrument.


Calibration report requirements:

  • ID number
  • Make, Model and Serial Number of unit calibrated
  • Equipment used in calibration.
  • The method used in calibration.
  • Temperature & Humidity during calibration.
  • Required accuracy.
  • Before and After data (if no adjustment is made then before=after).
  • Initial and corrected offset/bias
  • Statement of acceptance - sometimes interpreted as Pass/Fail.
  • Limitations of calibration if any.
  • Due date of next calibration.
  • The technician who performed the calibration.
  • Signature of the technician.
  • Name of calibration source- external company name.
  • Internal sign-off of calibration results.

3.2.6 Electronic Records 

" When using a system that creates electronic records the system shall create write-once, read-only electronic records that cannot be altered without detection."


You should thoroughly review CQI-9 Table 3.2.1 Instrument Calibration Requirements.


We will cover CQI-9 System Accuracy Test and Temperature Surveys in another article.

You may want to check out our International Standards used in calibration page.

Phil Wiseman

Phil Wiseman

Phil Wiseman is Chief Marketing Officer at Alliance Calibration. He earned a B.S. in Chemical Physics from Centre College. Phil is an ASQ Certified Quality Auditor and ASQ Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence.

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