Selected answers here.
Testing the stability of gravestones is about the safety, health and protection of life and limb of visitors and workers in cemeteries – they should be protected from the dangers of falling or unstable gravestones, which often weigh several hundred kilograms and are painful can cause injury. As a result of frost, subsidence or unnoticed touching of a tomb, its stability can be so limited that it poses a real danger to people and animals staying nearby. With Kipp-Tester.com , this danger is recognized early and cemetery operators prevent worse things from happening by means of warnings, barriers, securing or controlled relocation. That means: Kipp-Tester.com protects visitors and workers in the cemetery from the risk of accidents. As a result, those who are entitled to use grave sites and cemetery operators ward off liability for damages and recourse, as well as claims by injured parties for compensation for pain and suffering or pension payments.
We are proud of it and, after the experiences with the blackout, attach great importance to the fact that Kipp-Tester.de is and remains “made in Germany” as far as possible; That means: The Kipp-Tester.com contains almost exclusively parts and components manufactured in Germany. This was the only way to comply with the basic delivery time of max. 2 weeks for calibrations in 2021 and 2022. Apart from a few bottlenecks at our German suppliers, new devices were generally with the customer within two weeks of the order being placed. In addition, “made in Germany” enables us to maintain the consistently high quality standard of DIN EN ISO 9001
In order for the stability test to be carried out properly, the tomb must withstand the test force of 500 N(ewton) during the initial test (i.e. after the first erection or after reconstruction) – this test is usually carried out by the stonemason. During routine tests, the top edge of the gravestone is subjected to a test force of 300 Newtons – if it withstands this, it is considered stable and roadworthy. So that the test is “watertight”, i.e. legally secure and, in case of doubt, court-proof, it is carried out with a Kipp-Tester that is calibrated to the respective test force and has a valid test seal.
Because there are two relevant test forces for stability in Germany and others in other countries, the required test force can be set and calibrated by us as the manufacturer. Users cannot manually adjust the test force themselves, as this would invalidate the calibration and the tests would be legally irrelevant.
The quality management standard DIN EN ISO 9001 prescribes a test equipment management including regular inspection of the test equipment.
A so-called ISO calibration (also called factory calibration) must be carried out for Kipp-Tester.com, which includes
• References traceable to national or international standards. These are calibrated annually.
• A detailed description of the measurement method and, if applicable, the standard/directive used.
• A warm-up time of at least 4 hours in the calibration laboratory.
• The environmental conditions are documented.
• Checking of the measurement results using the dual control principle.
• Evaluation of the measured values with the specified manufacturer tolerances.
The ISO calibrations in the Kipp-Tester.com calibration laboratory thus meet the requirements of DIN EN ISO 9001.
There is no clear legal requirement for this; It is comparable with winter tyres: in Germany there is no general obligation to have winter tyres; However, if you drive with summer tires in the cold season, you should take restrictions (e.g. insurance cover) into account.
Cemetery administrations carry out stability tests on gravestones after the frost period in order to fulfill their duty of care and to protect themselves against any claims resulting from gravestones that are not stable.
However, the effort only makes sense if the tests have been carried out correctly and this also includes a correctly set test device and a valid test seal.
Calibration is most comparable to verification. However, calibrations may only be carried out by authorities, the calibration offices.
During calibration, the test device – in the case of Kipp-Tester the spring-based force gauge – is clamped within the specified tolerance of a new device. In this context, we clean every device and carry out a comprehensive functional test. Only then is Kipp-Tester.com provided with a test seal and a test certificate created, which is handed over to the owner together with the calibrated device.
With our calibrations, there is no permanent intervention in the measuring device, rather the Kipp-Tester.com is calibrated back to the original new device status
In fact, we can sometimes (rarely) offer used kipp-tester.com after inspection, replacement of all wearing parts and with fresh calibration.
However, since Kipp-Tester are serviced and, if necessary, repaired with each calibration, users usually have no reason to part with their Kipp-Tester.
If you want a used Kipp-Tester, you should not be under any time pressure and it is best to make a note of it with us so that we can inform you in good time if a used Kipp-Tester is announced or in prospect.
Kipp-Tester has proven itself for a long time when it comes to testing the stability of gravestones, is the market leader and a kind of “reference device”; Compare the pace of paper handkerchiefs. From time to time it happens that people want to send us devices from other manufacturers that are no longer on the market for calibration – which we politely decline if the device does not come from us. Kipp-Tester.com has been around for over 30 years and we still maintain, calibrate and repair devices from the very beginning. So far, all components and modules are in stock and quality has its price.
Unreservedly YES – in over 30 years we have not repaired a single piece of equipment because it was run over by a heavy construction machine and the damage was so severe that all parts actually had to be replaced and any repair costs would have been greater than the cost of one new kipp-Tester. Because kipp-Tester.com are thoroughly serviced and subjected to a comprehensive function test as part of each calibration, we identify wearing parts in good time and replace them before anything else happens – repairs in the actual sense are therefore rather rare. So something out of the ordinary has to happen for a repair to be necessary: after a fall, for example, the glass of the gauge may have cracked and should be replaced, or the device got very wet and caused a short circuit.
The tests of the stability of tombs usually take place in the spring after the frost period, which in turn means that the Kipp-Tester spends the rest of the time in a kind of slumber.
The ideal protection for this is our transport and storage case, in which the Kipp-Tester rests between foam pads in a stable plastic casing.
Ideally, the case should lie flat when not in use for a long period of time so that it cannot fall over and the central spring in the Kipp-Tester is not permanently “under tension”.
It is strongly discouraged to let the testing device “hibernate” standing on the pressure plate (possibly without further protection), so that it is also exposed to strong temperature fluctuations.
Ideally, the case with the Kipp-Tester in it has a permanent “berth” in a heated room. This minimizes the likelihood of repairs beyond normal maintenance and calibration before the next test run.
This question is always asked by gravesite users and insurance companies when a gravestone has been diagnosed as unstable or when a mishap has occurred.
In contrast to purely manual testing methods (by pressure and tension, so-called “shaking test”), it can be assumed in the case of stability tests with the Kipp-Tester that the correct test force (in Germany currently 300 Newton at the top edge of the gravestone) was used.
However, the Kipp-Tester should have a valid calibration when the test is carried out because otherwise testers are in a similar predicament to driving in winter weather with summer tyres and being involved in an accident through no fault of their own despite sufficient distance ….
So if gravesite users or insurance companies doubt the correctness of a test with the justification that the test device did not have a valid calibration at the time of the test, an out-of-court, amicable settlement should be sought, in which presumably both sides “let off steam”.
Even if later calibration shows that the Kipp-Tester is within the tolerance range, this has no retroactive effect on earlier tests without valid calibration.
To be on the safe side, all parties involved should always recalibrate all Kipp-Tester before the test run in early summer of each year – then doubts are eliminated.