What is process calibration?
Process industries are those in which the final product, once manufactured, can’t be separated into its individual components. Examples include the pharmaceutical, petrochemical, electrical power, and semi-conductor industries. Calibrations performed within these industries may happen on a bench in a calibration laboratory; they can also happen out in the plant or in the field. We refer to both bench and field calibration practices that happen within process industries as “process calibration.”
Who calibrates process instrumentation?
Process calibration professionals can include metrologists, instrumentation and control (I&C) or electrical and instrumentation technicians, electrical technicians, or engineers. Some of these professionals work in a metrology lab. Others work in an instrument shop, and still others work out on the plant floor.
Process calibration workload
Process calibration workload might include test and measurement equipment such as multimeters or portable field calibrators. It might also include process instruments and sensors, such as pressure or temperature transmitters. Electrical, temperature, pressure, or a combination of parameters might need to be measured and adjusted.
Two brands, one solution
Fluke Corporation and Fluke Calibration together offer the most complete line of bench and field calibration equipment for the process industries. The products include accurate and dependable bench instruments as well as handheld, rugged tools designed to carry into the field. Whether for bench or field use, these instruments and tools are multi-functional and easy to use, as well as being rugged, reliable, accurate and dependable.
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Selecting a pressure calibrator
When you are choosing a pressure calibrator, start by asking yourself a series of questions.
What is the accuracy/uncertainty of the device to be tested?
The first step in selecting a pressure calibrator is to understand the specifications of the device you’ll be calibrating.
What is the calibration environment?
Then you need to decide which type of pressure calibration instrument can be used most effectively where you work.
What are the pressure range and test medium of the device to be tested?
Once you know which categories of instruments will meet your measurement uncertainty needs and will operate in your environment, you can determine which models in those categories can be used to calibrate your pressure devices, based on pressure measurement mode (absolute, gauge, differential), test medium (gas, oil, water) and pressure measurement range.
Do you need pressure generation and control capabilities?
Most calibration procedures require you to compare the device you’re testing with a calibration standard at multiple pressure points across the tested device’s range. Some devices or processes to be calibrated have built-in pressure generation and/or control, so the calibration standard you’re using may not need it.
Can you automate the calibration process? If so, by how much?
If you can automate your calibration you can be more productive, make better measurements, reduce mistakes, standardize procedures, and reduce safety and ergonomic concerns.
What else do you need?
Selecting a temperature calibrator
Calibrating a temperature sensor can be a challenge, but is very doable with some know-how and the right products. The first step is to understand the thermometer being calibrated: What type of electrical signal does it output or is it entirely mechanical? What are its physical characteristics (size, shape, size and shape of sensor hidden inside the probe sheath, etc.)? Over what temperature range is it used? And what accuracies are relied on over those temperatures? Can it be calibrated in a laboratory or must it be calibrated in the field or even in-situ?
The answers to these questions help define the products and processes that comprise the right solution for you. One quick and easy way to work through these answers and define a calibration solution that is fully reliable but not overdone is to contact our application experts at 1.877.883.8225. They have a great deal of knowledge and experience adapting calibration solutions to a wide variety of requirements.
If you have a general idea of what you’re looking for, but want to find just the right product(s) to meet your need, these selection guides provide a quick way to compare our various product offerings and provide links to take you directly to complete information about each product.
Selecting an electrical calibrator
The functions of an electrical calibrator or tester need to meet all, or essentially all, of the test equipment functions you need to calibrate. The calibrator also needs to have better performance than the required test specifications of the workload – typically four or more times better performance.
You’ll want to thoroughly analyze the specifications of your workload and also the calibrator you choose. You can typically check the manufacturer’s recommended specifications for the tested equipment and the calibrator.
Measurement and sourcing
The calibration process typically involves both measurement and sourcing. Use a precision source to test a measurement instrument, and a precision measurement device to test a sourcing instrument.
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