What is calibration? The principle of calibration for temperature measurement equipment
The Importance of Instrument Calibration
Instrument Calibration is simply the comparison across 2 measurement instruments. One measurement device is known to have the ‘correct’ measurement accuracy, whilst the other device is then compared against this device to establish its accuracy levels. The measurement parameters are then adjusted to bring the device in line with the ‘correct’ device. The measurement device is then considered to have been calibrated.
Temperature measurements are often the most common type of measurements to be made in the Process Industry. Due to the increased safety requirements in Process applications and the continuous improvements in quality, the regular measurement of media temperature and accuracy of such readings has become of paramount importance.
This has also meant the importance of regular temperature instrument calibration has increased proportionally. The temperature measurement sensor is compared with a reference sensor with a known, high level of accuracy. Design engineers in Pharmaceutical, Food & Beverage and Biotech applications in particular, are always looking for innovative solutions to instrument calibration; solutions which can lead to accurate readings, whilst incurring the least disruption to production processes.
Typical Temperature Instrument Calibration
The temperature measurement device is compared to a reference sensor with a known, high level of accuracy; the challenge is to bring the sensor element and reference to exactly the same temperature. This usually involves removing temperature sensors from the process line and measuring them in calibration laboratories. Alternatively, a mobile calibration device can be used on the production floor – but this still involves removing the measurement device from the process line.
This method of calibration has obvious disadvantages:
- Engineering time and cost to remove and re-install instruments
- The cost of a calibration laboratory
- Significant production down-time as the regularity of instrument calibration requirements is increasing.
Introducing Labom’s In-Process calibration method
Labom’s solution to temperature measurement calibration allows the measurement instruments to be calibrated whilst still installed in the process line – hence the terminology ‘In-Process calibration’.
The certified reference sensor is inserted into a special calibration opening in the device. The geometry of the device is designed in a way so that both temperature sensors are warmed by the process media in the same manner - both PT100 sensors are positioned very close to one another. The whole device can easily be integrated in a 6mm standard measurement insert, but even smaller insert diameters are possible if required.
The advantages of In-Line temperature measurement calibration is obvious. The costs of calibration are significantly reduced, there are no production stoppages and the intervals between complete instrument calibration can be lengthened.
Is this a valid solution to reducing production downtime and saving costs associated with repeated instrument calibration? What calibration solutions do you use?
Feel free to leave your comments or questions below. Alternatively, why not ask one of our experts a question in the Solution Centre.
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