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.
Related reference materials
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.
Related reference materials
Instrumentation, controls, and electrical technicians need reliable instruments that are accurate and rugged. We have them. Whether your tools are needed with you in the field, on a calibration bench, or both, you’ll find a complete set for electrical / signal, pressure, and temperature applications in the categories below, or download the Process Calibration Tools Product Catalog.
- These field and bench calibrators source, simulate, and measure pressure, temperature, and electrical signals with exceptional precision. They can automate calibration procedures, store data, and even calibrate and troubleshoot HART-compatible devices. Our bench calibrator can even be used to calibrate our field calibrators. Also find here 5.5- and 6.5-digit bench multimeters for to assist with a variety of general test and calibration applications.
- Loop Calibrators are indispensable tools for process calibration professionals and we have just one you need. Choose from three different models depending on your need for accuracy and intrinsic safety. Each one is feature-rich and simple to operate and read.
- Wherever you need to work and whatever pressure range you need to work with, our broad selection of tools will meet your needs. From pneumatic or hydraulic deadweight testers and test pumps to electronic deadweight testers, bench controllers, and precise analog pressure gauges, we have you covered at the bench. Going into the field? Fluke’s portable pressure calibrators – with or without pumps and intrinsically safe or not – work with gases or liquids, source and measure, power transmitters, and cover a wide range. With individually available pressure modules, our portable and bench solutions cover pressures from vacuum to 10,000 psi.
- Ensuring process temperature accuracy involves calibrating not only the system’s electronic temperature signals, but also the very temperature sensors that initiate those signals. Rugged Fluke handheld temperature calibrators source and measure RTDs and thermocouples, power transmitters, and store data. Fluke Calibration temperature sources cover temperatures from -45 °C to 1200 °C and include handheld, portable, and benchtop calibrators. Infrared thermometer calibrators and reference measurement thermometers ensure every necessary tool is available to you.
- DPC/TRACK software is an easy-to-use system to help manage instrument inventory, schedule calibrations, create tag-specific procedures, store procedures, and run as-found and as-left procedures in the field or on the bench, and print a selection of pre-formatted reports. 700G/TRACK software logs data from our precision pressure gauges and can upload that data to your PC.
Portable handheld Process Calibration Tools from Fluke are available through Fluke’s network of distribution partners around the world. To find a distributor near you for these Fluke products, please go to www.fluke.com, ensure you have selected the appropriate country (indicated in the top-left portion of the website), and go to the Where to Buy menu item.
Benchtop Process Calibration Tools from Fluke Calibration – including the 525B, bench DMMs, deadweight testers, comparison pressure pumps, other benchtop pressure and flow standards, temperature sources, and reference thermometers – are sold in the United States through a team of direct sales people as well as representatives and distributors located around the country who sell Fluke Calibration products.
To speak with a factory-direct expert or regional sales manager, please call 1.877.355.3225. You can also email us at email@example.com.
(If you are considering the purchase of a Fluke Calibration product for use outside the United States, please use the country selector at the top-left of this page to select the country of final destination for the product, which will take you to the appropriate information for your country.)
To request a quote for any Fluke Calibration product in or out of the U.S., please click here (quotes are usually sent within 24 hours):
For post-purchase service or support of portable handheld Process Calibration Tools from Fluke, please visit www.fluke.com and use the “Support” and “Service” menu items to find all you’ll need repair or calibration service, product manuals, educational literature, and much more.
For service or support of benchtop Process Calibration Tools from Fluke Calibration (including the 525B, bench DMMs, deadweight testers, comparison pressure pumps, other benchtop pressure and flow standards, temperature sources, and reference thermometers), please go to www.flukecal.com/support where you’ll find product registration, user manuals, contact information and solutions for calibration and repair services and more.
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