Manual Calibration: A Technician’s Guide

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Answers to chapter review questions. Summary This comprehensive review of calibration provides an excellent foundation for understanding principles and applications of the most frequently performed tasks of a technician. Topics addressed include terminology, bench vs. The book is designed as a structured learning tool with questions and answers in each chapter. If you calibrate instruments or supervise someone that does, then you need this book. Bibliographic information. Uncertainty analysis is required for calibration labs conforming to ISO requirements. Uncertainty analysis is performed to evaluate and identify factors associated with the calibration equipment and process instrument that affect the calibration accuracy.

Calibration technicians should be aware of basic uncertainty analysis factors, such as environmental effects and how to combine Cable It makes sense that calibration is required for a new instrument. We want to make sure the instrument is providing accurate indication or output signal when it is installed.

Instrument error can occur due to a variety of factors: drift, environment, electrical supply, addition of components to the output loop, process changes, etc.


Since a calibration is performed by comparing or applying a known signal to the instrument under test, errors are detected by performing a calibration. An error is the algebraic difference between the indication and the actual value of the measured variable. Most instruments are provided with a means of adjusting the zero and span of the instrument, along with instructions for performing this adjustment. The zero adjustment is used to produce a parallel shift of the input-output curve. The span adjustment is used to change the slope of the input-output curve.

Linearization error may be corrected if the instrument has a linearization adjustment. If the magnitude of the nonlinear error is unacceptable and it cannot be adjusted, the instrument must be replaced. To detect and correct instrument error, periodic calibrations are performed. Even if a periodic calibration reveals the instrument is perfect and no adjustment is required, we would not have known that unless we performed the calibration.

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And even if adjustments are not required for several consecutive calibrations, we will still perform the calibration check at the next scheduled due date. Periodic calibrations to specified tolerances using approved procedures are an important element of any quality system. He or she understands process control loops and process control systems, including Cable A CST performs calibration, documentation, loop checks, troubleshooting, and repair or replacement of instrumentation.

Calibration: A Technician's Guide

These tasks relate to systems that measure and control level, temperature, pressure, flow, force, power, position, motion, physical properties, chemical composition and other process variables. Most technicians work independently much of the time. Calibrations must be performed in accordance with procedures and must be properly documented.

Additionally, the calibration department may be understaffed and production schedules may demand unrealistic completion requirements. These factors can have a real impact on proper performance and documentation of calibrations. Remember: Nobody can take away your integrity; only you can give it away. Attention to Detail: Calibrations should be performed in accordance with detailed instructions.

Each instrument is installed in a different physical and loop configuration. Because of these and many other differences, attention to detail is very important. The minute a technician is not paying attention to detail, safety and proper performance are jeopardized. Excellent Documentation Practices: In many facilities, the impression of quality is determined by the content and appearance of documentation.

Calibration Data Sheets must be neat, complete, signed and, if required, reviewed in a timely manner.

When changes occur, all related documentation, such as drawings, manuals, specifications and databases must also be updated. There is a difference between calibrating an individual component and calibrating an instrument as part of the bigger process control loop.

For example, knowing when a controller can be placed in manual without affecting the process and what to do while that controller is in manual, requires an understanding of the process. Additionally, when an operator says there is a problem with his indication, a technician who knows the instrument loop and process will be more capable of identifying the cause of the problem.

Calibration Essentials | Beamex and ISA eBook

Some basic concepts on how calibrations should be performed need to be discussed before we go on. Some of these may be new concepts not used in your facility, but you should be familiar with them.

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Some of these practices are industry dependent. Although calibrations are generally performed the same, some different practices have developed. The input and output are disconnected. A known source is applied to the input, and the output is measured at various data points throughout the calibration range. The instrument is adjusted, if necessary, and calibration is checked. Entire loop is not verified within 1. Correct instrument will be adjusted tolerance 2. More compatible with multifunction 2. Mistakes on re-connect calibrators 3. Less efficient use of time to do one calibration for each loop instrument as opposed to one calibration for the loop Cable All local and remote indications would be recorded.

It is also recommended to record the transmitter output. If all indications and transmitter output are within tolerance, the loop is within tolerance. If any loop component is not within tolerance, then a calibration is performed on that instrument. Do not adjust a transmitter to correct a remote indication. Entire loop, including sensor, is verified within tolerance 2.

Mistakes on re-connect minimized 3. More efficient use of time to do one calibration for loop as opposed to one calibration for each loop instrument 1.