Field calibration tools deliver efficiency

As plants strive for improved process quality and efficiency, ensuring these signals and variables are accurate is increasingly important.


As plants strive for improved process quality and efficiency, ensuring these signals and variables are accurate is increasingly important. Critical devices are routinely calibrated at prescribed intervals. Technicians often call these activities “ISO” calibrations, referring to the ISO9000 standard that drives many calibration programs. Safety instrument and shutdown systems also require periodic testing and verification.

Process technicians primarily calibrate field instrumentation in place. Modern handheld tools offer accuracies approaching that of bench equipment. Not only can technicians calibrate devices in their operating environment, they save removing/reinstalling the devices and lugging them back to the shop.

With field calibration on the rise, technicians have adopted field calibrators as their tool of choice. The preferred versions combine basic multimeter functions; pressure measurement; a 24-Vdc loop power supply; and the ability to source or simulate 4-20 mA, voltage, thermocouple, RTD and frequency signals. Recent models can also document field calibrations, automatically capture results in the field, upload them to a PC and store them in calibration management software.

As these tools become more powerful, they empower users and ultimately make them more efficient. Technicians don’t need to return to the shop for extra tools, don’t need to take cumbersome bench test equipment into the field or carry a collection of single-function test apparatus. These calibrators are personal tools that create a new breed of high-powered field technicians.

Author Information

Jim Shields is a senior technical support specialist and product manager for the process calibration group for the Fluke Corp. He has worked in the field of electrical, temperature and pressure measurement for more than 25 years. Shields can be reached at (425) 446-5315 or .

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Safer human-robot collaboration; 2017 Maintenance Survey; Digital Training; Converting your lighting system
IIoT grows up; Six ways to lower IIoT costs; Six mobile safety strategies; 2017 Salary Survey
2016 Top Plant; 2016 Best Practices on manufacturing progress, efficiency, safety
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
What controller fits your application; Permanent magnet motors; Chemical manufacturer tames alarm management; Taking steps in a new direction
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on preventing compressed air leaks and centrifugal air compressor basics and best practices for the "fifth utility" in manufacturing plants.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
click me