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How to Perform Temperature Sensor & Temperature Gauge Calibration at Site?

05/16/2017 6:39 AM

I newly join as instrumentation maintenance supervisor. Can anybody tell me how to perform temperature sensor, temperature transmitter and temperature gauge calibration at site?

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#1

Re: How to perform temperature sensor & temperature gauge calibration at site ?

05/16/2017 6:44 AM

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#5
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Re: How to perform temperature sensor & temperature gauge calibration at site ?

05/16/2017 8:42 AM

Would that be Atlas shrugging?

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#7
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Re: How to perform temperature sensor & temperature gauge calibration at site ?

05/16/2017 9:07 AM

Best ask Ms Rand.

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#23
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Re: How to perform temperature sensor & temperature gauge calibration at site ?

05/17/2017 2:05 AM

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#2

Re: How to perform temperature sensor & temperature gauge calibration at site ?

05/16/2017 6:57 AM

Welcome to this site. For your problem, though you need to contact an education resource or a technical college. Your situation though raises a question from me to you, in all honesty. How were you selected for a position with that job description with your current skill set? Do you have skills in metrology (for instance) and the interviewer didn't understand the difference between physical measurement and instrumentation?

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#3

Re: How to perform temperature sensor & temperature gauge calibration at site ?

05/16/2017 7:05 AM

Find the user's manuals for the equipment that needs to be calibrated. Often the manual for a piece of equipment includes a section on maintaining calibrations.

How did you get that job if you didn't know this?

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#4

Re: How to perform temperature sensor & temperature gauge calibration at site ?

05/16/2017 8:38 AM

While you are at it... mention to your HR department that they may want to re-visit their hiring policies, because clearly they are not working to well for the company.

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#6
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Re: How to perform temperature sensor & temperature gauge calibration at site ?

05/16/2017 8:48 AM

Come on now, give the kid a break. How much did you know about "everything" when you got your first gig?

Temperature sensor calibration: (1) it depends on the range of temperatures expected.

I would not expect most engineers here to be able to calibrate an optical pyrometer temperature measurement.

(2) find items (like water that are pure and have phase transitions in the range of interest) and measure the low end at the liquidus (freezing point for those in Rio Linda), and a higher temperature that is also a known at the liquid's boiling point at normal pressure of 1 atmosphere. (If you are not dealing with temperatures in the range of molten steel or silicon).

What kind of temperature sensor is it? What kind of temperature transmitter is it? As far as the gauge, calibrate it the same way as the sensor-transmitter pair, at the low end, use the adjustment nut (screw) on the back to set the low number, and the material used in the thermometer gauge will take care of the high end.

One other calibration that might be necessary periodically is the general bench calibration (that does not take place in the field), but is a thorough going over of all the functions in the transmitter, and making sure they are dead on.

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#8
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Re: How to perform temperature sensor & temperature gauge calibration at site ?

05/16/2017 9:34 AM

My "first gig" was not as a maintenance supervisor. I had 10+ years under my belt before assuming a supervisory role.

Knowing "everything" is not really a requirement for a supervisor in the position this fellow finds himself in. Given the nature of the questions he asked us, do you really think he should be in that role?

Generally, a good rule of thumb is... if you are going to supervise some work process, you at least need to have a real good understanding on how the processes should flow.

I am surprised to read these comments from you.

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#9
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Re: How to perform temperature sensor & temperature gauge calibration at site ?

05/16/2017 9:45 AM

You mean that company actually has an HR department?

You are obviously correct. He should be working as a trainee, not a supervisor. This must have been a patronage promotion, or a nepotism hire? Hey, North, sorry if I ruffled your feathers.

He needs a crash course in something, but it beats the heck out of me what, as his skill levels seem to be in the basement of learning - no where to go but up.

He needs to familiarize himself with what he is supervisiing, and in short order before he gives bad orders to (1) results in a lost time accident, (2) results in employee injuries, of (3) causes a general process shut-down for complete failure.

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#10
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Re: How to perform temperature sensor & temperature gauge calibration at site ?

05/16/2017 10:02 AM

James...

I have come to enjoy your often times unique method of "ruffling the feathers". Rest assured, that none of my feathers are "ruffled". LOL...

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#11
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Re: How to perform temperature sensor & temperature gauge calibration at site ?

05/16/2017 10:13 AM

I wish my boss had your same sense of humor. I am probably hanging by a single filament of conductive thread (Radio Shack item No. 2760389) here, with only two more years before I can retire. I am not sure whether to jump ship or hang on for Medicare.

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#22
In reply to #11

Re: How to perform temperature sensor & temperature gauge calibration at site ?

05/17/2017 2:03 AM

The question is... can you still manage to jump, buddy?Oh, just roll over.

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#27
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Re: How to perform temperature sensor & temperature gauge calibration at site ?

05/17/2017 8:36 AM

Hey Gut Monkey worm ruler: Watch out! Fat dogs can still bite. In your case, jumping or rolling over is no problem if a good solid bite is required.

I like dogs, you like dogs too, or else not!

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#31
In reply to #27

Re: How to perform temperature sensor & temperature gauge calibration at site ?

05/17/2017 9:06 AM

Haha nice spice buddy. Oh, i like dogs. Just haven't got much time for them these days.

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#33
In reply to #8

Re: How to perform temperature sensor & temperature gauge calibration at site ?

05/17/2017 11:58 AM

Gents, I believe that OP is supervising the maintenance. Not the team.

With other words he has been send out to do what the guy did before him with just his wits and knows about.

He came here with his wits to further his knows.

And he hopefully learned about manuals and procedures....

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#13
In reply to #6

Re: How to perform temperature sensor & temperature gauge calibration at site ?

05/16/2017 11:49 AM

when you got your first gig?

My first gig was not as a supervisor.

I would not expect most engineers here to be able to calibrate an optical pyrometer temperature measurement.

I wrote the procedures at my previous company.

Having spent some time at BAC (Boeing Aerospace Company) in calibration control

any field calibration has to meet the in house control specifications and that can get expensive. Its sometimes better to send sensors and such back to an actual lab

where controls are already in place.

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#14
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Re: How to perform temperature sensor & temperature gauge calibration at site ?

05/16/2017 11:55 AM

I fully and completely agree, and was merely pointing out that there is no such thing as a "generic" temperature sensor.

One needs to be specific in what one asks for, otherwise how does the genie know what to pull out of the bottle? Of course, we all know, at the end of the day, the only thing that should come out of the bottle is the preferred decanted product, depending on taste and need.

Wifey keeps fussing with me that beer is bad for me (I have three Shiner Bock Sunday, and two yesterday, only one bullet left), so I retort "that means whiskey is better for me?"

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#34
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Re: How to perform temperature sensor & temperature gauge calibration at site ?

05/17/2017 12:29 PM

I once got a job where after the first week I was promoted to manager. At the time I knew I was pretty ignorant, stupid and unaware of what was going at that company, that is until I met the other members of the team.

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#35
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Re: How to perform temperature sensor & temperature gauge calibration at site ?

05/17/2017 12:40 PM

I am not saying it can't happen. Not everyplace of employment is a complete and total void of knowledge and understanding...if that were true, who would still have managed to pull a profit from the quagmire?

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#36
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Re: How to perform temperature sensor & temperature gauge calibration at site ?

05/17/2017 12:58 PM

Must have been​ the owner.

A friend of mine worked down the street and all of the items in their vending machines were priced 5 cents less then the ones we had.

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#12

Re: How to perform temperature sensor & temperature gauge calibration at site ?

05/16/2017 10:24 AM

How were these calibrations performed on-site in the past? Start there.

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#15

Re: How to Perform Temperature Sensor & Temperature Gauge Calibration at Site ?

05/16/2017 12:45 PM

You need to set up a test bench with proper equipment and learn how to use it...first familiarize yourself with the types of equipment you will be maintaining and acquire all the manuals for the equipment....

http://us.flukecal.com/blog/calibration-bath-primer

http://us.flukecal.com/temperature-calibration-tips-and-tricks

http://www.mensor.com/landingpage_temperature_calibration_en_um.WIKA

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#16
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Re: How to Perform Temperature Sensor & Temperature Gauge Calibration at Site ?

05/16/2017 1:30 PM

Now ordinarily, I would say that represents a start. Some sensors are out there field mounted, and not in a redundant setting. This means that pulling one of them out for bench calibration requires that entire production be out of service, on turn-around, etc. Many times one finds the temperature sensor integrated into some other sensor, such as conductivity or pH, etc.

Perhaps another way: Buy a series of digital thermometers with NST traceable certificates, and use those for field calibration purposes in a suitable flowing stream, or in thermo-well provided (or retro-actively installed) just for calibration. This only a allows an offset calibration which is suitable for process indicators in many instances. Otherwise, you need a "hot-swap" sensor probe, and quick hands, if it is process-critical.

If this is something high temperature, there are other protocols, procedures, and safety precautions to follow.

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#21
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Re: How to Perform Temperature Sensor & Temperature Gauge Calibration at Site ?

05/16/2017 7:24 PM

Well there are different approaches for different situations, possibly backups, or what you listed as satisfactory procedures, or regular maintenance intervals that already exist or can be implemented...those are decisions that must be made by the op and are conditions unknown to us....It's not clear what standards are required and/or how critical the temperatures being measured are, but the op asked how he/she could perform calibrations on sensors and gauges, and that would require a test bench setup with proper equipment and procedure, regardless of who was doing the calibrations...now as to whether certification is required or not, hasn't been mentioned...

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#17

Re: How to Perform Temperature Sensor & Temperature Gauge Calibration at Site ?

05/16/2017 1:55 PM

This is astonishing.

The facility should already have procedures in place to do this - a procedure that the supervised are following already. Otherwise, how would any of the supervised carry out such an activity up to this time (rhetorical question - NNTR)? How would one show in the historical record that temperature calibrations have been correctly carried out in the past (rhetorical question - NNTR)?

<sigh>

The best way forwards is to read the instructions that came with each piece of equipment; these should be on file at the facility. If not, then a telephone call to each supplier of each piece of equipment will precipitate the arrival of said instructions. It is then up to the facility to design and record a standard procedure for so doing.

The forum is unable to do this because:

  • no-one here can see the types of equipment in use, nor can anyone determine the temperature ranges for the equipment to be calibrated
  • no-one here is in a position to design standard calibration procedures at the facility
  • no-one here is as authorised to approve the use of standardised procedures for calibration as the <...instrumentation maintenance supervisor...> at the facility.
  • no-one here is being paid to carry out calibrations; it is up to the supervised to do this
  • no-one here is in a position to file the historical record of calibrations carried out at the facility and to present them as evidence for quality assurance purposes at the facility.

<unsubscribes>

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#18
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Re: How to Perform Temperature Sensor & Temperature Gauge Calibration at Site ?

05/16/2017 2:05 PM

They probably used the "for granted" calibration method, or the "tap-tap" method, while incanting, 'what is wrong with this friggin' temperature gauge?'

Temperature calibrations must be performed whilst wearing black hooded robes. After each step, the participant in this ancient ritual must spin around three times and bow to his professor of thermodynamics.

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#19

Re: How to Perform Temperature Sensor & Temperature Gauge Calibration at Site ?

05/16/2017 2:25 PM

Make your life 10X easier and get some sleep at night by contracting a competent instrument service company to come in and calibrate / certify, especially if you are responsible for many diverse types of instrumentation. To invest in the specialized calibration equipment, the talent to operate it, and keeping up with ever-changing standards is not for those who do not have the capital. Your main focus then should be to keep up with the calibration schedules and certification requirements. It's like if Trump wanted to do his own taxes....no way!

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#20

Re: How to Perform Temperature Sensor & Temperature Gauge Calibration at Site ?

05/16/2017 2:30 PM
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#24

Re: How to Perform Temperature Sensor & Temperature Gauge Calibration at Site ?

05/17/2017 2:15 AM

You need to attend technical training or seminar to acquaint yourself with field devices and calibrators.

Why not conspire with product supplier to formally write an invitation to you for a product training(field instruments and calibration). I bet you would have 90% superior approval on it as means of continuous education.

Ametek, has actually good product for this.

1) Temperature Calibrator

2) Signal Calibrator

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#28
In reply to #24

Re: How to Perform Temperature Sensor & Temperature Gauge Calibration at Site ?

05/17/2017 8:41 AM

What about the 10% superior disapproval? That might be the one superior that counts.

In gutmonarch country temperature calibration:

place thermometer in boiling water

place finger in boiling water

Jeessss usss that is hot! Yep it's calibrated.

place thermometer in ice water

place finger in ice water

when ice melts, remove finger and hit with hammer for Izod test

Yep thata sir isa cold!

These calibrations have to be performed once in a fortnight to verify that the hooch condenser is functioning properly.

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#30
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Re: How to Perform Temperature Sensor & Temperature Gauge Calibration at Site ?

05/17/2017 8:49 AM
  • Ow, so you been there buddy? just asking
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#32
In reply to #30

Re: How to Perform Temperature Sensor & Temperature Gauge Calibration at Site ?

05/17/2017 9:14 AM

No, but I do check low value resistors being used as a voltage divider by finger test. Yep that is almost as hot as West Texas BBQ.

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#25

Re: How to Perform Temperature Sensor & Temperature Gauge Calibration at Site ?

05/17/2017 4:26 AM

Dear All

Thanks for your precious time. It is my first job as a Instrument Supervisor. This plant is new plant. we make calibration schedule and doing calibration of PT,FT,LT but as far as temperature sensor is concern we have pt100 3 wire RTD sensor. We dont have calibrator for temperature sensor.My question is it sufficient to calibrate RTD transmitter using decade box or use use dry block calibrator for whole sensor. As per my knowledge dry block calibrator is not safe to used at site. It is used in instrument shop.

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#26
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Re: How to Perform Temperature Sensor & Temperature Gauge Calibration at Site ?

05/17/2017 5:49 AM

That's a different question.

This thread is more about procedure than technicalities.

The facility now needs to define how a RTD transmitter is to be calibrated before carrying out the work, and then recording and filing the record that it has been done. However, as it is a new plant, one could ask the instrument supplier to supply a calibration record with the new instrument upon arrival of the purchased instrument; it would certainly save a lot of commissioning time, which is always at a premium.

Provided there are no more than placebo commissioning fluids in the plant, it is difficult to see from here how the use of a dry block calibrator could be considered unsafe to use.

If there are process fluids in the plant then it is difficult to see from here how it could be considered unsafe other than the facility having a serious process fluids containment problem that has not been previously addressed by pre-commissioning pressure and leak testing with a placebo fluid, usually water for example, and the rectification of those defects prior to introducing process fluids.

As this is a new plant, the removal of instruments to a workshop for calibration testing and their reinstallation afterwards is always an option. However, it is far better for this and other checks to be carried out at Goods Inwards as this saves the effort of removal and reinstallation.

A decade box would simply verify that the transmitter manufacturer's calibration certificate for that instrument is somewhere near right. However, that record would exist already if the facility's purchasing protocols are in place and correct. Presumably there is a calibration record for the resistance box (rhetorical question - NNTR)?

It is difficult to imagine how an individual appointed as an <...Instrument Supervisor...> would have no idea on the above.

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#29
In reply to #25

Re: How to Perform Temperature Sensor & Temperature Gauge Calibration at Site ?

05/17/2017 8:48 AM

What does the instrument OEM instruction manual state?

Yes, you can pull the Pt100 and check in a dry block to see if it functions.

You need a primary standard to compare against, or some standardized thermometer in the range you are looking at.

If the connection and disconnection of "live" temperature sensors in the field is not intrinsically safe (although the transmitter and sensor are deemed to be intrinsically safe, then you must remove all sources of power and LOTO the instrument prior to removing the sensor from service. Then you may use a connected decade box connected to the transmitter to calibrate displayed units and transmitted value. The Pt100 can be checked via a number of devices, not the least of which is a suitable DVM, as long as you are in a non-hazard flammable area.

Go to square one, and start over.

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