Many calibration technicians follow long-established procedures at their facility that have not evolved with instrumentation technology. Years ago, maintaining a performance specification of ±1% of span was difficult, but today’s instrumentation can easily exceed that level on an annual basis. In some instances, technicians are using old test equipment that does not meet new technology specifications. This article focuses on establishing base line performance testing where analysis of calibration parameters (mainly tolerances, intervals and test point schemes) can be analyzed and adjusted to meet optimal performance. Risk considerations will also be discussed – regulatory, safety, quality, efficiency, downtime and other critical parameters. A good understanding of these variables will help in making the best decisions on how to calibrate plant process instrumentation and how to improve outdated practices.
How often should instruments be calibrated? That is a question we get asked often. It would be nice to give a simple answer to that question, but unfortunately, that is not possible. Instead, there are several considerations that affect the answer of a correct calibration period. In this post, I will discuss these considerations.
Topics: calibration period