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Information about keeping your instruments running accurately

Archive, May 2014. Switch to list view

    Posted by on in Environmental Monitoring

    Anemometers measure wind speeds or air movement. These “spinning” instruments are a common site in environmental monitoring; you will see them from the Arctic to weather stations in the tropics. Beyond every day weather measurements, they are used commercially for gas-flow applications and within air ducts to test ventilation. Anemometers also contribute to industry and technology. Laser anemometers help engineers determine the wind speed surrounding aircraft, automobiles, and other vehicles. In academia, anemometers teach students about physics.

    Manometers measure fluid pressure and, along with a pitot tube, test HVAC air flow to analyze balance and performance. Another form of manometer, the micromanometer, measures very small differences in pressure and may or may not include a data logger.

    To meet the demands of a variety of uses, these air velocity instruments need regular calibration. Like other instruments in this category, including weather stations and capture hoods, NIST-traceable calibration helps them deliver accurate readings that produce reliable data. A metrology laboratory with an air velocity lab that uses advanced wind tunnel technology will help these instruments provide some of the industry’s best measurements.

    InnoCal’s ISO17025 accredited services are audited by A2LA for high technical competency in vane and hot-wire anemometer and manometer calibrations. The lab also calibrates the humidity, barometric pressure, and carbon dioxide functions of air velocity devices. Find out more.

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    Posted by on in Thermodynamics

    Infrared technology is exploding in the various ways it is used and its future potential. From assessing heat leakage in homes to crime-fighting surveillance to healthcare applications, this technology is continually expanding to meet more and more needs. Recently, Phys.org even reported that “the government’s long-term goal for infrared technology is to remotely detect the exact materials, chemicals and gases coming and going from factories or other sites suspected of illegal nuclear production.”b2ap3_thumbnail_Infrared-Technology.gif

    With such important aspirations, it is paramount to keep infrared instruments functioning well. Even if you use your infrared thermometer for food preparation or diagnostics and inspection, you need reliable readings to make the correct adjustments.

    To depend on the readings that appear on infrared displays, the instruments must be calibrated at regular intervals to NIST- traceable standards. NIST establishes the scales for transmittance, reflectance, and emittance of materials in the infrared spectral region and maintains absolute radiometric scales, among other objectives of their Infrared Technology Group.

    Whether you use a thermal imager, infrared calibrator, or infrared thermometer, the technicians calibrating these instruments should have specialized training in infrared measurements. Leading calibration laboratories, such as InnoCal, employ trained metrologists who use radiometrically calibrated gray-body calibrators to correct for emissivity and heat loss uncertainties.

    For infrared technology, make sure your instrument readings are as accurate as they should be. You never know how you will use this versatile technology next.

    InnoCal calibrates infrared thermometers, infrared pyrometers, infrared calibrators, infrared transmitters, thermal imagers, and visual infrared thermometers. For more information, contact us.

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    Posted by on in Thermodynamics

    As the director of an ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accredited metrology lab, Brandon Wold has experienced his share of panic phone calls and quick consultations with plant managers and quality managers. Their production has slowed or ceased due to a lack of a calibration program or key instruments that are out of calibration. For one, a smelting operation that melted old iron and pressed it into large sheets as new steel, receiving a complaint from their largest customer about the quality of their product prompted an investigation. Operations leaders determined that their temperature instruments were out of calibration and their heating process simply was not hot enough.

    How Often to Calibrate?Temperature Calibration

    While typical calibration cycles are suggested according to industry standards, these intervals are set within the facility based on the production needs, instrument usage, and applications. In some cases, it may make sense to change or extend a cycle. In other cases, it may prove short-sighted.

    "Intervals may move from a one-year calibration cycle to a five-year cycle to reduce costs but risk management needs to be taken into consideration,” said Wold. “Ultimately, to minimize the risk of having to do an impact analysis—for products that were measured with a temperature instrument that was out of calibration—and subsequently initiating a product recall, it may be best to stick to a proven calibration cycle.”

    InnoCal designs calibration solutions, which may include making monthly or annual visits, setting up a calibration cycle, conducting an asset review, or reviewing calibration procedures. They also provide technical support including info about industry norms, military procedures, or proper calibration techniques. When necessary, service may be expedited to meet specific needs.

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