The Importance of Calibrating Level Transmitters

Level transmitters can utilize a range of measurement technologies, including floats, retracting and ultrasonic systems, to provide operators with information about the fluid in their processing systems. The operators can then use the information to optimize the production process.

Faulty equipment means faulty data. Sometimes, a sensor will provide readings that are not accurate. Then it is time to calibrate the level transmitter. Some sensors drift, some weaken, while the circuit boards in continuous float level transmitters will eventually fail altogether. Companies need accurate readings to ensure safety and to obtain accurate readings at maximum efficiency.

Accurate Level Transmission is Vital

Calibrating a level transmitter regularly and properly is crucial because incorrect measurements can be  dangerous. In some plants, deadly dangerous. If the measurements are too high – meaning the level is significantly lower than what was transmitted – pumping can become difficult and a pump may even be damaged. Measurements that are too low – so the liquid levels are actually much higher – could result in overflows or dangerously high pressure.

Calibrating Level Transmitters Can Mitigate Drift

Often the environment, operational and physical stress can seriously affect a level transmitter’s performance. Temperature variations are a leading cause of a dip in performance for pressure sensors, known as “drift”. By calibrating level transmitters at least once a year, companies can identify instances of drift and mitigate its impact on their production work. This can ensure that systems run to peak performance.

Reduce Machine Downtime

One of the leading causes of industrial production slowdowns is machine downtime. This can be phenomenally expensive. Regular, proactive calibration of level transmitters is just as vital as regular maintenance on industrial pumps. One slight miscalculation or error in calibration can mean the difference between safe, optimal production capacity and damage or disaster.

Calibrating for Quality and Regulations

Manufacturing companies must always meet quality standards and regulations, such as ISO: 9001. Calibration is a critical element of this effort. Pharmaceutical facilities, for example, must keep a documented record of all calibration work on-site. Calibration of level transmitters for oil and gas plants is a vital tool in helping them meet environmental regulations.

In addition, the calibration process can identify more problems – like improper installation and alignment of level transmitter sensors. These sensors must be in exactly the right location inside the equipment and at precisely the correct angle. Even uninstalling sensors, for any reason, can result in improper re-installation.

By calibrating level transmitters at set intervals, companies can ensure their products abide by all quality standards. Documented and expertly managed calibration work helps industrial organizations secure their processes and maintain the integrity of their in-house machinery. The work requires experts who understand not just the transmitters, but the entire processes of production, pumping and storage.

For more detailed discussion on calibration intervals refer to NIST.com

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