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Mobile Calibration easing your industrial applications

10-09-2021

Sensors have been an integral part in almost if not, all aspects of industrial measurement and monitoring tasks. Almost all applications, from wastewater level monitoring, pump vibration monitoring to automated quality control, implement sensors to measure and monitor the process parameters. These measurements provide essential information to keep the process running safely and reliably. It is also equally important to ensure that the sensors read the value that they should be reading. Initially, this check is performed by the manufacturers and calibrated in the factory before being shipped to the customers. However, every sensor experiences drift over time and may read a significantly different result over the period of time. Therefore, it is essential for the company to introduce regular calibration of their instrument as part of the yearly quality control.

Traditionally, instrument and sensors calibration has been a manual task that involves calibrating the instruments at a regular interval to ensure that they are still providing accurate results. Depends on the sensors and instruments to be calibrated, the process may require specific equipment which may not be readily accessible or the sensors have to be sent to their original manufacturers for calibration. It is an expensive and time-consuming exercise as it requires the user to have multiple spares or source replacement units while the sensors are out of action. Sometimes, it may not be easy to source the replacement sensors with the exact same specifications and the engineers may need to do further testing to ensure that the replacement sensors are fit-for-purpose. 

Some types of sensors are easier to be calibrated than others. Infrared pyrometers, for example, can be easily calibrated with a blackbody source, which can be done locally by a trained technician. However, if your sensors need to be calibrated to a standard, they should be done at the laboratory that focuses on testing and calibration. In some cases, they may be located overseas which has a long turnaround time.

Accelerometers are examples of sensors that are usually sent to the external laboratory for calibration due to the need for specialized calibration equipment and skills. There are different types of accelerometers. General piezoelectric accelerometers or vibration measuring transducers are commonly installed in a pump and industrial machinery to capture irregular vibration trends, which may indicate problematic events such as potential failure, pump cavitation and many more. Shock accelerometers and variable capacitance MEMS accelerometers are commonly used for crash test applications and measurement of low-frequency vibration. The issue with calibrating an accelerometer is the instrument that is used to calibrate piezoelectric accelerometers are not suitable for other types of accelerometers, and vice versa.

While long turnaround time may not be a big issue in the past, people now demand to have the sensors back from calibration at the shortest possible time, to avoid extended downtime. This trend generally applies if it is not economically feasible to source multiple sensors for spare, possibly due to budget limitations or the sensor itself is special-made or too expensive. This paved an increased demand for future-proof mobile calibrators that are portable, easy to operate and can safely store the data to the system. 

This has been made possible at Bestech Australia, drawing from our most recent partnership with SPEKTRA and APS Dynamics. With this newly formed collaboration, we can now provide easy calibration solutions for accelerometers for the industry.

The vibration calibrator CV-10 combines the advantages of mobile calibration with the flexibility and user-friendly operation for on-site calibration of accelerometers, proximity probes and velocity sensors. It can also be equipped with an extension module for calibration of piezo-resistive accelerometers.

The portable vibration calibrator is a one-stop solution for on-site calibration of acceleration and vibration transducers. With a battery that allows up to 10 hours of operation, there is no need for a power connection at the test site. The possibility of testing and calibrating acceleration sensors and test setups in any location, even if remote means that downtimes are significantly reduced which increases productivity.

Future-proof calibration solutions

Newly-built technology now revolves around remote monitoring and data storage in the cloud server. This renders the traditional calibration methods and manual recording of calibration data outdated and useless. Sensors measurement and analysis have been conducted remotely and stored in the cloud for ease of factory IoT integration. It makes sense if the calibration system offers the modern storage feature to keep up with the changing pace in technology.

This future-proof vibration calibrator offers a simple data exchange via EtherNET, USB and can be extended to WiFi for flexibility. Data can also be easily transferred between each SPEKTRA system. As the data can be securely stored, it ensures the consistency and traceability of the calibration data to adhere with the quality management and control in the factory. The test results can also be traced back to the NIST or PTB standards.

From energy, aerospace, rail, construction, mining to R&D, this user-friendly portable calibrator finds its suitability in a wide range of applications. 

  • Its continuous frequency sweep enables users to check the entire frequency bandwidth of the device under test.
  • The manual mode lets you check the functionality of a sensor at an individually selected frequency and amplitude.
  • In profile mode, the unit automatically runs through and processes a series of measurement points at preset frequencies and amplitudes. You can store and edit a set of calibration profiles in the system for this purpose.

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