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New ISA handbook guides verification and calibration of measuring instruments used in industrial automation and processes

Research Triangle Park, North Carolina USA (19 June 2017) – The International Society of Automation (ISA) announces it has published a new book designed for operators involved in verifying and calibrating measuring instruments used in ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems, ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems, ISO 16949 Automotive Quality Management Systems, and AS/EN 9100 Aviation Series Quality Management Systems.

The Calibration Handbook of Measuring Instruments by Alessandro Brunelli, an expert in the measurement and automation of industrial processes, helps guide and manage industrial process measurement, specifically addressing:

  • The general concepts for managing measurement equipment according to the ISO 10012 management system of instruments and measurements.
  • An instrument’s suitability to perform accurate measurements and control the drift to maintain the quality of the measurement process.
  • The criteria and procedures for accepting, managing and verifying the calibration of the main industrial measuring instruments.
  • The provisions of law and regulations for production and European marking CE of metrological instruments used in commercial transaction and for their periodic verification.

Report templates useful for recording both instrument data and experimental calibration data and for evaluating the conformity of instruments are included on an attached CD. The CD also contains various spreadsheets-in Excel and calibration reports-that automatically calculate errors and the relative measurement uncertainty for determining a calibrated instrument’s compliance.

Calibration Handbook of Measuring Instruments is available from Amazon [Affiliate link]

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Fluke 2AC VoltAlert™ Electrical Tester

Every E&I technician should have one of these in their pocket or tool bag:


Fluke 2AC VoltAlert Electrical Voltage Tester

“The Fluke 2AC is the latest addition to the VoltAlert ac non-contact voltage tester family from Fluke and is designed to be pocket-sized and easy to use. The 2AC tests for energized circuits and defective grounds, whether it’s for an electrician on the factory floor or the do-it-yourself around the house. The tip of the pocket-sized tester will glow red when within close proximity of an outlet, terminal strip, or power cord where voltage is present.

The 2AC has a voltage detection from 90 to 1000 V AC, suitable for a wide range of residential, commercial, and industrial industries. Always on, using special low power circuitry to sustain battery life and ensure your 2AC is always ready.

The Innovative ‘Battery Check’ button function ensures the battery is in good condition. Fluke Corporation is the world leader in the manufacture, distribution and service of electronic test tools and software. From industrial electronic installation, maintenance and service, to calibration and quality control, Fluke tools help keep business and industry around the globe up and running.” [Fluke]

Don’t settle for a cheap imitation, buy a genuine Fluke VoltAlert™ Electrical Tester available from Amazon. [Affiliate Link]

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Process Signal Scaling

Many times during instrument calibration, loop checkout, or loop troubleshooting you will need to check the scaling of a process sensor, transmitter, or converter. You’ll need to know the output value for an input value or what input value is required to produce a particular output value.

There are many smartphone apps and websites that have simple and easy to use signal conversion calculators. The trouble with these is the user doesn’t need to know how they work or if the results are correct.

I would prefer that E&I students learn and use formulas for conversions like temperature conversion and signal scaling.  They need to be able to think about whether the answers are reasonable. Online calculators don’t do this.

I don’t want students to rely on apps that may not be accurate or available when they need them. For signal conversion, I teach why and how to use the following two formulas and suggest that they test formulas with min, max, and mid-scale values to see if the results are reasonable.

mA Loop Signal Scaling

PV = (mA -4 ) / 16 X FSO

mA = (PV / FSO X 16) + 4

In the first formula, you subtract the 4 mA offset from mA input signal, then divide the 16 mA span, this is a ratio, and multiply by the full scale output (in process units) to calculate the equivalent process variable output.

In the second formula, you divide the process variable (in engineering units) by the full scale output (in engineering units), this is a ratio, then multiply by 16 mA output span and lastly add the 4 mA offset to calculate the 4-20 mA equivalent output.

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