If you work in the calibration industry, you most likely have several high accuracy instruments that calibrate pressure, temperature, electrical, flow, level, and other variables. Wouldn’t it be great if a single instrument could handle multiple measurands?

The multifunction calibrator comes into play. So, why should you select one for your application? The short answer? Economy.

The term “economy” is defined as follows:
(i)Use of material resources in a frugal and efficient manner
(ii)The effective and concise utilization of non-material resources
(iii)An effective setup and mode of operation

The term “economy” is defined as follows:
(i)Use of material resources in a frugal and efficient manner
(ii)The effective and concise utilization of non-material resources
(iii)An effective setup and mode of operation.

The cost-effectiveness of a multifunction portable calibrator will become clear, but first some context:

Calibration entails comparing the output of a device under test (DUT) to a reference standard and correcting the output so that it aligns with the standard in a way that ensures accuracy.

There are numerous sensors used in industrial process systems to measure and calibrate a wide range of process variables such as pressure, temperature, flow, and level. These physical properties are detected and displayed locally, or they can be transmitted via a proportional electrical or digital signal. The signals can be monitored or used in a control scheme to send information back to process control elements. These control elements can include valves, thermostats, mechanical actuators, pumps, and other similar devices. Using a standard communication protocol, the signals are transmitted using analog electrical signals such as milliamps (mA), millivolts (mV), volts (V), or ohms (), frequency, and pulse, or digital.

A multifunction calibrator can simulate the output signal of a variety of sensing elements in order to test and verify the DUT signal transmission. Multifunction calibrators can generate the source element required, such as pressure, voltage, or current, in addition to measuring and testing signal outputs.

Looking back at the definition of economy, a multifunction calibrator meets all of them:
A. The efficient use of material resources is achieved by employing a single instrument capable of generating, simulating, and measuring a wide range of variables. A single instrument will be less expensive and easier to manage than multiple instruments dedicated to a single task.

B. Non-material resources are used more efficiently because the operation of a single instrument is easier to learn and operate, eliminating the need for technicians to expend resources learning multiple components.

C. The efficient mode of operation is accomplished by using a single instrument with all-in-one functionality. The technician only needs one calibrator to perform multiple calibrations on a variety of sensors in the field.

sing a single multifunction instrument to generate pressure, make a high accuracy measurement, and calibrate the output of a DUT, for example, is less expensive than purchasing a pressure pump, a pressure standard, and a volt-ohm meter separately (VOM). It is simply less expensive to buy, learn, and transport one instrument rather than several.

Field applications for multifunction calibrators include power plants, oil and gas plants, chemical processing plants, and so on. Typically, these plants have a variety of instruments mounted on pipelines, tanks, or other critical processes where removing the device for testing or calibration would be disruptive and detrimental. Downtime will be reduced by the ability to use portable multifunctional equipment for on-site needs.

Ultimately, a portable multifunction calibrator makes the most sense for efficient, cost-effective operation in process plants that have a wide range of sensing elements and process variables to measure and calibrate.

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