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Test and Calibration Instrumentation

Zedflo Australia is a Western Australian company established in 1982. They are proud of the excellent reputation and strong relationships that have developed with industry over the last 20 years and continue to strive to build new relationships. Zedflo supplies a comprehensive range of process control field instrumentation, test & calibration equipment and non-intrusive ultrasonic flow metering, providing solutions to the oil, gas, process, mining and chemical industries.

Go to Specific Subject: Test and Calibration Instrumentation | Calibration Forms | Calibration Principles | Calibration Terminology | Calibrating Fieldbus Instruments | Calibration Frequency | Calibration Advantages using Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) Technology | Other General Test and Calibration Links | Electrical Measurement Safety | Test and Calibration Standards | Temperature Instrument Calibration | Useful Books on Instrument Calibration and Measurement

Instrument Calibration must be carried out to maintain and verify instrument accuracy. Test and Calibration instruments are available that cover all different instruments which measure typically Flow, Pressure, Temperature etc. They are also used for setting up final elements such as control valves. Test and Calibration instruments are available in portable versions for site calibration or bench versions for the workshop.   Calibration is the process of configuring an instrument to provide a result for a sample within an acceptable range. Eliminating or minimising factors that cause inaccurate measurements is a fundamental aspect of instrumentation design.

There are as many definitions of calibration as there are methods. According to ISA’s The Automation, Systems, and Instrumentation Dictionary, the word calibration is defined as “a test during which known values of measurement are applied to the transducer and corresponding output readings are recorded under specified conditions.” The definition includes the capability to adjust the instrument to zero and to set the desired span. Usually Calibration involves injecting an accurate signal from the calibrator into the instrument at 0%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% of range and adjusting the instrument zero and span to a point where the instrument is aligned with the calibrator for the specified range.

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Test and Calibration Instrumentation 

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Low Pressure Calibrations - When you're performing a low pressure calibration, there are some things you can do to make the job easier and better (more accurate) - From Martel Matters Newsletter.

Temperature Calibrations (Thermocouple Edition) -There are a few "gotchas" in temperature calibration when we're talking about T/Cs and RTDs. Each has its own problems, This article will focus on calibration of T/C instrumentation - From Martel Matters Newsletter.

Field Calibrators Make Everything Better - Users Are Opening Their Eyes to How Much Clearer Their Data Is - and How Much Better Their Processes Can Run - with Field Calibrators - From 

Martel Process Calibrators Blog - Lots of Interesting Calibration Related posts.

Who Do You Trust? - Can you Trust your Vendor’s Calibration Certificate?

Martel Calibrator Newsletter - Martel Matters is an e-newsletter from Martel Calibrators. It provides information on new and existing products and calibration "tips". Highlights from the Latest Newsletter include;
- Tips on performing Low Pressure Calibration
- Getting Rid Of Leaks
- Adding Volume To Your System
- Watching Out For Temperature Effects
- Considering Head Pressure Errors

“How to” Choose the Right batteries for your Calibrator - Most of our calibrators are designed to use standard replaceable Alkaline batteries. You know, the ones you can buy at the corner store. That’s a good choice because of the relatively high power density and mostly flat discharge curve of these cells. They start out with a high terminal voltage (1.5 V  or more). A really strong point for these batteries is the long shelf life. If you don’t use your calibrator much, that would be a good reason to use Alkalines. New ones typically have a shelf life of 3 years or more.

Is It a Calibrator? - People actually in the calibration industry often hear things being called calibrators that obviously aren’t. The defining points for a calibrator are detailed here. 

Gas Custody Transfer Calibration - Using Multivariable Temperature / Pressure Calibrators  for Flowmeter  Calibration  - Gas custody transfer flow computers require special calibration to perform at optimum accuracy. In custody transfer applications where the buying and selling of commodities like natural gas is involved, calibration checks are performed frequently as a matter of fiduciary responsibility. For the purpose of this white paper, the use of gas custody transfer flow computers in the natural gas transmission industry is referenced.

Determining Accuracy and Stability for Digital Pressure Gauges - Like all calibration device manufacturers Martel Electronics spends a great deal of time determining what the accuracy specification is for the products we design. General convention is to publish one (1) year specifications as that is the generally accepted calibration interval for most calibration devices. Pressure measuring devices pose interesting challenges when trying to determine the one year specifications because not only must the long term stability of the electrical circuit be determined you must also determine the stability characteristics of the pressure sensor itself over time and combine those two numbers to arrive at a complete specification.

The Calibration of Smart Instrumentation - A Better Way - The assertion often arises that smart instruments don’t need calibration since they are very stable, reliable devices. This assertion ignores certain vital realities. These include;
- Field instruments are exposed to harsh environments.
- Good practice calls for in situ calibration.
- Safety Instrumented Systems require periodic calibration
- Custody transfer applications require periodic calibration by user demand.

What to Look for in a Documenting Calibrator - A documenting calibration system can be as simple as a single multi-function calibrator with an easy to use software package or it can be a more sophisticated system with extensive database software, custom reporting and multiple brands or types of calibrators. There is a lot of choice in the marketplace, so it’s important to determine your needs and buy accordingly rather than having a system that dictates to you.

Martel LC-110H Loop Calibrator and HART Communications/Diagnostics - This white paper describes the basic functions of HART communications and the diagnostic capability of the Martel LC-110H mA (loop) calibrator.  

Why Test and Calibration Equipment Is Essential - For the purpose of optimal performance and efficiency, every car needs regular oil changes. This not only helps the engine to run smoothly, it also helps to increase the car’s lifetime. As such, it goes a long in reducing the need to purchase a new car, which is a headache you could do without. Oil change is the same as the calibration. Basically, calibrating a piece of test equipment also ensures that that equipment is running efficiently and fine-tuned. This is required for, test equipment to provide accurate test results in the event of default product models. So why is test and calibration equipment in Perth important in the face of advanced technology?

Why Temperature Compensation Really Matters for Pressure Measurement - Jon Sanders - Have you ever wondered how much impact environmental temperature has on your pressure sensors? Nearly every pressure sensor has some sort of environmental temperature specification on its data sheet. This technical note explains the impact of environmental temperature effects on pressure sensors, quantifying the impact and ways to minimize the impact.

The following calibration white papers are from Additel Corporation;

Calibration Forms

The Following are from the very useful InstrumentationPortal.Com;

Calibration Principles

Calibration Principles - Details in this excellent ISA document on how to define key terms relating to calibration and interpret the meaning of each. Understand traceability requirements and how they are maintained. It describes the following;
- The characteristics of a good control system technician
- Differences between bench calibration and field calibration
- The differences between loop calibration and individual instrument calibration, listing the advantages and disadvantages of each.
- List the advantages and disadvantages of classifying instruments according to process importance—for example, critical, non-critical, reference only, OSHA, EPA, etc.

Flow and Level Calibration Notes -Thanks to INX Inc - These notes whilst being a little dated are still very useful.

Pressure & Temperature Calibration Notes- Thanks to INX Inc- These notes whilst being a little dated are still very useful.

Calibration Primer - From - The most sophisticated industrial equipment will not be very useful unless it is calibrated. Through calibration, adjustments made to a piece of equipment ensure that it performs as expected—that it can be relied on to deliver predictable, accurate results that meet quality standards. This white paper from Omega Engineering explains what calibration is, why it is important, and how it works. NIST traceability is defined and discussed, and there is a step-by-step description of a basic calibration. This paper also discusses in-house vs. laboratory calibration, and it describes major types of calibration devices.

Some Notes on Device Calibration -From the University of Dublin - A comprehensive albeit a bit academic note.

Calibration - Calibration is the validation of specific measurement techniques and equipment. At the simplest level, calibration is a comparison between measurements-one of known magnitude or correctness made or set with one device and another measurement made in as similar a way as possible with a second device. This article from Wikipedia covers all the basics pretty well.

A Beginner’s Guide to Measurement - This 30 page Beginner’s Guide from the National Physical Laboratory explains the fundamental concepts and basic facts about measurement, and in particular accurate measurement. It includes brief accounts of the role of measurement in modern and historical societies and explains the SI system, its base units and their relation to other units. The various organisations involved in measurement are introduced and their roles in linking all measurements to the SI base units through traceability chains explained. It includes general guidance about practical issues that affect the making of measurements, gives the meanings of key measurement terms, and explains the significance of such fundamental concepts as measurement traceability and calibration.

Loop Calibrations - New, More Efficient Methods Improve Productivity - Ned Espy - The typical approach to calibration has been to regularly test instrumentation that affects successful control, safe operation, quality, or other relevant criteria. In most cases, scheduling is conservative, and methods at a particular site have evolved over time. Instrument technicians follow practices that were set up many years ago. It is not uncommon to hear, “this is the way we have always done it.” Measurement technology continues to improve and is getting more accurate. It is also getting more complex—why test a fieldbus transmitter with the same approach as a pneumatic transmitter? Performing the standard five-point, up-down test does not always apply to today’s more sophisticated applications – from the ISA and InTECH.

The Following Technical Tips are from Advanced Instruments Inc;

Calibration Terminology

Calibration Terminology - Details on calibration terms - from Beamex.

The following links are from Fluke;

Calibrating Fieldbus Instruments

Calibrating Fieldbus Transmitters - Fieldbus is becoming more and more common in today’s instrumentation. But what is fieldbus and how does it differ from conventional instrumentation? Fieldbus transmitters must be calibrated as well, but how can it be done? Until now, no practical solutions have existed for calibrating fieldbus transmitters - from Beamex.

Calibration Frequency

Instrument Calibration- Glenn Carlson, Technical Support,  - Users frequently want to know how often they need to calibrate their In- Situ instrument. The most accurate answer to that question is “it depends”.  This article addresses this -thanks to In-Situ Inc

How Frequently should a Product be Calibrated? - The simple answer to this question, although not a very helpful one, is “when it needs it.”  From a more practical standpoint, daily or periodically testing the control solutions of known values can provide a quantitative indication of instrument performance, which can be used to establish a history - from Advanced Instruments Inc.

How often should Calibrators be Calibrated? - This article discusses some of the things to be considered when specifying the calibration period and provides some general guidelines. The same guidelines that apply to a calibrator also apply to other measuring equipment in the traceability chain. These guidelines can even be used for process instrumentation - from Beamex.

How often should Instruments be Calibrated? - Plants can improve their efficiency and reduce costs by performing calibration history trend analysis. By doing it, a plant is able to define which instruments can be calibrated less frequently and which should be calibrated more frequently. Calibration history trend analysis is only possible with calibration software that provides this functionality - from Beamex.

Calibration Intervals, A Manufacturer’s Perspective - David Deaver - The analysis tools that are currently available for Calibration Intervals focus on setting intervals to achieve a desired reliability target. This paper suggests there is another perspective that these tools do not currently address; consequence cost or accumulated liability. A case is made that sometimes the reliability target is a secondary consideration to managing this consequence cost. The paper also addresses how manufacturers establish calibration intervals. The paper presents, and defends, the practice of using no analysis whatsoever in establishing the manufacturer's recommended calibration interval - from Fluke.

Calibration Advantages using Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) Technology

The following white papers and articles are from the EDDL group;

Other General Test and Calibration Links

Guidelines for Evaluating and Expressing the Uncertainty of NIST Measurement Results- Barry N. Taylor and Chris E. Kuyatt - This is NIST Technical Note 1297 as it was published.

U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Process Instrument And Control Checklist - This is a very useful checklist which is designed to facilitate the performance evaluation of process instrumentation and control systems used to operate and monitor treatment processes and equipment.

On Site Flow Calibration is Painful but Necessary- by David W. Spitzer -thanks to .Some new product introductions have raised doubt about what in-situ calibration for flowmeters is, and whether it can be duplicated with simulators and calibrators with expanded diagnostics.

Calibrating and Testing Control Components on your Heat Process - What, When and How Should I Calibrate? - Arthur Holland, Holland Technical Skills - an excellent explanation on the basics of calibration - from dcnz.

Calibrating Non Destructive Testing Instruments - NDT Resource Centre- Calibration refers to the act of evaluating and adjusting the precision and accuracy of measurement equipment. In ultrasonic testing, several forms of calibration must occur. First, the electronics of the equipment must be calibrated to ensure that they are performing as designed. This operation is usually performed by the equipment manufacturer and will not be discussed further in this material. It is also usually necessary for the operator to perform a "user calibration" of the equipment. This user calibration is necessary because most ultrasonic equipment can be reconfigured for use in a large variety of applications.

A Guide to Low Resistance Measurement - You have to register to obtain this handbook which gives an overview of low resistance measurement techniques, explains common causes of errors and how to avoid them. We have also included useful tables of wire and cable characteristics, temperature coefficients and various formulas to ensure you make the best possible choice when selecting your measuring instrument and measurement technique - from Cropico. 

Guide To Low Resistance Testing - Understanding and Measuring Low Resistance to Ensure Electrical System Performance - The purpose of this booklet is to help the engineer, technician or operator to understand the rationale behind low resistance, how to make a low resistance, how to select the proper instrument for the testing application and how to interpret and use the results - from Megger and Tech Rentals.

Getting Down to Earth - A Practical Guide to Earth Resistance Testing - Earth resistance is measured in two ways for two important fields of use:
- Determining effectiveness of “ground” grids and connections that are used with electrical systems to protect personnel and equipment.
- Prospecting for good (low resistance) “ground” locations, or obtaining measured resistance values that can give specific information about what lies some distance below the earth’s surface (such as depth to bed rock). It is not the intent of this manual to go too deeply into the theory and mathematics of the subject. As noted in the references at the end, there are many excellent books and papers that cover these. Rather, the information herein is in simple language for easy understanding by the user in industry - from Megger and Weschler Instruments

The Expression of Uncertainty and Confidence in Measurement - M3003 - The general requirements that testing and calibration laboratories have to meet if they wish to demonstrate that they operate to a quality system, are technically competent and are able to generate technically valid results are contained within ISO/IEC 17025:2005. This international standard forms the basis for international laboratory accreditation and in cases of differences in interpretation remains the authoritative document at all times. M3003 is not intended as a prescriptive document, and does not set out to introduce additional requirements to those in ISO/IEC 17025:2005 but to provide amplification and guidance on the current requirements within the international standard. This 82 page document is certainly comprehensive - from

The Internet Resource for the International Temperature Scale of 1990 - Temperature Scale and General Temperature information for metrologists, scientists, calibration engineers and those with an interest in the temperature scale and its realisation.

Calibration of Test Equipment for Maintenance Purposes - The responsibility of an Approved Maintenance Organisation (AMO) is to provide within its Maintenance Organisation Manual (Policy and Procedures Manual (or equivalent document) a list of all test equipment that must be calibrated and the process to track the calibration - from Civil Aviation Safety Authority. Please note this is an archival copy and is not available from the source. However the information contained in it is very useful. Should there be any issue with it being on this website please advise ICEweb and we will remove it.

The Following Papers are from BEAMEX;

The Following Papers are from Fluke;

The following Calibration Links are from Dickson;

Electrical Measurement Safety

Electrical Measurement Safety Program - Every day, an average of 9,000 U.S. workers suffer disabling injuries on the job.  Anyone performing electrical measurements should understand the safety standards and be certain their tools meet code. This page from Fluke is an excellent Safety Resource.

Video - Electrical Measurement Safety - This hour long session provides an awareness of electrical measurement hazards; a better understanding of the safety specifications for digital multimeters and testers; an understanding of the four installation measurement categories and; how to minimize and avoid electrical measurement hazards- You will need to register to see this video - from Fluke.

10 Mistakes People Make Working on Electrical Systems - Jim White - This list gets you thinking. We go through life making small mistake after small mistake and nothing happens, until we happen to get the wrong alignment of small mistakes and have an accident. Once the accident starts, we have no control over it, so the best thing to do is to avoid the small mistakes and tighten up the way we work – from Shermco Industries and Fluke.

Test and Calibration Standards

Standards Related to Temperature and Calibration - A list of ASTM standards.

Temperature Instrument Calibration

The following temperature calibration links are compliments of ISOtech;

Recommended Book- Traceable Temperatures - An Introduction to Temperature Measurement and Calibration - J.V. Nicholas and D.R. White, John Wiley + Sons, 2nd Edition Download Chapter One: Measurement and Traceability  Purchase from

Useful Books on Instrument Calibration and Measurement

Calibration: A Technician's Guide - This comprehensive review of calibration provides an excellent foundation for understanding principles and applications of the most frequently performed tasks of a technician. Topics addressed include terminology, bench vs. field calibration, loop vs. individual instrument calibration, instrument classification systems, documentation, and specific calibration techniques for temperature, pressure, level, flow, final control, and analytical instrumentation. The book is designed as a structured learning tool with questions and answers in each chapter. An extensive appendix containing sample P&IDs, loop diagrams, spec sheets, sample calibration procedures, and conversion and reference tables serves as a very useful reference. If you calibrate instruments or supervise someone that does, then you need this book.

Quality Calibration Handbook - Developing and Managing a Calibration Program - Quality calibration systems are the very foundation for improving research and development (R&D), production, and quality assurance arenas through accurate, reliable, and traceable calibrations of their test equipment. This book is about how to design, implement, maintain, and continuously improve a quality calibration system, with all the required documentation, traceability, and known uncertainty for each and every item of test equipment owned and used by any company, large or small. It will benefit companies that want to implement a program and also those that already have one in place. Calibration requirements vary across specific industries but every organization can use the quality calibration system described in this book as a foundation for its personalized program. By using the quality calibration system outlined and demonstrated, any organization can put together its own version to meet its specific requirements and/or regulations.

Loop Checking: A Technician's Guide - In today’s competitive markets, manufacturers strive to continually improve manufacturing performance to meet their business needs and goals. As process control loops have a major impact on a plant’s financial performance, focusing on loop performance is critical. This technician’s guide defines loop checking in the broader scope of control loop performance in addition to the more traditional terms of the plant startup. It discusses general methods and practices that can be applied across many processes/industries. Featured topics include: loop checking basics, factory acceptance testing, wiring and loop checks, performance benchmarking, and sustaining performance.

Troubleshooting: A Technician's Guide - Troubleshooting loops and systems is something all technicians must do, but that few truly master. This newly revised edition draws on the author’s long experience as an instrument and electrical engineer and his maintenance expertise to provide a detailed look at the skills and knowledge required for troubleshooting. Interspersed with a wealth of practical detail and real-world examples are Mostia’s no-nonsense discussions of what a good troubleshooter needs to know. He provides an in-depth discussion of the basic logical framework that underlies all troubleshooting as well as advanced troubleshooting techniques. He also explores the causes of failures and the techniques that engineers and technicians use to trace them down. This new edition covers troubleshooting methods, both basic and advanced, hints and troubleshooting aids, troubleshooting safety, basic maintenance concepts, information about training, and the developing troubleshooting skills. It also includes numerous examples of troubleshooting problems in mechanical systems, process connections, pneumatic systems, electrical systems, electronic systems, and valves. Mostia also explores test equipment, programmable electronic systems, communication circuits, transient problems, and software.

Start-Up: A Technician's Guide - When new plants or systems go online, the control systems technician (CST) faces special challenges. The author explores and explains the crucial role of a technician in this process. This book offers you a clear overview of typical start-up responsibilities. From the first team meeting to the last round of tuning and loop checking, Harris uses her extensive experience with process control plants to walk you through the issues and skills typically required. Each chapter includes self-study learning objectives, practice questions and exercises, answers, and listings of relevant standards. Written with the technician in mind, it is an application-oriented book that provides an overview of the scope of duties a technician must perform in real-world situations. Includes over 30 figures and tables; fully indexed.

Ultimate Calibration - 2nd Edition - This calibration handbook covering various topics about advanced calibration comprises 203 pages and 19 articles - Calibrators, calibration software and other related equipment have developed significantly during the past few decades in spite of the fact that calibration of measurement devices as such has existed for several thousands of years. Presently, the primary challenges of industrial metrology and calibration include how to simplify and streamline the entire calibration process, how to eliminate double work, how to reduce production down-time, and how to lower the risk of human errors. All of these challenges can be tackled by improving the level of system integration and automation. Calibration and calibrators can no longer be considered as isolated, stand-alone devices, systems or work processes within a company or production plant. Just like any other business function, calibration procedures need to be automated to a higher degree and integrated to achieve improvements in quality and efficiency. In this area, Beamex aims to be the benchmark in the industry. This book is the 2nd edition of Ultimate Calibration. The main changes to this edition include numerous new articles and a new grouping of the articles to make it easier to find related topics. The new topics covered in the edition mainly discuss paperless calibration, intelligent commissioning, temperature calibration and configuring, and calibration of smart instruments - from Beamix.