Calibration for the Rest of Us
Should your industrial plant strive for the precision achieved at the National Ignition Facility (NIF)?
Not if you don't need it. Many industrial processes will run just fine without the extreme accuracy the NIF requires to direct nearly 200 laser beams to simultaneously strike a BB-size target. For most operators, the tools and procedures used to calibrate sensors can be simpler and less costly.
To calibrate temperature sensors, for instance, Travis Averill of the NIF uses the Fluke 9142-P Field Metrology Well, fitted with an external Fluke 5608 reference PRT, to establish an accurate temperature measurement of the process control sensor. He also uses the Fluke 754 Documenting Process Calibrator-HART to verify that the transmitter attached to the sensor is sending the right current through the 24 V control circuit. It's a sophisticated setup, because Avery is driving for extreme precision—a tolerance for error of just .10 degree F.
But many operators will find that the handheld Fluke 714 Thermocouple Calibrator meets their needs. It's small enough to stuff in a tool bag, yet delivers outstanding performance, durability, and reliability. The Fluke 714 is EMI tolerant, dust and splash resistant, and features a removable battery door for quick battery changes.
With the Fluke 714 you can measure temperature from a thermocouple (TC) output (Range is -200 to 1800 ºC, depending on type, with resolution of 0.1 ºC and accuracy of 0.3 ºC + 10 µV). The Fluke 714 works with nine types of thermocouples. It does not measure the accuracy of the thermocouple itself, but in many operations thermocouple stability and precision may not be critical factors.
Using its mV source function, you can calibrate a linear TC transmitter. You can simulate TC output over a range of -10 to 75 mV, with resolution of 0.01 mV and accuracy of 0.025 % + 1 count.