How Frequently Do Sensors Need Calibration?

Very few pressure sensor manufacturers provide suggested re-calibration periods in their product performance specifications. There are a number of valid reasons for this omission. These range from the nature of the application and the required accuracy of measurements to the environmental conditions of a specific measurement system.

Also, variations in stability can easily occur between sensors of the same type and between different manufacturing batches. One sensor might be found to have good long-term stability, whereas another similar device might be significantly worse. Each of these factors alone can have such significant effects on recalibration timescales, and so calculating their combined effects is an extremely complex task.

Although there is no set time period of when to re-calibrate your transducer, we recommend they are re-calibrated on an annual basis to guarantee they continue to work within specification.  We can provide a UKAS traceable calibration service in 3 or 10 working days and, if required, a full UKAS certification through our relationship with National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in London.  Please see our Transducer Calibration Services or contact us for more information.

Don’t gamble on accuracy

All too often, sensors are installed in measurement systems in the hope that many months or years later they will continue to provide performance similar to that when they were first installed. In reality, this “fit and forget” attitude has often little justification, other than taking a gamble that all will remain well.

Most sensors are subject to ageing, and it very much depends on the design of the product and the accuracy required. Higher-accuracy measurements require more frequent calibration, ranging from once every six months. The best way to determine the optimum time between calibrations is from the calibration history of the initial period of life of the sensor in its application. As a guide, where average industrial accuracy is required, no sensor should be used for more than a year without a calibration check. The absolute limit is three years.

Work with your supplier

Nevertheless, it will not always be necessary to re-calibrate any given sensor. By working closely with the sensor supplier, users can take account of the effects of ageing, temperature etc and create complete control and instrumentation systems with extended lifetimes. This is a subject that is often overlooked by many suppliers.

Read more: Our Transducer Calibration Services

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