Making Sure Your Gauges Are Telling You What You Need To Know
Gauges are everywhere in industrial settings. They are used to monitor many different processes and conditions, but we take them for granted sometimes. Unfortunately, for those who are new to a production environment that relies on pressure or temperature monitoring, it can be difficult to understand the basics of gauge operation and their accuracy. An incorrect reading could be the difference between a failure in the system or successful completion of the process. In some cases, it might even be a safety concern. If you're new to dealing with gauge monitoring or selection, here are a couple of fundamentals you should understand.
Choosing Quality, Calibrated Gauges
Since gauges in an industrial operation are typically responsible for monitoring something critical, like fluid pressure or system temperature, you don't want to use the cheapest gauge you can get. Inexpensive gauges may be manufactured with less reliable components, meaning that you face the risk of inaccurate readings. You need to use a good quality gauge that has been calibrated and is guaranteed to be accurate. Prioritize accuracy and maintenance over affordability.
In addition, if you have any concerns about the readings you are getting, having a field tech come out and calibrate your gauges again can offer you some peace of mind. Talk to the company that you are sourcing your gauges from and see if they offer field calibration and testing before you buy. If they do not, you may want to use another brand or find an independent testing company to come and test your gauges for you.
Knowing When To Choose Digital Over Analog
More and more things are digital and controlled by computers these days. Gauges are not immune to this. In fact, digital gauges are becoming more common than ever before. Some of the advantages to digital gauges are that they are easy to read, they might store data for you, and the calibration might be as simple as plugging in a laptop and adjusting the gauge. This can simplify your operation and minimize your production downtime. However, some people believe the analog gauges have better accuracy because they are mechanical, not digital. If that is your preference, opting for analog gauges just means that you'll be looking at more maintenance time for calibration and testing. Digital gauges are quicker and easier to test, so consider that when you choose the style you need.
Replacing and Repairing Gauges
If you have a gauge that fails, you can replace it yourself if you know how to safely do so, or you can have a service tech come do it for you. Remember that when you install a new gauge, you need to have it calibrated to ensure that the readings you get are accurate.
Repairing a failed gauge is not something you will be able to do yourself. In some situations, you may be able to send it back to the company you bought it from for repair. You may even want to have the old one repaired after you replace it so that you can get a credit for the return or at least a discount on the new gauge. If the gauge has a warranty of some type, you will most likely have to return the broken one to get the replacement for it.
For more information, check out companies like Nationwide Gage Calibration.