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Transducer calibration

Posted on 12 Jun 2013 in Calibrations | 0 comments

»Bring me that SLM I just want to check something.« Assistant brings the instrument, short measurement is performed and then the engineer says: »Value is lower than I anticipated. Means it is all OK«.

We are often faced with subconsciously treating vibration and sound level meters as accurate and functional as long as their appearance seems undamaged. The conversation is an obvious generalization and should be taken with a grain of salt, but there is a lot of truth to it too. In today’s instruments itself is mostly made of electronic components which is increasingly more reliable. The most influential component to the end result is then transducer that »translates« mechanical into electrical signal. And the bottom line is that when the finished finding is presented, measurements coming from the conversation as described above can all of a sudden get important value. On the other hand, sound and vibration are pretty abstract quantities so our judgment is very often irrelevant. All these factors can bring about the notion that the measurement is valid, which in reality it is also likely that it is not.

There is no assurance for accuracy in special care and is not directly correlated to the quality of the equipment. There is a key in having a high-quality transducer because the manufacturer puts more care in making it more resilient, is designed for easy calibration and tracking of accuracy, which is not otherwise possible. Modern transducers are manufactured with highest quality and endurance standards, but the only way to provide an electrical equivalent to a mechanical signal is to make transducer react to the field of influence and respond to it accordingly. Effectively it means a lot of stress on very sensitive components. That is unfortunatelly only allevited with constant fixture changes and exposure to various drops which is major issue for accelerometers. On top of that environmental conditions are something we cannot avoid and they can significantly affect operation of the transducer.

In the IMS Calibration Laboratory, we are well aware of the demands of the market and industry. But client satisfaction is our main focus and we pay the most attention to. We are aware that the biggest problem arises when one is performing measurements thinking that his equipment is inacurate or malfunctioning. In most cases, transducer degradation due to use and environmental effects can be observed through periodic calibrations giving our customer advantage by giving them options of replacement or at least measurement plan adjustment until a new transducer arrives saving time and money. The most unwanted result of such a mistake could be the need for repeating or failure to provide accurate data for one-off events that cannot be repeated. And that is how we can help prevent it.

It is correct to say that with chain calibration a transducer is also calibrated, but the tolerances and measurement points are not suitable for any conclusions to be made about the transducer except that the instrument as a whole is compliant to standard specification. Transducer calibration on the other hand provides direct comparison to the original manufacturer’s calibration sheet and also trend observation for sensitivity and frequency response.

Considering all the facts we have decided to expand our calibration capabilities to sound transducers (microphones) and vibration transducer (accelerometers). Thus taking control, confidence and drift tracking of transducers to the highest possible level. Facts show that a yearly calibration is a great way of ensuring great understanding of transducer state and not only the instrument as a whole.

Write us to schedule the transducer calibration together with the calibration of the whole instrument for convenience and better value for calibration.

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