Long-Distance Calibration

Calibration Is Complicated at Best. Add Problems of Long Distance, Timing and Customs Regulations, and Things Get Really Tricky

By Nancy Bartels

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At that point in 2010, Endesa began conversations with Endress+Hauser in Spain to find a better way. The solution was to use Endress+Hauser's on-site calibration service, one which the company says is unique in the industry. The service works this way. Once Endress+Hauser consults with a company to find out the scope of its needs and its plant availability, a time for the calibration is scheduled. The entire kit of necessary calibration equipment is packed in three flight cases, and a calibration specialist accompanies it to the facility, where the required calibration is carried out (Figures 2 and 3). At the end of the process, a Certificate of Calibration of unit under test (UUT) and the master meter's Swiss Calibration Services (SCS) certificate is delivered.

At Ceuta, says Canosa: "First our maintenance people dismantled the flowmeters, and then cleaned and decontaminated them. Then the Endress+Hauser engineers connected the flowmeter to the testing computer, and checked and verified its calibration. If the calibration tests showed that the measurements were not as specified, the engineers recalibrated the system until the correct accuracy was achieved. The calibration takes between one and two hours. The entire process, including disassembly, assembly and calibration does not exceed more than three of four hours per flowmeter."

See Also: Market Intelligence Report: Flowmeters

Canosa continues, "The advantages of on-site calibration are evident. In just four or five days, we had calibrated all the flowmeters. We also saved money by not having to pay for the transport and the special tax and customs procedures involved in shipping them back to the manufacturer."

Endesa has not limited its use of Endress+Hauser's services to Ceuta. The Coriolis flowmeters in service in its diesel plants in Melilla, just up the coast from Ceuta, on the Balearics in the Mediterranean, and in the Canary Islands, about 62 mi (100 km) off the coast of western Africa, have also benefited from the on-site calibration service.

As for Ceuta, Canosa says the facility is already planning to use the service again next year when the next three-year calibration is required. "This time we will expand the on-site services to include the calibration of the temperature sensors within our flowmeters. This will increase the service
cost, but it will guarantee us more accurate temperature measurements.   

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