Instrumentation systems of all types – especially those that monitor and control specific operational processes – require at least some bit of maintenance over time. The work could be as simple as cleaning or lubricating parts, or for more sophisticated systems, applying a set of standards to an instrument to measure the accuracy of its outputs.
For our client, a large waste water plant located in Pennsylvania, it was the latter. They needed help calibrating their systems and tasked us with ensuring that their revenue-metering equipment was providing accurate flow data so that they could be sure they were billing the town based on the actual flow coming into the plant, and not over- or under-charging.
As instrumentation and control technicians, our role in this project was multifaceted and included: reviewing the existing metering system installation; verifying the various configuration parameters; determining whether to apply a known reference signal or measure the existing process variable; comparing the meter system output with the reference or measured variable; adjusting the metering system to fall within the manufacturer’s tolerances; and, finally, providing a calibration report.
Over the course of the project, we utilized a wide array of equipment, from a simple tape measure and level to a Fluke 754 resistance temperature detector simulator. Those tools helped us calibrate several different systems, including a series of influent flowmeters; an oxygen production facility temperature monitoring system and transmitters; a methane gas flow metering system; a hydrocarbon analyzer; and various sludge flow metering systems.
Our technicians, with their combined 78 years of experience in performing these types of calibrations, ultimately identified a handful of instrumentation systems that were not working properly, plus a few others that required some simple adjustments. After discussing the findings of the calibration report with the water plant owner, we left this project confident in the re-calibrated system, and we’ll be back annually to ensure the systems continue to run at an optimal level.