Pressure gauges are the ‘eyes’ of industrial operations, providing crucial information about your equipment and processes. As such, accurate measurements are fundamental to identifying potential risks, efficiency, and smooth workflow. After all, without these eyes, how else can you spot issues and opportunities?
In this article, we explore the dangers of neglecting pressure gauge calibration, including the impact of inaccurate measurements and the business benefits of scheduling regular checks and adjustments.
What are the risks of inaccurate pressure gauge measurements?
Inaccurate pressure gauge measurements in industrial settings can pose significant risks to both safety and efficiency. Here are just some of them:
Incorrect pressure readings can cause you to under- or overestimate the actual pressure in your system. The result is often hazardous and unsafe working conditions, with equipment failure, leaks, or catastrophic accidents risking the wellbeing of your employees.
This under- or overpressure can also damage various components – like valves, pipes, and other critical equipment – without necessarily leading to failure. While not resulting in a hazard, this kind of damage can lead to increased maintenance and unplanned downtime in the long run.
Increased operational costs
On the other hand, inconsistent pressure measurements may trigger unnecessary maintenance activities. That means you end up paying completely avoidable operational costs.
Reduced operational efficiency
Inaccurate pressure measurements can affect the overall efficiency of industrial processes. They may lead to suboptimal performance, reduced production output, and increased energy consumption – ultimately impacting your bottom line.
Heightened energy consumption isn’t the only possible contributor to your environmental impact. If your organisation handles hazardous materials, incorrect pressure readings can contribute to environmental pollution through spills or leaks.
In industries where precision is crucial, such as pharmaceuticals, maritime or food production, inaccurate pressure readings can compromise the quality of your final product. This can lead to product recalls, wastage, and damage to your brand’s reputation.
Likewise, if your industry is subject to regulatory standards and safety guidelines, inaccurate pressure measurements can lead to non-compliance. The resulting fines, legal consequences, and further reputational repercussions can be crippling for most businesses.
To mitigate these risks, regular calibration of pressure gauges is essential. Calibration ensures that pressure readings are accurate and reliable, contributing to a safer and more efficient industrial environment.
Is there a universal standard for pressure gauge calibration?
No. Because of the diverse nature of industrial applications and the range of pressure measurement devices, achieving a truly universal standard is challenging. There are various standards and guidelines that govern the field of pressure gauge calibration, but there are a few internationally recognised standards that provide a best-practice framework.
Some of the critical standards include:
● ISO 9001 – While not specific to pressure gauges, ISO 9001 is a general quality management standard that emphasises the importance of calibration in ensuring accurate measuring equipment. GNW is ISO 9001 accredited, for example.
● ISO 17025 – This standard outlines the general competence requirements for testing and calibration laboratories. Laboratories adhering to ISO 17025 demonstrate their ability to produce accurate and reliable results.
● EN 837 – This European standard specifies pressure gauge requirements and accessories. It includes guidelines for calibration methods and intervals.
● ASME B40.100 – The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) provides pressure gauge standards, including calibration procedure guidelines. ASME B40.100 is widely recognised in the United States.
● NIST Handbook 150 – The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the United States provides a handbook outlining the accreditation requirements of calibration laboratories. NIST calibration services are widely recognised globally.
Despite these standards, specific industries and applications may have unique requirements, leading to variations in calibration practices. We recommend that you adhere to relevant industry standards where possible and regularly calibrate pressure gauges based on the specific needs of your organisation.
Ensure both your safety and your organisation’s future
As you can see, pressure gauge calibration isn’t just a routine task – it’s a cornerstone of industrial safety. Accurate measurements play a pivotal role in protecting your staff, property, and equipment, and they can even boost your efficiency, compliance, and efforts towards environmental targets.
GNW has a range of pressure and vacuum gauges for various sectors, as well as our own manufacturing facility for custom pieces. We also offer expert calibration services. To learn how our pressure-reading equipment helps some of the world’s most well-known brands adhere to calibration standards and safeguard their success, get in touch with our team today.