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Definition of Instrumentation

by SargeyGeronimo

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Instrumentation is defined as the art and science of measurement and control of process variables in the production and manufacturing industry. It is also a field in engineering that involves design, development and operation of systems used with machinery and various mechanical processes. Instrumentation often requires work with computer control systems as well as supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) software. This type of software insures that all components of the system are working normally and that safety is ensured while the equipments are in operation. The engineering of instrumentation and control systems is very important to any business that uses them.

            Instruments that are involve in this field of engineering are devices that measures physical quantity such as flows, temperature, level, distance, angle or pressure. The instruments may be as simple as a readable thermometer or may be as complex as a multi-variable process analyzer. Instruments are usually a part of control systems of refineries, factories and even all types of transportation.

            In the manufacturing realm, if there is instrumentation, calibration is not far behind. Calibration is a procedure in which a production instrument, tool or device is tested to confirm that it is in conformity with the standard value of any manufacturing process. To calibrate the instruments involved in any manufacturing process, calibration instruments are needed to adjust the control instrument to the standard required.

            Calibration nowadays is so important that even government agencies are also responsible for confirming that certain things are properly calibrated. A classic example of this is the rise and fall of oil products have necessitated the government to monitor petroleum dealers to make sure that the pumps they are using is calibrated to the specified amount that they sell to the public. That is the reason why stations are obliged to undergo regular calibration to ensure the exactness of the amount of gas they are selling.    

            Some reasons for the need to calibrate instruments includes testing a new device, periodic testing of instruments after being used for a period of time, checking the accuracy of an instrument, checking equipments after it had been subjected to shock and finally, checking the accuracy of an instrument after it had just returned from a major repair. Instrumentation and calibration instruments are two sciences that always go together. In any manufacturing entity, if there are instrumentations in their operation there is surely a need to calibrate these instruments later to validate its conformity to the manufacturer’s standard values.

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