Efficient Plant April 2022 - 17

feature | data acquisition
temperature shiſt s that occur when a
sensor is exposed to temperatures beyond
its operating range, which can cause a
crystal to depolarize and lose its charge
output
damaged or de-bonded crystal
during manufacturing
natural decay in crystal output
over time.
In a straightforward costversus-risk
analysis, calibration can be
costly in terms of downtime to machinery
and calibration lab fees. On the other
hand, the cost of inaccurate data could be
catastrophic. Or, it could be a minor setback,
as in a repeatable test. In the example
of turbine monitoring, the severity of failure
is always major.
In his whitepaper, Managing Machine
Assets Using Predictive Maintenance,
David A. Corelli, IMI Sensors' Director of
Application Engineering writes: " When it
comes to plant operations, it seems there is
always time and money available to put out
a fi re but there is oſt en no time or money
available to prevent one. In the end, even
seemingly small failures can lead to big consequences.
It boils down to this question:
How much risk are you willing to take? "
COMBAT COSTS
WITH CAREFUL PLANNING.
What regular calibration looks like can
vary from company to company according
to convenience, cost, likelihood of failure,
and associated risks. If this seems diffi cult
to quantify, it helps to remember that the
most common cause of failure is damage to
a sensor's crystal, which usually occurs with
use outside of specifi cations. Accelerometers
used in portable applications are more
likely to incur damage from being dropped
or mishandled. When used within specifi -
cation in a low-risk setting, natural decay in
output over time can be estimated based on
the sensing material.
APRIL 2022
ed units with built-in data systems. Generally,
benefi ts include reduced downtime and
improved personnel effi ciency, as nuisance
vibration trips can be checked on
the spot. However, the initial investment
may be expensive, and many are
not capable of generating calibration
reports for quality purposes.
Sending your sensor to the manufacturer
or outside calibration lab
can be a good option for less-frequent
calibration. Benefi ts include calibration
How sensors perform over time, particularly in
extreme conditions, is one of several factors
that determine data accuracy.
Piezotronic sensors are typically made
of either quartz or a ceramic composite.
Quartz is a naturally piezoelectric mineral
that is considered the most stable of all such
materials. For quartz sensors, the calibration
value is guaranteed to remain stable for
a minimum of fi ve years when used within
the published operating guidelines for these
sensors.
Polycrystalline ceramics are manmade
materials that have been polarized to exhibit
piezoelectric properties. It's recommended
that sensors with ceramic sensing elements
be calibrated at least once a year, as well as
aſt er any suspected physical damage due to
excessive mechanical shock, extreme thermal
transients, excessive temperatures, or
other extreme environmental infl uences.
With a schedule in mind, options for
calibration can be broken into three basic
categories: on-site/portable calibration,
lab calibration, and fi eld calibration. Each
comes with its own benefi ts and downfalls,
which should be considered against the
needs of your facility.
Portable vibration-calibration units include
handheld shakers or more sophisticatcertifi
cates by ISO-certifi ed labs and the
peace of mind that comes from leaving it
to the experts. A major drawback to this
method is the sensor's time away from the
facility, so planning for downtime or having
a backup monitoring plan is recommended.
Field calibration may be one of the most
expensive options, as travel is oſt en a factor
in the cost. But it is one of the best for
minimizing downtime, with added benefi ts
of testing on site, such as verifi cation and
calibration of vibration transducers and
related test systems, verifi cation of connector
and cabling integrity, and confi rmation
that machine vibration-alarm trip points are
set properly to ensure end-to-end functionality
of vibration-monitoring systems.
With an understanding of how manufacturing
data holds up against your application,
a sensor calibration plan that makes
sense for your facility, and common sense
safe-handling practices, you can be sure
that your predictive-maintenance system is
functioning as intended. EP
Victor Viola is Director, Industrial Division,
at PCB-IMI Sensors, Depew, NY (pcb.com),
where he is responsible for global sales and
marketing of all IMI products in the following
areas: Predictive Maintenance, Process
Monitoring, and Protection/Control Products.
He has spent nine years in the industrial-sensor
market with a focus on condition
monitoring.
EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM | 17
http://www.pcb.com http://www.EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

Efficient Plant April 2022

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