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Sensors and gauges are found in almost every manufacturing and industrial facility; they’re used to measure a wide range of variables. When functioning as expected, the work done by these sensors often goes unnoticed. However, in the event of a malfunction, disruptions in the workflow are almost always evident.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at three common reasons why sensors and gauges malfunction, followed by tips on how to avoid them.

1. Incorrect Mounting

When setting up sensors, many people take a trial-and-error approach, which often leads to unwanted results. Many operators simply conclude that the issue is internal, such as an issue with internal wiring.

However, incorrect mounting is also a common cause of abnormal readings. For instance, if a sensor is designed to detect the presence of a metal, it cannot be mounted on equipment made with the same metal because it will definitely result in irregular readings. An easy way to work around this issue is to change the surface or mounting position.

2. Calibration Drift in Pressure Sensors

Calibration drift is a common issue in the food & beverage industry and the oil & gas drilling sector. Excessive condensation on the sensor can cause the calibration to drift. This is a gradual process, and often, users will be unaware of the change that has taken place. Many times, operations come to a halt when calibration drift is detected.

In such cases, it is essential to choose high-quality sensors that are designed to withstand drifting factors. Another, less common technique, is to build ventilation systems that allow continuous airflow.

3. Excessive Mechanical Vibrations

Several studies have shown that excessive vibrations cause gauge failure. Firstly, it can be difficult to get an accurate reading when the gauge is vibrating rapidly. Secondly, the vibrations can cause the pointer to move off zero and throw the gauges out of calibrations.

This is a common issue on drilling rigs and requires special pressure gauges that offer high vibration resistance. For instance, liquid-filled gauges dampen vibrations and make it ideal for use in harsh industrial environments.

Contact Instruments is a reliable supplier of high-quality process instrumentation in the US and Canada. As a premium OEM manufacturer and supplier in Alberta, we offer a wide selection of sensors and gauges, including electronic gauges, tong torque gauges, standpipe pressure gauges, and weight indicator systems.

Contact us today for more information about which process instrumentation set-up will work best for your facility.