Thermocouple Innovations: Self-Calibrating Sensors

Thermowells

A temperature sensor is an important part of many different industrial equipment pieces and products. Temperature sensors measure the temperature of industrial processes, machines, liquids, and other elements of the daily manufacturing process. If the sensors do not provide accurate readings, then a factory could face problems with production, safety, and a variety of other issues.

Unfortunately, many sensors become out of alignment without the factory’s knowledge. The sensors can become inaccurate due to age, field exposure, manufacturer error, or a variety of other reasons. When there is no way to regulate the accuracy of a temperature sensor, factories can go for years thinking that their sensors are accurate when, in fact, they are off by a significant amount. Wrong temperature readings can lead to a host of problems that can cost a factory thousands, and even millions, of dollars.

So what can a factory do to ensure their temperature readings are always accurate? One German company has come up with a solution to this problem. The company has created a line of self-calibrating sensors that check the accuracy of each sensor against a reading from a more-reliable source. The company uses microprocessors to create additional sensing equipment into the regular sensors to help keep them accurate for up to 10 years. If the readings between the two sensors clash, the sensor will send out a signal to the factory indicating that the sensor is no longer taking accurate readings. The sensors are then able to self-correct their reading alignment, keeping the sensors reading accurately for much longer than most sensors.

Right now, several companies have self-calibrating sensors in testing, but no companies have released the sensors to the general public as of 2012. However, it is likely we will see these new sensors on the market within the next few years.