Precision temperature monitoring is critical within countless industrial processes and vital to the safe and efficient operation of a wide range of industrial machinery. Over time, rugged and reliable temperature sensors such as the thermocouple, thermistor and a variety of resistance temperature detectors (RTDs) have been developed to provide accurate and consistent temperature measurement under conditions that are often extreme.
Precision temperature measuring instruments are a major contributor toward the stability and effectiveness of industrial operations. They have a direct impact on aspects such as energy output, production and even emissions control.
Today’s temperature probes are sturdy, sensitive and precise in their ability to measure temperatures. They also offer more accuracy and convenience than ever before in the areas of data logging and reporting. However, there is always room for improvement.
Improving Temperature Sensor Performance
Faulty or inefficient industrial temperature monitoring equipment can be costly on multiple levels. For instance, the high-temperature thermocouple has a tendency to de-calibrate or “drift” during operations, especially in harsh environments. But the mineral insulated metal sheathed (MIMS) cable has been created to protect these sensors and to guard against drift; providing added stability to these instruments and greatly increasing their lifespan.
Additionally, “dynamically self-validating sensors” are enhanced, self-diagnostic thermocouple-type sensors that essentially eliminate erratic temperature readings. They are also capable of generating a warning before a signal begins to drift.
Within some systems, low frequency noise that can offset signals from a sensor is also a concern. But this has been addressed by methods such as “correlated double sampling” that acts as a filter to reduce noise in the signal processing phase.
Temperature calibrators are used to set thermocouples and other sensors to read temperature information with extreme precision. But factors such as extended use and extreme conditions can negatively affectinitial calibration. Fortunately, advances in technology have allowed us to circumvent many of these issues and have provided a new and improved generation of temperature sensors.