Validation, verification, and calibration all share the common goal of ensuring a process is working as intended. Here, we discuss these three interrelated but distinct processes and detail how to go about validating, verifying, or calibrating your system.
At a basic level, the three terms may be defined as follows:
The outputs of a process are checked by the user to certify that the expected standard has been with upheld during the validation period. Usually an external organization will uphold the standard, but there may also be internal requirements to meet the standard. Commonly, users are compelled to validate that stack gas outputs comply with EPA requirements in power plants and refineries.
Gauging parameters such as pressure or flow rate typically involves the insertion, temporarily, of a flow meter into a process. This task is part of the verification process, whereby the confirmation that a piece of equipment or a sup-process is working to the standard of the manufacturers technical design specifications as well as to confirm newly acquired instruments work correctly prior to installation. The undertaking of verification can also be completed during routine maintenance periods.
The process is the same for both Validation and Verification, despite both having distinct goals. Simply, the procedure is as follows: Read a value and check to see if it falls within a specified range. Portable mass flow meters are particularly well-suited for quick and easy validation and verification.
In cases where the flow range of a single device isn’t quite enough, a portable calibration unit can be used. These units contain three high-accuracy battery-powered mass flow meters. Easy, swift verification of numerous process parts operating across a wide range of flow rates is what they are explicitly designed for.
In this two-step process, the user initially uses a calibration standard to confirm a flow value which then allows them to adjust the device undergoing testing to match the reading on the standard.
There are two types of standards:
Typically, Transfer standards are used instead of Primary standards due to the fact that Primary Standards are often highly expensive. For flow and pressure calibrations, Lab Unlimited’s high accuracy mass flow meters and pressure transducers can be used as transfer calibration standards.
It is crucial that both accuracy requirements and operating range are taken into consideration when determining which instruments to use for Calibration. A single mass flow meter can be used to calibrate devices. These instruments measure with NIST-traceable accuracy to ±0.5% of reading or ±0.1% of full scale and have a flow measurement range of 0.01% to 100% of full scale (10,000:1).
Our applications engineers are always available to discuss your application and determine which solution is best for your process validation, verification, or calibration needs.
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