Industry Standards and Certifications Matter – Do your Digital Instruments Measure-Up?
GENEVA, OH, August 12, 2019
Have you ever wondered why there are so many standards issued by the government and other private agencies and organizations? When everything has to fit together, work right for safety or efficient production, you need Standards.
It’s amazing how important small details are. In today’s high-tech world with global sourcing, all too often small details can be overlooked. We recently had a precision thermocouple calibrator made inoperable because of a miniature thermocouple connector that was sourced over the Internet. Miniature Thermocouple connectors are supposed to meet ASTM Standard E1684/E1684M – 15.
With this Standard, the thickness of the miniature thermocouple connector pins should be between 0.030 and 0.034 thick. The “Internet” connector pins had a metal thickness that met the ASTM standard, BUT…. the pins also had a curvature across their width - so when measured across the pin rather than from the end, these connector pins measured 0.040, which does NOT meet the Standard.
An incoming inspection that just measured from the end of the pin would show that the metal thickness appeared to meet the spec because the metal thickness is technically correct.
Unfortunately, when inserted into a mating miniature thermocouple connector, it is the overall dimension (across the curved pin) that matters. A 0.040 thickness does not fit into a connector built to accept 0.034 maximum thickness --- it jams and ruins the mating connector!
In a digital thermocouple thermometer or a thermocouple calibrator, the input connectors also include the cold junction compensation, so the connector and the CJC have to be replaced. Replacing the CJC requires that a full recalibration be performed on the instrument. A full ISO 17025 calibration, with data on a thermocouple calibrator that works with 14 thermocouple types, is thorough and time-consuming - so that little curvature on the “Internet” connector that causes it to not meet the ASTM standard understandably causes a lot of time and expense, not to mention potential downtime.
This is why Industry Standards matter, in everything from building materials and wiring to auto mechanics and thermometry components! There is nothing wrong with using the Internet to source materials, although to keep your thermocouple thermometers and thermocouple calibrators working properly, I suggest that you source your miniature thermocouple connectors from a known brand. Why? For two reasons. One, you can be confident that a known brand will meet approved Industry Standards. And Two, because often trying to save cents does not make sense and leads to wasted dollars.
Does this blog post ring true to your personal experiences in ordering spurious parts and components on the Internet? Be assured that TEGAM digital thermometers and probes as well as all our other measuring instrumentation meet rigid standards established by governing bodies for accuracy, compatibility, utility and quality. When your measurements matter, trust TEGAM.
Please contact us here if you have specific questions on the subject matter in this post, or to ask questions on our measuring instruments and products in-general. Download our latest free digital guide, A Guide to Temperature Measurement, to read-up on digital thermometers and temp. probes and selecting the best devices for your measuring needs. Lastly, learn more about ASTM Standard E1684/E1684M - 15 here, compliments of ASTM International. Thanks for reading!
Dan Jackson, Thermometry Products Manager