Physical vs Simulated Calibration for Ovens

Ovens are used to generate a wide range of temperature environments for many types of manufacturing businesses and industries. Ovens are often used for drying, curing, heat treating, sterilization and many other production processes. Many of those processes require a high degree of accuracy and tight control of the temperatures inside the oven or significant damage to the products inside could occur.

Calibration of the oven is essential to ensure that the equipment that monitors and controls the temperature are functioning correctly and indicating within the manufacturer’s design specifications.


Oven Calibration Processes

There are two main types of calibration services available that are used extensively to calibrate most ovens, a physical oven calibration and a simulated oven calibration.

During a physical oven calibration, a highly accurate temperature standard is placed within the oven chamber and the oven is operated at various setpoints through its full operating range to determine whether or not the actual temperature within the oven matches the programmed temperature on the controller.

In performing this calibration, the temperature controller and all of the other system components that control the oven temperature are checked to ensure that they provide accurate temperatures within the oven.

The number of calibration points tested will either depend on the temperature range of the oven or the number of setpoints that the customer requests to be calibrated.

A physical oven calibration can be very time consuming as the temperature within the oven at each setpoint needs to fully stabilize before the temperature reading can be taken. The stabilization time will depend on the size of the oven and the regulation of the oven’s controls. Some ovens can take an hour or more to fully stabilize at each setpoint.

A simulated oven calibration will use a temperature simulator to input an electrical signal into the oven’s temperature controller to verify that the temperature controller is reading accurately throughout its full indicating range.

The type of input signal used will depend upon the type of sensor being used in the oven. A thermocouple type sensor will use a millivolt input signal and an RTD type sensor will use a resistance input.

After the accuracy of the controller is verified, the oven’s sensor is then hooked back up to the controller. A temperature standard is placed within the oven chamber and the oven is operated near the ambient temperature or at one of the oven’s typical temperature setpoints. This verifies that the oven is controlling properly and the sensor is reading correctly when compared with the temperature standard.

A simulated oven calibration shortens the calibration time of ovens significantly and will still verify that the oven’s controller, temperature probe and other internal control devices are performing correctly.


Which Calibration Should I Choose?

The decision to have a physical oven calibration or a simulated oven calibration performed will depend on how the oven is used and the number of setpoints that are required for the processes.

Ovens that are always used at one temperature, as for a specific drying process, would be best calibrated by the simulated oven calibration process. Ovens that are routinely used at multiple setpoints would benefit from a physical oven calibration.

is capable of performing each of the types of oven calibrations and can customize the calibration to your specific temperature requirements. For more information on our oven calibration capabilities or to answer any questions on the oven calibration that is best for your situation, contact e2b calibration.

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