Calibration and Metrology

The Pros and Cons of Disposable Pressure Gauges

3 Great Reasons to Invest Wisely

The strategy for managing pressure gauges can often spur a healthy debate. Some say that using high-quality pressure gauges with regular calibration is essential to minimizing downtime, while maximizing cGMP compliance and productivity. Others consider pressure gauges and sensors as disposable items to be retired and replaced every year. The appropriate strategy for any organization really depends on cost structure, compliance SOPs, and the organization’s desire to invest in customer satisfaction.

In some cases, the argument rests on the expendability of inexpensive pressure gauges. Some facilities have calculated the average time to failure (complete failure or an out-of-spec state) is sufficiently into the future versus the required recalibration interval to make simple replacement worth the risk. Low budget solutions can serve this purpose if the total uncertainty of your loop is within an acceptable range. Many unregulated industries use this method, as well as in academia. On the surface, this method seems simple, economical, and sufficiently effective. However, for highly regulated industries where compliance cannot be forfeited for short term savings, “sufficiently” will never suffice.

The alternative to the “disposable pressure gauge” method is to purchase and regularly calibrate digital pressure gauges or analog versions. A quality digital pressure gauge can cost more than bargain options however using them along with regular quality pressure gauge calibration will actually save money and produce more accurate results over the long term.

Here are three important benefits of quality pressure gauge calibration:

  1. NIST Traceable Calibration Certificate. When you send your pressure gauge to an ISO 17025 accredited lab it ensures that your equipment will be compared to the most stable and precise standards. These standards are calibrated by NIST or the equivalent national standards organization in your country. The combination of high-quality verified equipment and clear, professional documentation gives you and your customers peace of mind that measurements are accurate.
  2. Long-term simplification of processes, and reduced vendor risk. Purchasing expendable gauges and sensors seems budget-friendly in the short term but can be extremely risky over time. Can you trust that your vendor will be around in the future, and that their product quality will remain acceptable? Supply chain issues, management changes, and price fluctuations can all lead to very unpredictable results for you as an end-user organization. In contrast, investing in high-quality pressure gauges and sending them in for annual calibration service ensures that proven equipment back by a trusted calibration lab stays reliable over time.
  3. Simplified SOPs and regulatory compliance. It’s not unusual that “less expensive” solutions inevitably involve workarounds to get acceptable results. The more complex your operation becomes, the harder it is to scale. Paperwork grows, and it becomes difficult to document results and make business decisions. “Getting it right the first time” reduces error, improves compliance, and saves time. With high-quality pressure gauges, simply send them in for calibration, get them back with the calibration certificate, and get back to business.

Masy Experts Agree—Go Digital

With nearly 40 years of industry experience, our metrology background at Masy yields reputable advice to organizations that span diverse industries across the globe. Masy recommends digital pressure gauges instead of analog whenever possible. The easy-to-read displays have a fixed resolution, making the results obvious and helping reduce human errors. Analog displays are ambiguous, and two people can interpret the same point on the dial as radically different pressures. An additional benefit is digital sophistication. High-quality digital pressure gauges are often more stable than analog solutions, and usually have built in electronics to compensate for temperature, flow rate, etc. Finally, many digital pressure gauges support wireless protocols like HART. Wireless pressure transmitters and gauges are ideal for hard-to-reach areas, or in applications where installing a mV or 4-20 mA loop is not practical.

Calibration You Can Count On

A calibration program is instrumental in risk mitigation efforts, cost efficiencies, and improved performances across manufacturing, warehousing, distribution activities, and more. Many companies partner with accredited calibration labs to ensure that their instruments are calibrated correctly, and therefore can produce high quality, reliable and consistent results.

For decades, customers trust Masy for top-quality SI traceable calibration services, quick turnaround, letter-perfect certificates and the lowest industry uncertainties. Masy calibration services reinforce your commitment to demonstrate adherence to safety, quality, and environmental standards. We also have the largest inventory of qualification, validation, calibration and metrology equipment in North America. Our specialists are ready to ship top-quality, reliable equipment today. For the full scope of our calibration capabilities, rentals and sales, visit or call 1-978-433-6279.