Comparator Pot

How to use a Comparator Pot to Check the Accuracy of your Infrared Thermometer

How to use a Comparator Pot to Check the Accuracy of your Infrared Thermometer

An important piece of equipment within the food production industry, infrared thermometers indicate the amount of thermal radiation being emitted by the substance you are testing. Put simply, they allow you to find out the temperature of your product without having to touch it or penetrate it with a traditional thermometer probe.

As with any equipment at your site, infrared thermometers need to be suitably maintained, stored correctly, and treated with respect. It is also important that you verify your thermometers on a regular basis, and one of the most popular approaches involves the use of a Comparator Pot.

NOTE: We want to be upfront and say that, at Klipspringer, we supply both Comparator Pots and an alternate method to verifying your thermometers – the LazaPort8. In this article we will be walking you through the process of using a Comparator Pot, but we will also be exploring the benefits of using the LazaPort8 instead.

With over 20 years experience in the industry and a dedication to providing honest and informative resources for our customers, we hope that you can trust our analysis of the two different approaches and understand the conclusion we arrive at.

How do I use a Comparator Pot?

Compact, lightweight, and easy to use, it’s no surprise that a lot of sites are using Comparator Pots to verify their infrared thermometers. These simple pots are especially popular at smaller factories with only a few thermometers in need of verification. If you are new to this method or would like a quick refresher, we’ve broken down the process into three simple stages:

#1 Prepare your Comparator Pot and Reference Probe

Take your comparator pot to the room where the verification will be taking place.

Leave it to stabilise for at least one hour or until it has acclimatised to the temperature of the room.

Near the base of the comparator pot, there will be a small hole for the penetration probe of your reference thermometer.

Insert the penetration probe into this hole, then leave your reference thermometer to stabilise.

#2 Use your Infrared Thermometer to Take a Reading

Take your infrared thermometer and hold it perpendicular over the top of the comparator pot.

Make sure that you are pointing the infrared thermometer at the black bottom of the comparator pot.

When you squeeze the trigger, use the laser guides on the front of the thermometer to position it correctly.

Squeezing the trigger will allow you to take a reading on your infrared thermometer.

#3 Compare the Readings of the Two Thermometers

We recommend taking three separate readings to ensure you get reliable results.

Compare the readings from your infrared thermometer to the readings of your reference probe.

Any difference will indicate the accuracy drift of the infrared thermometer. If it sits outside the parameters assigned by your site, your equipment will need to be sent off for external testing.

Record both readings on your calibration log.

What are the pros and cons of a Comparator Pot?

As with any piece of equipment, the Comparator Pot has positive and negative attributes. Before making an important investment, It’s vital that you evaluate these factors alongside the specific needs of your site. From cost and ease-of-use to accuracy and range of measurement, we’ve listed the key points to consider below:

  • Time consuming process
  • Less accurate results than the LazaPort8
  • Unable to test a lot of thermometers at the same time
  • Only allows verification at one temperature
  • Unable to validate hot temperatures
  • Although it is possible to place the pot in a freezer to drop the temperature to freezing, this is unreliable as the temperature will jump back up when the pot is returned to an ambient environment
  • Small, simple device
  • Budget friendly
  • Suited to a small number of infrared thermometers

What is the alternative to a Comparator Pot?

As detailed above, the Comparator Pot does have a number of limitations. Consequently, a growing number of sites are switching to the LazaPort8. This piece of equipment will not only test your infrared thermometers, but will also verify your standard thermometers. Loved by auditors and customers for ultimate traceability, it couldn’t be easier to use:

The LazaPort8 has two temperature blocks on top – one at a low temperature such as -18 or 0°C and the other at 100°C.

Point your infrared thermometer at the top of one of the blocks and gain a stabilised reading.

We recommend taking three readings to ensure you achieve consistent results.

Repeat this process on the LazaPort’s other temperature block.

Record the results in your calibration log.

What are the pros and cons of a LazaPort8?

Listed below are the plus points and downfalls of a LazaPort8. Again, it is important that you take them into consideration before making a decision for your site. You can also contact our team on 01473 461800 or sales@klipspringer.com if you would like further information on this piece of equipment. 

  • Higher upfront cost
  • Verifies multiple thermometers at once
  • Tests the entire temperature range you will be testing your products at
  • Highly accurate to +/- 0.3°C.
  • UKAS calibration certificate proves conformance to the UK’s most common recognised standard
  • Verifies probe and infrared thermometers
  • Overall savings of money and time

What is the best approach to checking the accuracy of my thermometers?

Although we have taken you through the pros and cons of both the Comparator Pot and the LazaPort8, the final decision lies with you. After all, you are uniquely positioned to know what is best for your site. We do hope; however, this article has provided you with a balanced view of the two options available and helped you to understand our preference for the more advanced piece of equipment.

The video below should also be a valuable tool, providing helpful demonstrations of the Comparator Pot and LazaPort8 in use:

Both pieces of equipment are available to view and purchase online at klipspringer.com. Alternatively, if you require further support with your decision, simply fill out the contact form below and one of our friendly team members will be in touch.


How to assemble your SegriScreen

How to assemble your SegriScreen

The Klipspringer Team has been hard at work improving SegriScreen’s signature design, now making it quicker and easier to assemble than ever before.

This versatile screening solution sits within Klipspringer’s Segri ‘Family’, providing a continuous, impenetrable barrier for over 250 factories across the UK and Ireland.

The SegriScreen has many features making it perfect for segregation within food factories:

  • Mobile screens can connect to form a continuous, connected barrier for washdown, production or maintenance use.
  • Modular system - simply add or remove as many SegriScreens as required.
  • Screens nest for convenient storage and transportation.
  • Hygienically designed for food industry applications.
  • Add bespoke print for personalised branding, safety or instruction messages.

Watch the video below for a step-by-step tutorial on how to assemble your SegriScreen.  

NOTE: This video shows how to assemble a Master SegriScreen, which has two sets of wheels. Additional screens can then be added, which have just one set of wheels. Additional wheel sets can be purchased if required (see here).