Pros and Cons of Digital Pressure Gauges

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Analog pressure gauges have their advantages: They measure rate changes, can be viewed from long distances, and do not require power. But if accuracy is vital when measuring pressure, industrial analog pressure gauges simply cannot compare to how precisely digital pressure gauges measure pressure. Digital pressure gauges offer many other advantages as well.

Advantages of digital pressure gauges

Many applications for digital pressure gauges require that they be used in temporary installations. Digital pressure gauges, like the

DG-10 digital pressure gauge, are suitable for a wide range of applications and industries, including mechanical engineering, hydraulics/pneumatics, pumps/compressors, and general service/test operations.

Since they may be transported around in the intervening periods during application, digital pressure gauges feature a stainless steel case, well-designed battery housing, and robust electronics to ensure the longevity of the gauges and subsequent accuracy of readings. An optional rubber cover is available for additional protection for the DG-10.

The readings that digital pressure gauges offer on digital displays are as fast as they are precise. When a local digital display is required, a digital pressure gauge, like the DG-10, is the ideal solution. They take the manual work out of calculating pressure by reading international measurement units including bar, psi, and MPa. The multi-function display also features a bar graph with a drag pointer and a MIN/MAX memory feature which can recall minimum and maximum pressure readings.

In addition to a display that measures full scale pressure, digital pressure gauges offer a host of other advantages, including:

  • No operator interpretation required
  • No parallax error
  • Back-lit capability  
  • Steady reading in high vibration
  • Easy to re-range

Disadvantages of digital pressure gauges

Unfortunately, digital pressure gauges have their disadvantages too:

  • They are not easy to see full scale or trending
  • They are not able to read oscillating values
  • They require power

Digital pressure gauges can use battery power, loop power, or solar power. When deciding how to power digital pressure gauges, consider these factors:

  • Battery power

The greatest disadvantage to using a battery-powered pressure gauge is that the battery will need to be replaced, and that can be unpredictable. But battery-powered gauges do offer flexibility and durability while in the field. Digital pressure gauges that use standard batteries have a long-battery life (4,000 hours) and consume less power. An automatic power-off feature will save battery life, making it last longer.

  • Loop power

4-20mA loop-powered digital pressure gauges ensure that readings are available at the point of measurement without worrying about battery life. The obvious disadvantage of this method is that wires and a power supply are required. The advantage is that cables that provide power to the unit can also provide an analog output proportional to the pressure if the pressure gauge allows for it. If a local display of pressure and an analog output is required, then a pressure transducer that features a local display could be used instead of a loop-powered digital pressure gauge with an analog output.

  • Solar power

While solar-powered gauges offer the same technology and features as battery-powered gauges, solar-powered gauges require a constant source of light available. An advantage to solar power is that the operators do not need to rely on batteries that will eventually need to be replaced.

Analog pressure gauges may not require power (while their digital counterparts do), digital pressure gauges offer precision that industrial analog gauges cannot match. 

Contact WIKA today for more information on how digital pressure gauges can improve your systems and instrumentation.

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