Instrumentation & Calibration


Instrumentation is the term used to describe all the different devices (or instruments) that are indicating, measuring and recording physical quantities within your plant to ensure that your production processes are operating effectively.

Some types of measures commonly monitored include:



Flow meters are used to measure the flow in a process pipe. This can be product, water or chemicals used to sanitize the plant. They are used to record trends in product movement; how much water a plant uses or chemical usage for Clean in Place (CIP).

EAS has recently installed flow meters for clients to measure site water usage to identify opportunities for water saving initiatives. We have installed vortex flow meters on Demin and condensate water lines where there is low conductivity.



Temperature is one of the most important measures in production processes. Temperature monitoring can be used for anything from room temperature for controlling air supply to monitoring fluids in process pipes and many more. There is a diverse range of temperature measurement devices depending on the process or part of the plant being monitored.

Some of the ways we have assisted clients with temperature gauges include:

  • monitoring chiller rooms to control the temperature in the room and of the product
  • measuring flue temperatures on gas boilers and for over temperature protection
  • controlling the temperature of hot glue lines on packaging machines
  • monitoring chilled water supply and return temperatures and alsoassisting in calculating the load on chillers
  • in motor control centres to control ventilation and cooling into a room.



pH measures how acidic or basic a solution is. In food manufacturing changes in pH levels can affect the taste, freshness and shelf life of products. pH is one of the most common chemical measures as it is used in waterworks, sewage treatment plants and the production of food/beverages and health products.

EAS has recently installed pH sensors to provide pH protection on irrigation lines to prevent pasture loss and in stormwater lines to identify any spills before they get into our waterways.



Measuring liquid, gas and steam pressure is a key requirement in many manufacturing processes to ensure safety, efficiency and quality control. Pressure measures can also be used to infer flow rates, fluid levels and product density.

EAS has recently converted tanks from using radar to pressure monitoring as foaming was causing problems with achieving accurate readings. On the farm we’ve installed pressure transmitters to prevent overpressure on irrigation lines and in stormwater sumps we’ve installed pressure sensors down in the sump; which have really proved themselves reliable where other contact types have failed.



Conductivity measures are a useful indicator of the number of dissolved ions in a water sample and can serve as a measure of water quality.

Conductivity can be crucial for process control, product monitoring, water monitoring or leakage detection.

For example, in the dairy industry conductivity is used to measure how effectively the machinery has been cleaned and flushed. A low conductivity measure would indicate that all the cleaning products had been flushed and the equipment is ready to use again.

EAS has also installed conductivity sensors on condensate recovery systems to assist clients with minimising energy wastage and conserving water by returning suitable hot water back to the boilers to be reused.

Conductivity measurement is also useful in stormwater monitoring systems, CIP return lines and reverse osmosis plants to reduce losses.



In food processing chlorine is often used as a sanitizer. Chlorine will destroy bacteria, yeasts, moulds, spores, and viruses, significantly reducing their levels. As water is often recirculated it is important to monitor chlorine levels to ensure that there is still enough chlorine present for the chlorinated water to do its job.

EAS has used chlorine instrumentation to help determine the right dosing rate for ensuring bore and rainwater supplies are safe to drink. We’ve also installed chlorine monitoring systems to ensure that waste water has enough chlorine in kill off any bugs and to meet site compliance requirements.



Turbidity is the cloudiness or haziness of a fluid caused by large numbers of individual particles that are generally invisible to the naked eye. If there is a lot of these small solid particles in a liquid, they cause it to appear turbid.

Turbidity in drinking water can make it appear unappealing and may also represent a health concern.

Measuring turbidity is essential for quality assurance in a variety of applications such as drinking water production, effluent monitoring and sludge concentration measurement in wastewater treatment plans, monitoring of seawater inlets in desalination projects or product loss in dairy factories.

EAS has installed turbidity measuring devices for clients to detect any unwanted spills and to ensure that site drinking water meets the NZ drinking water standards.



Calibration is about ensuring your instruments (like those outlined above) are working as they should. For example, if you were checking your weight, you would ensure your bathroom scales were set to zero before you began – no one needs an extra couple of kgs added to their total. By ensuring the scale is set to zero before you begin you can be confident the results produced are accurate.

By regularly calibrating the instruments in your plant you are ensuring accurate results from the measures they are monitoring. Calibration however is a bit more technical than turning a dial on your bathroom scales to reset it to zero. Calibration involves comparing the measure produced by the device being tested and the standard. Calibration allows you to be confident that you are accurately measuring your inputs and outputs to ensure your facility is operating at peak performance.


The EAS team are qualified and experienced in calibrating all your plant instrumentation. In face in November last year, our team completed further training with Endress & Hauser on installing and calibrating a wide range of instrumentation devices.

If you would like advice or assistance with ensuring you have the equipment in place to ensure the productivity for your plant or want to ensure that it is operating at peak performance then give the team at EAS a call today on 07 834 0505.

Why we’re sponsoring Kidney Health NZ

Electrical & Automation Solutions (EAS) signed on as a sponsor of Kidney Health NZ in 2019. Kidney Health is a topic close to our hearts as Carey Penn, Managing Director of EAS, is currently on his own journey with kidney disease.

On the face of it, you’d think Carey was a pretty normal, healthy guy. He’d probably like to think even a bit fitter and active than many people his age. But in 2017 he found out he had kidney disease.

There were no obvious signs to make Carey think he had any serious health problems. He was a bit tired and hadn’t been feeling 100% for a while; but he put it down to putting in long hours building the business and with young kids, most parents are tired. Carey’s wife, Gemma, encouraged him to get a check-up and within days his test results were back, showing his kidney function (EGFR) was down to 21%. Which meant he was at stage 4 kidney failure .

As you can imagine this all came as a bit of a shock. Kidney Health NZ played an important role in helping Carey understand his illness and the journey he was now on. Carey says “I fully support the work they do especially around educating everyone about the simple steps they can take to ensure their own kidney health.” As Michael Campbell, General Manager of Kidney Health NZ says, “early detection is key in reducing the impact kidney disease has on people, their families and the wider community.”

In 2020, Carey’s kidney function dropped to a level where he needed to start peritoneal dialysis. Peritoneal dialysis involves the patient being hooked up to a fluid called dialysate four times a day which helps with removing fluid and waste products from the abdominal cavity. The fluid is placed into the abdominal cavity and remains there attracting and absorbing the waste materials until it is drained. The exchange takes about 30 – 40 minutes each time.

While some may have taken this as an opportunity to take a break, Carey instead viewed it as an opportunity to help others. He found being stuck in one location while having dialysis very limiting so set about designing a mobile stand that gave him the freedom to move around at home or work and interact with his family and colleagues.  Carey then went on to design and manufacture ten of these stands with the help of Mitchell Race Extreme to donate to the renal unit at Waikato Hospital so others could also enjoy that freedom.

Carey’s dedication to helping others with kidney disease has inspired the whole of EAS as well as his family to get behind Kidney Health NZ.  In August 2020, EAS staff along with family and friends got together to undertake Lugton’s Round the Bridges, raising $5,000 for Kidney Health NZ.  Carey’s daughter Molly and her friends also put in an amazing effort to raise nearly $1,000 running a bake sale at Te Kowhai school in December 2020.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for kidney disease and Carey is now on the wait list for a donor kidney. Carey says “I’m really grateful for my supportive friends and family who are going through the process of getting tested to see if they may be able to donate a kidney to me. Having kidney disease is not something I’d choose to have but I’m also not letting it slow me down. I’m staying focussed on the present and dealing with each step in the process as it comes up. Over the last few years I’ve modified my lifestyle – less beers with the boys (not that they seem to mind as they’ve always got a sober driver), healthier food and I’ve upgraded to an e-bike. The new bike means I can still smash out 50k on the hills without feeling exhausted. In fact, I find it makes me feel better not just physically, but mentally too as it sets me up for the week ahead.”


Latest update:

While 2021 may not have been the best year for many, for Carey it certainly was.  With the generous gift from his mate, Piete Vreede, Carey had a kidney transplant.

While still on many different drugs to support his recovery, the freedom from not having to undertake dialysis and the difference in energy from having a functioning kidney are huge.

Carey continues to give back, sharing his story to help raise awareness of kidney disease.  Check out some of the recent articles that have been published about his journey.


What can you do to help?

First and foremost look after your own health.

You can also donate to Kidney Health NZ on their webpage or look out for the next challenge the EAS team decide to take on and make a contribution to our fundraising.

Referral Offer Terms & Conditions


How to take advantage of this great offer, plus the terms & conditions:

  • Encourage your colleagues, friends or family at other businesses to get in touch with Carey to discuss how EAS can work with their business – make sure they mention this offer so you can get your reward; or
  • Provide Carey with the contact details of your colleague, friend or family member who may be interested in EAS’ services. Remember they need to book a job for you to earn your reward so it would be a great idea to talk to them about it first.


Please note:

  • this offer applies to new industrial clients only.
  • the job must be booked before 31 May 2020 for you to be eligible for the voucher offer.
  • Vouchers will be sent out on invoicing of the job.

Are your switchboards in top shape for the year ahead?

With the start of the New Year we are often setting personal goals to get in better shape but now is a great time to make sure your switchboards are also in great shape ready for another busy year.


Switchboard checks that should be made include:

  • Replacing all rewirable porcelain fuses with miniature circuit breakers (MCBs)
  • Replacing your main switch with RCD circuit protection
  • Ensuring your earthing bars and grounding stakes are sound and comply with the latest EWRB regulations.


How to tell if your switchboard requires upgrading


If you’re switchboard looks more like photo A than photo B it may  be time for a switchboard upgrade.

old-switchboard switchboard-photo

Photo A                                                                                                Photo B


Checks and upgrades that may be required:

  • Wiring should be checked to ensure that is not made of rubber or other non-compliant material.
  • Redundant and dangerous wiring should be removed.
  • The earthing conductors should not be bare copper. All bare earth wires should be sleeved.
  • All connections should be checked and comply with the latest EWRB regulations (AS/NZ5300:2007)


In addition to electrical checks, it is also important to check for any signs of water damage or habitation or damage by animals, including spiders, birds and vermin. Bird droppings are very acidic and can cause corrosion of metal, while nests increase the risk of fires and vermin are often responsible for damaging wiring.


If you would like assistance with checking or upgrading your switchboards, please get in touch with the EAS team today on 07 834 0505.

Health & Safety at EAS

AT EAS we have a strong commitment to health and safety. Our priority is not just about ensuring your standards are up-held; we believe in going above and beyond to ensure both our team and yours go home safe and sound at the end of each day.

We ensure all our staff are certified to work on your site prior to commencing a job. All staff working onsite have attended both the permit receivers and hazard ID courses. We also have staff certified in:

  • working in confined spaces
  • working at heights
  • elevated work platforms
  • hazardous areas.

Our team are encouraged to take a responsible approach to health and safety at all times with:

  • Daily toolbox talks
  • The wearing of protective clothing as required
  • Adhering to the correct procedures and equipment use
  • Ensuring all accidents and incidents are reported including the early reporting of any pain and discomfort
  • Informing the Managing Director immediately of any health and safety hazards or safety concerns.
  • We also utilise technology to ensure that staff have all health and safety paperwork on hand at all times.

As a member of Master Electricians we are audited on our health and safety, electrical testing equipment and quality assurance systems.

In fact our team is so passionate about health and safety, our administration manager even makes sure we’re aware of the hazards of an after work beer!



If you need an electrical team you can rely on, get in touch with the EAS team today on 07 834 0505.

Why upgrade to LED Lighting


While budgets are tight across many sectors at the moment, investing in a LED Lighting upgrade may be the best way to save your company money in the long term.

High Bay LED Light Fitting High Bay Metal Halide Light Fitting
Power 200 watts 400 watts
Output 25,000 lumens 32,000 lumens (fast depreciation)
Estimate Cost per fitting $300 $250
Life 50,000 hours 5,000 hours
Warranty 5 years None

 Figures sourced from


The key benefits of upgrading to LEDs include:

  • Lifespan
    LED lights have a lifespan of 50,000 hours and include a 5 year warranty compared to Metal Halide’s which carry no warranty and have a lifespan of just 5 years. Most Metal Halide light fittings in use today will be past their 5-year lifespan and their lumen output would be well below their maximum output of 32,000 lumens; while still using full power input of 400 watts. The lumen output of a metal halide lamp depreciates much faster than an LED. In fact, they depreciate about 20% each 1,000 hours.
  • Reduced Power Consumption
    High bay LED lights have a lumens/watt ratio of 125 vs Metal Halide Light with 80 lumens/watt.
    This means the LED light is 56% more efficient than its Metal Halide counterpart and this efficiency only improves over the lifetime of the fitting as the lumens in a metal halide light depreciate quite rapidly while the LED lumen output hold steady.
  • Better Lighting
    LED lights emit light over 180° vs the standard metal halide light which emits light in a 360° range. With the LED light, lighting is being directed where you need it, so your energy consumption is reduced – saving you more money.
  • Reduced Maintenance
    With a lifespan of 50,000 hours the LED lamp will require less changes which means less maintenance work for your team and less interruption to your business.


If you would like to find out about the cost saving your business could make by moving to LED lighting, get in touch with the EAS team today on 07 834 0505.


Variable Speed Drives – top maintenance tips

With temperatures increasing putting more load on your variable speed drive’s cooling system, now is a good time to make sure your drives are in top condition for the summer period to ensure there is no disruption to your production.

Variable Speed Drives (VSD) are used to control motor speed in response to varying process demands in your plant.

The control of the motor speed can be based on feedback from the process; eg: flow rate, temperature or pressure so that process control can be improved.

Due to the ‘magic’ of affinity laws, small decreases in the speed of pumps and fans or the pressure of pumps can lead to large decreases in energy use. For example:

  • Using a VSD to reduce the speed of a motor reduces energy consumption by around 50%.
  • Using a VSD to reduce the pressure of a pump by 20%, reduces the energy consumption by around 28%.

Key checks include:

  • Visual check:
    To make sure the drive is clean, the cooling fan and cooling system are all in good condition. Dust on VSD hardware can cause a lack of airflow, diminishing performance. Dust also absorbs    moisture which can contribute to failure. Connections should also be checked as heat cycles and mechanical vibration can lead to sub-standard connection and cause erratic operation resulting in damage to machinery.
  • Settings:
    Parameter settings should be checked and recoded so that if there is a failure, the drive can be easily replaced. EAS utilise Drive Software to enable us to upload the correct settings straight back into your drive to get it up and running as quickly as possible.
  • Stocktake of spare parts:
    By performing a stock take of the spare parts available we can ensure that any breakdowns can be handled quickly and efficiently. It also gives the opportunity to identify drives where spare parts are no longer available so that a planned upgrade of the drive can be scheduled where it will be least disruptive to production.


The EAS team have recently completed further training on VSD drives to ensure that they are up-to-speed with maximising a drive’s performance for your process, fault finding and setup processes.

If you need assistance checking your Variable Speed Drives are in top condition – get in touch with the EAS team today on 834 0505.