What is Instrumentation? 

This is a term used to define the selection, arrangement, or use of instruments for a particular purpose. It can refer to measure or monitor the levels of performance of a specific product and recognize any errors.

Scientific research comprises experimentation and data collection that requires the use of certain instruments. The investigators or researchers use calibrated tools (a device designed for a specific objective) to measure and record variables (physical quantities such as pressure, temperature, and pH) in a process within a laboratory, manufacturing area, or production. The use of such measuring or measurement instruments for validating the values of different parameters is called instrumentation. In Engineering, the instrumentation is a branch that studies measurement and control.

In automobiles, the modern automotive instruments are more advanced as they now can provide diagnostics and information such as check engine, the pressure of fuel pump, brake fluids, if the door is left opened, low-tire pressure, etc. Moreover, earlier tools like speedometer and gauges (such as coolant, battery, fuel, and oil pressure), and the new advancements had led to complexities in designing current vehicles. There is the use of sensors (to recognize problems) and switches in the control system.

Thus, the title “Instrumentation” has been quoted in different frames of reference. Some of the quotes on instrumentation can be –

 “In aviation, they have autopilot and colour radar and a lot of other instrumentation that is backup for pilots. It really brought the incidents of plane crashes way down. Same thing ought to happen in the medical industry, I think.”- Dennis Quad

 “No matter how great we get with digital formats of instrumentation, nothing really quite duplicates the real thing.”-Michael Bolton.


This word has different meanings depending upon the context in which it is used. Some of the interpretations are:

  • An implement used for precision work (such as surgery).
  • Laboratory equipment that is used for measuring certain parameters in a process under observation.
  • A mechanical device to measure and control speed, position, etc. in some objects such as aircraft or motor vehicles.
  • An astronomical tool used to study phenomena or objects that are present in space.

Instruments and their Uses

  • There are basic instruments used in the laboratories to measure the dimensions of a given object. For example: Vernier callipers, screw gauge etc.
  • Instruments used to measure temperature of a surface called thermometers. A better alternative of it is thermocouple.
  • Galvanometer, ammeter etc are used to detect the presence of the current in a circuit by means of converting the electrical energy to the mechanical energy of the spring.
  • Different kinds of detectors and counters are used to detect radioactive particles. For example: Proportional counters, Scintillation detectors etc.

There are many more uses of physical instruments in all aspects of the life.

A Career as an Instrumentation Engineer

 Job Profile 

In this Engineering field the Control and Instrumentation Engineers must manage and control advanced equipment machinery safely and effectively. Instrumentation Engineering is a Technical Field. 

 The job roles of an instrumentation engineer includes: 

  • Designing of tools 
  • Developing equipment 
  • Installation at processing or manufacturing industries 
  • Management and maintenance of installed equipment that records and controls the engineering machinery, process, and systems. 

Skills needed to become an Instrumentation Engineer 

Knowledge of specific control disciplines such as- programmable logic controllers, supervisory control and data acquisition, distributed control systems, and advanced process control; excellent problem-solving skills; Physics and Math's aptitude, Good communication skills, and teamwork. 

Every year, there is a vacancy released by many departments such as Railways, DRDO, and ISRO for the post of technical or scientific engineers. Instrumentation engineers can opt for ISRO but must give an exam in a paper of telecommunications and electronics. 

They have few seats available for the Instrumentation Engineer Graduates that work for: 

  1. Communication Systems 
  2. Automatic Control Systems 
  3. Sensors and Signals Conditioning 
  4. Data acquisition 

The Scope of Instrumentation Engineering 

  • The instrumentation engineers have a good package of salary. 
  • In every field of science and technology, there is a requirement for instrumentation. Some of the employment opportunities are in sectors such as Corporates, Railways, Telecommunication, Manufacturing, Oil and petrochemical industries, automation, and many more. 
  • The graduates in Instrumentation engineering have a wider knowledge in the operation of plants in industries as compared to mechanical or electrical engineers.  

Department for Instrumentation Engineering 

Instrumentation engineering is a specialized branch that acts as an upcoming field for individuals that seek job opportunities in multiple disciplines either inside or outside industries. It focuses on the study of principles, operations, and control of measuring instruments that are installed in the different domains. 

Electrical, Mechanical, and Electronics engineering departments have good scope for the instrumentation engineering graduates. When the candidates applying for this field of engineering are specialized in this sector, then they have to work full time and finish their deadlines. As per the Industrial point of view, these engineers are answerable if the machine operation is not done properly and at the prescribed time. Thus, people do have a scope of rising ahead in the future. 

The electronics and instrumentation engineers must perform tasks such as testing, designing, maintaining, developing, measuring, doing research, installing, and controlling various types of equipment used in the industries. 

Some of the core Instrumentation engineering services includes as per industrial point of view are: 

  • Troubleshooting of systems 
  • Control room and control panel layouts 
  • Distributed control system (DCS) and Programmable logic controller (PLC) configurations 
  • Designing of the computer room 
  • Diagnose and verify the safety systems 
  • Estimate and schedule the alterations of existing systems and installation of new systems. 
  • Update the conventional systems with PLC control systems to minimize the production loss. 
  • Check and start the electrical instruments 
  • Estimation of costs 
  • Documentation of tools 
  • Study of the feasibility of the instrument. 

Instrumentation Technology 

This course helps an individual who is pursuing graduation in instrumentation engineering to be able to handle complex designed devices. Its applications tell us about how to install a tool, test its efficiency and safety, calibrate it, and measure the physical parameters (such as pressure, level, and temperature), and maintain it during the automation of the industrial process. 

With the help of educationalists, professionals, and trainers, a person can be specialized and work with the below-mentioned technologies: 

  • Computer and networking 
  • Chemical 
  • Medical devices 
  • Electrical  
  • Electronic 
  • Hydraulic 
  • Pneumatic 
  • Process 
  • Piping  

This program helps us solve the problems that generate while installing the instrument, repairing it, or maintaining it during its use. The study of this technology makes it a key supplier and a partner in different industries. 

The job positions available for the instrumentation technology include 

  • Oil and Petroleum refineries 
  • Paper and Pulp production industries 
  • Monitoring of environmental quality and emission of pollutants 
  • Power plants (such as Nuclear and thermal plants) 
  • Sewage and water treatment plants 
  • Aerospace and defense technology 
  • Design and engineering services 
  • Processing plants for food and beverages 
  • Manufacturing of automobiles 
  • Instrument manufacturing 
  • Building and plant construction 
  • Metal refining 

What does the Instrumentation Technology program offer? 

Instrumentation technology is a two-year program curriculum that focuses on providing the student with technical knowledge and skills that are essential for being employed as an instrumentation technician in the manufacture, maintenance, diagnostics, or engineering of mechanized systems. Emphasis is given on instrumentation, robotics, electronics, electricity, fluid power, interfacing technology, motors and controllers, programmable controllers, and automated machine processes. Upon successful completion of this curriculum, the graduates can expect job opportunities in different sectors. 

Context and Applications 

This subject matter is significant for both the instrumentation engineer and the students who would like to take up a bachelor's or master’s degree in Instrumentation technology or Engineering. It provides details about the scope of becoming an instrumentation engineer. Information about the meaning of the term Instrumentation is also given along with the worth of having a career option as an Instrumentation engineer. 

The information is helpful for students of: 

  • B.E in Instrumentation Engineering. 
  • B.Tech in Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering. 
  • M.Tech in Instrumentation Technology 
  • Instrumentation controller systems. 
  • Programmable logical controller 

Want more help with your mechanical engineering homework?

We've got you covered with step-by-step solutions to millions of textbook problems, subject matter experts on standby 24/7 when you're stumped, and more.
Check out a sample mechanical engineering Q&A solution here!

*Response times may vary by subject and question complexity. Median response time is 34 minutes for paid subscribers and may be longer for promotional offers.

Search. Solve. Succeed!

Study smarter access to millions of step-by step textbook solutions, our Q&A library, and AI powered Math Solver. Plus, you get 30 questions to ask an expert each month.

Tagged in

Instrumentation Homework Questions from Fellow Students

Browse our recently answered Instrumentation homework questions.

Search. Solve. Succeed!

Study smarter access to millions of step-by step textbook solutions, our Q&A library, and AI powered Math Solver. Plus, you get 30 questions to ask an expert each month.

Tagged in