Metrology is an aspect that has transitioned over the years from a theoretical concept to practical applications. From accessing the science of measurement in theoretical and practical means during ancient times, to current development of national and industry standards for quality control purposes of manufactured parts, metrology has provided a means of accountability and certainty. Industrial measurement labs provide users with a resource for theoretical and practical use of metrology, to ensure consistency and quality.
What is Metrology?
According to the International bureau of weights and measures (BIPM), metrology is defined as the following: “The science of measurement, embracing both experimental and theoretical determinations at any level of uncertainty in any field of science and technology.” In essence, metrology is simply the theoretical and practical use of the science of measurement.
The joint committee for guides in metrology (JCGM) is responsible for the language and international vocabulary of metrology (VIM). This committee is a combination of eight international organizations, including the International bureau of weights and measures.
Basic Principle: Metrology
Although metrology covers a spectrum of different units of measures and is implemented differently for every organization, there are a few common aspects to consider when practicing metrology. The understanding, implementation and practice of the units of measures to be utilized is the most important principle of metrology. Commonly, the internationally accepted units of measures are used for any specific project or study, which could include temperature, linear distance, mass etc. All aspects of metrology are regularly documented and national and/or industry standards must be referenced, as a source for traceability. A significant factor metrologists must understand is the concept of metrological traceability. According to the Joint Committee for Guides in Metrology, metrological traceability is defined as “property of a measurement result whereby the result can be related to a reference through a documented unbroken chain of calibrations, each contributing to the measurement uncertainty.” Traceability can be attained by calibrating testing equipment, in order to ensure accuracy and manage the quality control process.