Metrology – An Essential Part of Industry
Metrology is the science of measurement, based on the flux of force. It establishes a precise common reference of measurements, vital in tying human actions together. Modern metrology has its origins in the French Revolution’s social-political motivations to standardise units within the kingdom of France, following a long period of war which had left France divided in parts. This gave rise to the demand for a standard unit of measurement that could be used throughout the country.
Metrology therefore involves the application of measurement and its use determines the effective precision of measurements. The scientific methods and instruments of metrology are the instruments and the measurement devices used to determine and record measurements. The measurement devices and methods include weighing scales, automated weighing bays and electronic digital scales, digital indicators, strain gauges, dial indicators, and thermometers. Some of these instruments have become so efficient that they are now in wide use by most of the civil services and industries.
Metrology is an art that has achieved great fame and reputation over the centuries. This art may have been born many centuries back but today it is a science that has achieved great strides and development in metrology since the 19th century. One can trace the evolution of metrology all the way back to ancient Greek measurements and records of weights and measures. Thus, even as far back as the third millennium BC Greek traders measured the length and breadth of their lands by the use of measuring tools. Such measures are still used in modern times to measure distances and maintain measurements of specific areas.
Metrology is used for a variety of purposes ranging from building construction, navigation, surveying, construction, and land surveys to identify the boundaries between two regions or for the purpose of building roads. But perhaps the most important use of this technique is for the purpose of construction of ships. A ship is not a floating platform but a fixed vessel having a mooring to connect it to the shore. Therefore, a ship can never measure up to its meteorologic measurements unless some kind of manual reference is made with respect to the various dimensions that are required for mooring and also a formula is developed to determine the required dimensions.
With the advent of computers and related technologies in the quality assurance activities of most of the industries including construction, engineering, surveying, etc. have become a lot easier. As a result, metrology and scientific measurement techniques are no longer a part of technical papers but are incorporated into software programs. Such software programs enable accurate, real time, remote or semi-remote measuring and quality assurance activities. It also enables fast and accurate coordinate measuring machine performance with the help of a quality assurance tool like a GPS based steerable metrology system or a GPS/RFID steerable metrology machine.
In order to develop these advanced instruments precision and accuracy is of utmost importance. All the techniques for taking accurate measurements including mechanical, electronic, optical and structural are applied simultaneously. This facilitates the developers to incorporate more accurate techniques to enhance the productivity, output and profitability of the manufacturers, contractors and traders of all kinds of industries and this process is known as metrology. Some of the important parts of metrology are radii, scales, valves, automatic units, precision rulers and calipers. The precision and accuracy of any one of the above mentioned elements of astrology depends largely on the type of instrument that is used for taking the measurements and that is why the technological innovations are always beneficial for the industry as a whole and help in making a better job prospect for all those involved in the industry.