Modern-day society could not exist without measurement. Today’s civilization is inconceivable without the indispensable measurement standards and tools that come in handy every day. Time, speed, direction, volume, pressure, temperature- these are merely some of the examples of physical measurements that make up our daily activities and are strongly controlled by metrology.
Simply put, metrology is the scientific study of measurement. This scientific study took precedence back in 3000 B.C where the Egyptian royal and King Henry the First used it to define length in different forms. Today, metrology plays an integral role in our daily activities in different measures.
Automation and Manufacturing
With advances in technology, the vast majority of manufacturing processes are becoming automated, meaning machines control them. The machines are programmed and calibrated according to specific parameters to fabricate specific goods in a production line. This way, the machines can measure different elements such as weight, environmental conditions, quantities, time, and quantities, among many other elements.
It’s essential to keep in mind that although automation has made it easier for manufacturers to produce products, the precision and accuracy of the measurements put in place are essential in coming with a particular product’s quality and safety requirements. For instance, food safety in a processing plant or the functionality of equipment in a healthcare setting is vital in ensuring that the required standards are met.
Marine and The Environment
Another critical area in that metrology is impactful is the marine industry. Contrary to common belief, metrology technology is today used to take measurements of ships, vessels and takers, among many others. When it comes to refurbishing or replacing boat parts, metrology technology is essential in taking proper measurements using state-of-the-art technologies.
Given that there are more than 10,000 water transportation vessels worldwide, the need to ensure that residual water is adequately treated has ever been so high. For this reason, most of these vessels have a Ballast Water Treatment System that uses metrology to treat residual water in the ships before letting it back to the ocean.
Automotive and Aerospace
Competitiveness, innovation, and safety are the three main elements that characterize the automotive and aerospace industries. Be it cars or high-tech planes, they all depend on metrology to ensure that their systems are kept optimal at all times. For companies to demonstrate to their customers that their products are reliable, they seek certification using different measurements that indicate that a particular vehicle or airplane is safe for public use. While this might seem simple, the automotive and aerospace certification process is always daunting. Measurements and analysis of different parts such as the engines, blades, turbines, and many others have to be meticulously carried out. As if that’s not enough, metrology is also used to fix inaccuracies that have to do with geometry and positioning.
Petrochemical and Energy
As the petrochemical industry grows, the need for metrology technology has ever been so dire. This industry strongly relies on measurements to keep their machines up and running and ensure that the final products are of the best quality. One such example is laser alignment as part of the preventive maintenance program utilized by many power plants. This metrology technology ensures that all rotating equipment in the power plant is correctly aligned with the acceptable tolerance levels.
Additionally, 3D measurement technology is used to gather information to do with flange locations, dimensional changes, equipment interference, and concentricity.
Generally, metrology operates transparently in all facets of our day-to-day living. Apart from the areas mentioned above, metrology works in other unique areas of our lives, such as solving diplomatic issues in a world with many geopolitical conflicts.