Metrology refers to a science of measurement. When it comes to modern manufacturing, the term is used in the context of quality assurance methods that are used when calibrating machinery that is used during the production process. Metrology is also used when measuring the end product.
Metrology usually operates in a manner that each measurement will contain some degree of uncertainty. To ensure the uncertainty arising from compounding is more complex, the manufacturers will ensure the machinery is well-calibrated. It is then possible to maintain optimum part precision and accuracy.
Calibrations usually play a crucial role when it comes to traceability. Also, there is the concept whereby you can link empirical measurements to the reference standards. The measurements are traceable if a calibration chain is unbroken that goes back to the primary standard.
Through metrology, it is possible to account for systematic errors and uncertainty. Metrology will refer to the errors that are unknown, and they’ll be present during the calibration of the instruments while formulating a benchmark that will account for random errors and uncertainty. Air turbulence, for example, will create minor inaccuracies when it comes to laser measurements. Mechanical play will, in turn, skew the measurements. Proper calibration will help in mitigating some of these inaccuracies.
What Roles Does Metrology Play in Manufacturing?
When it comes to manufacturing, there are millions of products that are being produced weekly. Most of their products are being produced through automation, and there is minimal human interaction. Every machine present in a production line produces specific parts that are manufactured using precise specifications, and there is tolerance for error.
Regardless of how expensive or sophisticated the machinery is, with time, it may lose or shift alignment. The shifts will be fractional. However, when the machines are tasked with producing parts that are sensitive for the automotive or aerospace industries, some minor changes will have a major impact.
This is where metrology kicks in. The parts will be produced on a modern production line, and tolerance of error is allowable. The tolerance degree is dependent on the parts that are being produced. The machines usually carry out self-diagnosis if the components that are being produced are present within the tolerance that is allowable. If not, the machine usually alerts machine operators. The quality control team will then handle the issue accordingly.
A coordinate measuring machine will be deployed in sectors where precision measurement is essential, including the automotive and aerospace industries. It’ll be used to measure every component to make sure the exact standards will be met accurately.
The Importance of Metrology in Daily Life
Metrology enables manufacturers to ensure that each product they produce is accurate. The products are also produced fast, and there will be a higher standard.
The benefits will be passed to the consumers since the products will be more affordable, considering the cost of production will be lower. Also, the quality of the products will be higher. A good example is a car.
In the past, when a car reached a mileage of at least 10,000 miles, the mileage was considered good. Parts failure and wear & tear during such periods and after a car has managed such a distance meant that it is time to trade-in the car for a newer model. Presently, many vehicles will easily manage 200,000 miles, and they’ll still be working well.
In the automotive sector, metrology plays a vital role since the parts being produced will be standardized. The industry has refined and improved each process, and it means the cars being produced currently are of a higher standard.