This has been a fun week for us at Quality Digest, as we’ve had a chance to support World Metrology Week and one of our long-standing partners, the Coordinate Metrology Society (CMS). As many of you know, the CMS is the organization behind the annual Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference (CMSC), which convenes again this July in fabulous New Orleans.
Metrology—the science of measurement—is a foundation of the quality assurance industry, for without accurate measurement, the given quality of a part or process cannot be ascertained. All this week, we’ve highlighted the wonderful, wild, and sometimes weird applications for industrial metrology in such diverse industries as aerospace, automotive, power generation, solar, wind, off-highway, and more. The equipment itself is quite far-ranging and includes (but is not limited to) hardware systems such as articulated arms, laser trackers, structured white-light scanners, and photogrammetry, not to mention the various software that supports these solutions.
We hope that you enjoyed this coverage, which will culminate in tomorrow’s episode of Quality Digest Live, where we’ll be joined by CMSC chairperson Chuck Pfeffer. Our conversation with Chuck will touch on these systems and the importance of metrology in all our lives. In addition, if you’ve entered our daily trivia contest, you’ll want to tune in to see if you’ve won our grand prize—a 3Dconnexion SpacePilot Pro, the premier 3-D mouse for today’s most demanding software environments. Quality Digest Live airs at 11 a.m. Pacific/2 p.m. Eastern, and you can watch here).
So now that we’ve whetted your appetite for metrology, you’re likely wondering what comes next. Glad you asked! On June 14, 2012, we’ll be releasing the latest issue of the quarterly CMSC World e-newsletter, with unique metrology stories, applications, and videos, as well as a comprehensive job board. Look out for this issue of CMSC World, as well as the ones that will follow in August and November.
Mark your calendar now (go ahead, we’ll wait) for CMSC 2012, which runs July 16–20 at the swanky Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. If you have never attended a Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference, you are in for a treat. This event is unlike any other conference or trade show around. The focus is on collaboration and problem solving, and the people are incredibly supportive of new attendees. I know because I was a newbie in 2005; in fact, with the vast changes occurring in coordinate metrology on a regular basis, I feel like a newbie every year, and every year the vendors and fellow attendees help me understand where this fascinating industry is headed.
This year’s CMSC will include a series of free, pilot certification examinations conducted by the CMS Certification Committee. Conference attendees are encouraged to test their general knowledge of portable 3-D metrology and contribute to the success of the first level-one certification program in the industry.
Let me step back here a moment and provide a bit of background, because this certification initiative is one of the most important steps the society has taken in its nearly 30-year history. In 2009, the CMS Certification Committee began work to develop a personnel certification program to ensure the competency of users of metrology systems. This year’s pilot examinations are the final step in a rigorous process to create an academically sound and legally defensible assessment. The test results will be used to validate and weigh the examination questions and determine a cut-score. Because this is a pilot, participants will not be graded and will not receive certification upon conclusion of the examination. CMS members will also review the eligibility requirements for the certification and provide feedback during the conference.
During the past three years, the dedicated CMS Certification Committee has drafted a core body of knowledge and identified the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) as its partner organization to support the certification effort. Formal documents defining roles, responsibilities, authority, and accountability have been crafted and reviewed by each organization’s executive committees. The Coordinate Metrology Society expects to have an industry-recognized, level-one personnel certification in portable 3-D metrology by the end of 2012, and later plans to deploy a level-two, equipment-specific certification that would include laser trackers, area scanners, laser radars, hand-held scanners, and data post processing.
In addition to the pilot certification examination, CSMC 2012 will also feature a special study to reveal how actions and behavior affect measurement. So, when you come to CMSC this year, you’ll be able to find what you know vs. what you only think you know.
This is important stuff. If you’re an operator of portable coordinate metrology systems, or even better, if you manage operators in your organization, you and your team need to attend CMSC. Competency in the use of these systems is of the highest importance to ensure the best possible quality of the products that you produce, now and in the future. As I mentioned previously, metrology is an incredibly fast-changing industry, and a certification of this nature helps ensure that you and your team remain on the cutting edge of best practices.
Your interaction with this information doesn’t go on hiatus after July. In early September comes the next release of The Journal of the CMSC, the biannual printed publication offering in-depth articles based on the top technical papers presented at the show each year. The journal is available free of charge to all members of the Coordinate Metrology Society. (To find out more about the benefits of membership, click here).
World Metrology Week represents a great opportunity for all of us to reflect on the science of measurement and how it affects the world around us. As always, we welcome your opinion on this topic. How do you use metrology systems to improve quality in your shop? What tools are you using? Where are the pain points? Do you have trouble finding qualified operators? How do you know they’re qualified? Write us using our contact form and let us know what you think.