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Belinda Jones


Despite Economy, Large-Scale 3-D Metrology Conference Still Popular

Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference shows strong continued interest in large-scale 3-D measurement.

Published: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - 13:45

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference (CMSC), a notable accomplishment for any organization fueled by volunteers. Hosted by the Coordinate Metrology Society, the 2009 Conference was held at the Marriott downtown in Louisville, Kentucky. Even with the economic downturn, the event held its own with visitors traveling from Switzerland, Italy, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Canada, United Kingdom, United States, and more.

History of the CMSC
In 1984, a small group of ASPRS/ACSM (American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing/American Congress of Surveying and Mapping) attendees gathered in San Antonio, Texas. They expressed concern that their measurement problems were not being addressed by the rest of the surveying and photogrammetry community. This occasion marked the beginning of the CMSC.


A handful of people attended the next meeting in Dallas,Texas to discuss theodolite target shank and offset standards.


Each meeting grew larger with nearly 70 attendees in 1986. The CMSC departed ASPRS in 2004, and established itself as a stand-alone, not-for-profit entity—an entity belonging to its membership. The conference has steadily grown with the 2008 attendance peaking at more than 570 attendees.


Today, the organization has evolved to become the Coordinate Metrology Society or CMS—an international organization comprised of individuals with an interest in accurate and precise measurements derived from 2-D and 3-D portable coordinate measurement devices.


The CMSC faithful continue to support the event year after year, but the newcomers are the real winners. The CMSC is their introduction to an exceptional group of individuals focused on the science and application of high-tolerance, typically portable, 3-D metrology. CMSC draws visitors from diverse sectors of manufacturing and science laboratories, and continues to be the premier conference for measurement professionals.

This year's event was kicked off by keynote speaker Kip Schmidt, director of new technology from Spirit AeroSystems Inc., presenting "Back to the Future of Measurement." Soon after, the doors to the exhibition floor opened to 43 exhibitors showing off the very latest in state-of-the-art dimensional metrology. Many new products and services were launched at the conference.

In a span of three days, more than 20 technical presentations were delivered by expert metrologists and scientists. Presentation topics included metrology solutions for new space-based telescopes, calibration techniques, measurement-assisted assembly for aerospace applications, reverse engineering civil war cannons, and much more. Multiple industry and standards updates were also delivered.

A big hit at the conference was the introductory course on metrology systems capabilities covering four basic technologies: photogrammetry, laser tracking, laser radar, and structured white light. The CMS Certification Committee also led a well-attended workshop focused on developing a viable certification program for the metrology industry. Live polling and group discussions created an open atmosphere for members to engage in the process.

Sponsored networking events were conducted during the week including the Wednesday evening CMSC dinner banquet followed by entertainer David Crone, a ventriloquist and comedian. The week concluded on Friday with the CMSC 2009 Tour - A Taste of Louisville - with a trip to Churchill Downs and historic Bardstown.

Executive committee leadership (l-r): Talion Edwards, Vice Chair; Ron Rode, Executive Chairman; and Robert Clem, Past Chair


About The Author

Belinda Jones’s picture

Belinda Jones

Belinda Jones is the founder and owner of HiTech Marketing LLC, in Westbrook, Connecticut. For more than a decade, Jones has written articles and commentaries about manufacturing, engineering, quality assurance, CAD/CAM/CAE applications, and other high-tech topics. She has extensive experience in marketing communications, technical sales, and applications engineering. Before joining the computer industry, she was a broadcast copywriter for four years. Jones holds degrees in fine arts and mechanical engineering, and studied cultural arts in Europe.