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Quality Digest


Metrology Interoperability Meetings Announced

Published: Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - 22:00

(National Institute of Standards and Technology: Gaithersburg, Maryland) -- The National Institute of Standards and Technology is hosting a meeting in Gaithersburg, Maryland on April 23 from 1 to 5 p.m.. The meeting will debate the organization of a semiformal consortium of the various consortia worldwide that are each working to enable standards-based interoperability (“plug–and–play”) in metrology systems.

These consortia include the I++ group, the AIAG MEPT, the DMSC, the IA.CMM, ISO TC184/SC4 and the CMSC.

The impetus for this planned meeting grew out of a concern expressed by metrologists at the IMIS meeting in 2006, that a common vision worldwide for metrology interoperability is needed. The success of the strategic automotive standards industry group (SASIG) consortium is another impetus for calling this meeting. SASIG has had an important role in the successful implementation of ISO STEP AP214 (automotive design processes).

Will the SASIG effort be a good model to achieve the common vision sought? If yes, the meeting will seek to define what form this new consortium will take: What are the goals of the new group? What will be the required work? Who will lead it? How will the work get done? What kind of memorandum of understanding will the groups define? What kind and level of funding, if any, will be required? Where will such funding come from? Where, when and how often will meetings be held?

If the consortium is judged not to be a good model, the meeting will seek alternatives to achieve the common vision. Would a simple memorandum of understanding between the groups suffice? Would a planned yearly meeting suffice, alternating perhaps between Europe (at Control) and the United States (at IMTS)?

There is another meeting planned for the following two days, April 24–25, also to be held at NIST. At this meeting, metrologists will discuss the utility of a new interface standard defining high-level inspection process planning (HIPP) information. HIPP information is intended to allow inspection process planning software to unambiguously define an inspection process plan without human input. This process is already well underway in proprietary systems, so the idea is to define a non-proprietary (i.e., standard) version of this kind of information.

Both meetings are open to any interested parties. Metrologists and manufacturing quality managers from user and vendor companies interested in enabling standards-based interoperability are particularly urged to attend.

For more information, visit http://www.mel.nist.gov/div826/msid/sima/interopweek/consortia.htm.


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