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Viewpoint: Bill Fetter, Hexagon Metrology

Video Information

Bill Fetter, Director of Marketing and Communications for Hexagon Metrology discusses the problem of the lack of skilled metrologists.


The U.S. Department of Labor does not recognize metrology as a profession. Neither the word "quality" or "metrologist" appear in the Standard Occupational Classification System. With very few young people going into metrology, U.S. manufacturing will face a severe lack of measurement and inspection professionals in the very near future.




Metrologist -- one of the five Ms of Lean Metrology


Point well taken. Being a 1997 graduate of the UNCC Precision Engineering program and working in the field of metrology for the past 11 years, I have had a great admiration of the expertise a metrologist brings to the field of mfg and INNOVATION. A recent survey by SME suggests that manufacutring engineers are seeking to improve their knowlegde in the field of measurement. http://www.sme.org/cgi-bin/get-press.pl?&&20080063&PR&&SME& I recently inquired with ASQ on the number of Certified Quality Inspectors (BOK reflects the preliminary skills of a metrologist) and was stunned to hear that only 12552 persons are certified worldwide. It is not a question of IF, but WHEN companies buying measurement system will add a qualified metrologist to the system requirements list. And that time is upon us soon.... Anish

Bill Fetter, Hexagon Metrology video, training today

As a 20 year CMSC member, your comments strike home. The core knowledge developed over the years by our industry experts and veterans is not being passed on to the upcoming generation. At the same time the Metrology industry is expanding right along with the technology that propels it.
I go further to propose CMCS, Quality Digest, Industry suppliers and the Technical Education community get together for three critical items. 1) Develop curriculum for minimum baseline standards. 2) Develop Technical schools to provide basic instruction. 3) Support educational efforts by channeling new students to acknowledged training institutions via the Manufacturers, CMSC and Quality Digest websites.
In doing so many critical achievements will be made, the Metrology industry manufacturers will have a source of new talent, clients of the industry will have a new source of talent to hire thus allowing for more product sales enabling the core knowledge to be passed on for our new generations.

As a program mamager for CMTC and Cerritos Technical Community College in Southern California, I am willing to commit time, energy and resources to make this a reality.

A workforce crisis

Thanks Bill for bringing this issue to light with Quality Digest readers. The lack of qualified calibration/ Metrology professionals is getting worse and current 'battle' with the U.S. Dept. of Labor has been uphill and at times very disheartening. We need for the SOC to recognize calibration / Metrology occupations in order for these occupations to be included in the U.S. Dept. of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH). The OOH is widely used by high school and college councilors and educators to inform students about career opportunities. With so many baby boomers getting ready to retire we have to inform young people about the rewards and opportunities of calibration / Metrology careers in order to avoid a real workforce crisis.

Hear, hear

Thank you Bill for a frank appraisal of the crying need for a new generation of metrology professionals. Further comments and suggestions from our user community are welcome on this critically important subject.