Fred Mason’s picture

By: Fred Mason

Usually, when people discuss measurements they speak in absolute terms—degrees of temperature, millimeters of length, ounces of weight, candela of illumination intensity, degrees of angle, etc. For example, when I say the temperature is 56.4° F, the implicit understanding is that there’s direct correlation and agreement with a standard. This makes the temperature measurement meaningful when shared with others who know the Fahrenheit scale.

Michael H. Brill’s default image

By: Michael H. Brill

Referring to human relations, my father advised me always to "save the surface," which is something like "don’t burn your bridges," only more subtle. The connection between the homilies becomes literal in the paint industry: You must save the surface of an iron bridge to avoid burning or corroding its basic structure.

Fred Mason’s picture

By: Fred Mason

No, this isn’t about promises you made on New Year’s Eve and broke the next day. It’s about measurement resolution—the number of decimal places to which a measured value is calculated and presented. The measurement can be of any parameter—voltage, distance, weight, temperature, whatever. The principle of measured and displayed resolution applies in all cases.

George Rodrigues Ph.D.’s default image

By: George Rodrigues Ph.D.

The pipette is a reliable precision instrument that has been used and trusted for many years. However, as with many forms of instrumentation, a pipette performs only as well as the operator’s technique allows. Differences in technique—some more than others—can alter delivery volumes and affect data integrity.

Fred Mason’s picture

By: Fred Mason

Many people know about William Tell shooting the apple on his son’s head. What can this archery event teach us about accuracy and precision? What do these words mean? When are they equal, and when are they not? “Accuracy,” “precision” and “resolution” are sometimes misunderstood or misrepresented. A measurement can be precise yet inaccurate, regardless of its resolution. And the resolution of a measurement may have nothing to do with how many places there are after the decimal point. How can that be?

Fred Mason’s picture

By: Fred Mason

Measurements add value to the parts you manufacture. That may not be a widely accepted position, because the act of measuring is an additional step in the manufacturing sequence, and every step has a cost associated with it. With pressure to reduce costs and improve productivity, some might think that eliminating the measuring steps would do just that.

William R. Gilman’s default image

By: William R. Gilman

Metrology is the science of measurement. It’s a very broad topic because so much is measured. In manufacturing, the need to verify and validate dimensions of parts is crucial. These dimensional measurements are done at many stages in the manufacturing process with a range of devices, from simple hand gages to coordinate measuring machines (CMMs). Many times, the choice of measuring device to be used is based on its resolution and range of the desired measurement. One such technology is known as video measurement, performed with video measuring systems.

Frank Powell’s default image

By: Frank Powell

Machine tool and manufacturing system builders have been producing increasingly intelligent equipment for more than 50 years, and today’s computer numeric controlled (CNC) machines and systems are marvels of technology. However, they still need intensive human supervision and maintenance to operate at peak efficiency.

Rich Amon and Michael S. McCue’s default image

By: Rich Amon and Michael S. McCue

The need to measure things inspired some of the earliest tools invented by man. Basic measurements were needed for constructing dwellings of an appropriate size and shape, fashioning clothing, or bartering food or raw materials. Understandably, early man turned first to parts of his body and natural surroundings for measuring instruments.

Thomas M. Findlan’s default image

By: Thomas M. Findlan

When purchasing material test equipment for tensile, fatigue or other test modes, managers of test labs may want to compare new and used test equipment due to budget constraints or other factors. The problem is that there’s currently no easy way to determine if a particular used test machine is a good value.

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