What is Metrology?


Posted on 20th March 2019

You probably know more about metrology than you think. Not to be confused with meteorology, which involves studying the atmosphere, metrology is in fact the science of measurement. Whether you’re measuring the ingredients for that cake you’re making, or you’re planning some home improvements; it is undeniable that metrology is all around us.

How has Metrology Evolved?

From measuring time with sundials thousands of years ago, to measuring Earth’s ice caps from space, methods of measurement have evolved in the millennia since its formation.

The ancient Egyptians invented the shadow clock, or sundial to measure the sun, moon and stars’ movements to calculate the number of hours in a day. The first standardised measurement dates as far back as 2900BC, where it was declared the cubit was the length of the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh forearm and the width of his hand.

Fast-forward to France in March 1791, where the standard length of the metre was defined. This then led to the metric system to be established in 1795, which included standards for other measurements. Many countries adapted the metric system between this time and 1875, where the metre was officially signed for and established at the Metre Convention on May 20.

Since the Metre Convention of 1875, humankind has witnessed the start of the International System of Units (SI), which consists of seven units to this day. These units are based on the metre, kilogram, ampere, second, kelvin, candela and mole.

What does Metrology Affect?

Metrology and measurement affect virtually all aspects involving our daily lives and businesses. From travel, to weighing your shopping at the supermarket, measurements and their methods are all around us. Metrology is extremely important within the rail industry, as one inaccurate measurement can mean the difference between life and death.

It is extremely important that the margin for errors in measurement is kept to an absolute minimum. Measuring equipment used by engineers always need to be particularly accurate, but what makes sure these pieces of equipment are always accurate?

This is where CoMech comes in. We form the vital part of the supply chain regarding calibrating various equipment types.

What is Calibration?

Calibration is the action or process a company such as CoMech carries out to determine the correct range of measurement and their graduations. We calibrate customers’ equipment to the latest and highest standards set by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) while being traced back to the defined International System of Units (SI). Without a properly calibrated instrument, there is the potential for faulty readings, which can then lead to incorrect measurements. Calibrations of measuring equipment should typically take place every 12 months and CoMech Metrology are more than capable of carrying out such a task.

For more information about CoMech’s calibration capabilities, including one of a kind equipment types, simply get in touch with our team at sales@comech.co.uk or telephone 01332 867700.

Keep an eye out for future articles from CoMech Metrology, which will go into more detail about SI Units, our calibration machines and traceability.

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