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Keith Bevan


Do You Have a Measure of Your Metrology Skills?

Published: Thursday, August 18, 2016 - 15:15

Understanding the benefits of having sound knowledge, perspective, and the appropriate skill sets in metrology is just as crucial in today’s technological world as it was 50 years ago. The same goes for key decision making based on solid processes, procedures, methods, and data analysis. Taking responsibility and ownership of those decisions makes good metrologists vital to a successful organization’s reputation, quality, and cost containment.

I have seen many changes in the industry during the last 40 or so years (not that I want to admit that time span). We are still in the situation where the field of metrology and the individual status of metrology professionals do not get the recognition they deserve. Our field’s importance to the efficient production of existing products and new product design is often unacknowledged.

The good news is awareness for our industry is growing and new initiatives for graduate degrees and master’s qualification are on the increase. Vital for our future in advanced manufacturing is the understanding that “hands-on” skill sets are needed for industry through opportunities such as apprenticeships. Trailblazing standards are being developed to address the skills needs. Let us all be proud to be “measuring things.”

Another way to measure your metrology skills is through the CMSC Certification program. At the 2016 CMSC, our Certification Committee rolled out a new CMS Level-Two Certification program for laser trackers, the industry’s first hands-on performance examination for portable laser tracking systems. Measurement professionals also took examinations for the Level-One Certification covering foundational theory and practice common to most portable 3D metrology devices, and the Level-Two Performance Certification for portable coordinate measuring machines (PCMMs). The Certification program guidelines, fees, and assessment sites can be found in the new, comprehensive Certification Handbook now available online for download at https://www.cmsc.org/cms-certification.

In future columns in this space, I plan to look at specific areas and developments in measurement applications and education. I encourage the CMS membership to think about how we can attract the best of the best into our field. Please email me your ideas on how we can educate the next generation to become innovative leaders and world-class metrologists that will help usher in the next great industrial revolution.

CMSC 2016 was yet again a great event with many new additions to the Measurement and Education Zone for the continuing education of our membership. It is the premier event in my calendar, and it was an honor and a pleasure to see many of you again. As this publication is being released, we are well under way in our planning for CMSC 2017. We have a fresh impetus and are wide open to new ideas for the next year’s conference. Let’s all work together to promote and spread the word that metrology is cool!


About The Author

Keith Bevan’s picture

Keith Bevan

Keith Bevan is the training network delivery manager at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) of the United Kingdom's National Measurement Institute. He is responsible for the delivery network activities of NPL's training framework, training materials, and quality of delivery.  Bevan has been involved in measurement for 40 years having joined Rolls-Royce Ltd (aero engines) in 1975 as an apprentice working across a range of metrology activities including engine testing, manufacturing, coordinate metrology, and calibration. Bevan helps develop and implement global learning solutions in metrology and good-practice guides for industry. Currently Bevan is the executive committee chairman of the Coordinate Metrology Society.


Metrology Skills

Just to hammer home your point concerning the ongoing need for the "hard skills". From a time and accuracy standpoint, computer controlled CMM's are wonderful tools but, without the "hard skill" knowledge as a basis, a programmer will be under a handicap. As we move forward into the Model Based Environment (MBE), or "art to part", with more or less automated programming, those hard skills will be ever more important to the progammer tasked with debugging the computer created program. Without that background, the CMM user is in the same position as a person using a statistical calculator who, having no knowledge of statistics, trusts that the answers are correct.