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Chuck Pfeffer


Help Wanted: Metrology Jobs Are in Demand

Published: Friday, August 19, 2011 - 08:57

The U.S. Department of Labor reported 13.9 million unemployed Americans in July 2011, and even the creation of 117,000 jobs last month didn’t put a dent in the 9.1-percent unemployment rate. In fact, there has been little change in the unemployment rate since December 2010. So why am I repeating these depressing statistics? As bad as this may sound, we are much better off compared to the climb to more than 10-percent unemployment last year.

If you are reading this, you probably know something about metrology, and knowing something about metrology is a good thing these days. Why is that? I’m taking the long route to the answer, but I will explain.

What is going on with U.S. industrial production? It has actually been expanding every month this year, despite the stagnant employment figures. So how has U.S. industrial production increased without additional labor? The answer is efficiency. And where does efficiency in manufacturing come from? Stay with me; I am getting there. It comes from things like reducing rework and scrap, running at faster cycle times, and minimizing downtime on the assembly line.

So why is it good to be a metrologist? Because a metrologist can reduce rework and scrap by finding nonconforming parts before they move downstream and become a bigger problem. Because a metrologist can improve cycle times with high-speed inspection systems and software that eliminate the inspection bottleneck. And because they can solve problems right on the manufacturing floor and get a line back up and running.

Many of you joined us last month at the Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference (CMSC) and saw firsthand the incredible array of metrology hardware, software, and service providers on display in the exhibit hall. What you might not have seen was how well these companies are doing. We had a record-setting 47 exhibitors participate in this year’s CMSC, but what is even better is that they are hiring.

Take a look at this issue’s CMSC World job board. (Well, at least wait until you finish reading this.) There are 20 companies posting jobs this month—20 companies that perform metrology service, manufacture metrology hardware, or develop metrology software. These 20 companies need talented metrologists to put this great new, cutting-edge equipment and software to use in the field, and help manufacturers embrace metrology to improve their companies’ production efficiency.

I realize the spike in job postings in this issue of CMSC World is just anecdotal evidence, but it is really nice when you can see the flowers growing in your own backyard instead of reading about some tulip festival in the Netherlands. There is no arguing that these are real jobs, backed by real demand from real growth in the use of portable 3-D metrology products and services.

Speaking of growth, the CMSC is back on its path of growth for two years running now. With the aforementioned record number of exhibitors, the conference continues to attract more quality technical papers as well. This edition of CMSC World includes papers from the conference to give you a taste of the content that is shared during this great week of technical presentations, interactive workshops, fantastic exhibit hall, and social networking events.

If you missed this year’s conference, you can still get access to all of the technical presentations and workshops by becoming a member of the Coordinate Metrology Society (CMS). Members also receive the Journal of the CMSC, which is published twice annually. CMS membership is only $25, and is available on the CMSC website.

CMSC 2012 will be held July 16–20 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans, so mark this event in your calendar. Whether you are a metrology professional or someone interested in learning more about the field, this conference delivers everything you need to stay up to date on 3-D portable metrology.


About The Author

Chuck Pfeffer

Chuck Pfeffer, director of product management, 3D imaging at FARO Technologies, is the chair for the 2012 CMSC and has served on the CMSC Executive Committee for the past five years. He coordinated the conference workshops and participated on the Metrology Certification Sub-Committee. Pfeffer also is an active member of the Society for Manufacturing Engineers (SME) 3D Imaging Tech Group.