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Talion Edwards


New Horizons at CMSC 2011

Come for the knowledge, stay for the new product releases and networking

Published: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - 09:34

If there is a common personality trait among metrologists, it is that we love to argue our point. In the true spirit of “everyone is entitled to my opinion,” lively debate is always present when you get more than one of us in a room together. It is probably why I personally ended up in this field. It is most certainly why I chose to participate on the CMSC Executive Committee.

Technical conversation is pervasive at the Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference, and that dialogue is what brings me to the CMSC every year. The membership of the Coordinate Metrology Society owns the technical content of the conference, and both attendees and exhibitors contribute to the knowledge base. There are several aspects of the conference that fuel the exchange of ideas:

Technology awareness. 3-D coordinate metrology is a rapidly changing technology field. We are seeing new product releases and refinements to existing technologies every few months. CMSC has nearly every major manufacturer of large-volume 3-D coordinate metrology equipment demonstrating their products to attendees on our exhibit hall floor. In 2011, booth space is nearly sold out in the exhibit hall (just two booths left!) More than 40 metrology hardware and software suppliers are supporting the show. These 40+ suppliers are not distributed among machine tools or NDE products, but each booth is focused on 3-D coordinate metrology and the tools that support it. Several of the manufacturers also will host user group meetings to allow their customers to interact with each other and with application engineers. 

Shared experiences: We all understand that we learn from mistakes as much or more than we learn from our successes. A large majority of the technical papers presented at CMSC are from end users who present case studies on the application of 3-D coordinate metrology to their unique projects. Companies sending presenters and attendees to CMSC are making a commitment to share lessons learned with the larger CMS community, and at the same time, leverage the lessons learned by others. For example, a presenter delivers one technical paper on their experience but gets to listen to multiple white papers from other leading companies. This year, we have 26 technical presentations, of which 17 include case studies and lessons learned by end users from Boeing, Mann+Hummel, Electroimpact, Rolls-Royce, Sigma Space, Northrop Grumman, two National Laboratories, and more.

Continuous education. To take advantage of the shared experience resident in our community, we all work to continually develop our skill sets as technology rapidly changes. The remaining nine CMSC presentations are focused on fundamental knowledge, methods, and training. In addition, four workshops will be offered this year that will provide focused information, including an update to the CMS Certification effort, a 3-D metrology hardware technology overview, a GD&T workshop focused on dealing with scan data, and a workshop on statistical analysis showing the affect that operator behavior has on measurement range.

Hands-on learning. In support of the workshops above, we will again conduct a large-scale, interactive measurement study during this year’s conference. This new study is based on the success of last year’s mock gauge R&R study that attracted an overwhelming majority of 2010 CMS members. All attendees will be encouraged to participate in daily data collection activity, which will provide hands-on experience with large-volume measurement systems. Participants will be asked to provide information on their level of experience and background in metrology. The purpose of the study is to explore the measurement strategies of coordinate metrologists so we can better understand how our behaviors affect our measurement results.

Networking. The four aspects of the show listed above act as the structural matrix that supports the CMSC. What fills in the blanks of this matrix is the interpersonal communication granted by meeting face to face in small groups of your peers in an informal setting. In my opinion, the true value of attending CMSC is discussing ideas with people who know our business and have strong opinions of how to drive positive change. All networking events, breaks, and meals are open to all members, and are designed to encourage interaction among attendees. Technical presentations, workshop material, and marketing material can be posted on the web and downloaded remotely, but you really need to be in the room to build the business networks that we all rely on to be successful.

It is my sincere hope that you will attend CMSC this year and contribute to the spirited technical conversation. I always look forward to getting back together with people who “get it,” and feel refreshed when my opinion (that everyone is entitled to) gets reshaped by others with the same conviction. I look forward to personally arguing with each of you in Phoenix!


About The Author

Talion Edwards’s picture

Talion Edwards

Talion Edwards is an associate technical fellow in 3D imaging and reverse engineering and is the principle investigator for the Boeing Research and Technology reverse engineering development task. He also serves as co-chairman of the Boeing Enterprise 3D Imaging Community of Practice, for which he coordinates a yearly workshop held in conjunction with the Coordinate Measurement Systems Conference (CMSC). Edwards was the CMSC chairperson during 2011. He continues to serve on the executive committee of CMSC and is leading the effort to establish a central certification for industrial metrologists.