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One lesser-known fact is that the study of measurement is called metrology. Not to be mistaken with meteorology, metrology seeks to define the act of measurement as precisely as possible; to formulate and implement standards of compliance to be used in laboratories and on the shop floor; and, overall, to elevate the accomplishments of the different scientific and engineering disciplines.
We mention metrology because of its value across different industries, from manufacturing to the life sciences. It also puts into perspective the developments being carried out by numerous institutions that are trying to achieve many different things, with one of these developments being automated measurement.
Automated measurement entails combining data acquisition hardware and its software counterpart to accurately measure physical elements, such as the geometry of a surface, temperature, voltage, pressure, and many others. Investments in automated measurement have burgeoned in recent years, as the process delivers results with considerably more speed, accuracy, and efficiency than manually dependent labor.
Want to know a little more about automated measurement, which parts and stages matter in the process, and what it is now capable of? Here’s a short list of facts describing the wonders of this process.
Automated measurement has a wide range of applications across various industries
Suffice it to say, automation is the lifeblood of a number of industries. On the shop floor, for example, automated measurement aided by sensor and computer technologies make it possible for manufacturers to perform automated inspections of critical work pieces, ensuring that the dimensions and other attributes of manufactured objects all fall within determined standards. This not only eliminates human error, it also helps reduce production costs. Automated measurement helps fulfill such crucial processes in the fields of medicine, the life sciences, the earth sciences, manufacturing, and engineering.
Each stage of the technology matters
Due credit should be given to the individual parts that power automated technology. One concrete example is the use of high-quality screw-driven linear stages in the motion components of automated measuring machines. Screw driven stages, operated with stepper motors, have a certain mechanical advantage in performing automated measurement work. The motor utilizes a rotary torque that can be increased over a wide range, enabling both flexible and precise positioning for measurement. There are three classifications of measurement that can be done
A machine can automate the measurement process for any of the following stages: in-process, or if the part to be measured is inside the machine; in-line, or right after the part comes out of the machine; or post-process, a step done independently or on a standalone gauging fixture outside of the machine.
Measuring technologies are much more affordable than they used to be
Whence before, smaller companies would balk at the cost to upgrade processes like measurement and go entirely mechanical, this isn’t the case in current times. Measuring technologies such as automated inspection systems no longer cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Moreover, similar systems are available via custom order rather than off the shelf. It raises the question: what returns on investment on (ROI) can come off of spending on metrology equipment?
Automated measurement will decrease costs, and increase both profit and productivity
The answer to the question is this: automation is a worthy investment. In the long run, automating measurement will reduce manufacturing costs, labor costs, and the cost of losses associated with error. It can increase the overall efficacy of where it will be employed, and the machine technology can be adapted to scale.
Metrology is a fundamental part of the scientific disciplines, as well as engineering-related industries. But taking measurements and acting upon the data we acquire is part of everyday life. Accurate measurement of something like a defective car part or an abnormality in the human body can save a life, and improve the quality of someone’s life. And that’s why it’s wise to invest in technologies that make such measurements possible.