What is metrology?

What is metrology?

Metrology is the science of measurement, embracing both experimental and theoretical determinations at any level of uncertainty in any field of science and technology.

Measurement science is not, however, purely the preserve of scientists. It is something of vital importance to us all. The intricate but invisible network of services, suppliers and communications upon which we are all dependent rely on metrology for their efficient and reliable operation. For example:

The economic success of nations depends upon the ability to manufacture and trade precisely made and tested products and components;Satellite navigation systems and international time correlation make accurate location possible – allowing the networking of computer systems around the world, and permitting aircraft to land in poor visibility. Human health depends critically on the ability to make accurate diagnosis, and in which reliable measurement is increasingly important. Consumers have to trust the amount of petrol delivered by a pump.

All forms of physical and chemical measurement affect the quality of the world in which we live. Because of the need for international agreement on matters concerning metrology, an international treaty known as the Metre Convention was established as early as 1875. This treaty founded the BIPM and remains today the basis of international agreement on units of measurement.

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National Awareness of Metrology

The NMC mission is to promote Cambodian innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.

Why measure? Nearly every aspect of modern life relies on measurements: They provide us with a way of describing the state of our environment and the objects within as well as a common language on which commodities traders, manufacturers, regulators and consumers agree. Metrology is the science of measurement.

Our work addresses measurement-related issues in these areas of national importance:

• Electronics
• Energy
• Environment and climate
• Food safety and nutrition
• Manufacturing
• Physical infrastructure
• Safety, security and forensics

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Legal Metrology

Type Approval

Specified measuring instruments are required to pass the appropriate tests to verify that their structures satisfy the technical standards specified by the Measurement Law before these instruments are put into commercial production. Such testing process conducted by the Cambodian government (or agencies certified by the government to administrate the tests) is called type approval. The tests include electric noise tests and durability tests as well as various performance tests.

Various kinds of equipments are necessary to test the performance of measuring instruments for type approval. Typical testing apparatuses include EMC testers and Nonautomatic weighing instruments temperature testers.

Inspection of Verification Standards

Verification standards are measuring instruments that are used, from the viewpoint of implementation of precise measurement and maintenance of accurate measuring instruments, as standards for inspecting specified measuring instruments at the time of verification, periodic inspections and other relevant opportunities. The inspection of verification standards is a system to check if they satisfy the minimum required performance by verifying the structures and instrumental errors of the standards. This service is carried out jointly by the National Metrology Center. They also carry out the inspection of verification standards for liquid column pressure meters and density hydrometers.

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Legal metrology and trade

Legal metrology and trade The trade of goods and services around the world is vital for economic growth, for the wellbeing of the population, and to maintain worldwide financial stability

Measurements are involved in most trade transactions and in order to ensure fairness to all parties, they must be able to be considered as “acceptable”.

In addition to representing fair value for money, consumer goods must also be safe. For example:

  • food must be free from hazardous content (toxins, pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, etc.);
  • products must be processed safely and accurately labeled; and
  • the weight of goods must be determined accurately to ensure fair financial transactions.

Enormous amounts of money may be involved in a transaction based on, say, the measurement of the volume of oil that flows through a pipeline, where a measurement error of a fraction of a percent could lead to a huge difference in the amount invoiced. Without the capability to perform accurate measurements, one or other of the parties would be disadvantaged and the state may also lose out on tax revenue.

Technical regulations and standards are adopted and legislated by governments to protect both producers and consumers at national and international levels. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates that about 80 % of global trade is affected by standards or regulations. However if no sound measurement system is in place, these regulations and standards may become a technical barrier to trade (TBT) which may lead to increased costs, inhibit the free flow of goods, or require repeated testing.

Even in the non-regulated areas of trade, the need for compatibility of components and systems requires consistency and uniformity in the way we measure. Components are frequently manufactured in one country and then assembled with parts or systems manufactured in another country. In addition, there is a growing trend to partially manufacture a component in one country, and complete its manufacture in another. Of course, all of this is only possible if a uniform global system of measurement is in place.

A sound measurement system is an essential element in achieving globally accepted calibration and testing results. Essential factors for such a system are

  • traceability to the International System of Units, or SI (scientific metrology),
  • regulated measurements and measuring instruments (legal metrology), and
  • confidence in testing and measurement results via certification, standardization, accreditation and calibration (industrial metrology).

Due to the critical role of measurements in compliance and in conformity assessment, the International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM) and the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML) have respectively created a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (CIPM MRA) and a Mutual Acceptance Arrangement (MAA) within which international consistency of measurement and testing can be demonstrated.

The CIPM MRA ensures equivalence of the national measurement standards and calibration and measurement certificates issued by National Metrology Institutes. The OIML MAA facilitates international acceptance of declarations of conformity of regulated measuring instruments with OIML Recommendations.

As a result, the aim of “measured once, accepted everywhere” can be ensured and trade regulators can rely on accurate measurements made within the context of the CIPM MRA and the OIML MAA as evidence of compliance with national and international regulations and standards.

The International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) and the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML) coordinate the international network of national metrology institutes and national legal metrology authorities. This network provides the support required to ensure that quality measurements for trade are available.

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