Metrology and Its Rich History
Long ago during the time period of roughly 3,000 BC metrology played a fundamental role in ancient Egyptian society. Experts report that so crucial was the role of the metrologist that if they forgot their duties they would face the death penalty. At the time of each full moon, the ancient egyptian metrologist would calibrate the region’s standard unit of measurement in order to construct the great pyramids and temples of old.
With such a storied history it might be easy to assume that the mathematically dense world of metrology has become less integral to a world where mathematics are ubiquitous. This is not the case however, as it is reported that metrology functions at a cost equivalency of around 6% of the GNP in Europe. No recent studies have pinpointed the exact contribution to the American GDP but it is considered to be roughly the same if not even greater.
What Is Modern Metrology?
According to the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) metrology is the study of measurement, and more importantly–at least in the context of modern considerations–it is the study of actual and theoretical challenges of measurement, whether that challenge be inaccuracy or some other problem will depend on what is being measured and how it is being measured.
Measurement is an irreplaceable part of the human condition as we know it. If you started a diet in the new year, you rely on the accuracy of calorie and ingredient measurement in your foods. When you go to the gas station you rely on the accurate dispensation of your gasoline. The NPL also reports that around 80% of parts used in any manufacturing operation are manufactured by a different company often overseas.
Considering the scale of manufacturing in 2020, in order for companies to maintain a functioning operation there is a tremendous amount of stock placed in the accuracy of measurements exchanged in such transactions. When you work with units in the millions or even greater even the smallest amount of error can be detrimental.
Why Metrology Software Is Crucial to Technological Advancement
Taking advantage of the field of metrology is dependent on what can be measured in the first place. Historically the majority of measurements have been limited to physical things. The true potential of metrology however, has been unlocked in the near limitless data types created in the boom of modern technology and the advent of big data.
One of the most exciting areas unlocked in this evolution of technology is the torrents of healthcare data flooding into the tech market. Through tracking tech like the FitBit or sleep tracking sensors in smart phones, scientists have more avenues to measure new types of data than ever before, which in turn has fueled new revelations in diagnostic capabilities. Experts suggest that increasing these capabilities will directly translate into new treatment options and new testing strategies designed specifically with these new interactions between metrology and healthcare data.
Metrology Software: A Catalyst of Innovation
According to a report from Euramet, a European research initiative designed to capitalize on the potential of metrology, the adoption of new technologies represents an unprecedented business opportunity evidenced by the market projections estimating a value of $750 billion by 2021. So the question becomes where is this innovation going to occur?
Euramet suggests that with the advent of entirely new technologies such as nanoparticles, metrology software will become the beating heart of this technology development. As described above manufacturing is already an extremely complex process, one made exponentially more so when the manufacturing operation is tasked with manufacturing new kinds of materials.
One of the primary examples cited is the encouraging research on nanoparticles which has shown them to be safe for use and manufacture. Thus metrology software developers around the world are stepping up to the plate to see if they can develop software capable of making this new manufacturing technology more accurate and more efficient.
Another area of increasing innovation is inventory management. Two decades ago it was nearly an impossible task to create an international shipping infrastructure which companies like Amazon employ today with surgical efficiency. What made this incredible convenience possible? Metrology software provided the key to shipping and logistics industries in the form of modern inventory management metrology software capable of tracking and monitoring millions of unique inventory units across the globe all while providing real time feedback on efficiency and workflow analysis.
Essentially there are two main approaches to evaluating metrology software to determine if it is best for a project. There is the macro approach and the micro approach to implementing metrology software. The macro approach involves incorporating metrology software as a multifaceted infrastructure to support a business. The example provided above concerning tracking and logistics software is a good example of a multifaceted macro approach.
The other approach is implementing metrology software in a more micro context where the technology is applied in a more linear fashion to accomplish a singular goal. An example of this technology would be a laboratory buying software to better monitor chemical stability in a select mixture. This software measures only one thing, and is only meant to accomplish one goal in providing accurate measurements of a desired object.
Micro metrology is by and large the more popular metrology software simply because there are more smaller scale projects in the world than there are titanic projects put into motion by the international companies large enough to really make use of macro metrology. Companies are adapting to this market though. Moxpage for instance employs a two-pronged approach in delivering inventory management metrology software which can be tailored to the scale of a project while simultaneously offering aspects of micro and macro metrology respectively.
This strategy is an increasingly popular one employed by metrology companies that is particularly beneficial to business and consumers alike. The reason being that by offering the multi faceted infrastructure of macro metrology customized to fit smaller operations, companies are able to fine tune efficiency on a level previously limited to multi million dollar companies.
The savings gained from the reduced cost associated with inefficiency and waste can then be turned over into company profit or savings on the consumer’s end, and in the best case a little of both. This is the primary reason why metrology is viewed as a mechanism to combat inflation in the years to come, since metrology offers a knob for us to turn more, and more towards efficiency and profitability.