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Metrology in Digital Era

Metrology in the Digital Era

Why Metrology Matters In The Digital Era

Digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, and machine learning are increasingly important to the manufacturing industry. Just imagine the implications for metrology—the science of measurement.

By Elizabeth Gasiorowski Denis, editor in chief of ISOFocus at the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) in Geneva, Switzerland.

“Metrology in the Digital Era” is the theme of this year’s World Metrology Day, celebrated annually on May 20. The theme was chosen because digital technology is revolutionising metrology and is one of the most exciting trends in society today. Accurate and fair data is an important cornerstone of the digital development of science and technology. The resulting high-quality data, based on measurement standards, are the key to taking our industry forward.

As the BIPM (International Bureau of Weights and Measures) and BIML (International Bureau of Legal Metrology, also known as OIML) directors state in their joint message:


“The digital transformation of metrology can bring many benefits to our community. It can expedite time to market for measurement products and services, and reduce delays associated with approval processes. In turn, this contributes to innovation, product agility, and sustainability.”


ISO has just signed the Joint Statement of Intent on the digital transformation in the international scientific and quality infrastructure. The statement provides a platform for the signatory organisations to indicate their support in a way that is appropriate to their particular organisation. This common understanding will help advance the development, implementation, and promotion of the SI Digital Framework as part of a wider digital transformation of the international scientific and quality infrastructure.

The digital transformation of metrology can bring many benefits to our community. The Joint Statement of Intent is part of an ongoing initiative to develop and establish a worldwide uniform and secure data exchange format based on the International System of Units (SI), also known as the SI brochure.

The ISO 80000 series of standards for quantities and units is a vital element of the SI brochure as it provides harmonized terms, definitions, and symbols of quantities and units used in science and engineering, providing a unified language for communicating accurate measurement information between scientists, engineers, and anyone involved in measurement.

The SI Digital Framework will enable the implementation of new services that make best use of open data formats, software tools, and services that build upon the SI core representation. Such services will help to produce high-quality data and make it available for analysis in a coherent and consistent form. The outcome will be new digital applications developed and deployed in the broader metrology community and in research disciplines that rely on the SI.

The Joint Statement of Intent had previously been signed by the BIPM, the International Organisation of Legal Metrology (OIML), the International Measurement Confederation (IMEKO), the International Science Council (ISC), and its Committee on Data (CODATA). “The addition of ISO further strengthens the collaboration and global reach of the initiative,” reads the BIPM press release.

World Metrology Day commemorates the date in 1875 on which the Treaty of the Meter was signed, laying the foundations of a global system for common measurements that are all based on constants of nature. The BIPM and BIML/OIML, which organise World Metrology Day, actively liaise with several ISO technical committees.

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