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DR. RENAE FERGUSON-BUFFORD Director, BBSQ // 2013 - PRESENT
“Metrology in the Digital Era”
With the BBSQ as the custodian of national measurement standards, The Bahamas, as are many other countries, is in the process of developing a robust national measurement system which will include a network of laboratories, calibration facilities, and standardization and accreditation bodies as a part of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI). At the heart of the national measurement system lies metrology. Metrology, the science of measurement, plays a central role in scientific discovery and innovation, industrial manufacturing and international trade, in improving the quality of life and in protecting the global environment.
Digital technology is revolutionizing and transforming the metrological community, and is one of the most exciting trends in society today. Digital transformation is the incorporation of digital technology into all areas of an organization or business, essentially changing how it operates and delivers value to its clients and customers. The process of digital transformation is gaining more and more importance for the competitiveness of countries and the generation of social and economic well-being. Digital transformation requires the development of technology, and the establishment of collaboration and articulation mechanisms between public, private and civil society in the digital environment. The approach must be a systemic and comprehensive one. Digital transformation strengthens the effect of metrology and provides novel possibilities for metrological development and ingenuity. In addition, metrology is expected to undergo a transformation with significant changes in its concepts, in its services and in the use and application by different users.
Resting at the foundation of digital transformation in metrology is the standardization of digital communication of data and information. The scientific community has declared that data should be F.A.I.R. (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable). This data can be shared via cloud services in a way that is not only readable by machines, but actionable as well, thus maximizing efficiency in the age of transformation.
New and emerging technologies such as sensor networks (e.g. self-driving) and Industry 4.0 (also known as the fourth Industrial Revolution) will put metrological accuracy and soundness to the test. These whole sensor networks will require systemic metrological assessment.
Algorithms and software will come to the forefront alongside actual measurements and will influence the development of artificial intelligence and virtual measuring instruments which will eventually replace measuring tools that are in use today. Outputs such as digital calibration certificates and the automation of laboratory processes are expected to be staple advancements in the years to come.
BBSQ is currently working to move into the digital era with the recent purchase and use of tablets by the Legal Metrology Inspectorate. This initiative will be further expanded to the development of the mass calibration laboratory and beyond. Under this year’s international theme “Metrology in the Digital Era”, BBSQ will highlight the “Evolution of Measurement: From Analog to Digital” and will place a spotlight on how commercial scales and fuel dispensers have evolved over time.
Join BBSQ in celebrating World Metrology Day on the 20th May, 2022.
World Metrology Day History
On May 20 each year, we celebrate the history and the future of metrology, the scientific study of measurement. World Metrology Day is the global observance that pays tribute to the signature at the Meter Convention that occurred on the 20th of May 1875. The convention featured a coalition of seventeen nations who came together to establish the framework for global collaboration in the field of scientific measurement which established a standard measurement system between all nations.
World Metrology Day is about how our scientific measurement system is capable of stretching beyond the bounds of language. Math & Science both share the commonality of being necessary in the development and maintenance of foreign relations. The goal of this convention was realized when participants successfully established a worldwide measurement that allowed for cohesion among the scientific community. The impact of what was achieved at this event can be experienced in science laboratories to this day.
The world-wide uniformity of measurement remains as important today as it was in 1875.
Sites/Organizations that can provide further information on all things metrology/weights and measures:
- Official World Metrology Day Celebration Webpage: https://www.worldmetrologyday.org/index.html
- Metrology for Digital Transformation: https://www.cenam.mx/caburek-m4dt-webinar/
- International Bureau of Weights and Measures: https://www.bipm.org/en/about-us/
- International Committee on Weights and Measures: https://www.bipm.org/en/committees/cipm/
- Joint BIPM-OIML Web Portal: http://www.metrologyinfo.org/
- International Organization of Legal Metrology: https://www.oiml.org/en
- CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality: https://website.crosq.org/
- National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST): https://www.nist.gov/
- National Conference of Standards Laboratories (NCSL) International: https://www.ncsli.org/
- National Physical Laboratory (UK): https://www.npl.co.uk/
- Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB): https://www.ptb.de/cms/en.html
- InterAmerican Metrology System (SIM): https://sim-metrologia.org/
Other Notable Links
Redefinition of the SI: https://www.nist.gov/si-redefinition
The kilogram has changed forever (Video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-fFRLWBzm8
History of measurements: https://www.mtiinstruments.com/knowledge-center/history-of-measurements/
International System of Units (SI) Brochure:
BBSQ Metrology Brochure: https://www.bbsq.bs/en/files/downloads/12-metrology-brochure/file
The Importance of Metrology for Standards, Industry, and Trade: