National Physical Laboratory

Improving Dimensional Measurement Skills

Pete Moores, NPL Training's Business Development Manager, was recently interviewed by Med-Tech Innovation on why the medical device manufacturing sector is critically dependent on measurement skills and he highlights ten key measurement questions manufacturers should be asking.

Pen needle production at Owen Mumford
Pen needle production at Owen Mumford

The article outlines the severe consequences if ever things were to go wrong and the difficulties in predicting failures due to design faults, lack of testing or quality control issues. It also outlines the strategic approach to measurement taken by Owen Mumford, and the benefits that they achieved by sending their engineers on the NPL Dimensional Measurement Level 1 course.

The article finished by listing the top 10 questions that senior managers and engineers should be asking when looking at the role measurement plays in their business:

  1. Do you currently consider the measurement process all the way through the manufacturing process from design through to manufacture and inspection?
  2. Do you fully understand the drawings you have been given and the relationship between tolerance and functionality?
  3. Is there a culture in your company to ask questions in order to improve the measurement process?
  4. Are you using the right test and measurement equipment for the job and how do you know?
  5. Do you know what steps to take to verify your test and measurement equipment on a day-to-day basis, particularly between calibration cycles?
  6. Are you aware of measurement uncertainty and how it should be applied when ascertaining conformance/nonconformance/traceability/calibration/verification as appropriate for the task?
  7. Are you aware of the implications of getting a measurement wrong?
  8. Do you know the effect of the environment on your measurements?
  9. Are you up-to-date on the latest measurement techniques and technologies?
  10. Do you have the measurement skills that allow you to exceed in your job?

If you cannot answer these questions with a confident "Yes," then it may be time to conduct a formal review to examine where measurement can improve your business.

Read the full article in the September/October edition of Med-Tech Innovation

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Last Updated: 23 Apr 2014
Created: 20 Nov 2013

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