There’s been an increasing recognition for metrology in various industries, so it’s become crucial to understand what a metrology expert can bring to the table. What is a metrology technician, and why do companies, especially in manufacturing, need to hire trained professionals? This article discusses a metrology technician’s responsibilities and the skills and qualifications expected of them.
What Is a Metrology Technician – Definition
A metrology technician, or simply metrologist, is highly trained in using measuring tools and other equipment for inspecting product specifications. Their primary responsibility is to ensure the goods that come out of their production lines meet specific standards, which can be internal or based on industry regulations.
Metrologists can work on a wide variety of goods, such as parts and components for automotive, aviation, and electronics manufacturing. They also interact with various people in charge of different stages of manufacturing. This is because metrologists can participate in different stages of the production process; their expertise is necessary to ensure compliance in all manufacturing phases.
Responsibilities Of a Metrology Technician
Metrologists play many roles and their responsibilities vary per industry and even among companies in the same industry. However, there are universal tasks that all metrology technicians are expected to perform.
Here are the primary responsibilities of a metrology technician:
Machine Calibration – Calibrating machinery, tools, and equipment is a core duty of a metrologist. To ensure that all products manufactured follow the correct specifications, the equipment used for making them, such as molds and cutters, must be correctly calibrated. It is the responsibility of a metrologist to ensure that all such equipment is regularly calibrated so that no production batch goes to waste due to incorrect specs.
Calibrations can happen monthly or every couple of months or years, depending on factors like durability and rate of wear and tear. However, every time a piece of manufacturing equipment is sent out to the shop for repairs, metrologists must calibrate it first to ensure accuracy before reintroducing it to the production line.
Taking Measurements – Metrologists are the authorities in taking precise measurements. They are in charge of verifying that the products have accurate dimensions, for example, and other physical features that must meet regulatory standards. Metrologists are expected to be adept at using various instruments, from standard tools like micrometers and calipers to more sophisticated tools like oscilloscopes and electronic measuring instruments.
Documentation – metrology technicians don’t just whip out measuring tools, declare a machine or component standards compliant, and be done with it. Most of the time, they also have to document their measurements and give the details of every machine calibration they perform.
Documentation is especially crucial when maintaining measuring tools. Traceability is essential in metrology because it verifies the integrity of the measuring instruments and standards a company uses. Metrology records can also serve as a basis for audits and calibrations in the future.
Quality Control – Thanks to their expertise with measuring tools, metrologists are a welcome addition to quality control teams. They check whether the products a company manufactures meet the required specifications and tolerances.
Failure to meet manufacturing requirements can have catastrophic consequences, especially if the company manufactures parts that are used in assembling vehicles, healthcare equipment, electrical appliances, physical security systems, etc. Therefore, the presence of metrologists is crucial in quality control for these industries.
Quality Assurance – If quality control focuses on the product, quality assurance focuses on the process. Metrology experts are a big help in quality assurance because they ensure that compliance begins from pre-production and throughout the production process. As such, we can consider machine calibration as part of a metrologist’s responsibilities for quality assurance.
Metrology is crucial in quality assurance because it ensures uniformity and consistency throughout the production process. A manufacturing company can confidently promote its products, knowing they meet high standards, thanks to their reliable quality assurance.
Skills and Qualifications
Knowing the primary responsibilities of metrology technicians offers insight into the skills they must possess to excel at their jobs. Below are some of the qualifications companies requiring metrology specialists look for:
- Proficiency in mathematics, physics, and engineering – These disciplines are often touched upon in manufacturing, particularly in aviation, automotive manufacturing, and construction parts manufacturing. Being highly skilled in these subjects will be an advantage to technicians because of the calculations they need to do and the recommendations they must provide concerning construction integrity and aeronautics principles, for example.
- High attention to detail – Metrology is all about the details. Sometimes, tolerances are measured by micrometers or less, leaving very little to zero room for error. Therefore, metrology technicians must have a keen eye for detail and be mindful of the slightest inconsistencies when measuring and assessing for compliance.
- Good communication skills – As previously mentioned, metrologists interact with many people and departments because their expertise is needed in various areas of production. This is why expert technicians should also be good communicators, especially if they need to relay information to people who may need help in understanding highly technical terminologies and metrology principles.
- Technologically adept – With metrology instruments becoming more digitally advanced and sophisticated, technicians must also be technologically savvy. They must be comfortable using computer software when calibrating equipment, conducting data analysis, and other related tasks.
Maintain High-Quality Standards with Seasoned Metrology Technicians
Understanding what is a metrology technician will enlighten you on the roles they can play in your company. If you’ve yet to hire a metrologist, but their presence is already needed in your business, ATT Metrology Solutions can help. We provide consulting and precision measurement services, including metrology instruments for leasing.
We offer a wide range of metrology solutions for all industries. We’ll be happy to give you a detailed proposal and leasing and schedule information. Contact us, let us know what you need, and our team will gladly assist.