SIRDC’s National Metrology Institute (NMI) hosts the Southern African Development Community NMIs Inter-Laboratory Comparison Workshop

The National Metrology
Institute (NMI) of the Scientific and Industrial Research and
Development Centre (SIRDC) together with the Southern African
Development Community Cooperation in Measurement Traceability
(SADCMET) Secretariat hosted a Dimensional Inter- Laboratory
Comparison (ILC) training workshop, from 11 to 13 February 2019. The
workshop was attended by 15 participants drawn from 11 SADC National
Metrology Institutes of Botswana, D R Congo, Malawi, Mauritius,
Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and
Zimbabwe. The workshop was sponsored by the National Metrology
Institute (PTB) of Germany.

Metrology is the science
and practice of precision measurement. Accurate and reliable
measurements are a critical necessity for production of quality
products in the manufacturing industry; testing and inspection of
products and services; and, maintaining safety, environment and
health standards. The Dimensional Inter Laboratory Comparison is a
process conducted by National Metrology Institutes to establish
Equivalence of their measurement standards. Each NMI will perform a
calibration process on a measuring instrument (artefact), in this
case dimensional metrology standards such as a micrometre screw
gauges or vernier calipers and many others, to come up with results.
The results for each NMI are then statistically compared to determine
their equivalence. These results are published in the technical
supplement of the international metrology journal, the Metrologia.

There are many benefits
that are derived from ILC and these include but not limited to the
development and improvement of NMI measurement quality procedures,
sharing and exchanging experiences on techniques of calibrating
dimensional artefacts as well as building and improving NMI metrology
competences.

Zimbabwe benefits from
such workshops as they help fulfil the requirements of the
International Conference of Weights and Measures Mutual Recognition
Arrangement (CIPM-MRA) which Zimbabwe is signatory to as well as the
registration of Calibration and Measurement Capabilities (CMCs) in
the International Key Comparison Database (KCDB). It is also
important that comparisons with other countries NMI results leads to
improved confidence in NMI – Zimbabwe’s calibration results
leading to acceptance of local products in the export market. Such
capabilities are crucial in the elimination of technical barriers to
trade (TBTs).

SIRDC – NMI is
accredited to ISO 17025 in four laboratories which are Temperature,
Dimensional, Volume and Mass Metrology. Scientists from the
dimensional laboratory were participating in the workshop. The
workshop was meant to enable the laboratory to fulfil its
accreditation requirements as well as prepare for the registration of
CMCs in the KCDB.

The Director of the NMI,
Mr Mathew Ranganai indicated that, the workshop, which is the fourth
under the PTB sponsorship, is part of efforts by the Germany National
Metrology Institute to develop and strengthen metrology capacity in
the SADC region. Three similar workshops for Volume, Mass and
Temperature Metrology have already been held in Tanzania (November
2018), Zambia (December 2018) and Botswana (February 2019),
respectively.

Welcoming the
participants at SIRDC for their practical training session, The Chief
Executive Officer of SIRDC, Professor Robson Mafoti said that he was
happy with the work being done in the region to put Africa on the map
in the area of metrology. He thanked National Metrology Institute of
South Africa, which is the leading NMI in the region, for supporting
capacity building initiatives for its SADC colleagues. He emphasised
the importance of Metrology for economic development.

For more information,
contact

Mr Mathew Ranganai

National Metrology
Institute

SIRDC

Cell 0772238282

Or

Tarisayi Zvoma

Public Relations
Executive

0772423719

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