Most zero-tolerance industries — including aerospace, automotive, communications, and defense — prioritize accuracy and precision. That is why manufacturing and other sectors must measure their products and components. That is a task best left to reputable metrology laboratories. If you are a manufacturer, you can use these labs to ensure high accuracy standards throughout all essential phases, from design to construction. But, for your project to get the best services, you must work with an outstanding service provider. The following will help you identify a suitable metrology lab:
1. Pricing structure
Established metrology laboratory services provide accurate pricing structures. The prices mainly reflect base standard measurement rates. Some service providers also set predetermined fees for clients dealing with aspects like volume and mass. All in all, you should pick a lab with transparent pricing structures and no hidden costs. That is crucial because it allows you to budget accordingly and avoid unnecessary financial hiccups. The charges should also be competitive and reasonable. That doesn't mean you should choose a lab with the cheapest rates, but rather, go with one offering services that match their prices.
There are numerous accreditations for metrology labs. These prove a particular body adheres to international standards, and its services are centered on reliability, traceability, accuracy, and comparability. One of the accreditations a US laboratory should have is traceability certificates. These attest that experts have established traceability for measurement results and evaluated a metrology lab's ability to make accurate metrological measurements. In brief, ensure the lab you choose has essential accreditations. That is the best way to ascertain that you work with a top-notch, qualified metrology laboratory.
3. Turnaround time
Time reigns supreme in businesses. The shorter the turnaround time, the more you'll enhance productivity and meet deadlines. That, in turn, helps your company gain traction and outdo competitors. Since your facility can't use or ship out products before being certified by an accredited metrology lab, find professionals that can work fast. These will ensure vital operations don't come to a standstill for a long time as they await evaluation and certification. A lab that delivers qualification data in record time will also enable you to dispatch orders to customers without delays. Besides, if a service provider charges hourly fees, getting things done as quickly as possible helps you cut costs and save money.
Metrology labs rely on various tools and equipment. The first is an optical comparator, which inspects and compares the measurements of manufactured parts through the principle of optics. A reputable facility may also have roundness measuring devices like the coordinate measuring machine (CMM). Other essential tools for metrology labs include micrometers, thread measuring systems, and height gauges.