Outsourcing Your Metrology Services
Five Factors to Consider When Choosing to Outsource Your Metrology Services
Whether you are a manufacturer, a supplier, or small job shop, quality control standards are continuing to increase within factory walls. It has now become an essential part of the production process. Metrology (the science of measurement) focuses on the fundamentals of geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, most commonly referred to as GD&T. When engineers graduate with their degrees, they often lack the metrology skills needed to properly communicate with the quality staff. By understanding the importance of metrology during the design process, a company can take the appropriate steps to determine whether to build an in-house metrology lab or to outsource the work to professionally trained engineers.
As a metrology service provider, we specialize in a large suite of services from large scale tracking, reverse engineering, and alignment, to instrument and CMM calibration and repair. In addition to metrology services we also offer metrology training for engineers within the industry. Not everyone understands what it means to outsource metrology services. They don’t know what to expect and who to trust to do the job correctly. Some companies are simply too new to the latest methods of metrology and are unfamiliar with the types of new equipment used in the industry today. Below are some factors to consider when deciding whether or not you should outsource your metrology services.
FIVE FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING TO OUTSOURCE YOUR METROLOGY SERVICES
- Budget – Does your company have the proper financial stability to build and maintain a metrology lab including space, equipment, staff and time? All factors which cost your company money. When budgeting for a metrology lab, it is important to not only consider the upfront costs to start up the lab, but also the upkeep of the equipment.
- Staffing – With the economy resembling somewhat of a teeter-totter these days, it can be quite demanding for a company to keep such an expensive overhead to simply carry out the job of measuring parts day after day. Depending on the volume of parts you have coming in the door; there may not be enough work to keep a salaried employee on payroll for such a job description.
- Time – So you have the money and the engineering staff to perform your own in-house measurements, but do you have the time to dedicate to such a meticulous procedure? Depending on the volume and complexity of your parts, it can be quite time-consuming to dedicate one or more engineers to the job.
- Equipment – Often times we see companies that have great intentions of starting their own metrology lab and performing all their measurements in-house; however, deciding which piece of equipment will provide the desired results becomes a daunting task. This can easily eat up six months to an entire year of researching, comparing, analyzing, and setting up demonstration after demonstration to find the equipment to best suit the needs of your company. Then you have to learn how to use it.
- Training – So you have the lab, the engineering staff, the time, and the equipment, but now you are left with no one that knows how to work this new technology. Engineers often have the educational background and potential to learn metrology, but the truth is that not a lot of engineers are properly trained in the latest methods of the technology used today to achieve the most accurate results in the most efficient way possible. They are either young and inexperienced or older and too set in the “old school” methods to adapt to the new times.
ECM, like many metrology service providers, provides a service using our equipment, our engineers, and our time and expertise to do the job right. Our engineers are trained and experienced (most are certified) in the field of metrology and you can be assured your results will provide you with the highest accuracy using the most efficient methods. We take the measurements, collect the data, process the information, analyze the data, create a report and hand you everything you need to determine whether your part meets desired expectations. We can send engineers to your facility or you can ship parts to our in-house, temperature-controlled, ISO/IEC 17025 accredited metrology lab depending on size and volume.
Whatever you decide, including metrology as a key part of your production process is the number one step to creating a higher quality standard within your company walls, ultimately leading to higher customer satisfaction.