Measurement standards an accelerator for the transport industry
This coming Saturday, 20 May, the Namibia Standards Institutes (NSI) celebrates with the international community the World Metrology Day, aptly themed “measurements for transport.”
The theme, spokesperson for the Standards Institute, Juanita Eises, said signifies the anniversary of the signing of the Metre Convention treaty in 1875 which provides the basis for a coherent measurement system worldwide.
Namibia, through its Standards Institute will participate in the activities of the Metre Convention through its Associate Membership of the General Conference of Weights and Measures after the NSI signed the International Committee of Weights and Measures, Mutual Recognition Arrangement (CIPM–MRA) in October 2012.
The NSI is also a corresponding member of the International Organization on Legal Metrology (OIML) with effect from 2012. The theme chosen for 2017, Eises said, is because transport plays such a key role in the modern world.
“Business and citizens around the world depend on access to safe and reliable transport. It is one of the factors that is most important in enabling a successful modern society” she said, noting how the need for new and improved means of transport is clear.
“It is also important that they meet increasing requirements for economic and environmental performance so that every type of transport, from bicycles to container ships, from cars to space craft, are required to meet appropriate standards” she added.
Standards are needed as the basis for national and international regulation to specify requirements for every aspect of performance from safety and economy, to emissions. The implementation of standards depends on measurement technology and measurement standards.
Some of the most demanding work on standards is done by national metrology institutes which includes the accurate and rapid weighing of shipping containers to ensure the safe loading of container ships; and valid measurements of the chemical composition of vehicle emissions to support regulators and city authorities in controlling pollution levels.
In the transport sector , the NSI regulates measurements of quantities for fuels and oils. Specific instrumentation is also utilised to ensure the integrity of measurements on which maritime safety depends. This regulation, implemented by the International Maritime Organisation, requires that shipping containers are weighed accurately to improve the safety of container ships.
Eiseb said the NSI also plays a critical role in the area of road safety through ensuring the accuracy and compliance of measuring instruments used in law enforcement which includes speed measuring devices (speed cameras) and the evidential breath analysers.
“As the demand for accessible, efficient and safe transport increases, so will the demand for dependable measurements standards. Some of these demands will ultimately be met by new technologies such as driverless cars and zero-emission vehicles, which in turn will generate new measurement challenges” she concluded.