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Question and answers

The world of metrology is a great world within the field of technology, but a difficult one. Here are some frequently asked questions with the answers to help you out. For more info, please contact us!

What is OIML?

OIML is an internationally active organisation whose motto is: “paving the way towards a global metrology system since 1955”.

Having liaisons with organisations like ISO, IEC and the WTO, as well as regional metrology organisations, they play a vital role in harmonising (legal) requirements, creating mutual confidence and worldwide acceptance of test results.

What is WELMEC?

WELMEC is a regional, European organisation acting as a platform for member states, Notified Bodies and manufacturer’s organisations striving for harmonisation of legal metrology. Being in close contact with OIML and the EU Measuring Instruments Committee, they strongly support both European and global harmonisation of a variety of legally controlled measuring instruments / systems. Although their main focus is on instruments covered by the MID (Measuring Instruments Directive) and NAWI (non-Automatic Weighing Instruments), national Regulations on for instance CNG and H2 dispensers and level gauges are on their agenda as well.

Norms and Standards versus legislation; what’s the difference?

In the world of legal metrology, generally speaking, conformity to norms and/or standards is not legally binding. Effectively, that means one could obtain a legal metrology certification, without being in compliance to certain standards. However, following norms / standards greatly simplifies obtaining legal certification. Also known as “presumption of conformity”, this route is usually followed by those who also wish to obtain certifications outside the EU. Also, Directives, Acts and Regulations are difficult to upgrade to technological advances, whereas norms and standards tend to be more in line with them. As such, norms and standards assist Law-makers and manufacturers alike, in maintaining an up to date approach to certification.

MID (Measuring Instruments Directive): what’s the big deal?

Up until 2008, within the EU, each member state had its own legal requirements on the 10 types of measuring instruments covered by the MID. Moreover, these then national requirements were not necessarily identical and sometimes even in conflict, meaning that it was sometimes necessary for different versions of instruments to be developed for the various member states. Please note that the MID brought more changes than solving that problem, but now “placing on the market” and “putting into use” of those 10 types of measuring systems, has been harmonised throughout the EU and EFTA countries. Revolutionary at its time, being the first and largest single economic market, it has greatly lowered barriers to trade and presented manufacturers with more options to achieve legal metrology certification, than in the past.

Global harmonisation, a matter of when, rather than if?

The only electrical socket that is fully standardised, is the one we find inside our cars to charge for instance our mobile phones. This every day example shows the benefit and ease of global harmonisation. Although global harmonisation in metrology is likely to be somewhat more challenging than that, the benefits are so large that it will happen at some point in time. Knowing that there are obstacles on the road ahead, does not mean one cannot achieve successes today. Various interlinked organisations are working together on that vision, including OIML, WELMEC and the EU, but also standards organisations such as ISO and IEC. There are therefore plenty of opportunities for individuals, organisations, companies and countries to contribute to paving the (long) road towards a single metrology system.

Is Cyber Security an elusive world of highly specialised wiz-kids?

Cyber Security, or security by design, requires far more than just the efforts of skilled technicians. After all, a bank vault can be as solid as a rock, but when the owner leaves the door open, or the keys hanging in plain sight, one’s money still is not safe. Cyber security is a cradle to grave topic, involving not only technology, but also awareness in all life cycle stages in a world where rapid changes are the norm. From policy to patch management, it takes a continuous team effort to prevent malicious or accidental incidents from occurring. So, whether you are a Marketing Manager or a Service Technician, the IEC 62443 series offers guidance to those involved in Process Control systems, Smart Cities and metrology alike.

CNG / H2 dispensers in The Netherlands: what are the legal, metrological requirements?

Compressed Natural Gas and Hydrogen dispensers are not in the scope of the MID (Measuring Instruments Directive). Like many European countries, the Netherlands does have legal metrology in place on such measuring instruments / systems. Having seen the positive results of the MID in other fields of metrology, the Netherlands has chosen a similar approach to legislating CNG / H2 dispensers. The actual national Regulation is rather short and presents only the main functions and restrictions that are key to fairness in trade. It has however been derived from OIML R 139, whereby it also supports international harmonisation. Please know that many other countries have also used this approach, thereby simplifying metrological certification, despite being under a national regime.

What is a NAWI?

Instrument that requires the intervention of an operator during the weighing process to decide that the weighing result is acceptable.

What is an AWI?

Instrument that weighs and follows a pre-determined program of automatic processes characteristic of
the instrument.

Does NMi use the modular approach for testing weighing instruments?

Yes, we feel this gives maximum flexibility for manufacturers.