Quality Magazine

Other Dimensions: Go to the Source for Technical Support

November 1, 2005
The AMTMA considers opening its doors to support to users of metrology equipment

The American Measuring Tool Manufacturers Association (AMTMA, Cleveland) is an organization recognized for its expertise in the area of dimensional measuring instruments, precision gages and calibration. For more than 30 years, the movers and shakers in this industry have been members. AMTMA members manufacture, calibrate and/or distribute the vast majority of such products used in North America-if not around the world.

The association meets biannually at different locations primarily in the United States. Meetings feature guest speakers on a wide range of subjects related to dimensional metrology and calibration. Topics at recent meetings included:

• Plain ring gage calibration techniques and equipment

• Measurement uncertainty

• Temperature considerations for a calibration laboratory

• The process for accreditation to ISO 17025 and

ANSI Z-540

In addition, the association publishes the document "Searching for Zero," a guide to measurement uncertainty in the calibration of such equipment. If you don't have a copy of the second edition that came out this year, contact AMTMA. It is a practical document that can help to ensure your calibration procedures are appropriate and that your uncertainty budgets include all the elements needed to make them realistic.

At the spring meeting in Phoenix, President George Schuetz suggested that the association consider providing more support to users of metrology equipment by expanding the association's membership to include them. This would benefit users and independent calibration laboratories that could attend regular meetings and hear what the experts have to say on a wide range of issues.

The AMTMA is the only association of its kind in North America because it is being primarily devoted to dimensional metrology. As a result, measuring problems, disputes over technology and standards are openly discussed with some of the best people in the industry available to offer comment.

Keeping up to date on specifications and standards can be a daunting task at times but because the AMTMA has a committee to do just that, the members know what's going to happen ahead of time. As would be expected, AMTMA member companies have representatives on most standards writing committees as well to ensure they reflect the working-world reality.

I am frequently asked for training and technical support information regarding gages and calibration and have written columns on this subject in the past. My personal experience and that of my AMTMA colleagues indicates that a lot of people want accurate information on many dimensional metrology topics. This proposed change by the AMTMA would provide great potential for obtaining such information, training and a whole lot more on a regular basis.

If you use dimensional gages and measuring instruments, calibrate them or perhaps run an independent calibration laboratory, consider being a part of the AMTMA.

The AMTMA is testing the waters, so to speak. The question is: Are there enough folks at the user level in this field that are interested in joining the association? If so, the AMTMA will advise its members accordingly and put forward suggestions that would enable you to join the organization at a reasonable cost.

Are you interested? Let the folks at the AMTMA know as soon as possible. Contact the AMTMA at (216) 241-7333 or visit www.amtma.com.

You are not obligated in any way by letting them know of your interest. If enough people are interested, the association will work out the details. You will be advised of those details later and can make up your mind at that time.

Now, I have to confess that I am a member of the AMTMA but this should not be a cause of concern for you. They keep me restrained at all meetings and under control at all times-except when I escape, of course.