Standardisation and Standardising Organisations (Metrology)

For overall higher economy, efficiency and productivity in a factory and country, it is essential
that diversity be minimised and interchangeability among parts encouraged. All this is possible
with standardisation. Standardisation is done at various levels, viz. International, National,
Association, Company.
Realising the role of standardisation in the development of industry, organisations to handle
the complexities of standardisation have been evolved in each of the chief industrial countries. In
India, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is responsible for evolving standards on metrological
instruments, etc. There are several sectional committees, each dealing with various main branches
of industry, in BIS. The detailed work of drawing up specifications is done by more specialised
technical committees who prepare a draft standard based on practice in other countries and the
needs of the country, and circulate it to relevant industries, government and service departments,
research and teaching organisations, and others likely to be interested. Comments are invited both
from producer and user to consider all aspects ; meetings help to discuss the matters in depth and
final standards issued. The technical committees also keep on revising the existing standards from
time to time.
The Bureau of Indian Standards is the National body for standardisation in India.
The functions of the Bureau are :
(a) Formulation, publication and promotion of Indian Standards ;
(b) Inspection of articles or process under Certification Scheme ;
(c) Establishment, maintenance and recognition of laboratories ;
(d) Formulate, implement and coordinate activities relating to quality maintenance and
improvement in products and processes ;
(e) Promote harmonious development in standardization, quality systems and certification
and matters connected therewith both within the country and at international level;
(f) Provide information, documentation and other services to consumers and recognised
consumer organisations on such terms and conditions as may be mutually agreed upon ;
(g) Give recognition to quality assurance systems in manufacturing or processing units on
such terms and conditions as mutually agreed upon ;
(h) Bring out topic, guides and other special publications ; and for conformity to any
other standard if so authorized.
Thus, the main functions of the Bureau can be grouped under standards formulation,
certification marking and laboratory testing, promotional and international activities.
Bureau of Indian Standards has under the Mechanical Engineering Division Council, EDC,
a separate Engineering Metrology Sectional Committee. This Committee was set up in 1958 and
its main task is to formulate standards for the various aspects of dimensional metrological
measuring instruments and accessories used in the mechanical engineering field. A large number
of Indian Standards in the field of engineering metrology have been formulated.
In Great Britain, British Standards Institution plays similar role to BIS.
In Europe, the International Federation of National Standardising Association, known as
I.S.A., co-ordinates the work of the continental countries. Before Second World War, U.K. and U.S.A.
did not take any part in it, but after war, the countries like U.K., U.S.A. and Russia have taken
part in its works. In 1946, the I.S.A., was re-formed as the International Organisation for
Standardisation, I.S.O. In fact, for engineering matters, the foremost standards organisation at
international level is I.S.O. The national standards organisation of individual countries are the
members of I.S.O. The I.S.O. recommendations are used as basis for national and company
standards. Lot of co-operative discussions in the field of standardisation have also been carried out
in three countries—America, Britain and Canada known was ABC conference. The International
Electro-technical Commission (IEC) deals with electrical engineering standards. Both ISO and IEC
have published recommendations on some aspects of engineering metrology.
National Physical Laboratories (NPL) carry out lot of research work in various fields ;
responsible for defining standards, and also issue certification marks for quality instruments.

International Organisation of Weights and Measures

. It was established in
1975 under the “International Metre Convention” in Paris with the object of maintaining uniformity
of measurements throughout the world. It comprises of:
(a) The General Conference of Weights and Measures.
(b) The International Committee of Weights and Measures.
(c) The International Organisation of Legal Metrology.

General Conference of Weights and Measures.

Its objects are :
(i) To draw up and promote the decisions necessary for the propagation and perfection of an
international system of units and standards of measurement.
(ii) To approve the results of new fundamental metrological determinations and the various
scientific resolutions in the field of metrology which are of international interest.

International Committee of Weights and Measures

. This Committee is placed
under the authority of the General Conference of Weights and Measures and is responsible for
promoting the decisions taken by the latter. Its objects are :
(i) To direct and supervise the work of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures.
(ii) To establish co-operation among national laboratories of metrology for executing the
metrological work which the General Conference of Weights and Measures decides to execute jointly
by the member states of the organisation.
(iii) To direct such work and co-ordinate the results and to look after the conservation of the
International Standards.

Principal Global Organisations involved in Metrology

(i) BIPM (Bureau International des Poids et Mesures). It is created under the Metre
convention for measurement standard activities. It provides leadership in ensuring collaboration
on metrological matters and the maintenance of an efficient worldwide measurement system. It
serves as the technical focal point to guarantee the equivalence of national standards. BIPM with
its laboratories and offices at Serves act as a permanent international centre for Metrology under
the supervision of the CIPM.
(ii) ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Conference). It is engaged in
international laboratory accreditation and the standards writing bodies. It has demonstrated
competence in calibration and testing.
(Hi) IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission). A voluntary sector to prescribe
(iv) CIPM (Comite International des Poids et Mesures). Most of the activities of CIPM
are performed under the supervision of CIPM. Several (CCs) consultative committees have been
set up by the CIPM.
(v) CGPM (Conference Generate des Poids et Mesures).
(vi) ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation). A voluntary sector to specify
(vii) NMI (National Metrology Institute). A national laboratory responsible for the
development and maintenance of measurement standards for the dissemination of the SI units,
their multiples and sub multiples, and capable of making accurate measurements available to all
(viii) International Organisation of Legal Metrology (OIML). It was established in 1955
under the “International Convention of Legal Metrology” Paris to unify the metrological practices.
Its objects are:
— To determine the general principles of Legal Metrology. Legal Metrology is concerned
with the statutory technical and legal requirement of units of measurements, methods
of measurements and measuring instruments with a view to assure public guarantee in
respect of the security and the appropriate accuracy of measurements.
— To study with the object of unification, statutory and regulatory problems of legal
metrology the solution of which is of international interest.
— To establish the draft of a model law and regulation on measuring instruments and their
— To prepare a plan for the physical organisation of a model service for the verification
and control of measuring instruments and to establish the necessary and adequate
characteristics and qualities which measuring instruments should possess in order that
they may be approved by the member states and their use recommended on international
This organisation comprises of the International Conference of Legal Metrology, the Inter-
national Committee of Legal Metrology and the International Bureau of Legal Metrology.
OIML has made a number of international recommendations. They have also published a
“Vocabulary of Legal Metrology-Fundamental Terms” the english translation of which is published
in India by the Directorate of Weights and Measures, Ministry of Industry.
The functions of the Directorate of Weights and Measures are :
— to ensure the conservation of national standards and to guarantee their accuracy by
comparison with international standards.
— to guarantee and impart proper accuracy to the secondary standards by comparison with
national standards.
— to carry out scientific and technical work in all fields of metrology and methods of
— to take part in the work of other national organisations interested in metrology.
— to draw up draft laws relating to legal metrology and to promulgate the corresponding
— to regulate and advise on, supervise and control the manufacture and repair of measur-
ing instruments.
— to inspect the use of instruments and the measurement operations when such use and
such operations are covered under public guarantee.
— to detect frauds in measurement or sale of goods and to topic offender for trials where
— to coordinate the activities of authorities exercising metrological supervision.
— cooperate with all to ensure respect for the regulations of legal metrology.
— to organise training in legal metrology
— to represent the country in international activities regarding legal metrology.
(ix) National Service of Legal Metrology. The National Service of Legal Metrology has
following organisations to assist it in discharge of its duties :
— National Bureau of Legal Metrology. (It is the directing organisation)
— National Institute of Legal Metrology. (It is entrusted with the performance of scientific
and research work)
— National Bureau of Verification.
There are Regional Bureau of Verification, Local Bureau of Verification, Mobile Bureau of
Verification, and Verification Centres to assist National Bureau of Verification in ensuring
appropriate accuracy of the standards, carrying out metrological supervision, verifying measuring
— Verification Agents (Authorised to exercise the functions of verification).

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