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Stop the Waste: Making Measurements Measure Up to Standards

Information standards enable common activities. For instance, bring your laptop anywhere in the world and you will quickly and cheaply find a wireless Internet connection--due to the globally adopted WiFi standards. On the other hand, bring your U.S. cell phone overseas and you may spend lots of time and money in frustration before you can finally call your friends and colleagues again--because of the absence of globally adopted cell phone standards.

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are working to enable "WiFi-quality" information standards for manufacturing metrology systems. In this pursuit, NIST researchers and their industry partners have developed DMIS (Dimensional Measurement Interface Standard), which is a language for performing dimensional measurements. DMIS allows measurement program portability without requiring expensive translators.

Also, essential to achieving a "WiFi-quality" standard is to define a standards certification program. NIST is playing an essential role: The NIST-developed DMIS testing software is the heart and soul of a new DMIS certification program.

The Dimensional Metrology Standards Consortium (on the Web at is joining with NIST to sponsor an exhibit Sept. 8-13 at the International Manufacturing Technology Show 2008 to demonstrate the value of DMIS certification. They will show how a variety of manufacturing measurement software—certified using the NIST DMIS testing software—can operate seamlessly with little waste. The demonstration will be held in Chicago's McCormick Place, Booth D-4338. At the booth, DMIS software programs from three vendors will take turns operating two coordinate measuring machines from different suppliers, each measuring a battery housing component.

Released August 19, 2008, Updated January 24, 2023