Celebrating World Metrology Day with the Engineering Enthusiast from Volume Graphics

20 May is an important day in the calendar for Hexagon, it’s World Metrology Day. On this day in 1875, a community of 17 nations signed the Metre Convention, a treaty which created the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) and with it the seven standard units of measure (if you need reminding, they are listed at the end of this blog post).

It’s difficult to imagine a time when there were no international standard units of measure. The roots of metrology go back thousands of years but the modern science owes a lot to the French Revolution. It’s estimated that at least 250000 different units of measure were in use in France at the time. There were regional variations of just about every unit of measurement. The life of an engineer must have been very complicated.

It was a situation that had to change, and it did. That’s why we celebrate World Metrology Day, it’s the anniversary of the international system of units.

This year, the theme is metrology in the digital age. Many of our smart digital technologies were on display at the recent Control show and our colleague Ashley Bray from Volume Graphics took the opportunity for a tour of the Hexagon stand to find out more (see the video below).

Volume Graphics develops software for analysis and visualisation of industrial CT scanning. CT stands for computed tomography. It’s a technology you’ll be familiar with if you’ve ever been to hospital with a broken bone. A CT scan is a more powerful and sophisticated X-ray that makes a 360-degree image of an object.

Volume Graphics is the organisation behind leading CT software like VGSTUDIO MAX. This software creates a digital model of an object allowing you to manipulate it without making direct contact; for example, you can split it in half and take a cross section all without damaging the workpiece.

Software like VGSTUDIO MAX is just one part of Hexagon’s smart manufacturing portfolio. In this video, Engineering Enthusiast Ashley from Volume Graphics takes a look at some of the other metrology technology on offer.

And, in case you we’re still wondering, the seven standard units of measure are:

  1. Second (time, s)
  2. Metre (distance, m)
  3. Kilogram (mass, kg)
  4. Electric current (ampere, A)
  5. Temperature (kelvin, K)
  6. Amount of substance (mole, mol)
  7. Luminous intensity (candela, cd)

Happy World Metrology Day!


  • Richard Baldwin

    Richard Baldwin is a global copywriter at Hexagon. He's spent 10 years in marketing departments in the UK and South America, with a focus on manufacturing companies. He holds a Pgrad Dip. from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and an MA Eng. Lit.

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