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The National Measurement Institute's (NMI's) length and dimensional measurement services are the most accurate in Australia. We provide services to Australian laboratories, universities, government and industry. We specialise in calibrating and testing reference-grade instruments and standards with the lowest uncertainties possible.

We deliver our client services in our Lindfield and Port Melbourne laboratories, which are accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA). These are the same facilities where we develop and maintain Australia’s primary standard for length. When necessary, we can also deliver some services on-site at our clients’ laboratories and facilities around Australia. Our client services include:

  • calibrating and testing reference measuring instruments and standards
  • consultancy services including precision measurement, research and development
  • training courses in instrument calibrations and measurement

Clients selling goods or services by weights or measures may have obligations under the National Measurement Act 1960

Calibration and testing services

We calibrate instruments that measure length and related quantities. This includes reference standards used by NATA-accredited laboratories to calibrate their clients’ instruments. Our calibrations are the most accurate in Australia, because we develop and maintain Australia’s primary national standards

Measurements made with instruments and reference standards that we calibrate provide results traceable to Australia’s primary standards. Results from our calibration and testing services are recognised internationally via the Comité International des Poids et Mesures (CIPM) Mutual Recognition Arrangement, maintained by the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM). 

For more information email calibration.coordinator@measurement.gov.au

Length and dimensional calibration and testing capabilities

We maintain an ISO17025 compliant quality system as part of our NATA accreditation. For more information about our capabilities, see:

Laser interferometers

  • calibration against a frequency calibrated interferometer using a common beam path:  ± (402+12L2)0.5 nm for length (L) in metres from 0 m to 20 m

Line standards (precision rulers / linear scales)

  • rigid linear scales: ± (0.32+0.0012L2)0.5 µm for length (L) in millimetres from 0.5 mm to 1000 mm
  • stage micrometers up to 300 mm in length:  ± 0.14 µm to ± 0.17 µm
  • measuring tapes: ±0.3 mm to ±0.9 mm for lengths from 1 mm up to 100 m

End standards

  • rectangular and square section gauge blocks: ±(432 +0.7L2)0.5 nm, where L is the nominal length in millimetres from 0.5 mm to 102 mm
  • rectangular, square or round section length bars:  ±(942  +  1.02 L2)0.5 nm, where L is the nominal length in millimetres from 100 mm to 1 300 mm
  • step gauges: ± (0.72+0.0015L2)0.5 µm where L is the nominal length in millimetres from 0 mm to 1 200 mm 

Coordinate metrology 

  • components, jigs and fixtures:  ± (1.9+0.003L) µm, where L is the nominal length in millimetres from 0.01 mm to 1 200 mm
  • CMM 2D reference artefacts (ball plates, hole plates), with similar uncertainty to step gauges

We can help verify 3D measuring systems such as laser trackers and scanners. For more information, email calibration.coordinator@measurement.gov.au

Electronic distance measuring (EDM) instruments

  • electronic distance measuring (EDM) instruments:  ± 0.14 to ± 0.22 mm in the range 2 m to 131 m, ± 0.25 mm to ± 0.49 mm in the range 20 m to 650 m

We can calibrate EDM instruments that measuring distances greater than 650 m. To calibrate, we determine a scale factor is by comparing the modulated frequency against the primary standard for frequency.

  • angle standards
  • indexing tables: ±0.1 arc seconds
  • autocollimators: ±0.15 arc seconds
  • precision polygons: ±0.2 arc seconds
  • angle gauges: ±0.3 arc seconds
  • precision circular scales: ±0.05 arc seconds

Dimensional measuring tools

  • optical flats: ±(202+0.24L2)0.5 nm, for diameters (L) from 10 mm to 200 mm
  • optical parallels: ± 0.03 µm (parallelism), ±0.04 µm (flatness), ± 0.08 µm (length)
  • digital scales: ±0.21 µm (dependent on instrument resolution)
  • dial gauges: ±1.0 µm (dependent on instrument resolution)
  • micrometer heads: ±0.3 µm (dependent on instrument resolution)
  • surface plates: ±1.2 µm

Diameter standards

  • external cylindrical standards: ± (902+1.3L2)0.5 nm, where L is the nominal diameter in millimetres from 1 mm to 200 mm
  • internal cylindrical standards: ± (902+1.3L2)0.5 nm, where L is the nominal diameter in millimetres from 1.5 mm to 125 mm
  • spheres: ± (902+1.3L2)0.5 nm, where L is the nominal diameter in millimetres from 10 mm to 90 mm

Roundness

  • hemispherical and spherical standards: ± 8 nm
  • magnification standards (sagitta depth): ± 0.10 µm 
  • inclined standards (diameteral difference): ± 0.10 µm
  • diameter standards: ± 0.03 µm
  • spherical standards (sphericity measurement): ± 0.03 µm
  • components: ± 0.03 µm to ± 0.5 µm (dependent on form errors)

Surface roughness

  • groove depth and step height: ±(52+4.7d2)0.5 nm, where d is the depth from 0.1 µm to 250 µm
  • arithmetic-mean deviation (Ra): ±(132+17Ra2)0.5 nm, Ra from 0.1 µm to 10 µm
  • maximum peak-to-valley roughness height (Rz): ±(52+17Rz2)0.5 nm, Rz from 0.1 µm to 30 µm

Typical turnaround times

We liaise with clients to meet their schedule requirements wherever possible, including urgent requirements. Our timeframes depend on the volume of work we have at the time, and the instrument’s complexity or size.

  • 1 day to 2 weeks to calibrate or measure
  • 2 weeks to 2 months wait time, from booking to calibration
  • 1 to 2 weeks to complete the calibration report

Indicative calibration costs 

We offer premium length calibration and testing services. Our costs reflect the time, detail and depth of the service we provide. This suits clients who have a regulatory or ethical responsibility to have the highest accuracy possible. It also suits clients with legal or commercial motivations.

NATA accredited laboratories can provide results that are directly traceable to the national standards we maintain. They can deliver results with uncertainties that meet the needs of most clients in Australia, at more competitive rates. 

We customise our service to meet each client's unique needs for each instrument. 

Request a quote for calibration

Consultancy services

We customise our consultancy services to suit each client’s length or dimensional measurement needs and provide:

  • precision measurement, and selecting appropriate measuring equipment
  • technical advice on calibration or precision measurement issues
  • consultancy for testing, research and benchmark studies
  • contract research and development for short-term or long-term projects
  • advice for product development, measurement integrity and quality assurance
  • advice on examining machine tools
  • advice on problems related to surface roughness and its measurement

We can provide advice on CMM performance and applications. We actively collaborate with the Metrology Society of Australasia (MSA) CMM Users Group, a technical group for users, potential users and suppliers of CMMs. On request, we can provide reference artefacts, such as step gauges and ballplates, for user verification of their own CMMs.

For more information email info@measurement.gov.au.

Customised training

We design and deliver bespoke training programs for clients. This is separate to our established training and assessment programs. Our programs can involve training teams to: 

  • use purpose-built length and dimensional measuring instruments
  • understand traceability and measurement uncertainty
  • maintain a quality system
  • training for CMM operators

For more information email info@measurement.gov.au.

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Last updated: 5 June 2019

Content ID: 63514