National Measurement Institute helping industry respond to COVID-19

Australia’s National Measurement Institute’s testing and measurement services are supporting industry to effectively and rapidly respond to the challenge.
A metrologist sets up equipment for testing face masks.

NMI’s team is working closely with stakeholders to improve testing methods.

Testing and measuring with certainty has rarely been more important than it is right now in responding to COVID-19.

Australia’s National Measurement Institute (NMI) has always played a vital role in supporting manufacturing and community safety, giving regulators, industry and consumers confidence in the quality of products and services.

NMI’s chemical, biological and physical measurement services are now enabling manufacturers and laboratories to quickly and effectively meet the COVID-19 challenge.

Health measurement services

We can help ensure that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), instruments and tests used by laboratories and frontline clinical staff fighting COVID-19 have appropriate quality controls.

Ensuring quality of medical PPE and equipment

NMI, together with the other members of Australia’s national standards and conformance network (Standards Australia, NATA and JAS-ANZ), have released advice on standards, test methods, accredited laboratories and certifiers to assist with the design, manufacture and procurement of medical PPE.

In addition, NMI is working to establish new testing capabilities to address identified priority areas. These will also be able to support validation and accreditation of similar capabilities by other organisations.

Quality assurance for molecular biology and genetics

We support quality assurance by:

  • providing reference materials and controls to ensure comparable pathology testing, and minimise false positive and negative test results
  • developing standards for COVID-19 for Australia’s clinical laboratories

Calibrating medical devices and measurements

Our specialist services include:

  • analysing nanoparticle-based disinfection systems and nanobubbles in cleaning units (characterising size, size distribution and surface charge)
  • assessing UV sterilisers that clean surfaces and air by measuring flux, effectiveness and safety
  • calibrating ear thermometers (to standards including EN 12470-05, ASTM E-1965-09)
  • measuring gas and liquid flow, flow rate and viscosity for manufacturers of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices
  • providing reference gases (pure and mixed gas standards for calibrating gas analysers)

Manufacturing and industrial measurement services

We can help you design and re-tool manufacturing for urgently needed products to support the COVID-19 response.

Designing, prototyping, testing and complying with regulations

We have expert capacity to:

  • Support your critical design and manufacturing needs in precision measurement at the macro, micro and nanoscales. This allows you to accurately measure length, depth, width, area and volume for prototyping and production.
  • Calibrate precision machining instruments, coordinate measurement machines and 3D laser scanners that must be reset in re-purposed production lines. This includes laser safety to AS/NZS IEC: 60825, surface roughness/smoothness, light intensity and colour.
  • Test prototype instruments for performance against electromagnetic interference, vibration, humidity and other factors.

Analytical laboratory services

We continue to provide essential, accredited laboratory services to support:

  • safety and quality for food, water and agricultural production
  • compliance testing for import and export

In particular we test:

  • food and water for pathogens, allergens, organic and inorganic contaminants, spoilage and foreign objects
  • food and medical packaging for plasticiser migration
  • medical devices for residual sterilising agents (Ethylene Chlorohydrin and Ethylene Oxide)

We also conduct product safety and compliance testing for pharmaceuticals, and have Therapeutic Goods Administration accreditation for some capabilities.

Measurement consulting and training

We can provide technical advice and training on:

  • product development and assessment
  • chemical, physical and biological measurement and testing
  • specific fields of measurement

During this transitional COVID-19 period, our technical, problem-solving and R&D expertise can help you:

  • understand how to meet design and performance specifications, and achieve regulatory compliance
  • re-skill and innovate
  • position your company for post COVID-19 economic recovery

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Contact us

See also

Read about our department's response to COVID-19