The NML has been responsible for the commissioning of the metrology modules, while the main sub-contractor, the Design, Engineering and Testing Department of Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC), has undertaken the design, construction and commissioning of the mobile laboratory carrying the metrology modules. The facility carries equipment for mass, volume, temperature, electrical and length metrology. The mobile laboratory will be on show at the CSIR, in the parking area of Building 2C, on 31 May 2002.
The mobile metrology facility will provide a calibration service to industry as well as legal metrology services in the remote areas of the country as an alternative to and a possible precursor for establishing branch metrology laboratories at various regional centers. Delivery to the Mozambican National Institute for Standardization and Quality (INNOQ) in Maputo is scheduled for later in June 2002.
The mobile laboratory comprises a four-wheel driven Samil 50 (designed for both on-road and off-road use) with a stretched chassis, on which a 6-meter custom-built superstructure is mounted. The Samil 50 tows a single axle trailer equipped with a diesel generator unit. The laboratory is divided into three areas: a reception and storage area, a laboratory and a sleeping compartment for two people. An air conditioning system services the laboratory area (23°C with a relative humidity of 60% for an ambient temperature of 40°C, relative humidity 100%) and, through a series of extraction fans, the reception area and sleeping cabin.
The laboratory is custom designed and constructed with lockable cabinets and drawers to securely store all the metrology equipment during transit. Rigid worktables and sufficient lighting further enhance the working environment of the laboratory.
As the key provider of internationally traceable measurement standards and measurements, the NML plays a pivotal role in underpinning South Africa's industrial competitiveness by providing vital elements of the quality infrastructure. The NML's role in providing traceable measurement standards is equally important within the context of the integrated Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The role of the AIDC's Design, Engineering and Testing Department is to provide the South African automotive industry with technical support services for the local design, engineering, testing and evaluation of components, systems and vehicles. A specific focus, related to the mobile laboratory project, is that of special vehicle applications.
Issued by: CSIR National Metrology Laboratory. The CSIR is the largest R&D and implementation technology agency in Africa with a track record spanning more than 50 years. Structured around 8 distinct business areas, it delivers innovation and technology solutions in support of its clients and stakeholders. See www.CSIR.co.za or contact +27 12 841 2000.