Columnists Features

ZABS: Helping industry to enhance efficiency, productivity

METROLOGY is a field of study that is ‘silent’, a subject that has not been fully appreciated and understood by many in terms of its importance to the economic development of the country.
I am not an expert in metrology, but having worked for an organisation such as the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) for some time now, where metrology is one of the core functions, I have taken it upon myself to do a bit of research about it and share with you, my dear readers, my understanding of what metrology is and the impact it has on our daily lives. And yes since metrology impacts our lives, it deserves some attention!
Let me start by reminding you dear reader, that ZABS is the national standards body enacted by an Act of Parliament Cap 416 of the Laws of Zambia whose core mandate is to formulate national standards, conduct quality assurance and calibration of measuring instruments (metrology) activities.
Our mandate is to provide standardisation and quality assurance services to industry and consumers to enhance the quality and competitiveness of goods and services and consequently to promote economic growth.
ZABS exists to necessitate and promote the adoption of standards in industry and commerce with a view to;
Improving the quality of commodities
Improving industrial efficiency and productivity
Improving after sale support services and all aspects of quality assurance for commodities.
And as such, one of the core functions of the Bureau as stipulated under the Standards Act Cap 416 of the Laws of Zambia is to make arrangement or provide facilities for the testing and calibration of precision instruments, gauges and scientific apparatus for the determination of their degree of accuracy and the certification thereof.
In line with this function, ZABS has established metrology as one of its departments. ZABS metrology laboratory houses the national measurement standards and provides calibration services that are traceable to the international measurement standards.
This department carries out the calibration of various instruments and scientific apparatus to ensure that they are accurate and precise. It is through this department, dear reader, that ZABS helps to improve industrial efficiency and consequently industrial productivity.
The department boasts of several laboratories ranging from the mass laboratory, volume laboratory, force laboratory, temperature laboratory, length laboratory, pressure and electrical laboratories. What this simply means, dear reader, is that ZABS is able to provide calibration services in all these areas. ZABS also offers training in measurement and calibration and provides external technical training in ISO 9001 and ISO 17025.
Statistics show that ZABS actually has calibrated a total of 1,136 assorted instruments for various companies in Zambia between January and June 2016. In 2014, ZABS calibrated a total of 1,810 instruments for various companies in Zambia.
Some of the companies whose instruments were actually calibrated include Ndola Lime, Konkola Copper Mines, Mopani Copper Mines, Lubambe Mine, Sable Transport and Pamodzi Hotel. Others are Zambia Sugar, Zambezi Portland Cement and Alfred H Knight.
The instruments calibrated include scales, weight sets, dial indicators and measuring tapes. Others are ovens, cold rooms, radiation thermometers and digital thermometers.
We would like to remind you our stakeholders out there that calibration is a form of quality assurance which ensures that industry can safely and reliably use instruments to get the accurate measurement results they need which will result in improved efficiency and service delivery.
I do hope that more and more companies will make a conscious decision to partner with ZABS for efficiency and enhanced service delivery. Take heed!
The author is head-marketing and public relations
For more information
Contact the Director
Zambia Bureau of Standards
Lechwe House, Freedom Way
P O Box 50259, Lusaka
Tel: 260-211-231385

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