Digital Transformation of Metrology

Metrology [1] is an essential part of any scientific research, industry (including manufacturing), trading, safety (environment protection, medicine, new/smart technologies), e.g. supply chain (from retail trade up to wholesale), measuring of various physical quantities in manufacturing processes and as life quality indicators (quality of air, purity of water, etc.), medical laboratory procedures, etc.

Metrology is also exposed to trends and challenges of digitalization, which was officially recognized in the form of the Joint Statement of Intent “On the digital transformation in the international scientific and quality infrastructure”  signed this year by the most important global metrological institutions [2] and is also followed by numerous groups, initiatives, activities and events, like:

  • IMEKO’s Technical Committee “Digitalization” (TC6) [3]
  • CIPM initiative ”Transforming the International System of Units for a Digital World” [4]
  • World Metrology Day: 20 May 2022 – Metrology in the Digital Era [5]
  • International Digital Calibration Certificate Conference [6]
  • EURAMET „Digital Transformation Call“ [7]
  • etc.

Metroracle offers an innovative technical solution to requirements imposed by the digital transformation of metrology, based on the fact that blockchain technology has some properties needed for the transformation (see Table 1). Our Metroracle solution, although planned to be realised for IoT devices, could be applied to measuring instruments in general, making the Metroracle solution compliant to measuring devices globally and its impact really profound.

Furthermore, metrology laboratories often use so-called Laboratory information management systems [8] (LIMS), where the data is closed within the system, which leads to poor interoperability. Our Metroracle solution would provide an interface (through APIs) also for LIMS solutions increasing the interoperability and making LIMS data compliant with FAIR+T principles [9] (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable, traceable), i.e. by using Metroracle, they would get access to record/read data on/from a blockchain through Metroracle smart contracts and corresponding user interfaces.

Due to the fact that the statement [10] was signed not so long ago (30th of March 2022), it is clear that our Metroracle project is innovative, i.e. we are at the beginning of a big wave of challenges (and proposed solutions!) related to the application of digital transformation of metrology. Thus, the Metroracle project can be comprehended as one of the first projects that are tackling the corresponding challenges, including also the possible commercial aspects.

Table 1 : Blockchain as an answer for digital representation in metrology processes [11]