MSA Conference shines spotlight on measurement
18 November 2015
High-value manufacturers, calibration labs and metrologists came together in Queenstown earlier this month, to shine a spotlight on how measurement contributes to profitability.
Callaghan Innovation was the Platinum Sponsor at the Metrology Society of Australasia (MSA) Conference 2015, which was held in New Zealand for the first time this year.
Staff from MSL gave significant support to the conference organisers, as well as attending and presenting in relevant areas. They gave talks on topics ranging from how to create an ice point (essential to ensuring temperature measurements remain accurate) through to new measurement techniques that could be used by calibration laboratories to improve their productivity.
Mary Quin CEO of Callaghan Innovation gave an insightful and inspiring opening address, which was well received by the 137 delegates. Mary gave an overview of New Zealand’s economy, the need for innovation and the importance of measurement infrastructure - highlighting how the role of measurement standards fits into the big picture.
Other plenary speakers included Richard Suckling, Fleet Manager from Fonterra, who showcased how a strong focus on technological solutions and improved measurement has created a safer and more efficient Fonterra Tanker Fleet.
Alain Refunacht from the USA’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) talked about the new International System of Units (SI), which will see the kilogram, the kelvin, the ampere, and the mole redefined in terms of fundamental physical constants.
Dieter Adam, CEO of the New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association, spoke about the importance of a strong domestic manufacturing sector in NZ (currently the second largest contributor to GDP) and how to grow the sector.
A Lab Managers Forum on the Friday – presented by Jo Finer from Fonterra, Tim Ward from BDO and Gregg Allnutt from Results Group –provided delegates with workshop sessions on everything from Marketing 101, to improving business and quality systems, to leadership skills.
The Queenstown venue provided the wow factor, with delegates treated to spectacular scenery, excellent weather and a cruise on the TSS Earnslaw. A highlight was a site visit to Gibbston Valley Winery, to check out the measurement technology involved in the wine-making industry (and “measure” some of their samples!).
The MSA Conference Organising committee have received some excellent feedback:
“I’ve learnt so much from the Technical workshops, way more than I ever expected.” Leanne Field, Shell Todd Oil Services
“I’ve made some valuable connections that will assist my business.” Mark Fahey, Bison
“I had no idea what Metrology was when I was asked to speak, so when I did some research I realised just how much measurement impacts the wine industry.” Alan Brady, Gibbston Valley Winery
“It was great to highlight how metrology, while at times unknown as a science, has such a large impact on our economy and daily lives.” Julian Broms, Quest NZ
So a successful week in Queenstown, providing a platform for many delegates to discuss ideas, learn new techniques, meet some experts as well as showcase the strength of the MSA network and the value of measurement to our economy. The next MSA conference will be held in 2017 with venue and date yet to be confirmed, but in the interim the NZ MSA branch will continue to support industry by providing regional workshops and site visits.