The subject of standards of measurement is fascinating. The standards of measure in the U.S. and elsewhere, for all different sorts of units, are various, and constantly changing. Perhaps the most common to encounter is the two primary measurements of length: namely, feet or meters, which are the primary units of the systems commonly referred to as English or Metric. Before declaring one particular system better or more practical, let’s remind ourselves of a bit of the history of the theory of measurement.
Things in nature (at least at the level discernible without sophisticated modern technology) do not occur in exact forms and replicas of each other. This basic fact means that there is no standard upon which to base a system of measurement that is fundamentally exact. This meant that some of the earliest systems of measurements referred to things such as “the distance from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger” (a cubit), “the distance from an outstretched thumb to littlest finger” (a span), and similarly inexact but practical and common distances. As trade and necessity for common units increased, and as technology and capabilities of measurement improved, more standardized systems of measurement evolved. Modern measures are increasingly based on physical or chemical properties of common elements, perhaps the most recognizable of which is the definition of the 0 and 100 degrees Celsius as the freezing and boiling point of water, respectively (though technically, this was replaced by a yet more accurate measure in 1954).
The system that has nearly universal use is the International System of Units, or SI. The most noticeable innovation present with this system is its adoption of 7 basic units of measure, and the use of multiples of ten for ease of calculation and manipulation. While the U.S. does not formally or universally use this system much outside of select branches of science and industry, U.S. units are officially defined in terms of SI units.
At New Process, we’re not too concerned about which system of measurement you use, because we make it a priority to offer all of our custom products to the exact specification of whichever system you use. The idea behind custom manufacturing is to make sure we meet your specifications, because ultimately you know exactly what you need. So, the next time you need custom non-metallic stampings, you can count on New Process to measure up.