The National Measurement Institute of Australia - NMI, affiliated to the Australian Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, is the Australian Government’s national authority on measurement. NMI plays an important role in the Australian economy by maintaining and regulating Australia’s measurement system, developing and maintaining national measurement standards, and delivering world-class measurement products and client services. Headquartered in New South Wales, there are laboratories and offices throughout the country.
Unless a class of instrument has been specifically exempted, the national legislation requires that every measuring instrument that is in use for trade be of a pattern approved by the Chief Metrologist. A certificate of approval is issued for each instrument pattern after it has satisfactorily completed its approval testing and assessment. It is an offence for an instrument which is not of an approved pattern (or specifically exempted from this requirement), to be used for trade purposes. The NMI can provide information on whether the instrument comes under the definition of in use for trade. The NMI has also established a nationwide network of trade measurement inspectors to supervise traders and service license holders.
Pattern Approval is where an impartial body examines the design of an instrument prototype against national or international standards. This determines the measurement accuracy of the instrument and whether the instrument retains this accuracy under a range of environmental and operating conditions. If the instrument passes the pattern approval process, NMI will issue a certificate of approval.
ATIC certification experts maintain close contact with NMI and have conducted systematic research on NMI standards. ATIC provides testing and certification services according to NMI standards for manufactures who is intended to commercialize their measurement instruments into Australian market.
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ATIC assists manufacturers in preparing technical documents and submitting applications to NMI.
ATIC prepare testing plan and manufacture send testing samples to designated labs. ATIC follow up testing and reporting process.
After testing pass and application documents reviewed and satisfied, NMI will issue a certificate for pattern approval which is valid for 5 years.
Utility (electricity, water and gas) meters must be verified by a utility meter verifier after the approval certificate issued. The certificate of approval will state if you will need to seal a measuring instrument after verifying it. All seals must be tamper evident.
Other Key Points
The application form has provision for noting documentation provided. The applicant shall advise if these documents have been supplied for a previous application and shall detail their relevance to the current application. The following documentation should accompany each application:
(a) Detailed drawings and specifications of the pattern of the measuring instrument such as working drawings, functional drawings, electrical diagrams, piping diagrams, operating and service manuals; (b) A declaration of safety: (i) for all measuring instruments there shall be a declaration that the instrument has been designed and constructed to the relevant Australian safety standard; and (ii) where appropriate, compliance of the measuring instrument with the relevant safety test scheme. (c) sufficient specifications, photographs and descriptions for a complete understanding to be obtained of the construction and method of operation of the instrument and its variants; (d) a completed test report where available and documentation file; (e) for measuring instruments such as utility meters, test reports in an approved form from the approving authorities which have conducted the tests.
All descriptive material shall be in English. Illustrations intended for inclusion in the certificate of approval shall comply with the requirements specified in clause 11.2 Illustrations for Approval Documents. Documentation may be retained by NMI.
Family of measuring instruments comprises instruments of the same design and that use the same measuring technique to measure the same physical quantity. All of the instruments of the family are subject to the same metrological requirements (e.g. accuracy class, maximum permissible errors) but may be of different capacities and sensitivities and may vary in other operating and performance characteristics.
Review of Approvals The review of certificates of approval occurs generally every five years as stated in the conditions of each of the certificates of approval. This period is set to allow instruments manufactured to the original pattern to be sold without having to be rechecked by the NMI. If after five years, the applicant still intends to sell the equipment, the applicant must apply for a review of the certificate. When the application for a review is received it is assessed by the NMI to determine whether or not any of the instruments covered by the certificate are required for review testing. If an instrument requested for review is not received within the required timescale, or if the instrument fails its review and the fault cannot be rectified, or if the review is not requested then the certificate of approval will expire. If the instrument successfully passes the assessment and/or tests, a reviewed certificate of approval or a notification of change is issued and the review period is extended for another five years. The review criteria apply to the original pattern and to the variants covered in the certificate of approval. The review date is based on the issue date of the original pattern and will apply to the pattern and all variants even if the date of approval of a variant is later than that of the pattern. Failure to satisfactorily conduct reviews may result in cancellation of the certificate of approval.
Review Pursuant to the Regulations Review under regulation 65 may arise as a result of the detection of non-compliance of an instrument in the field and requires that a sample instrument be examined. If the non-compliance is substantiated, the certificate may be withdrawn and all instruments shall be removed from use for trade.
Sealing Measuring Instruments The certificate of approval will state if you will need to seal a measuring instrument after verifying it. All seals must be tamper evident. Physical seals can include: - lead plugs - sealing wires with crimp seal (lead or plastic) - adhesive label or foil An electronic seal could be an access counter. You should only put your servicing licensee mark (three upper-case letters) on the seal. Some measuring instruments have multiple sealing points. If you break one of the seals to make a repair, then only that point needs to be resealed and marked with your servicing licensee mark. Do not use NMI-supplied verification labels as a seal. Seals should not be able to be confused with a verification mark.
Verification Marks You can place a verification mark on: - a label that will be affixed to the instrument - a stamp plug secured to the instrument - the surface of the instrument Additionally, you should place a verification mark in a location: - easily accessible to a servicing licensee or a trade measurement inspector - unlikely to be damaged - where it will stay affixed, clean and legible You only mark an instrument with one verification mark.
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