SC Ag Commissioner Hugh Weathers explains that the Metrology Lab in downtown Columbia is the one lab under the SCDA umbrella that serves everyone in South Carolina, farmer or not. The Metrology Lab checks the weights and measures of everything sold in the state, from grocery store scanners to gas pumps. The lab also does outside work for manufacturing companies in the state such as BMW and Boeing.
“The Metrology lab is the one building that is not located out at the new State Farmers market, it is in downtown Columbia. It maintains all of the weights and measuring equipment to be completely accurate for the things that South Carolinians use to buy. It’s very precise laboratory work. Even the building itself is set up for that type of work.
They work in very small sizes and increments. They measure that the gold bullion standard is accurate. They also do things that help companies build airplanes. They also got involved in checking out the weighing equipment for a state fishing tournament. They cover the map on the applications for the lab.
This lab tends to serve the non-farming public more than any other lab. We serve those who have measuring or weighing equipment. We have many, many customers that are quite varied. The lab is accredited and meets the standards for NIS, the National Institute for Standards and Technologies. We are the back up for companies who use measuring devices for trade.
We also, in effect, check up on ourselves. The people in Consumer Services take a pound out and put it on a scale in the grocery store, it’s important to know that the pound is still a pound. Things change over time, like a gas pump needing to be recalibrated over time. This lab services the industry.”