In the mid-1990s Thai small and medium-sized enterprises were not in a position to make use of a metrological infrastructure which satisfied their needs and improved competitiveness. A new Metrology Law had just been passed in 1997 creating an independent National Metrology Institute. At the time only four calibration laboratories were accredited forcing many companies to resort to private, foreign calibration labs. Faced with the regional economic and financial crisis of the late 1990s this was an additional hurdle for businesses.
In order to improve the service infrastructure for Thai SMEs and increase their competitiveness, the project “Promotion of the Thai Calibration Service” implemented by PTB aimed at establishing a network of calibration laboratories, strengthening of the National Institute of Metrology (NIMT) and promoting the accreditation body TISI/TLAS.
To this end the project offered technical training and organizational consulting in the process of competence building to NIMT and TISI/TLAS as key institutions of the Thai quality system. Furthermore, through numerous awareness events, seminars and training workshops in the field of metrology, accreditation and additional areas of quality infrastructure, a high number of technical professionals and decision makers from laboratories, universities and research institutions were trained. On the political level, decision makers, managers and other leading staff of industrial companies were sensitized through awareness workshops and integrated into a dialogue with the network of QI-institutions.
With these activities the project significantly contributed to strengthening and qualifying both NIMT and TISI/TLAS key institutions of the Thai quality infrastructure. NIMT and TISI/TLAS are now internationally recognized institutions. Furthermore the project’s activities – especially the strengthening of private calibration laboratories networks and their accreditation – enabled them to meet the SME sector’s demands.