Modern manufacturing in the globally networked economy with exchange of components, sub-assemblies and final
products is based on internationally accepted procedures and standards for production control which in turn require a
system which guarantees globally comparable measurements, traceable to the international system of units, the SI.
This paper describes some of the activities of the precision engineering division of the PTB, the national metrology institute
(NMI) of Germany, to support and further develop the necessary metrology infrastructure for production control.
In general, these activities are concentrated on the following aspects: research and development in the field of prototype
measurement instrumentation especially adapted to the needs of a metrology institute, modelling of the signal contrast of
measurement tools, design and development of suitable calibration standards, determination of calibration uncertainties,
e.g. by use of so-called virtual instrumentation models, dissemination of the unit of length to the manufacturing industry
as well as science and society by means of calibrated dimensional standards, organization of and involvement in international
comparison measurements between NMIs and cooperation in national and international standardization work.
Examples for these different activities will be given in this paper with a focus on the support of nanomanufacturing processes.