View Poll Results: Which System is better
Metric System (kg, m, L) 20 100.00%
English Engineering System (lb, ft, gal) 0 0%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

Metric VS English engineering system of measurement


by eryanmn
Tags: engineering, english, measurement, metric, metric system
eryanmn
eryanmn is offline
#1
Sep13-13, 10:26 PM
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Hey guys,

I know you all wish you never had to do all the weird conversions required for our current system of measurement. I know I'd rather convert 17km to m than 17mi to feet or ever inches. I thought that since I know so many people who would rather just do the easy metric conversions I'd start a petition over at petitions.whitehouse.gov

If you agree with me sign the petition and share the link to the petition as it won't go public until it gets at least 150 signatures. Otherwise reply with which system you think is the best.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/change-official-system
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phinds
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#2
Sep13-13, 10:30 PM
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This has been tried before in America. It doesn't work. It lasted about 5 minutes and then the signs were taken down. We LIKE our feet and inches ! It's "American exceptionalism" at work. We are exceptionally obstinate and proud of it.
SteamKing
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#3
Sep15-13, 03:58 AM
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You can save your time.

Automobiles, booze, and drugs (legal and illegal) have been manufactured or sold using metric measurements since at least the 1970s.

Most consumer goods like foods and whatnot have dual weights printed on the package, just like everything seems to be labeled in both Spanish and English.

UltrafastPED
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#4
Sep15-13, 05:13 AM
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Metric VS English engineering system of measurement


Metric has been legal in the US since 1866. What more could you want?
AlephZero
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#5
Sep15-13, 07:44 AM
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Some industries have invented their own hybrid systems. For example Boeing designs its aircraft fuselages in sections 2540 mm (or 8 feet 4 inches) long.
SteamKing
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#6
Sep15-13, 07:45 AM
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Even better, it's been official since 1866.

See: http://lamar.colostate.edu/~hillger/...-act-bill.html
SteamKing
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#7
Sep15-13, 07:57 AM
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The aircraft industry for years used the inch as the standard measurement for length, but I think like AlephZero stated, they have adopted metric measurements now with certain accommodations to the past.

The ISO coding standard for auto tire sizes actually contains the rim diameter in inches within the code format, but the standard cheats by calling the diameter number a 'code' rather than the measurement that it actually is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tire_code

e.g., in a tire code such as 'P215/65R15'; the last two digits (15) are the rim size code.
Aero_UoP
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#8
Sep15-13, 08:31 AM
P: 136
All I have to say is this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimli_Glider

Draw your own conclusions people :p
SteamKing
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#9
Sep15-13, 02:45 PM
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Should always have a gas gauge to check. Multiple errors by different parties in flying this jet.
Woopydalan
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#10
Sep15-13, 04:06 PM
P: 746
The metric system is nice, and I wish that there would be an effort to permanently move over to it. American Engineering units are cumbersome in my opinion. However, being brought up in this system has had permanent effects on me. If you tell me something is 150 km away, or that you are driving 80 km/hr, I don't have a good sense for how fast you are actually driving or how far away it is. If you say it in miles or mi/hr, then I have a much better idea of those things.

We got ourselves into sort of a situation that would be very difficult to get out of. It would be painful at first, but eventually it would work, it would take a generation or two to get used to it and actually process information in kilograms and kilometers instead of thinking in terms of pounds or miles.
AlephZero
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#11
Sep15-13, 04:08 PM
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Quote Quote by SteamKing View Post
Should always have a gas gauge to check
Correction: should always have a working gas gauge to check

Actually even that's not enough. I can remember a similar incident, where the aircraft had an overhaul which included a modification to the fuel system. This involved swapping two separate parts. To make sure that both parts were changed at the same time, the fuel pipe connecting them was also redesigned to be a different length and shape, even though that had no significance for the functioning of the system.

So, some 300-pound gorilla at the overhaul base changed just one of the parts and refitted the old pipe, after putting it over his knee to bend it a bit. He even filled in a complaint sheet that the pipe didn't fit properly!

Nobody got round to reading the paperwork until after the aircraft had done a successful check flight and gone back into service. The bent pipe survived the check flight, but it didn't survive the first in-service transatlantic flight. It cracked and started dumping fuel overboard.

The flight crew noticed the fuel gauges were heading towards empty faster than they should have been, but since everything else seemed to be OK they decided that somebody had recalibrated them wrongly during the overhaul.

They found out the gauges were reading correctly half way across the Atlantic, when all the engines ran out of fuel.

Nobody died, because they did a successful engine-out approach from 35,000 feet into the military airbase on the Azores - though having made a rather heavy landing which burst most of the tires and bent the undercarriage, the plane was blocking the main runway for a few days, till they could bring some heavy lifting gear in by sea to move it!

But back on topic: the thread title is wrong, since the English no longer use these stupid units. You won't find anything measured in pounds of feet on sale in the UK (not even with "dual units" on the packaging). The only remaining legal uses in the UK are selling beer in pints, and road signs and speed limits using miles (but short distances, heights of low bridges, etc, are in meters not yards feet and inches).
AlephZero
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#12
Sep15-13, 04:19 PM
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Quote Quote by Woopydalan View Post
.... it would take a generation or two to get used to it...
Nope. When the UK changed over, it only took a year or two, not a generation or two.

And we also changed the currency from 20 shillings and 240 pence in the pound to a decimal-based system, without any street rioting.
Woopydalan
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#13
Sep15-13, 04:29 PM
P: 746
Yes, but you still haven't fully converted yet. Apparently the roads are still done in mi/hr etc. I had wondered what the smaller units of the pound (money) were, a shilling and a pence..interesting.

Maybe not in your case, but I would think a lot of your countrymen might not be accustomed to driving in km/hr or at least have a sense of how fast that is without having to convert it to mi/hr. Maybe I'm wrong though, at least in my case I can't think in kilometers yet. I just got back from Europe so my sense has improved, but it still isn't that good.
skeptic2
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#14
Sep15-13, 05:27 PM
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Quote Quote by UltrafastPED View Post
Metric has been legal in the US since 1866. What more could you want?
On the other hand, since the English system was always in use, there was never any reason to officially recognize it. There is no act authorizing the use of the English system.
SteamKing
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#15
Sep15-13, 06:51 PM
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You know, if you are traveling 150 km and driving at 80 km/hr, plan on it taking about 2 hours. Just like if you need to go 4 light years at 0.5 c, it's going to take about 8 years outside time. d = r*t
Baluncore
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#16
Sep15-13, 08:05 PM
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I see no problem with the US archaic system from here in Australia. We just watch the USA confusing themselves. So long as scientists use the SI system and the rest of the USA measures things in thousands of pounds, or in gallons(US), there will be wasteful employment in the USA.

Standardisation and the ISO has cost many unnecessary jobs worldwide, but not in the USA. We can compete easily with the USA because of their archaic system of units. It is definitely to our advantage, please don't change it.
SteamKing
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#17
Sep15-13, 09:45 PM
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I'm not confused by USCS or SI (whichever flavor of the month it might be). I also am not aware of any so called 'wasteful employment' in the US as a result of using the USCS system. As mentioned in earlier posts, large segments of goods produced in the US are manufactured using the metric system. A lot of countries compete with the US not because of the metric system but because of the low wages paid to the factory workers. Japanese, Korean, and European car makers have built plants in the US, and some of their output is exported back to the home market. If people want a product, they could care less if it was made using inch units or metric, as long as they get value for money.
D H
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#18
Sep15-13, 10:16 PM
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Switching from customary units to metric would be very nice. However, nothing is as easy as it seems. Switching traffic signs? That's the easy part of going metric, at least from a technical perspective.

Canned goods? That's a bit more difficult. "Going metric" means a lot more than switching labels from "Net wt: 1 lb (453 g)" to "Net wt: 453 g (1 lb)". That's not going metric. That metric-sized can should contain some nice, round number of grams, and making that switch is not easy. It means retooling equipment, changing can sizes, retooling the equipment that makes those cans.

The non-consumer end will be even tougher. Some of the US's manufacturing equipment dates back to World War II. That old machinery is not going to be replaced with metric-sized equivalents just because of some government dicta. That would be ridiculously expensive and wasteful. That old machinery will be replaced eventually, but for economic reasons: Too expensive to operate, too expensive to maintain.

World War II is one of the reasons Britain had a relatively easy going in switching to metric. The US got busy and built a huge manufacturing capability during WWII, and that manufacturing capability was based on good old customary units. Europe on the other hand got busy and blew itself to bits. Europe's manufacturing capability had to be rebuilt from the ground up when sanity returned. British industry took the opportunity to switch to metric during the massive reconstruction that followed WWII. It made sense economically. They had to rebuild anyhow, and this switch made it much easier to sell goods to mainland Europe. Except for the superficial consumer end of things, Britain had already pretty much switched to metric by the time it made that switch official.

That switch is going to be much tougher for the US. We have this huge manufacturing capability that is based largely on parts machined in customary units. Even if we do switch, we'll need things such as half inch bolts for a long, long time. Underneath the hood (or bonnet), I'm sure there's still quite a bit of British machinery that needs half inch bolts, too. They have a ready supplier, the US.

The switch to metric will be tough precisely because we are the last holdout. Add in the facts that we are a bit isolated by two huge oceans, and that we are a large, monolithic market, and it's not going to happen soon. It is happening, slowly. Try buying a new car nowadays that uses half inch bolts. The automotive industry has gone metric, and that will eventually drag other industries along.


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