We recently won the bid to supply a large project. The good news is that there’s a large volume of concrete; the bad news is that the engineer has called for all of the measurements to be in metric.

Converting our batching system to metric is a breeze, as the software supplier has provided an update for the conversion. Our problem is training our staff on how to use the metric system. Do you know of any ways to help familiarize our support staff and drivers?

The switch from English to metric has been a long and arudous effort. Our sister magazine, CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION, first reported on the issue in 1970.

In February 1997, in an article titled “Metrication Is Metering its way into Concrete Operations,” we reported on metric implementation in the industry. By then, metric had become a way of life. In a 1996 survey, 48 state DOTs indicated that their engineers had designed at least one project in metric units. The states also reported that by 1998, 65% of state highway projects will be in metric units, representing more than $14.5 billion in contracts.

These and other artcles provide insights on how several large producers had started to incorporate metric into their operations. Much of what they said eight years ago is still true, so you might find some of their insights useful.

We have discovered another helpful aid. Sekaps Manufacturing sells an inexpensive English-to-metric convertor. It’s also a calculator that can handle the full range of mathematical calculations. But metric conversion is its best feature. With the push of a button, users can convert volumes, lengths, areas, pressures, and temperatures from English to metric. Visit www.sekaps.com.