Recently, just before heading out of town to a trade show to be followed by a few days of personal time, I was pondering the meaning and concept of portability.
Potable measurement equipment is my business, and my products may be compared to several capable alternatives in the market. My product and like devices fall into the general class of coordinate measuring machine (CMM) called a portable articulated arm CMM or PCMM. All such commercially available devices are reasonably movable when compared to a standard bridge-style CMM. These workhorses of the metrology world may weigh from 400 lbs. up to several tons and beyond, and are not designed to be moved. 50 to 100 lbs. for a PCMM, by comparison, is relatively portable and PCMMs are indeed designed to be moved by hand.
That being said, is something that weighs more than the typical airline baggage weight limit portable in the way you need? They may be moveable, or luggable, but calling them portable defies my expectation. What if you want to take a PCMM with you on an extended trek into the field? That thought led me to using my planned trip as a test case. A solo no-one-to-help-me-port-my-stuff trek. I was already committed to taking a MicroScribe arm to the CMSC show being held in Nashville, TN. From there my plan was to go enjoy some time in the Missouri Ozarks, but now I made it my mission to carry a MicroScribe PCMM with me wherever I went, and document it. My thinking was along the lines of a garden gnome vacation. Yes, that is a quirky, possibly sophomoric, adventure, but I did it with no trouble at all because a MicroScribe is truly portable. Over my next few posts I will share with you my porter experiences, pictures, and more thoughts on the meaning and value of true portability.