NPL Huddersfield expands due to strong demand from local businesses for measurement services
14 May 2014
The National Physical Laboratory’s (NPL) inspection facility in Huddersfield is expanding the range of services on offer to local manufacturing businesses, following a hugely successful first year. The laboratory allows companies to access world-leading measurement expertise in areas central to innovation, safety and efficiency in manufacturing. The service has proven so successful that a wide range of new state-of-the-art equipment has been acquired to expand capabilities and help meet the rising demand.
The laboratory is equipped with a wide range of modern inspection equipment. The new equipment includes two new Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM): a Hexagon Metrology DEA Global Silver Edition 7.10.07 running PCDMIS software and an Optiv vision system. Additionally the laboratory has acquired a Romer Multi-gage articulated arm and a Taylor Hobson Talysurf PGI surface measurement system. These machines will be used to extend the laboratory’s component measurement capability by offering programmes which are used extensively in manufacturing industries.
The sophisticated measurement technology will now be made available to local businesses. Those benefitting from the services over the past year have ranged from manufacturers of life-saving medical devices to engine turbines and razor blades. NPL Huddersfield offers a free measurement consultation service, which allows customers to understand where measurement can improve their products or reduce their costs without any financial commitment.
NPL's top-of-the-range facilities will allow precision parts such as blades and engine components as well as replacement medical joints and plastic syringes to be measured under laboratory conditions, with appropriate temperature control, cleanliness and avoidance of mechanical vibration. Access to this facility enables high-confidence inspection results on parts that are critical to production or safety. It will offer lab-based and on-site programming of coordinate measuring machines, as well as a range of bespoke training and consultancy related to all aspects of applied measurement.
Peter Armitage, Quality Engineering Manager from Wesco Aircraft, said: “Ensuring that components are measured to the highest degree of accuracy is vital for aerospace components, such as landing gear and engine components, to ensure safety of life as well as efficiency. Having a national facility right on our doorstep is a real asset.”
“If you can’t measure something properly then you can’t manufacture it properly,” said Andy Morris, Laboratory Manager. “Here in Huddersfield we have great equipment people can use but the real added value is the expertise on offer. We are passionate about supporting the companies around us, and have expanded and acquired new equipment according to the needs of local businesses. We’ve gone from being an NPL outpost to something that is dynamic and forward-looking that collaborates closely with the community. Not only do we measure manufacturer’s components, we also work with them to make better measurements in their own inspection departments and to upskill their engineers”
The laboratory provides easy access to NPL's world-leading expertise to companies based in Yorkshire and the north of England. The region is responsible for a significant proportion of the UK's manufacturing and Yorkshire makes the second largest manufacturing contribution to the UK economy.
Adrian Lythgo, Chief Executive of Kirklees Council, said: “NPL Huddersfield is a real asset to business and our community. Huddersfield has a great heritage in manufacturing and engineering and NPL is playing a valuable role in helping local businesses innovate for the future.”
“We know that having a world-class measurement facility on their doorstep has hugely benefitted businesses by helping them improve their products and services, streamline production and reduce costs. This is particularly true for our many local SMES, who have the potential for great growth but who would have perhaps otherwise struggled to access such vital measurement expertise and equipment as readily.”
Interested parties are invited to attend the laboratory’s open day on the 20th of May, where they will be able to tour the facility and discover firsthand the range of services NPL has to offer.
For more information, please contact:
NPL Huddersfield Laboratory Manager
National Physical Laboratory, BIC G/22
3M Buckley Innovation Centre