MANUFACTURERS are getting the measure of a new facility at Huddersfield University.
The university has linked into the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) by opening a new measurement services facility as part of its acclaimed Centre for Precision Technologies.
The decision to site the measurement service at the CPL reflects its standing in such areas as metrology, precision engineering and the calibration of machine tools.
The official opening of the facility took place as part of the university’s 2010 research festival.
A day-long series of events included presentations from representatives of the university, the NPL, the Manufacturing Technologies Association and Rolls Royce.
Topics included the challenges facing UK manufacturers – and a reminder that academic research had a vital role to play in the real world.
Dr Brian Bowsher, managing director of the NPL, said the link-up with the university had worked well.
He said: “We have had great interaction with key industries in the area and have developed a number of common appointments here at Huddersfield.
“The way it’s going has been very positive indeed and a very good example of how NPL is working not just in London, but throughout country as a whole.”
The new facility allows Huddersfield University and its CPL team to carry out measurement of highly complex surfaces such as turbine blades.
The technology includes laser-trace equipment that can be taken on-site to calibrate large and complex machine tools – meaning a procedure that might have taken fortnight can now be accomplished in a few days.
The CPT also encompasses the Engineering Control and Machine Performance Group (ECMPG), which is regularly recruited for major Europe-wide projects as well as working in the UK and the USA.
The ECMPG, led by university’s Alan Myers, has also been approached by a consortium of 11 organisations to join a new European funded research project which aims to make big improvements in machine tool accuracy.
Senior research fellow Dr Simon Fletcher was put in charge of the vital first stage of the scheme.
He was unanimously chosen for the role at the first meeting of the consortium, whose members include the major Italian engineering firm Alesamonti, the University of Southern Switzerland and the Italian National Measurement Institute.