The National Physical Laboratory (NPL), which acts as the UK's principal measurement institute, has recently opened its new laboratory at the University of Huddersfield's new 3M Buckley Innovation Centre and is launching a free measurement consultation service for local businesses.
The new laboratory is equipped with a wide range of the most modern inspection equipment, including its latest coordinate measurement machine equipped with tactile probing and a high specification laser scanner. The activities in the laboratory are targeted at providing both local and national manufacturing companies with direct access to NPL's market leading measurement capabilities. Customers working with NPL will be able to improve the quality of their manufactured products, as well as introduce innovation into their manufacturing and inspection processes.
NPL is also offering free measurement surgeries each Wednesday, where manufacturers can meet with measurement and inspection experts to discuss specific problems and any wider consultancy and support requirements. For example, the application of new technology and established best measurement practice to their manufacturing operations.
Proper measurement is essential to producing reliable products. It ensures parts such as life saving medical devices meet standards and are produced right first time, saving time, money and maybe lives. It enables product improvements to be introduced at reduced risk and ensures confidence that the quality of parts delivered to customers meet recognised industry standards. A recent customer survey estimated that NPL has directly helped organisations achieve benefits of more than £100 million per annum through the introduction and application of good measurement practice.
The Huddersfield laboratory will support the development of complex, hard to measure parts such as blades and engine components used in aerospace, and medical components such as replacement joints and plastic syringes.
NPL's top of the range facilities will allow precision parts 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 production and or safety critical.
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.
The opening of the new 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 (Source: ONS). It is expected that the NPL laboratory will contribute significant innovation and service benefits to these businesses.
Andy Morris, NPL Huddersfield Laboratory Manager, says, "NPL employs the world's leading measurement expertise, the most accurate equipment and carries out ground breaking research. These capabilities have been proven to have a huge impact on business, improving standards, safety and profit. The lab in Huddersfield expands our reach and provides easier access to these world leading capabilities in one of the UK's most important manufacturing regions."