QMT Features: July 2011
WorldSkills2011 to inspire
WorldSkills 2011 will be the biggest event in London before the Olympic Games in 2012. It will be a truly inspiring showcase for young people’s vocational skills from across the world. By Brendan Coyne, QMT.

“Our company’s philosophy is that you develop the people before you develop the product,” says Mitutoyo UK’s Director, Martin Weeks. Steering a project which will take up to 20% of Mitutoyo’s UK staff at various times, plus the loan of an extensive range of measuring equipment, Martin enthuses about WorldSkills2011.

“Mitutoyo are a Silver Sponsor for the event, one that brings together the skills of young people from around the World. We continue our support following on from Calgary, Canada in 2009 and, indeed have supported this biennial event for many years.”

WorldSkills London 2011 will take place from 5th – 8th October at the ExCeL in London Docklands. The scope of the event is huge. The 41st World Skills competition will welcome talents from 57 countries across 45 skill categories to compete for the title of “WorldSkills Champion”. Following regional and national skill competitions, over 1,000 of the most highly accomplished young people will finally represent their country in competing in London across 45 vocational skills, ranging from mechanical engineering to hair dressing.

The event’s vision is one that Mitutoyo strongly  identifies with - that is, to inspire young people to realise their ambitions through vocational training. The aim of WorldSkills2011 is to provide the impetus for the next generation of professional craftspeople and entrepreneurs; to leave a legacy which will promote both traditional crafts and modern innovations for the future.

“What we, at Mitutoyo, specifically aim to do is to open minds and educate young people as to the World of Metrology, to see them appreciate what measurement is all about - to get them realise it is a fundamental ingredient of, and quality enhancing, part of our lives. To show them how their relationship with measurement starts from birth, when they are measured and weighed, and from their mobile phones to  iplayers, how precision measurement, is the key enabling technology for all the wonderful technology that we  use every day.“ explains Martin Weeks. 

“World Skills and all its supporting activities, such as UK Skills and ‘Have a Go’ with a million opportunities, is very much where we want to be for the future supply of apprentices and trainees in the world of manufacturing and metrology.”
David Thomson, managing director of Mitutoyo UK reinforces the message, “This is a really big commitment from Mitutoyo. WorldSkills London 2011 organisers expect 150,000+ visitors during the 4 day event - that makes it the biggest event in London before next year’s Olympics - and we want to support it in a major way.  That’s why, as Silver Sponsors,  we are investing  so much time and effort, not just with specialist people  in support but also with the loan of over £500, 000 worth of measuring equipment, including 6 coordinate measuring machines and our Quick Vision CMM plus a huge amount of handgauging.”

Demanding commitment
Mitutoyo are exclusively supporting 9 categories at WorldSkills2011. These are: CNC Turning, CNC Milling, Mechanical Engineering, Polymechanics and Automation, Sheet Metal Technology, Construction Metalwork, Creative  Modelling, Manufacturing Team Challenge and  Mould Making,

“Its going to be a very demanding, event for us,” says Martin Weeks. “The event starts at 8am and finishes at 8pm each day. We will have 20 competing teams each bringing to us their 20 artefacts that they have manufactured during the day. These artefacts all require to be measured using our equipment, particularly the CMMs. We will be unaware of the artefact’s to be measured, until the day of the competition.  We will be put very much on the spot and have to perform under pressure. A good example from the event in Calgary in 2009 was where an artefact made by the teams demanded measurement of a total of 1120 dimensions within hours of being completed. This exercise continues for differing artefacts being produced in both the morning and afternoon sessions for the full 4 days.
Adding to the pressure in London 2011 is that we will need to have completed our work and out of the Excel facility by the latest 8pm every night, where in Calgary that were working until 11pm!

We are using our very latest CNC CMM’s albeit we may not be able to utilise their full capability in instances where the manufactured artefacts are incomplete and so our expert’s skills in completing the tasks in a timely manner will be essential and will prove interesting to watch by visitors to the event. We aim to have two CMM specialists per machine to conduct the measurements and part programming and to provide information to viewing public.

Prior to the opening we will be providing assistance to the WorldSkills appointed Workshop Supervisors (who are in charge of each competition area) in the use of our equipment together with familiarisation days specifically for the competitors. Furthermore, and to convey the  message to the huge number of expected visitors and participants, Mitutoyo have designed an active demonstration stand aimed at attracting and exciting teenage  interest in metrology for manufacturing. 

A fully active Mitutoyo CNC controlled CMM with a working carousal will be shown carrying  and inspecting items that appeal all to young people, such as skate boards, mobile phones and iPads.  Also, the stand will feature a Kawasaki robot fitted with a Mitutoyo surface finish measuring gauge, shown actively measuring the cylinders on an engine block.  A  Quick Vision, 3 dimensional Visual Measuring Machine (VMM) will equally be showing off its measurement capabilities on anything likely to catch young people’s attention, perhaps an insect’s eye or something similarly striking. Videos and photos of measurement in the workplace in the automotive, aerospace, medical, packaging and electronic industries will hopefully capture the attention of the young audience! 

We are very motivated by the objectives of WorldSkills and hope that industry and education will support the event. In addition to our participation, we have organised coaches to convey School and College pupils and their teachers to the event in October and encourage others to do so. We would like to think that our support not only to those competing, but equally to those visiting, may just play a part in developing the metrology apprentices of the future - World class people are needed for World class manufacturing – and for some WorldSkills 2011 could be the start.”l

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