QMT Features: October 2009
Strictly metrology
Mitutoyo UK celebrates 30 years of trading with a complete refurbishment of its Andover HQ, including showroom and training centre.


On 1st January 2010 – Mitutoyo will have been established in the UK for exactly 30 years.  It was back in 1980 when Mitutoyo Corporation decided to set up its own organization taking over from its previous exclusive agent who had first introduced Mitutoyo small tools in to the market in 1965.

The UK operation of Mitutoyo started in an ‘off-the-shelf’ industrial unit on the west side of Andover where the company grew and prospered through the 1980’s – making enough profit to move to the other side of Andover in 1990 into a purpose built HQ where the company remains to this day.  One of the early strategic plans of Mitutoyo was to be as close as possible to the end-user of their measuring instruments – so the decision was taken to open showrooms and training centres with the aim of being no more than 2 hours drive for the vast majority of end-users.

This policy resulted in the opening of these Mitutoyo centres in Glasgow, in Halifax, in Coventry and, of course, in Andover, together with two other smaller showrooms in Cardiff and Upper Bann in Northern Ireland. David Thomson, managing director of Mitutoyo UK has been the driving force behind the establishment of the company in the UK as an instantly recognised brand name for metrology. 

He explains that  one of the overriding company principles underlying the growth and success of Mitutoyo in the UK has been the strict policy of the company’s founder, Mr. Yehen  Numata of Mitutoyo Corporation in  Japan, that all profits generated in a local operation have to be in re-invested in that particular country. 

“So, over time, the expansion was self–funded and enabled the company to invest in the latest facilities and, most importantly, the best of technical personnel.”
David explains that the company plans to further enhance its leadership in measurement technology with the introduction of a new generation of Digimatic small tools. The company recently introduced QuantuMike Digimatic micrometer. “We claim this is breakthrough technology for micrometers,” says David. “it is extremely fast, being able to measure four times faster than any other micrometer.” Other recent innovations in measurement technology include the integration of 5-axis continuous scanning with Mitutoyo coordinate measuring machines (CMMs). 

Demonstrating the Renishaw Revo 5-axis system at the Andover showroom, David said, ”This technology has major productivity implications for complex surface measurement, for example, in measurement of aerofoils and blisks for the aerospace industry with significant times savings possible.”

More new products coming up include instruments to measure contour, profile and surface together with a new series of high-speed CMM’s using both touch signal and non-contact measuring probes.  In addition the company will expand its service and support facilities. To-date, the company employs 21 service engineers to support and calibrate equipment throughout the country. In addition a team of 23 programmers provide a sub-contract measurement service writing software programs for all industries.

These programmers work in conjunction with the MGT division of the company – Mitutoyo Gauging Technology - where a team of engineers provide be-spoke measuring solutions for all manufacturing industries.

“If there is a measurement problem – then MGT will, almost certainly be able to provide an exact solution,” says David. Today Mitutoyo employs some 130 qualified long serving personnel in the UK and David summarises the company’s ambition; “Mitutoyo UK’s aim is to continue to be at the forefront of new measurement techniques, while at the same time providing support to long standing, loyal customers in the UK and the Irish Republic.”

www.Mitutoyo.co.uk

  
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