A Rugby company has built what it believes to be the world’s tallest co-ordinate measuring machine (CMM) to help the Beijing Space Authority measure and machine its satellites. The specialist equipment is as tall as a house at 7.3 metres and was signed off by a visiting delegation from China last July 30th.
Founder and managing director of the Group, Dick Turpin, says: “Doing business with China is different and the cultural is interesting – it’s still common for people to smoke in meetings, for instance, there is a reverence for age and experience and a focus on hospitality. I quickly learned that I was better relying on sketches and models than on interpreters.”
The Chinese space programme is expanding rapidly and so is the Republic’s satellite use. In the period 2005 – 2013, 18 satellites were launched by Beijing Space. In the next 12 months the target is 26. Each of these satellites will use an ITP machine to measure its precision components.
Dick continues: “Building a machine for Chinese satellite maker might seem a bit unusual, but these large scale multi-function CMMs are suitable for any automotive, aerospace or nautical application where traditional machine tools are too cumbersome or inaccurate. Because the satellites are pretty large – 6m high – it needs a big machine to measure accurately all the faces. I am proud to say that it has been designed and built entirely in Rugby using local expertise.” He added that the instrument took five months to build.