QMT News: February 2009
BAE Systems takes a measured approach to training with the NPL

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has approved BAE Systems Instrumentation and Calibration Services (ICS) to deliver the NPL Dimensional Measurement Training Programme to its own staff. BAE Systems picked a select group of experienced employees to be trained in delivering the programme at BAE Systems’ Barrow Calibration Centre (BCC). This has resulted in training courses taking place on site at BAE Systems at times that suit delegates, supervisors and the management team.

BAE Systems

Haydn Clulow, Operations Director said, “We recognise that dimensional measurement is key to efficient productivity. Without a good grounding in measurement it would not be possible to produce the kind of consistency and accuracy needed to develop our high-tech submarine systems.” Peter Tumelty, BAE SYSTEMS Submarine Solutions ICS Business Development Manager adds, “We have been working closely with NPL to identify the best methods and practises for training our apprentices, engineers, inspectors and design staff.” 

NPL Training’s relationship with BAE Systems is exceptional in that there are no third parties - BAE Systems is its own training deliverer. Two to three NPL training courses will take place each month at the BAE Systems Calibration Centre based at Barrow-in-Furness.

Peter Tumelty assesses the benefits of the new arrangement, “Having a centre of excellence, as we do at Barrow-in-Furness, gives us the facility to deliver validated and certified NPL Training Courses. Every engineer, designer and inspector should have a good grasp of metrology and understand not only how something is measured, but also why.”

NPL Training has been running its Dimensional Measurement Programme for three years, with over 120 manufacturing companies going through the programme. Traditionally, NPL Training is delivered through one of its six approved Training Deliverers. These Training Deliverers act as NPL accredited third parties, promoting NPL courses and training delegates from a variety of industries.

NPL Training majors on the return on investment for its customers. It promises a measurable increase in core metrology knowledge and increased productivity as a result of reduced human error. Tom Ashby, Business Development Manager for NPL Training explains, “If we don’t instil a questioning culture within our delegates, we are not doing our jobs”. Peter agrees, “That is exactly the point – without questioning and planning from our staff, we could not attain the level of excellence in manufacturing demanded here at BAE.”

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