The UK’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has launched a large volume metrology (LVM) training programme. NPL established this LVM training programme following a number of calls from big businesses in the UK, Europe and America, such as Airbus and Boeing.
Until now, this type of training has been largely developed in-house, with no independently recognised courses available. NPL’s new modules will be the first in the world to fill this gap, providing a framework that can be rolled out internationally to meet the LVM needs of industry.
Based on its dimensional measurement training programme, the courses will apply the training objectives of the existing framework to the equipment and methods used in large volume metrology. LVM presents significantly different challenges due to the scale of the equipment and the environmental issues created by having to measure outside the laboratory. Participants will learn to question, understand and plan the best way to measure, beyond simply being able to use the equipment.
This will help employees build in systems to the manufacturing process, reducing errors and waste, and improving quality control and accuracy. This ultimately means businesses can increase productivity and respond to their customers more quickly.
Airbus UK is so convinced of the need for LVM training, they have committed funding to developing the programme. Companies including Rolls-Royce and Boeing along with leading academics have helped shape the programme.
Amir Kayani, senior manufacturing engineer, Airbus UK, says: “We see a course addressing the metrology needs for large volume manufacture and assembly, as being of key relevance to aerospace and other related industries.”
Development has been led by Keith Bevan, training product development manager at NPL and Stephen Kyle, Honorary Senior Research Fellow at University College London, and a leading name in LVM.
Dr Kyle comments: "Large Volume Metrology (LVM) is now an integral and indispensable tool in manufacturing construction and assembly. NPL's new training course modules provide structured, guided learning across the field of LVM, for both beginners and advanced users, and help to fill a major gap in this technology."
The courses will have significant impact in a range of industries throughout the world, notably aerospace, automotive and defence, but also energy, medical and archaeology. NPL is currently in talks with accreditation body EAL, the UK’s leading awarding body for engineering, technology and related sectors, regarding turning the course into a certified qualification.
The NPL training courses will operate as an extension of its widely respected dimensional measurement training programme. Level 1 was launched in November at the Large Volume Metrology Conference at Chester Racecourse. NPL will be running pilots throughout the remainder of 2009 with sponsors, and expect to have fully-booked courses by the start of 2010. Level 2 will follow shortly afterwards. More advanced level 3 and 4 training are currently in development.