Tuesday, 16 February 2016
UK metrology gains new centre
The importance of metrology in manufacturing, but especially in Formula 1, is evidenced by a new metrology centre that will open shortly at the technology park at Silverstone in the UK.
Silverstone Park’s new metrology facility is scheduled to open early in 2016. The facility will provide measurement services, crucial for both high performance, technology and manufacturing (HPT&M) sectors to achieve accuracy and high-performance. But the centre also has knock-ok impact on the rest of UK manufacturing.
Silverstone Park is being developed by MEPC as a global business destination for HPT&M companies. The installation of a state-of-the-art metrology facility could transform the fortunes of the region’s SMEs and start-ups operating in advanced engineering.
Park developer MEPC has agreed that Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, a world leader in metrology solutions, will supply and run the facility when it opens inside Silverstone Park’s Innovation Centre building. The facility has received backing from Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership.
Metrology delivers inspection, validation and ultimately quality control of components – predominantly those made of metals, plastics or composites. Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence is one of the best metrology solutions specialists in the world – companies that Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence works with and supports include most of the Formula 1 teams based in the UK, plus automotive manufacturers including Ford, JaguarLandRover and Rolls-Royce.
Silverstone Park’s metrology will provide measurement services, crucial for the HPT&M sectors to achieve accuracy and high-performance. Equipment will include two Hexagon CMMs (co-ordinate measuring machines), an OPTIV multi-sensor system, a Leica tracker system for large volume measurement and a ROMER articulated scanning arm plus an assortment of other precision instruments and measuring systems.
Companies using the facility will be able to reverse-engineer components already manufactured or trialled back into CAD designs through the likes of contact-probing, cameras and laser-scanning.
Systems at the metrology centre can measure in terms of a sub-micron (ten millionth of a metre).
Northamptonshire as a UK county has a strong industry cluster of over 1,000 high performance technology companies, employing 21,000 people and contributing £2bn to the local economy.
Silverstone Park is at the centre of the HPT&M cluster. MEPC took over management in late 2013 and when complete it is expected 200 companies will be based at the park creating over 6,000 jobs. This project will effectively double the size of Silverstone as a venue.