National Physical Laboratory


NPL is helping the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) strengthen its metrology skills for cost-effective and accurate manufacturing.

AWE plays a crucial role in the defence of the United Kingdom, by providing and maintaining the warheads for the country's nuclear deterrent. It is a centre of scientific and technological excellence, with some of the most advanced research, design and production facilities in the world.

Adelle Waterworth, metrology engineer and quality training advise, believes NPL Training is making an impact across AWE's sites.

"NPL's training framework provides fundamental knowledge that can often get missed out in degree courses. Colleagues are thinking more carefully about which measurement method is appropriate for a particular task, for example, depending on the tolerances required it may make more sense to use manual methods rather than a CMM. This reduces unnecessary demand on our CMMs and can therefore save time and money whilst preserving quality."

As the UK's national measurement institute, NPL is uniquely placed to help companies of all kinds understand measurement issues better and make the most of their manufacturing process.

Quality inspectors, machinists and apprentices from all parts of AWE have gone through Level 1 of the programme, with some going on to Level 2. The material covered varies from examining the principles of measurement to geometric dimensioning and tolerancing.

"We've found it very useful to take a step back and consider the different factors that affect a measurement and how this can impact on production. We are seriously considering becoming accredited to train staff in-house; either way the relationship with NPL will continue to be an important part of our training culture. We continue to see tangible benefits from the course."

For further information on AWE, visit their website

Last Updated: 15 Oct 2013
Created: 7 Dec 2009


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