National Physical Laboratory

Measurement Survey 2015

The 2015 measurement survey targeted over 1,000 UK businesses to understand how they use measurement within their operations and the impact it can have.
Customer Survey

For further information, please download our measurement survey

Download a copy of the survey

The 2015 measurement survey of both customers and non-customers of NPL and its key partners (LGC, National Gear Metrology Laboratory, National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, National Measurement and Regulation Office and TUV NEL) provided compelling evidence that:


Measurement supports key sectors

Measurement supports a broad range of businesses

Measurement customers by sector
15% Transport, aerospace and defence
17% R&D and engineering services
8% Energy
12% Extraction and utilities
8% Chemical and pharmaceutical
11% General manufacturing
11% Electronic and optical
18% Other


Measurement customers are evenly split between small, medium and large companies

36% 32% 21% 11%
Measurement Survey 2015 red block 1 Measurement Survey 2015 red block 2
Measurement Survey 2015 red block 3 Measurement Survey 2015 red block 4
250 + employees, a large firm 51 - 250 employees, a medium firm 11 - 50 employees, a small firm 1 - 10 employees, a micro firm



Measurement customers need the best

UK measurement expertise is acknowledged by customers as the best


Measurement Survey 2015 purple piechart


UK businesses make use of a range of measurement products and services

656 collaborate with
measurement scientists
1075 use training
Customer Survey 2015 purple whiteboard
1924 use calibration Customer Survey 2015 purple target
3500* share technical
knowledge at events
Customer Survey 2015 purple speech bubbles
25162* use publications,
software or guides
Customer Survey 2015 purple book

* Data not taken from 2015 Measurement Survey. Data collected independently by the National Physical Laboratory in 2013-14


Measurement customers are leaders

Measurement customers are more innovative than their peers

Customer Non-customer
60% introduced new or developed existing processes 29%
57% improved their measurement capability 18%
53% introduced new or developed existing products 24%
11% changed their calibration or measurement capability 6%
20% made no changes


Measurement is used throughout the manufactuing lifecycle

75% take measurements during product design and development Customer Survey 2015 green pen
80% test bought products to ensure suppliers meet quality standards Customer Survey 2015 green box
76% take measurements during the production process Customer Survey 2015 green factory
95% test that the final product meets quality standards Customer Survey 2015 green tick



Measurement accelerates innovation

Over 1,400 customers believe that... **

Customer Survey 2015 blue speech bubbles

Measurement support enables

Customer Survey 2015 blue stamp
to make improvements more quickly 72% AGREE
to reduce the risk of associated with development 75% AGREE
to make improvements more effectively 79% AGREE
30% of innovations would have failed without measurement support

** Customers were asked about recent products that could not have been developed without measurement products and services and required skills and capabilities that would have been very difficult to find elsewhere.

For further insights, please download our measurement survey:

Download a copy of the survey



Please note that the information will not be divulged to third parties, or used without your permission