Supporting organisations by providing services and bespoke consultancy in length and angle measurement
Measurement of 'length' includes distance, displacement, position, dimensions, size, area, volume and surface texture. It is a fundamental requirement in most engineering and manufacturing industries and a critical part of setting up and operating many science experiments and facilities. Together with measurement of angle, NPL's expertise in dimensional measurement covers over 12 orders of magnitude. From our highest resolution measuring system based on X-ray interferometry (20 picometre accuracy) to our large volume long range capability (10s to 100s of metres), we provide the fundamental length measurement infrastructure for the UK.
We help organisations conform to precise dimensional requirements and help manufacturers develop, optimise and quality control their products. We have a range of bespoke equipment, facilities and knowledge, which means we are able to work with large objects that have to be measured in situ, whilst also having the ability to detect the slightest of defects on the surface of extremely small parts. We have assembled and developed a range of contact and non-contact measuring systems. These range from X-ray tomography systems that allow examination of non-visible internal features on components such as those made using additive manufacturing, through laser interferometers for precise artefact calibration, to novel systems to provide factory floor coordinate measurement networks.
At the pinnacle of length measurement, we realise the metre. We use lasers, accurate to two parts in a hundred billion, and provide calibration services which disseminate the length scale to users in the UK. We develop standards, new methods, novel instruments and support companies through impartial advice, bespoke developments, consultancy, training and representation in international measurement committees.