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Accelerating the uptake of new technologies for manufacturing

The need

Surfaces are extremely important for the development of all kinds of components, from automotive parts to computer chips. Advancing technologies, such as additive manufacturing, are helping manufacturers to make processes more streamlined, increase production speeds and develop new products. These new technologies, however, bring with them a whole host of measurement challenges. These range from the need for new calibration methods for surface characterisation, to the development of background theory and practical measurement to understand and standardise the quality of their output. Software measurement standards also need to be put in place to keep new data processes in shape.

The impact

Our experts support the development of state-of-the-art sensors and better techniques for handling data, including intelligent sampling and bringing together multiple datasets across the production line. This is combined with the development of 'best practice' processes for defining the surface properties of various-sized components, as well as new calibaration proctocols to allow for better traceability across the line, to prevent defects in-process.

We are also working with the European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research's (EMPIR) MetHPM project to support manufacturers using 'highly-parallel' techniques. This includes those harnessing developments in printing and injection moulding. Our work will bring new measurement methods to manufacturers, so that they have the confidence to embrace new techniques and the business benefits they offer.