Property developer MEPC’s development of Silverstone Park as a global business destination for high-performance technology and motorsport (HPT&M) companies is about to skyrocket with the installation of a new metrology facility to service the region’s SMEs and start-ups operating in advanced engineering.
Asset manager MEPC has agreed with Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence to supply and run the facility when it opens inside Silverstone Park’s iconic Innovation Centre building.
The facility has also received considerable support from Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership.
Metrology delivers inspection, validation and ultimately quality control of components – predominantly those made of metals, plastics or composites.
Recognised as being among the world’s best metrology solutions specialists, 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, Jaguar Land Rover and Rolls Royce.
Silverstone Park’s metrology facility is scheduled to open early in 2016.
The facility will provide measurement services, crucial for the high performance technology and motorsport (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 also be able to ‘reverse-engineer’ components already manufactured or trialled back into CAD designs through the likes of contact-probing, cameras and laser-scanning.
Roz Bird, commercial director for Silverstone Park, commented: “A metrology facility right at the heart of a region that is so rich in HPT&M activity is just what the industry needs and we want to make this facility accessible to companies whether they are based on site or in the surrounding area.
“Funded by MEPC and Hexagon, we will be running a metrology network offering reduced rates on contract inspections to new SME businesses and providing access to young people for training in order to help address the metrology engineer skills shortage in the HPT&M cluster.”
John Drover, Hexagon’s regional sales manager, added: “This is a massively exciting project for Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence to be involved in – MEPC has some very ambitious plans for Silverstone Park and we want to be a part of that, looking ahead.
“It is the perfect location for a facility of this type and we are sure it will prove extremely popular with SMEs and start-ups which don’t have the finances to invest in equipment like this.
“The degree of accuracy to which our systems measure these days is mind-boggling, I suppose – we are talking a sub-micron (ten millionth of a metre), and for any company to come away from this facility with a measurement report to say their product has passed the inspection means that they have the right credibility and peace of mind when taking their prototype to market.”