NPL opens new Huddersfield metrology facility

Posted on 3 Jun 2013 by The Manufacturer

The National Physical Laboratory has opened a new inspection facility in Huddersfield to deliver services to manufacturing and technology companies nationwide.

The new centre from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), which is the UK’s primary measurement institute, will deliver free measurement consultation services to local industry as well as access to a wide range of modern inspection equipment including its latest coordinate measurement machine equipped with tactile probing and a high specification laser scanner.

The centre is located at the University of Huddersfield and has been christened the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre. It aims to help manufacturers improve the consistent quality of their products and drive innovation in manufacturing and inspection processes.

Every Wednesday the 3M Innovation Centre will host free measurement clinics where manufacturers can meet with experts to discuss specific problems and potential support requirements related to,  for example, the application of new technology and the establishment of best measurement practice for their manufacturing operations.

Accurate measurement increases right first time production right first time and reduces the risks associated with new product or process introduction. It is often essential in supporting customer confidence in the quality and regulatory compliance of mission critical products and components. A recent customer survey estimated that NPL has directly helped organisations achieve benefits of more than £100 million per annum through the introduction and application of good measurement practice.

The Huddersfield laboratory is designed to support the development of complex, hard to measure parts such as blades and engine components, used in aerospace, and medical components such as replacement joints and plastic syringes.

NPL’s top of the range facilities allow precision parts to be measured under laboratory conditions, with appropriate temperature control, cleanliness and avoidance of mechanical vibration.

Access to this facility enables high-confidence inspection results on parts that are production and or safety critical.   It offers lab-based and on-site programming of coordinate measuring machines, as well as a range of bespoke training and consultancy related to all aspects of applied measurement.

The opening of the new laboratory increases NPL’s national reach, making it considerably easier for companies in the north of England to benefit from its services – NPL’s headquarters is in Teddington, Middlesex.

The north of England is a strong manufacturing region with Yorkshire making the second largest regional contribution to the UK economy according to the Office for National Statistics.    More information about the service available via NPL’s Huddersfield Laboratory can be found at