Portable metrology on the rise

Posted on 10 Aug 2012 by The Manufacturer

David Brown, director and general manager of Hexagon Metrology responds to "Put a measure on success" in TM’s August edition.

David Brown, Director and General Manager at Hexagon Metrology

The Manufacturer’s ‘Manufacturing Technologies’ feature last month on how accurate measurement continues to have a big impact on high value manufacturing made some excellent points and I would, of course, support the comments made about the importance of supporting metrology skills in the UK and how this affects a manufacturing environment.

One thing I would add is how new forms of technology are enabling different types of businesses to enjoy the benefits that accurate measurement can bring.

It’s not just household name OEMs who require reduction in wastage, acceleration of good parts and an overall contribution to lean manufacturing. Portable technologies are now allowing a wide range of companies to make accurate measurements in places that were previously not possible or profitable.

Of course highly accurate stationary CMMs will always play a big part in the manufacturing process – but we have seen a big increase in the market for portable technology. This means that highly accurate measurement is being used in environments where CMMs can not operate or to measure parts that are unsuitable for stationary systems.

Either way – what we are talking about is MORE measurement. This can only be a good thing as we all know that for theUKto succeed our manufacturing base needs to compete at the high end and on the quality of production.

TheUK market is ahead of the curve in adoption of portable systems compared to the rest ofEurope- partly because the aerospace and automotive markets have rapidly seen their benefits. It’s a very exciting area to be in because we can be working with everyone from archaeologists in the field, to F1 teams to aircraft manufacturers and marine subcontractors.

Hexagon Metrology’s portable business managed by Steve Shickell now represents over 40% of theUK turnover. Our range of Leica Geosystems, ROMER and Cognitens are all experiencing significant support from the industry. They have undergone big developments under Hexagon’s Innovation programme.

It’s the deployment of new technologies and measurement skills that will help keep theUKa proud manufacturing nation. Here at Hexagon Metrology we will keep doing our best to enable that.