Scottish firms to benefit from cutting edge precision measuring technology under AFRC deal

The world’s highest precision measuring technology available is to be made available to small Scottish manufacturers under a new partnership involving the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC).

AFRC has signed a tier one partnership with pioneering metrology technology firm Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence.

That means smaller firms which could not afford Hexagon’s incredibly high precision equipment on their own will get to use it to test the accuracy of their own machinery.


That will include Hexagon’s ROMER Absolute Arm – one of the world’s most coveted measuring arms. AFRC plans to use it to make its own robotic equipment even more accurate.

Providing precision measurement of full-scale assemblies, Hexagon’s equipment will allow AFRC engineers and researchers to address metrology challenges and validate existing measurement systems.

In return, Hexagon will gain access to AFRC’s vast network, including world-leading manufacturing and technology companies, such as Rolls-Royce and Virtalis.

The Swedish firm’s technology is used by manufacturers including Audi, SEAT and for wind and solar energy technology, aerospace and medical applications.

Planning to integrate the new Hexagon equipment with its own robotics, the metrology team at the AFRC will use it to address automated metrology, the global positional accuracy of robotic arms and the creation of an innovative new machine tool. 

Danny McMahon, AFRC senior manufacturing engineer and metrology team lead, said: “Access to this pioneering technology marks an evolution in our ability to help manufacturers in their own facilities. It can really benefit a production facility in sectors such as automotive, aviation or shipbuilding, checking for defects or measuring and inspecting large parts.

“This equipment is a large investment for small and medium-sized companies and so we’re sharing resources and making it as accessible to firms across Scotland of all sizes.  We are also looking to integrate metrology with robotics, creating a highly accurate machine tool that has highly efficient measurement capabilities.”

Tim Gears, Business Development Engineer, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, said: “We’re delighted to be working with the AFRC as a tier one partner as it will strengthen our knowledge and capabilities, while also enhancing our ability to support small and medium sized businesses to help them grow, develop new products and overcome production issues.


“This partnership enables us to take a step back from day to day goings on to look at our key operational areas and core skills.  At the same time, we will keep the AFRC updated with the very latest Hexagon kit.

“Building on our tier one memberships at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC) and Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), it was only natural that the AFRC is our next stepping stone and we’re very privileged to be part of it.”


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