In advanced manufacturing settings, portable arms have become a familiar sight, both in inspection areas and shop-floor environments. Their versatility and usefulness have also resulted in their use spreading to a wide variety of settings beyond manufacturing, from clinical measurement in hospitals, to data-archiving of antiquities in museums.
With the passage of 40 years, the range of available arms has proliferated, and specialist arms have developed to improve their suitability for specific applications. Whilst non-contact laser scanning, diverse probing options, wireless connectivity, absolute encoders, and endless software enhancements have transformed the usability of portable arms, their ‘genetic code’ remains remarkably close to that of their early ancestors from the 1980s. Read more.
For the manufacturing sector, each industrial revolution has been driven by significant advances in technology. Whilst we sit on the cusp of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, known as Industry 4.0, the likes of cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things and robots have been crowned the future of smart factories. But is anyone able to map out the next industrial revolution with any certainty?
In a series of articles, INSPHERE is examining whether revolutions can indeed be mapped out in advance, and whether history and current state-of-the-art can really guide us to predict what prospects lie around the corner – the trouble with predictions is that they can sometimes be wrong. Read more.
Across all fields of metrology, there has been a marked increase in the use of non-contact measuring systems. While contact probing systems are often regarded as the gold standard in terms of accuracy, non-contact systems offer many advantages. Simple and rapid collection of vast datasets are obviously well suited to measuring complex freeform surfaces but can also be helpful with unknown or variable items, or when geometric tolerances need to be evaluated. Read more.
In 2013, INSPHERE co-founders Ben Adeline (CEO) and Ollie Martin (CTO) identified an opportunity to provide a unique blend of metrology and manufacturing expertise to advanced manufacturing companies. INSPHERE was created to deliver value-added metrology solutions to the wider, high value manufacturing community. A few years on, the company has grown dramatically and has a proven track record for integrating metrology into manufacturing processes. Rather than focus on part verification, INSPHERE focuses on using measurement data to improve processes, supporting right-first-time manufacturing. Read more.
INSPHERE are rapidly expanding and we are pleased to be recruiting for a number of roles that will support the business, our growing portfolio of metrology projects, and the development of metrology technologies.
We are a growing company having doubled in size in the last two years, a rate which is set to continue. We are looking for candidates that have the ambition and proactive approach to help lead this development. Read more.
Over the past 12 months, INSPHERE have been working with the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at their world-class facilities in Rotherham to develop BASELINE, a new system that can verify large machine tools in less than one hour.
The Nuclear AMRC is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, an alliance of seven leading manufacturing research centres backed by Innovate UK. It is a centre that successfully combines academic innovation with industry expertise to help manufacturers improve capabilities and performance along the supply chain. Read more.
On March 21st, INSPHERE will be launching a new rapid machine tool verification system at Nuclear AMRC where the company have been working over the past year to test and develop the system on the centre’s largest machining platforms.
BASELINE is a system that reduces machine downtime and material scrap rates. The technology provides full verification of a large machine tool in less than one hour, facilitating regular checks and providing confidence in performance prior to cutting metal. BASELINE supports a move towards adopting Industry 4.0 philosophies. Its development has been made possible with funding from NATEP and access to the world-class facilities at the Nuclear AMRC. Read more.
Richard Kingston is and INSPHERO who joined early last year. Here’s a little interview to help you get to know him a little better.
What do you do at INSPHERE?
My job title is Principal Automation Engineer. I have a long history of working with industrial robots and metrology systems, especially when the two are used together. At INSPHERE I do a good variety of work. I spend around half my time working on internal research projects. I also spend one day per week working from Factory 2050 at the AMRC in Sheffield. Read more…
The fourth issue of INSPHERE’s quarterly newsletter is now available here!
This issue features updates on what’s been happening at INSPHERE including the announcement of our Industry Demo day, March 21st at the Nuclear AMRC in Sheffield for the launch of BASELINE, our rapid machine tool verification system. It also includes our three most recent articles that discuss manufacturing conferences, how manufacturing can be ‘made smarter’ with metrology, and the first in a new series of articles on Industry 4.0. There’s also a case study on how innovation can be achieved with collaborative partnerships. Read more.
Industry 4.0, or the Fourth Industrial Revolution, has been discussed a great deal in 2018. At INSPHERE we feel that Industry 4.0 will indeed live up to the current hype, and that metrology data will be the key enabler that delivers truly smart manufacturing and drives productivity to a higher level.
Can revolutions can be mapped out in advance? Do they truly drive changes or are they just the result of incremental development? These questions are still relevant today – they may help us to take an objective look at whether i4.0 is just marketing jargon or a genuinely transformative event. To help answer these questions in the context of the present day, INSPHERE will be releasing a series of articles over the coming months, looking both backwards through history and forwards into the short and medium-term future. Read more.
Made Smarter, an independent review commissioned by the government and released last year, identified the positioning of the UK with respect to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Since its release, over the last 12 months it has been impossible to discuss the future of manufacturing without hearing terms like Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning or Big Data. The terminology, branding and messaging has come to the fore of the manufacturing conversation. However, the over-arching sentiment that seems to have been established is clear: collect data and use it to improve your manufacturing system. Read more.
Laser trackers are great instruments for accurate measurements over tens of metres. That said - like many metrology instruments - it is easy for “bad” data to be acquired. One of the largest sources of error can be attributed to poor working practices. Poor working practices lead to large variations between operators, and an overall loss in confidence in the measurement system as a whole. Read more…
Recognising the benefits of modern measurement techniques in high value manufacturing, a global oil and gas company commissioned INSPHERE to help build an advanced metrology team from the ground up. Read more…
At the start of the year, we expanded our team of INSPHEROs. Here's an interview with one of our specialist metrology engineers who is also one of our NPL Dimensional Measurement trainers.
Meet INSPHERO, Solomon Kamugasa.
What do you do at INSPHERE?
I am a Metrology Engineer with a varied brief involving service measurements, training delivery, as well as Research and Development (R&D). Read more…
A popular board game in the 1980s famously took, "a minute to learn... a lifetime to master". Portable arms are a deceptively simple metrology system for which the same catchphrase applies. Arms are designed to be highly flexible and easy to use for a wide variety of measurement tasks. However, understanding measurement datasets and how to use them for verification, reverse engineering or any other application can be far more involved than it first appears.
Here are five steps to help provide a sound basis for adopting more robust and effective methods when using portable arms. Read more…