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The NPL Manufacturer Measurement Network

The NPL Manufacturer Measurement Network

There is no membership requirement, just the opportunity to sign up for a regular newsletter and to receive emails about forthcoming events. To sign up to receive this information please follow this link

Attendance at events is free of charge with an option to join online or where possible in-person (events are held at suitable locations around the UK). 

NPL created this network to share its own research and capabilities with the manufacturing community and to introduce manufacturers, supporting industries and academia to share their knowledge and best practices. 

Topics at events are chosen in advance by people who attend events and by a steering committee which consists of NPL, manufacturers and academia. By attending an event, you will have the opportunity to complete a questionnaire including a question on future topics that you would like to hear more about. 

Typically an event runs for between one and two hours (in-person events will run a bit longer to allow time for networking and refreshments). They include two to four speakers and a Q&A session where attendees have the opportunity to question the speakers. Where applicable, they also offer information on funding schemes, links to useful resources and a chance to visit a lab or workshop relevant to the theme of the event. 

Typical events topics include Additive Manufacturing (AM), Digitisation / Industry 4, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Skills and Training, Robotics, Decarbonisation / Electrification / Hydrogen technology and introductions to market sectors. Occasionally we also offer events which are very specific (where demand exists), for example – Medical Phantoms, and Thin Film Characterisation. 

The MMN also includes Special Interest Groups (SIGs) which bring together meetings (usually online) where interested parties discuss a particular topic with a view to sharing best practices and highlighting the need for further research. 

Events are recorded with these recordings available a few days after each event for anyone to watch and share. Copies of presentations are also usually available. To access previous recordings and presentations please follow this link.  

Our two most recent events:

Industrial Digitisation – featured the following talks:

  • Reece Saint, National Physical Laboratory – Ontologies for digitalisation of manufacturing and supply chains
  • Victor Portela, Glasgow School of Art – Virtual reality immersive training environment for an EasyMax workstation
  • Liam Fitzgerald, National Physical Laboratory – Building a digitalisation test bed

Many organisations have either started or are poised ready to undertake a change in the way they operate. This change takes the form of how they use data within their business to create additional value for their customers. We often refer to this form of business transformation as Industrial Digitisation. The expression itself can seem a little meaningless and many engineers and business leaders struggle with where to start.

This event provided several opportunities to hear from experts to help guide this journey and to pick the right approach for your business and your customers. We considered how to put some boundaries around initial ambition and enthusiasm, how to upskill, how to manage data, how to create a data management plan and what expressions like “data curation” actually mean. The team discussed the importance of calibration and metrology and how to build on existing expertise, modelling data, how and why we use modelling and the value it can add to the understanding of how products and services work in the real world. For those that wanted to see the future up close and personal, we heard from experts in data visualisation and learned how to improve interaction with data to add greater insight into businesses.

The event was online and attracted 75 attendees from a wide range of industries from the UK and beyond.

You can view a recording of this event here.

Developments and innovation in Advanced Manufacturing – featured the following talks:

  • Mark Slattery, National Physical Laboratory – AMPI SIPF programme overview
  • Simon Fletcher, University of Huddersfield – University of Huddersfield projects
  • Andy Morris, National Physical Laboratory – Innovation for Machinery introduction
  • Aaron Whittam, National Physical Laboratory – Dynamic Monitoring of Intelligent Machining Systems

Meeting Description: 

This event described the progress of the SIPF funded Advanced Manufacturing and Productivity Initiative in its first year of operation. It shared updates on industrially and academically led projects and demonstrated how to get involved in the future.

The programme is working on research topics to strengthen the UK Machine building and robotics capability, supporting the adoption of the digital revolution and raising the skills profile of the workforce in these areas.

The initiative will help not only its core region of West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester but will also benefit UK industry as a whole. 

Ultimately, the objective is to position the UK as a leader in the global machinery and robotics market.”

The event attracted 73 attendees including 20 in-person, from a wide range of industries from the UK and beyond.

You can view a recording of this event here.