Machine tool accuracy rises to new level

| Industry News

Andrew Longstaff of Huddersfield University
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University research projects aims to achieve greater correlation between machine accuracy and final output quality.

The University of Huddersfield’s Dr Andrew Longstaff is aiming to bring about significant improvements in the accuracy of machine tools. Now he has earned the opportunity to work at one of the world’s most advanced facilities and it could provide a fast track that ensures his developments are adopted more speedily by major manufacturers.

Longstaff has received a Fellowship to work with the High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVMC), which is part-funded by Innovate UK and is to work at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, which researches and resolves advanced manufacturing problems on behalf of its large roster of industrial partners, who include global aerospace giants such as Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems.

“We will be getting controlled manufacturing data and correlating machine accuracy with the final output of the work piece,” said Longstaff. “If you try to do this in industry directly you sometimes struggle to obtain the controlled data to make that correlation, but in the more controlled environment of the AMRC we have a better chance of making sure that we can establish that cause and effect.”

Over the next four years, Longstaff will spend the equivalent of six months at the AMRC, taking with him the novel, advanced strategies he has developed for quantifying machine tool accuracy and improving the predictability of manufactured components. “It is a question of taking something that had been developed in a research environment and then getting it out more widely,” he says. “As a result, improved levels of machine tool accuracy would be spread through the manufacturing supply chain.”

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