Bath University to set up business technology centre

Bath University has been awarded a grant from the European Regional Development Fund, the South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) and industry to set up a business technology centre.

The Laboratory for Integrated Metrology Applications (LIMA), based at the university’s department of mechanical engineering, collaborates with industrial partners to improve processes of metrology for measuring large objects such as aircraft wings to within a fraction of a millimetre.

The £2.2m LIMA Business Technology Centre (LIMA BTC) now aims to enable SMEs in the South West to collaborate with the research team at the university and introduce the technologies to their own engineering businesses.

LIMA, which opened in November 2009, has industrial partnerships with Renishaw, the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), Airbus and Rolls-Royce, with participation from 15 other companies and organisations. It is further supported by the university’s research development and support office.

Prof Paul Maropoulos, chairman of LIMA and head of the department of mechanical engineering at the university, said: ’The work now starts to develop and implement, in partnership with industry and NPL, metrology methods that will improve product and process design, and reduce quality problems and environmental waste.’

Geoff McFarland, group engineering director for Renishaw, said: ’The very demanding requirements of the aerospace and other high-value-added sectors has always been a strong factor shaping advancements in metrology. The LIMA BTC is well placed to make an important contribution in sharing the benefits of these developments with the wider South West engineering community.’