Omega Engineering Ltd: A Force in Domestic Manufacturing

Because Omega Engineering offers over 100,000 products, many customers have the misguided impression that the company is simply a catalogue house, distributing products made by others.

Because Omega Engineering offers over 100,000 products, many customers have the misguided impression that the company is simply a catalogue house, distributing products made by thers. Actually, Omega is a major manufacturer in its own right, making over 80% of the products it offers, with this percentage continuously increasing. At a time when “outsourcing” seems to be the theme of many UK manufacturers, Omega Engineering, Ltd., with its European headquarters at the River Bend Technology Centre, Manchester, England, remains a notable exception. This facility manufactures an extensive line of temperature-sensing products incorporating both RTD and thermocouple technology. In support of this enterprise, Omega also manufactures the majority of the raw materials and component parts used throughout the product range. Components in addition to those manufactured at River Bend are also supplied from Omega’s principal production facility in the USA at Bridgeport, New Jersey. In fact, all told, Omega Engineering has nearly 400,000 square feet of manufacturing space spread among numerous facilities in both the USA and UK. As new products are introduced, this production space is increased. Here are some specific examples of current manufacturing operations at various Omega facilities.

The UK Facility
Omega Engineering, UK, is ideally placed at the heart of British industry with excellent motorway and international airport links allowing first-class service to domestic and world-wide customers. This facility benefits from a highly trained staff with experience spanning several decades, specialising in the manufacture of primary temperature sensors including RTD, thermocouple and thermistor assemblies. High-accuracy, 1/10 DIN RTD probes are frequently manufactured here for use in discrete custom applications, laboratory and industrial process control functions. The probes are available in a wide variety of sheath styles and mechanical fittings suitable for a range of measurement conditions. Mineral insulated versions for high temperature and demanding situations are also regularly handled at this facility. Speciality products include hermetically-sealed PFA probes, flexible moulded self-adhesive sensors,  multipoint profile probes and a unique magnet-mounted RTD used to measure the surface temperature of ferrous materials. All critical components and sub-assemblies not manufactured at River Bend are produced by other Omega facilities, assuring total compatibility and seamless integration. For applications where a standard product will not quite fill the need, in-house expertise can be utilized to make a custom temperature sensor or probe for a perfect application match.

Omega Manufacturing Capability
By making the individual components used in its products, Omega can achieve a measure of control not possible when critical parts are supplied by a variety of vendors with a range of reliabilities. Through extensive use of automation and in-process quality testing, the uncertainties that can be associated with outside vendors have been eliminated. This is the key to the high esteem Omega enjoys among its customers and its reputation for consistent, top quality products. And, in the event of a problem, you are dealing directly with the manufacturer who has the know-how to help resolve it.

Thin Film Fabrication
RTD elements used in temperature sensors and probes are made in Omega’s own thin film fabrication facility located in a class 10 clean room. Here the RTD elements are created on substrates, 2000 at a time, using the latest vacuum deposition and photolithography equipment and processes. After leaving the clean room, the elements are laser trimmed to the correct
resistance, assembled into completed sensors with leads attached, tested and calibrated to establish their accuracy class. While many of these processes are automated, a highly skilled production team carries out those steps that are best done manually. From here the completed RTD sensors are routed to other manufacturing locations for incorporation into a wide variety of end products.

Conclusion
Although far from comprehensive, the capabilities discussed above give a flavour of the extensive manufacturing operations that are part of Omega Engineering. Whilst a customer using standard products may typically only require sales or application assistance, in the background is a huge pool of talented production line workers, product designers, software engineers and automation experts to provide unrivalled support. They are all ready and able to create and implement innovative custom solutions for difficult and unusual applications. During a period when British and American manufacturing continues to move offshore, Omega bucks this trend by continuously expanding domestic manufacturing space as new products are added. Make no mistake about it, Omega Engineering is a major manufacturer, and a good one. When you deal with them, you can be sure that you are dealing with a reputable company with the resources to provide complete control over the quality, consistency and reliability of their products.

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