Light Controlled Factory
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Our Collaboration

The Light Controlled Factory project partnership includes three academic institutions and nine industry partners. The project is supported by a grant from Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC).

As well as providing technical and financial support for the project, the partnership will ensure that the technological achievements of the project are disseminated to academia and industry through targeted networks and events.

Research on the Light Controlled Factory is being overseen by the project’s Principal Investigator, Professor Paul Maropoulos and six supervising academics. The supervisory team is supported by Researchers who are tasked with delivering each work package:

Academic Supervisors and their expertise:

  • Professor Paul Maropoulos (Principal Investigator), University of Bath – large volume and dimensional metrology
  • Professor Patrick Keogh, University of Bath – Active control
  • Professor Glen Mullineux, University of Bath – constraint modelling and optimisation
  • Professor Jonathan Knight, University of Bath – Optical fibre waveguide
  • Dr. William Wadsworth, University of Bath
  • Professor Stuart Robson, University College London – traceable metrology using photogrammetric image sequences and laser scanning
    Dr. Jan Boehm, University College London – Photogrammetry and 3D Imaging
    Professor Jonathan Huntley, University of Loughborough

LCF Researchers

  • Dr. Jody Muelaner (Research Fellow), University of Bath – development of metrology instrumentation and measurement applications
  • Dr. Zheng Wang, University of Bath – hardware and software integration of metrology systems for Metrology Assisted Assembly, modelling of instrument uncertainties and real-time metrology control of robots and machines.
  • Mr. David Ross-Pinnock, University of Bath – thermal and gravitational effects during large scale assembly
  • Mr. Harshana Dantanarayana, University of Loughborough – object recognition, high-resolution 3D imaging, non-linear optical resonators and electromagnetic modelling.
  • Mr. Lindsay MacDonald, University College London – colorimetry of imaging devices, spectral characterisation of illumination and materials, and colour image processing.
  • Dr. Stephen Kyle, University College London – industrial measurement technology.
    Mona Hess, Research Manager, University College London

Aerotech is a major aerospace engineering company providing technical solutions to the engineering and manufacturing sector.  Aerotech specialise in producing design and manufactured solutions which meet requirements of specification, quality, lead-time and value for money. They also support full design and manufacturing solutions from aircraft components and assemblies through to tooling solutions.

Recognising the global development and growth of the aerospace sector Aerotech supports European and US markets from the United Kingdom and has an established company based in Malaysia to support Asia and the Pacific Rim.  Aerotech have their own design and stress analysis capability and manufacturing site based in Chester North Wales.

Airbus is a leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive family of airliners on the market, ranging in capacity from 100 to more than 500 seats. Airbus champions innovative technologies and offers some of the world’s most fuel efficient and quiet aircraft. Airbus has delivered more than 8,300 aircraft to some 360 customers worldwide and boasts a healthy backlog of more than 5,500 aircraft for delivery over the coming years. Airbus is a global company with design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK and Spain as well as subsidiaries in the U.S., China, Japan and in the Middle East. Headquartered in Toulouse, France.

Airbus Defence and Space comprises of Airbus Military, Astrium and Cassidian. The consolidation creates synergies in the company’s operations and product portfolio and better focus on the research and development efforts.

Within Airbus Defence and Space is the division Space Systems. Space Systems is the European leader in space, formed from the current Astrium Divisions Space Transportation and Satellites. With its unique expertise, Space Systems will be the global No. 1 for commercial launchers and the European leader for satellites and orbital systems. The business line will serve institutional customers like ESA, national civil and defence agencies and commercial customers.

GOM is a global industry partner, developing and producing optical measurement solutions and technologies for 3D coordinate measurement and deformation analysis. The company’s main focus is on applications such as 3D digitizing, 3D coordinate measurements, deformation measurements and quality control. GOM systems are used for product development and for quality assurance, material and component testing.

All over the world GOM systems are used in the automotive industry, aerospace industry and consumer goods industry as well as by their suppliers including numerous research centres and universities.

Hexagon Metrology offers a comprehensive range of products and services for all industrial metrology applications in sectors such as automotive, aerospace, energy and medical. With more than 20 production facilities and 70 Precision Centres for service and demonstrations, and a network of over 100 distribution partners on five continents, Hexagon empowers their customers to fully control their manufacturing processes, enhancing the quality of products and increasing efficiency in manufacturing plants around the world.

The UK arm of the multinational – which operates from purpose built premises in Telford – markets, sells and maintains all the Hexagon Group metrology brands as well as quality assured ‘any brand’ pre-owned CMMs.

For more than a century NPL has developed and maintained the nation’s primary measurement standards. These standards underpin the National Measurement System infrastructure of traceability throughout the UK and the world that ensures accuracy and consistency of measurement. NPL ensures that cutting edge measurement science and technology have a positive impact in the real world. NPL delivers world-leading measurement solutions that are critical to commercial research and development, and support business success across the UK and the globe.

Good measurement improves productivity and quality; it underpins consumer confidence and trade and is vital to innovation. NPL undertake research and share our expertise with government, business and society to help enhance economic performance and the quality of life. NPL employs over 500 scientists, based in south-west London. Our laboratory is a 36,000 square-metre purpose built measurement building with 388 of the world’s most extensive and sophisticated measurement science laboratories.

Renishaw is a global company with core skills in measurement, motion control, spectroscopy and precision machining. Renishaw develop innovative products that significantly advance their customers’ operational performance – from improving manufacturing efficiencies and raising product quality, to maximising research capabilities and improving the efficacy of medical procedures.

Renishaw products are used for applications as diverse as machine tool automation, co-ordinate measurement, additive manufacturing, gauging, Raman spectroscopy, machine calibration, position feedback, CAD/CAM dentistry, shape memory alloys, large scale surveying, stereotactic neurosurgery, and medical diagnostics. In all of these areas Renishaw aims to be a long-term partner, offering superior products that meet customer needs both today and into the future, backed up by responsive, expert technical and commercial support.

Rolls-Royce power aircraft, ships and electrical generators. The business is built on two technology platforms, gas turbines and reciprocating engines.  Rolls-Royce is probably best known for making engines for the world’s biggest airliners and advanced military aircraft. However, they also produce low-emission power systems for ships – some of which they design themselves – make critical equipment and safety systems for the nuclear industry and, power offshore platforms and major pipelines for the oil and gas industry. Rolls-Royce has a global network of service centres.

Rolls-Royce promotes a culture of innovation – curious, challenging, unafraid of failure, disciplined, open-minded and able to change with pace, ensuring that innovation is relevant to our customers’ needs.

Solartron Metrology is a world leader in the innovation, design and manufacture of precision sensors for quality control, test and measurement and machine control. Their products provide offer a wide selection of sensors fit for purpose, including precision digital and analogue dimensional LVDT gauging probes, displacement sensors, optical linear encoders, non-contact sensors and associated instrumentation.

Their culture of striving to satisfy customer needs along with keeping ahead of innovation within the field have enabled Solatron Metrology to grow into many markets, such as aerospace, automotive and electronics, with a global reach.

UCL / UCL research group. 3DIMPact

UCL was established in 1826 to open up education in England for the first time to students of any race, class or religion. UCL was also the first university to welcome female students on equal terms with men. Academic excellence and conducting research that addresses real-world problems inform their ethos to this day.

The Light Controlled Factory work is being undertaken by the 3DImpact research group of the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering within the Faculty of Engineering Science.  The UCL group have been working in engineering metrology for the past 20 years and bring innovative research and at the forefront of optical metrology with key expertise in digital photogrammetry, network adjustment, point cloud understanding, system development and validation. Their staff are leaders in their fields and are often called upon to provide detailed knowledge to industry particularly in system provision, better practice and validation.

UCL CEGE website

UCL 3DIMPact Research group website

The University of Bath received its Royal Charter in 1966 and is now firmly established as a top ten UK university with a reputation for research and teaching excellence. The Laboratory for Integrated Metrology Applications hosts the Light Controlled Factory within Mechanical Engineering. The department is one of the UK’s leading Mechanical Engineering departments with a reputation for outstanding teaching, innovative research and strong links with industry.

The Laboratory for Integrated Metrology Applications (LIMA) is a Centre of Excellence for industry-focused metrology research and development. LIMA has been developed to provide manufacturing solutions from metrology research for businesses large and small, allowing them to benefit from emerging technology and state-of-the-art solutions. The LIMA Group works with major industrial customers to deliver world-class, cutting-edge research in the field of metrology. LIMA has the expertise to deliver world-class research from blue-sky ideas through to developing industrial applications with a proven track record of working with companies of all sizes across a variety of sectors.

Loughborough University’s combination of world class research, enterprising outlook, unparalleled sporting achievement and excellent student experience gives rise to something that is truly special, and distinctive among the UK’s universities. Loughborough University’s success is built on hard work and the high standards achieved by our staff and students. The Light Controlled Factory work is being delivered within the Optical Engineering Group.