Last week we visited the MINI Plant in Oxford for the Association of Industrial Laser Users (AILU) annual job shop business meeting.
The AILU is an organisation run by the laser community, including members from industrial laser-using companies, academics, manufacturers and suppliers of laser-related equipment or services.
Our Managing Director Neil Main and Operations Manager Chris Waters are both committee members of the job shop subgroup for the AILU and along with Dave MacLellan, the association’s Executive Director, put this annual meeting together.
As industrial laser users, it’s vital for us to play a part in the job shop group to keep up to date on all industry topics and to keep improving the laser technology and processes that we use.
The organisation has been going for nearly 25 years and has such a wide range of laser users involved, from those developing new lasers and new processes to businesses using lasers for customer solutions as we do.
We were joined at this year’s meeting by some of the leading businesses in the laser community, including Essex Laser, Cost Care and Oakwell Management.
The day itself was filled with several inspiring discussion sessions. These covered some of the biggest trending topics in our industry, including talks on optics for the latest lasers, maximising R&D tax claims and a fantastic talk from Dave MacLellan on reshoring – a hot political topic about ways to get businesses to bring work back to the UK.
We also got involved in the open forum where the topic of choice was (of course) Brexit. Neil contributed by talking about Economic Operators Registration and Identification numbers (EORI) and how to get them for importing or export of goods into or out of the EU. He also talked about their use for individual jobs rather than continuous production, which is useful for other businesses producing smaller batch sizes as we do.
The whole day was full of valuable insights for us to take forward into our work and AILU events are always mutually beneficial for all involved. We found it especially useful to gain knowledge from businesses tackling a wider range of cost cutting than we do, and we assisted other businesses with our expert advice on R&D tax credits and exporting.
We finished our day with a tour around the factory where MINIs are made. This was absolutely amazing, and not just because we are car lovers: we were also able to see the number of robots and the variety and versatility of the production line at MINI. We have been members of the AILU from the beginning and are proud to be contributing to the great events they create. We have seen the benefits of membership again and again and we look forward to continuing alongside some the leading businesses in our industry.
It’s been a fantastic September here at Micrometric and we’re so proud to announce that we took part in the Cycle 300 for Cancer Research UK, raising an amazing £1,353.43 for the charity.
Cancer Research UK challenged brave bikers to cycle 200 or 300 miles this September to raise money for their life-saving research. As soon as we heard about the project, we knew this would be the perfect way for Micrometric to get involved as we have a few keen cyclists in our team.
Seven of our staff members took part – Chris Waters, Kieran Jordan, Matthew Waters, Gary Colin, Neil Skelton, Nino Vacca and Rosie De Smit. We got our spandex out and pedalled through rain and shine, all for a great cause!
Cancer Research UK recommends cycling to work 10 miles every day and you’ll hit 300 miles in a month. Each member of our cycle team completed 200 miles in a month, apart from Gary, who smashed our target and completed a total of 300 miles!
We took on the feat in true team spirit by splitting the distance between us to lighten the load, as well as by cycling some of the miles together after work for support.
Our cycle route included Washingborough, Branston, Sleaford, Woodhall Spa and Bracebridge Heath. The team achieved their goal with a mixture of riding to work during the week, Friday night group rides and Rosie even completing her miles at the weekend as part of her cycle group.
We’d encourage anyone to take part if they can. By chipping away at each mile one by one we felt the 200-mile goal was more than achievable. It was also great to clear our heads after work and let off some steam caused by life’s stresses.
The Cycle 300 was not only a really great way for our team to get fit, reduce stress and burn calories; Cancer Research UK is very close to the heart of employees who have been affected or know someone affected by cancer. Every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer, so for many employees it was very much a personal mission.
The money we’ve raised will make a big difference to Cancer Research UK, supporting their pioneering research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer as they help to save millions of lives. Over the past 40 years their amazing work has helped survival rates double!
We’d like to thank our Cycle 300 team for all their hard work. We’re looking forward to getting involved in more rewarding charity projects this year and raising even more money for worthy causes.
Some of you might have already heard the news by now, but for those of you who haven’t, we’re pleased to announce that Lincoln’s MP Karen Lee recently paid a visit to Micrometric to see our facilities and find out more about our brand new specialist, high-performance laser machine.
Karen visited with Charlotte Horobin from Make UK which champions and celebrates British manufacturing –an organisation of which we are proud and proactive members. Karen and Charlotte were keen to visit our offices to celebrate our half a million-pound investment into new machinery and gain a better understanding of the work that we do as a UK manufacturer.
During the visit we showed them the everyday processes that take place at Micrometric before giving them a tour of our facilities and expert equipment, including our new high-speed laser cutting machine.
Our employees were also given the opportunity to speak to Karen and Charlotte about the work that we’re doing to support our national and international clients in the aerospace, automotive and energy sectors.
As well as being Lincoln’s MP, Karen is also an apprenticeship ambassador and during her visit we were able to discuss the fantastic range of opportunities that we provide for young people. As a local business, we encourage investment in Lincoln’s economy – and we’re keen to show our support for the next generation by continuing to offer apprenticeship opportunities.
The IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply recently reported that outputs in the UK manufacturing sector fell at the fastest rate in seven years owing to reduced demand from consumers, thanks to the economic slowdown caused by times of uncertainty.
As a growing manufacturing business facing political and economic uncertainty, we believe these statistics highlight just how vital it is for figureheads like Karen to support businesses in the manufacturing sector to operate more effectively and competitively.
We’d like to thank Karen and Charlotte for visiting us and showing their support for our business as we go from strength to strength. It was a great opportunity to showcase what a modern manufacturing business looks like and explain the challenges that we face as a UK manufacturer.
Micrometric will be exhibiting at SPARK! Engineering Festival
CELEBRATING LINCOLN’S ENGINEERING HERITAGE
May 5, 2017 – May 7, 2017
Lincoln’s most precious engineering masterpiece, Lincoln Cathedral, hosts a celebration of the city’s engineering heritage, with the theme of ‘Back to the Future’.
Bring your families and take part in have-a-go activities, meet today’s engineers and technologists, and find out about career and study opportunities with world leading organisations based in and around Lincoln. The event will showcase cutting-edge developments in maths, science and technology that are happening across the county right now.
- A faithful recreation of Doc Brown’s Delorean time machine from the Back To The Future films, owned by Lincoln-born Jason Bradbury (former presenter of The Gadget Show and Visiting Professor at the University of Lincoln);
- Project work on display from local Year 8 & 9 pupils in the Go4Set programme – including Eco Hotel, Stations for the Future, and The Eco Classroom;
- Contraptions, costumes and props from the Lincoln Steampunk Society – fusing the usability of modern technology with the design aesthetic and philosophy of the Victorian age;
- An evolved Mk2 version of the Scootsuit;
- The Monowheel Warhorse – Guinness World Record holder for the fastest monowheel motorcycle;
- A display from the F1 in Schools partnership between educators and industry (including Ferrari, Mercedes F1, and Red Bull) to help develop careers in engineering, Formula One, science, marketing and technology;
- One of only a handful of surviving models of the Ruston-Hornsby car – produced by a Lincoln firm between 1919 and 1924;
- The ‘Venture’ steam engine, built in Lincoln in 1914 by William Foster & Co – who would two years later invent the tank which cut short the First World War.
And be sure to see the Engineering Timeline: a 50ft long display of the history of engineering, how it has impacted the world and how Lincoln has had a vital part in its heritage.
All of this in the glorious surroundings of Lincoln Cathedral, the city’s most precious engineering masterpiece.
See you there.
On Thursday 23 March, Neil Main (MD at Micrometric), will make a presentation at the Association of Industrial Lasers (AILU) Symposium at Belton Woods Hotel, Grantham, on the laser welding of 316 stainless steel.
One of the most commonly welded Austenitic stainless steels is 316 grade (1.4401) and the low carbon grade 316L, which are routinely used in food machinery and surgical steel applications owing to the excellent corrosion resistance this material exhibits.
Historically, 316 stainless steel has been laser welded with excellent results and no cracking. Recent changes in the method of manufacture of 316 stainless steel destined for bar products have, while still keeping within the chemical composition limits of the 316 spec, made the machinability of 316 much better but worsened the weldability. The influence of the producer, chemistry and destined product form will be discussed and contrasted with plate product of the same material specification.
The Industrial Laser Applications Symposium (ILAS) takes place from 22-23 March at Belton Woods Hotel and covers a whole range of laser applications presentations from end-users. Held every 2 years, this is the 5th Symposium organised by the Association of Industrial Laser Users. From 2013-2015 Neil Main was President of AILU.
Physics students from the University of Lincoln recently visited the Micrometric headquarters to show how physics is put into practice in the wider world. Micrometric, based in Lincoln and with strong links to the local universities and colleges largely focuses on engineering, producing precision engineered components for companies requiring prototypes, or production runs of new designs. The University of Lincoln opened the School of Mathematics and Physics in 2014 to encourage students to build relationships with the industrial and commercial world allowing students to gain industrial experience as well as building contacts with potential employers.
Managing Director Neil Main, joined Micrometric Ltd in 1982, with a background in physics, he shares his experiences and knowledge first hand with aspiring engineers wanting to take a career path into engineering. Being on the External Advisory Board for the University as well he said: “We get involved in undergraduate and postgraduate projects where we offer advice, suggest projects or offer resources for students to use.” Neil guest lectures at the University in his spare time, as well as taking the role as the governor of Lincoln University College, a science and technology secondary school. Whilst Universities are pushed to ensure their students are in employment within the first year of graduating, it is tough competition for young people to find work. Micrometric is one of many companies that offer work experience to aid projects etc. which in turn could lead to a career in various industries such as aerospace, automotive, medical, and many more.
He added that “more companies local or big should be encouraged to help and interact with others outside the business as much as possible.” They do this by being part of Association of Industrial Laser Users (AILU) “we know, through AILU, many people at most Universities doing things with lasers. Sometimes we help them or they help us.” Micrometric will be exhibiting at SPARK Engineering Festival on the 5-7th May 2017, Lincoln Cathedral. This event is aimed for everyone ranging from old, young to families who want learn Lincoln’s engineering heritage.
On the 22nd March Neil Main MD of Micrometric attended an AILU workshop on Additive Manufacturing. This brought together a range of speakers from industry and academia with a variety of perspectives on the state-of-the-additive-nation. Talks covered the whole topic of Additive Manufacturing, with machine makers detailing their latest offerings alongside materials suppliers showcasing advances in feedstock technology. The UK academic base was well represented and leading researchers offered an insight into their latest research. An overview of Japanese AM trends was offered by the keynote speaker; Prof Hideki Kyogoku of Kinki University.
Neil found the first three talks especially interesting and relevant for Micrometric as they were about using lasers for selective laser melting (SLM) of powders. This is a technology that Micrometric is developing capabilities in as it can be used for rapid prototyping or making parts where traditional manufacturing processes restrict the design of components. Additive manufacturing has been extensively used for aerospace and medical applications.
The workshop was rounded up with an especially interesting and inspirational talk by Richard Trimlett a heart surgeon at Royal Brompton Hospital, about current and future uses of this technology. Additive manufacturing had been used for making very small equipment used in heart operations; particularly fascinating was a tiny “sewing machine” for applying sutures to tissue to sew a wound up when doing key-hole surgery.
If you have a wish to discuss any requirements you have for Additive Manufacturing or any other sub-contract manufacturing then do not hesitate to contact us.
Happy New Year
We look forward to working with you in 2016
|Thurs 24th December||Closed @ 12.30pm|
|Fri 25th December||Closed|
|Mon 28th December||Closed|
|Tues 29th December||Open 8.30am – 4pm|
|Wed 30th December||Open 8.30am – 4pm|
|Thurs 31st December||Open 8.30am – 4pm|
|Fri 1st January||Closed|
|Mon 4th January||Open as normal|