Renishaw Strategic Alliance

Transferring knowledge to the high-value-added manufacturing industry

Our James Watt Institute for High Value Manufacturing is an Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre and is the only one in Scotland.

The Institute brings together research activity, from the Schools of Engineering & Physical Sciences and Mathematical & Computer Sciences, which has achieved an international reputation for its contribution in fundamental research and for transferring knowledge to the high-value-added manufacturing industry, mainly by collaboration with existing businesses.

The Micro Systems Engineering Centre, within the Institute, has developed a strategic alliance with world leading company Renishaw.

Partnering research

Heriot-Watt University is one of the key partners in our research programmes

Dr Nick Weston, Renishaw

Renishaw is a world leader in metrology and spectroscopy, with research, development, manufacturing, sales and service operations in more than 30 countries.

Renishaw is committed to sustained growth through continued investment in product development and manufacturing methods. Its aim is to be recognised as a world leader in its field. To achieve this it seeks to engage with leading research institutions in order to develop new product ranges and address new markets. Heriot-Watt is one of the key partners in Renishaw’s research programme.

Prototype developments

Work in partnership with Renishaw saw our researchers develop a laboratory prototype of a new optical scanner with verified operating principles.

This development fulfilled Renishaw’s need for a prototype of the methods required to integrate optical fringe projection extended to coordinate measuring machine (CMM) technology.

Our researchers devised novel optical shape measurement techniques and technologies compatible with industrial CMM technology and the resulting prototype is the first demonstration of the methods integrating optical fringe projection and photogrammetry with CMM technology.

The Renishaw Advanced Metrology Centre

Our alliance has also brought significant benefits to staff and students at our Edinburgh campus. A new manufacturing laboratory has been created though the donation of half a million pounds worth of equipment, software and training by Renishaw.

The centre facilitates both teaching and research in modern industrial metrology and materials analysis using highly accurate co-ordinate measuring machines (CMMs), laser calibration equipment, and a sophisticated Raman spectroscopy system.

A CMM, installed with Renishaw’s revolutionary REVO five-axis measuring system, in the centre is allowing Heriot-Watt engineering staff and students to experience first-hand a breakthrough technology that is dramatically reducing dimensional inspection times for leading global aerospace and automotive suppliers.

Dr Nick Weston, head of Renishaw’s Scottish research facility, said: "Renishaw has a huge focus on research and development, annually spending some 17% of turnover to ensure that we maintain our leadership in the field of dimensional metrology and related technologies. Heriot-Watt University is one of the key partners in our research programmes and it is important that staff and students are fully versed with the latest measurement systems.