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2 minute read

NPL helps UK precision engineering firm reduce rework, resulting in £50,000 cost saving

Anglia CNC Engineering (ACE), a Cambridge-based precision engineering company supplying high-quality milled and turned components and assemblies to a variety of industries, wanted to check that there weren’t any inefficiencies in their production processes, namely financial wastage brought about by machined components not being accurate enough ‘first time’ for its customers.

This was particularly important, as it had its own knock-on effect, such as delays in other customers’ work, which could in some instances even lead to lost sales. The company wanted to find out if it could benefit from making improvements to its already stringent quality assurance processes, but finding the right solution on how to do this was not immediately obvious.

The Solution

The answer came in the form of the Product Verification team at NPL, who are specialists in the science and technology of highly accurate measurement. As part of their services, they provided a Product Verification Health Check for Anglia CNC Engineering.

NPL helped optimise and streamline ACE’s production process resulting in a £50,000 cost saving / Picture: Getty/iStock


The NPL team visited ACE’s premises and worked with the machine operatives and engineers to help them better understand the measurement and verification processes they undertook as part of the quality control checks. This is essential if a company is to produce components to a very high standard of finish and accuracy.

Through Product Verification, the team identified two opportunities to optimise and streamline ACE’s production process so that components were manufactured right first time, every time. Specifically, the first involved supporting the development of the company’s capability to perform highly accurate in-house calibrations of its own measurement equipment, thereby substantially reducing subcontracting costs. But they also showed ACE how to collect and apply appropriate measurement data to better understand a given machine’s capabilities, which improved performance and productivity.

The Impact

“The Product Verification team from NPL quickly understood my company’s challenges,” explains ACE’s Managing Director Graham Fenn. “They were flexible to my business’ needs, which really impressed me, and their contribution made a valuable, immediate and tangible difference to my business.”

That difference was an improvement in ‘right first time, every time’ component production, greatly reduced re-makes, improved staff moral and a cumulative saving of £50,000 in the first year alone. “We plan to keep in contact with the Product Verification team now that we know the difference they can make,” Graham continues. “It is good to know that one can get guidance of a high pedigree that has a practical application for an engineering company such as mine.”

If you’re a UK precision or advanced manufacturer, discover the ways in which NPL can help support your business and get closer to perfection by visiting: