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Metrology department: Delivering tailored training

17 March 2018

The JCB Academy delivers high-quality engineering and business education. When a £1.2m apprentice training centre was added in 2017, a metrology department was included that is fully supported by Mitutoyo and which is now recognised as a Mitutoyo Satellite Centre.

Sponsored by JCB, the academy has core challenge partners that include Bentley Motors, Network Rail and Rolls-Royce. Each of these companies contributes to developing the curriculum and learning techniques. To deliver the curriculum, the JCB Academy employs academic specialists with an established industrial background. Pivotal to the installation of Mitutoyo metrology and inspection equipment was Graham Rowley, the team leader for technical delivery. 


Rowley says: “JCB realised that to develop the engineers of tomorrow, the company needed a state-of-the-art training facility with experienced staff and cutting edge technology. It was recognised that inspection and metrology are core subjects for all engineering disciplines, so we set about configuring a metrology department that would be both suitable for our learners and relevant for industry.

“As an apprentice in 1979, I recall how we used to specify Mitutoyo micrometers as they were the first manufacturer of high-quality carbide tipped micrometers. Through my working life, Mitutoyo has always played a large role in the metrology equipment used – delivering precise and reliable equipment with service and support that has always been first class. All this still rings true today.”

Rowley continues: “We went to a number of suppliers for quotes and Mitutoyo stood out for a number of reasons. Firstly, Mitutoyo was more engaged with our needs. What they initially spoke to us about was somewhat different to our requirements. They suggested that if we bought a slightly different area of kit, we could deliver this new stand-alone metrology department. We altered our order accordingly and went with Mitutoyo’s suggestions. We are now going to be one of Mitutoyo’s satellite centres.”

Embracing vocational training needs

The metrology department allows The JCB Academy to deliver tailored metrology and inspection training to all the companies for which it provides apprentice training. So, whether it's apprentices from JCB, Continental Tyres, Toyota, Michelen, Bosch Rexroth, Bri-Stor System, Alpha Manufacturing, Rolls- Royce or any other company in the region, The JCB Academy delivers relevant, captivating and accredited inspection training that encompasses both practical and theoretical studies that are relevant to industry.

Training kits  

Rowley continues: “The Mitutoyo Student Kits and Tutor Kits allow us to deliver in-house training and on-site training with our partners. With the kits, we can take the bulk of equipment with small tools to on-site or off-site learners and they can learn what equipment to use for the specific measurement tasks. With learners understanding the choices of tools available, they can reduce time wasting in the field and ensure inspection is conducted correctly."

The Student Kits include a 0-25mm micrometer, a 0-25mm digital micrometer, three 0-150mm vernier callipers that include a vernier scale calliper, a dial calliper and a digital calliper. Also included is a 150mm rule and an aluminium test piece. In contrast, the two Tutor Kits supplied cover more diverse spectrum of inspection and calibration equipment. One Tutor Kit includes three 200mm vernier scale height gauges, three universal bevel protractors, a gauge block set and centre finders. The second Tutor Kit has three digital height gauges, two DTI’s, a 3-4 inch digital micrometer, an 8 to 10cm internal bore micrometer and six test pieces.

Both kits are supplied in protective carry-cases. The JCB Academy has four student carry-cases and two tutor cases; each student case is filled with six individual Student Kits. These well presented kits are far removed from the small selection of micrometers, feeler gauges and vernier callipers that were previously used by learners at the academy. 

The centrepiece of the metrology department at The JCB Academy is a Crysta-Plus M443 Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) that is connected to a 60 inch wall mounted monitor.  The manual Crysta-Plus CMM with temperature compensation  offers The JCB Academy everything from simple dimensional to complex form measurement on a small footprint 400 by 400mm table. Using the latest MCOSMOS CMM software, learners can evaluate the dimensional precision of components and test-pieces. By connecting the CMM to a large monitor, teaching staff can conduct practical demonstrations to learners in the classroom environment.