The Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund announced in August 2019 that it had invested £1.5 million into Industry 4.0 metrology experts INSPHERE Ltd. The company's pioneering metrology systems enhance the accuracy of automated production lines, boosting productivity and profitability for manufacturers. The investment will help develop and commercialise INSPHERE’s new products and scale the business. INSPHERE is the 12th company to receive investment from the Fund.
INSPHERE was founded in 2013 by CEO Ben Adeline and CTO Oliver Martin, originally providing metrology consultancy, sub-contract management and training to manufacturing businesses including Rolls-Royce, Airbus and Jaguar Land Rover.
Industries such as aerospace, automotive and defence all employ highly automated manufacturing processes which rely on production lines of robots performing precise and repeatable actions.
Measurement technologies have traditionally been used to verify parts at the end of the production line. Faults or defective parts found at this stage are either scrapped or require expensive re-work. These faults can be caused when a robot is not set up correctly or drifts even slightly out of position. It can be problematic and laborious to determine the root causes in the production line resulting in costly downtime or poor-quality parts if problems are un-resolved.
INSPHERE’s metrology systems solve this high-cost problem and play to the growing demand from high value manufacturing customers for smarter, Industry 4.0 solutions. The philosophy is to develop measurement systems that monitor and control the manufacturing process itself, rather than simply checking parts once they have been produced. INSPHERE’s in-process metrology systems operate in real-time, automatically measuring the accuracy of the manufacturing systems and instructing self-correction, creating a closed-loop control system. This not only avoids downtime but also provides significantly quicker line set up, reducing waste, improving productivity and ultimately enhancing profitability for manufacturers.
INSPHERE was established to address the needs of manufacturers as they look to integrate measurement systems into production processes. It has grown sales steadily since inception, employing ten metrology experts and having built a strong reputation for in-process measurement.