Product verification (PV) is a vital process
required by manufacturers to provide
complete assurance that components and
products are manufactured according to
the original design specification, thus
reducing product failure, poor performance, waste and customer dissatisfaction.
The best way of showing the importance of
accurate PV is what happens when the
process breaks down and something is
delivered to market with hidden flaws. For
example, in 2010 a leading car manufacturer
had a problem with an accelerator pedal
that saw several models, and millions of
cars, recalled across the globe.
The cost in rework terms was over $100 million, but the total cost of the measurement
failure, including the subsequent changes
that needed to be made to the process, is
estimated at more than $4 billion.
Accurate measurement is at the heart of PV
and it involves a whole range of specialist
skills, equipment, processes, environmental
conditions and standards. Work with major
manufacturers at the head of international
supply chains has shown that PV activities
account for up to 20% of the cost of the finished product.
Therefore, any solution to
make this more effective can boost business
for the UK supply chain and add billions to
the UK economy.
NPL is leading a new initiative to support UK
advanced manufacturers to improve their
product verification capabilities. The National
Product Verification Programme (NPVP) was
established by NPL in July 2013, to provide
technical services, and consultancy to identify and improve
the PV skills within workforces,
supported by an accredited training
programme. The programme is overseen by
a National Advisory Board and an
Operations Group comprising the key university partners of Bath, Coventry and
The NPVP promotes the importance of PV
skills and provides practical support in a
number of different ways. Firstly, a Health
Check service provides an in-company
review designed to quickly identify areas
where improvements in PV activities can
make an immediate impact, leading to
measurable bottom line benefits.
Identifying key members of staff and additional training requirements
is an important
part of this.
Beyond the Health Check, PV support services are
provided in many forms, dependent
GTMA AEROSPACE SUPPLIERS
VERIFICATION INITIATIVE HELPS AERO
NPL LEADS VITAL PRODUCT SUPPORT PROGRAMME
A National Aerospace Technology
Programme (NATEP) aimed at small and
medium sized suppliers to help them
develop their own innovative technologies has been developed by the AGP.
The aim is to enhance their capabilities and
increase their ability to win new business
with higher tier companies anywhere in the
By developing a supply chain with a high
rate of innovation, rich in new technologies,
the UK will be better able to offer the right
products and services, at the right time and
ahead of competition - and will ensure market opportunities are
exploited with high
value manufacturing work retained in the
UK. The AGP recognises that the larger
companies, acting alone, will not be able to
make the product technology advances
needed to sustain the UK s market position
in global aerospace markets.
To remain competitive, many companies in
the supply chain need to develop greater
competences and move up the value chain.
A step change towards an R&D supply
chain is required. However, the market is
not creating this with sufficient urgency, says
the AGP. It is to counter this that it has
Grant funding of £50,000 to £150,00 is
available under the £40million programme.
To qualify projects need to comprise a supply chain technology partnership of at least
two entities and preferably three or more.
They need to be industry led and have the
objective of pulling through new technology
or process. Direct financial support will usually be up to 50% of spend. In kind matching
is expected. Outline applications for Call
2 closed on Mar 20, 2014 (final application
May, 2014). Application closing date for Call
3, Aug 2014; Call 4, Nov 2014; Call 5, May
2015. Programme ends March 2017.
NATEP DRIVES TECHNOLOGY FOR SMEs
on individual requirements.
The PVP will form an integral part of the
government-funded new Sharing in Growth
programme, which is providing over £110
million training and development to 55 highvalue manufacturers
in the UK aerospace
and civil nuclear sectors.
The NPVP is committed to providing long
term solutions to organisations with PV
requirements, which is why it is so important
that technical consulting is accompanied by
high quality training. It is designed to help
UK manufacturers become as self-sufficient
as possible in executing PV.
By 2018, the PVP aims to be at the centre of
coordinating UK assets, resources, capabilities and services related
to PV; recognised as
a national resource and source of expertise
in PV, supplying knowledge, training, accreditation and networking firstname.lastname@example.org>specific, prioritised industry requirements.
Contact: Phil Cooper, National Product
Verification Programme Leader. NPL.
Tel: 0208 943 8641;
Photo courtesy Airbus