Renishaw played host to His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex when he recently visited the Renishaw headquarters in Gloucestershire.
During his visit, His Royal Highness presented Renishaw with its 16th Queen’s Award and also made a special 40th anniversary presentation to its co-founders Sir David McMurtry and John Deer. Prince Edward also received demonstrations of Renishaw’s advanced engineering technologies, saw progress on a new 145,000 sq ft building, met some of Renishaw’s 111 apprentices, and was presented with a very special 3D printed titanium gift.
The Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2013 in the Innovations category was presented to Renishaw for its revolutionary REVO five-axis multi-sensor probing system used on co-ordinate measuring machines (CMMs) to significantly improve accuracy and throughput when inspecting complex parts including aero-engine blades, automotive cylinder blocks and many types of gears.
Ahead of the formal presentation, HRH The Earl of Wessex was welcomed to Renishaw’s New Mills headquarters site in Gloucestershire by Sir David McMurtry, Chairman and Chief Executive, and John Deer, Deputy Chairman, who formed the company in April 1973. His Royal Highness was given a short tour of the company’s product demonstration area by Sir David and the company’s Assistant Chief Executive Ben Taylor, where he was shown one of the first ever touch trigger probes for CMMs, manufactured in John Deer’s house in Chepstow, Wales.
During the tour His Royal Highness was also shown Renishaw’s products for the dental industry, including replacement teeth structures made using a 3D printing process, probe systems for CNC machine tools, calibration products for monitoring machine positioning performance, position feedback encoders, and research developments for neurosurgical procedures.
Sir David also introduced The Earl of Wessex to five young employees who are currently training as apprentices, or have recently completed an apprenticeship with Renishaw. The company, which employed its first apprentice in 1979, currently has a record 111 apprentices in training, having recruited over 40 young people onto the scheme in 2013.
Last year Renishaw received planning permission for a 230,000 sq ft building, which will house new demonstration and training facilities, enable the relocation of the company’s Spectroscopy product line, and provide space for projected future growth in R&D resource and corporate support functions. The Earl of Wessex viewed progress on a first-phase development of 145,000 sq ft, which commenced in May and is scheduled for first occupancy during Spring 2014.
Sir David then led The Earl of Wessex to the company’s staff restaurant where they were joined by a large gathering of Renishaw employees representing the business division responsible for the development and manufacture of the REVO system, plus senior managers from across Renishaw’s fifteen UK operational sites.
After welcoming His Royal Highness and Dame Janet Trotter, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, Sir David paid tribute to many people across the Renishaw Group who had contributed to the success of REVO, describing it as ‘one of the most challenging projects that we have ever undertaken’.
Dame Janet then announced the Queen’s Award and praised Renishaw as a business that ‘punches above its weight locally, nationally and internationally’. She described the company’s sixteen Queen’s Awards in its 40-year history as ‘an outstanding record’ and also praised Sir David’s inspiring leadership. After reading the formal award citation Dame Janet then invited The Earl of Wessex to present the Award in the form of a crystal bowl to Dave Wallace, Director and General Manager of the CMM Products Division.
Responding on behalf of Renishaw, Ben Taylor thanked Dame Janet for her kind words and also The Earl of Wessex for honouring the company with his presence. He also reiterated Sir David’s comments stating that the award for REVO ‘reflects a great sustained team effort over many years’ and that the product ‘is fast becoming the inspection system of choice for many of the world’s leading automotive and aerospace manufacturing companies’.
Mr Taylor then took the opportunity to focus on Renishaw’s 40th anniversary and the contribution of its co-founders. He paid tribute to John Deer who he described as ‘the unsung hero in the Renishaw story’, highlighting John’s work in establishing the first overseas sales networks, his leadership of the company’s manufacturing function, and his focus on skills development that Mr Taylor described as being possibly his greatest contribution.
Mr Taylor also added that the company was extremely proud of the achievements of the two co-founders, Sir David and John over the past 40 years.
After presenting the co-founders with special 3D printed metal commemorative plaques, The Earl of Wessex was himself presented with a special gift by Morgan Lloyd, a 17 year-old first year apprentice who lives close to Renishaw’s new facility in South Wales.
Introducing the gift Ben Taylor explained to His Royal Highness that Renishaw was the UK’s only manufacturer of additive manufacturing machines (3D printers) that prints metal parts. To combine the past with the present, the company had printed a titanium replica of Renishaw’s 1802 mill building, which was then mounted on a pine base made from wood cut from an original beam in the building.
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the UK’s most prestigious awards for business performance, which recognise and reward outstanding achievement by UK companies.