Technology Fund Invests Into Industry 4.0 Metrology Experts

Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”) announces a £1.5 million investment from the Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund (“the Fund”) into UK based INSPHERE Ltd. experts in measurement and automation using innovative value-added metrology.

INSPHERE was founded in 2013 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.

The Fund’s investment will be used to develop and accelerate the commercialization of INSPHERE’s new products, build sales and scale the business.

Commenting on the investment, Andrew Bloxam, Senior Investment Manager at Foresight said: “Insphere is showing itself to be a pioneer, delivering much-needed valuable improvements in aerospace, automotive and defence industry production processes by using technology to offer in-process metrology. We believe that the transition to Industry 4.0 is going to have a transformative impact on industrial manufacturing over the next decade. We are excited to be working with the Insphere team to drive that transformation and build a big company in the process.”

 Matthew Burke, Head of Technology Ventures, Williams Advanced Engineering, added: “The team at Williams Advanced Engineering is looking forward to working with INSPHERE to apply its expertise in product development and production from work in automotive, aerospace, defense and other sectors to support the commercialization of INSPHERE’s pioneering automated manufacturing metrology technologies.”

Ben Adeline, CEO, Insphere, added: “We are delighted to have secured this investment from the Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund. The technical expertise offered through Williams Advanced Engineering combined with the financial and commercial input from Foresight makes this the perfect backing for our manufacturing technology business. This investment marks an inflection point for our growth, with funds used to develop core intellectual property behind the new hardware and software systems as well as accelerating our routes to market. Our business is well-positioned to exploit the exponential growth in demand for ‘smart factory’ solutions sought by the advanced manufacturing sector. Our technologies will enable manufacturing companies to monitor and control the performance of automated manufacturing systems, improving their capability and flexibility resulting in significant step changes to productivity. Our vision is to develop INSPHERE into a global leader for advanced process monitoring and control technologies, applying metrology-grade systems to automated manufacturing processes.

For more information: www.insphereltd.com

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