Home Automotive Micrometric celebrates 40 years of laser material processing

Micrometric celebrates 40 years of laser material processing


Micrometric, a manufacturing company based in Lincoln, continues to be a leader in the micro laser industry and multi-process manufacturing services as it celebrates its 40th anniversary.

Micrometric celebrates its special anniversary by reflecting on the evolution and development of its services in many sectors including medical, aerospace, and automotive.

Founded by Maurice Gates and Neil Main, Micrometric began by cutting sheet metal using innovative CO2 lasers in January 1983 and had a turnover of only £50 in its first month, but this soon started growing.

Main, who is Micrometric’s managing director, remembers contracts that changed the company’s services: “We were asked by the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell if we could make radiation sensors for detecting alpha radiation.

“They needed small rectangles cutting with each having a unique letter, number and error code. At that time our competitors were not able to do this, so we rose to the challenge and successfully output the parts using the large CO2 laser (DE) and BBC Micro.”

Standing outside the Micrometric building, Chris Waters (left), Rosie De Smit (right) and Neil Main (left to right).

Micrometric, a precision laser processor by 1990, was being asked to manufacture parts for several industries: electronic, gas turbines manufacturers, food producers, and medical.

Micrometric made a part that was used in a prostate cancer remover.

In 1994 the company moved to a newly-built factory in Doddington Road Lincoln. Micrometric was able to invest in more advanced lasers with the extra space. This included its first Bystronic that was fast, flexible, and precise.

Main was faced with a huge challenge after purchasing Micrometric in 2004: the largest customer purchased its own laser. Revenues declined and the company was forced to make redundancies. Micrometric took some time to recover before they could invest in new technology.

Micrometric’s workforce was more highly-skilled and a new generation of lasers made it possible to produce components with better quality faster.

Micrometric invested in new equipment over the last five years to meet the demand for precision components. This includes the Coherent Starcut machine, which is extremely precise, and the new Lasercube, which offers quality and efficiency.

The team will be able to produce high-quality components in multiple industries.

A hydraulic filter used in aircraft systems, a great example of the small holes Micrometric can drill
The Micrometric drill can make small holes in hydraulic filters used for aircraft systems.

Micrometric specializes in precision parts and fine parts, with materials as thin 0.05mm.

This expertise was needed when a Formula One team in the UK approached them about a job for cutting thin shims. They had been unable to find a company that could cut these thin tolerances on a short turnaround.

When looking forward, Main is positive: “We have seen so much change in just the last three years, but customers are still asking for new parts and processes.

“We are always looking for new ways of expanding our services so there is huge potential for growth in the automotive, aerospace and medical sectors.”

Micrometric is AS9100D certified and is a member of the Midlands Aerospace Alliance (MAA), The Manufacturers’ Organisation (MAKE UK), Association of Industrial Laser Users (AILU), The Welding Institute (TWI) and Motorsport Industry Association (MIA).

The article Micrometric Celebrates 40 years of Laser Material Processing first appeared on Racecar Engineering.

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