Back in 1980, under the leadership of the founding directors David Thomson and Masanori Nonaka from the group’s HQ in Tokyo, and assisted by Martin Weeks, the company began by concentrating on hand tools such as micrometers and calipers, but also ventured into the CMM marketplace.
In due course, strategically placed showrooms at Warwick, Halifax and East Kilbride were established to offer convenient local service to the majority of the UK.
Administration, training, service and repair functions remained at Andover, while a NAMAS (now UKAS) certified calibration laboratory was set up at Warwick, which also housed the MGT division to offer bespoke metrology solutions. Halifax became the hub for contract measurement services based on strong demand for turbine blade measurement from the aerospace sector. A major change in recent years was the relocation of the Warwick operation to Coventry.
Training and education are matters of particular interest to Mitutoyo, and presently there is an extensive range of courses on offer from the company with many designed to cover the basic principles of dimensional metrology.
In the UK, Mitutoyo has also created and developed a free-of-charge education pack, including booklets, quick guides and wallcharts (available directly online). This pack serves as a convenient reference to the theory and practice of engineering metrology for use in the classroom, workplace and laboratory.
Mitutoyo Corporation is a global industry sponsor to WorldSkills International, often called the skills ‘Olympics’, with Mitutoyo UK providing metrological capability for the manufacturing and engineering technology part of the competition. This involves sending a large quantity of measuring tools, together with several CMMs and the associated specialists needed to operate them, to the venue, which has ranged from cities as widely separated as São Paulo and Abu Dhabi. Although a substantial commitment in terms of time, money and resource, the company feels the benefits are worthwhile to society as a whole.
The management structure has remained stable over the past four decades. Only in recent years has a younger generation started to share the responsibility. Today, David Thomson has retired and is succeeded by Ray Penny (current managing director) who brings a wealth of sales experience to the role from his previous position in the company. The long-time technical manager of CMM operations, Steve Dyke, has also assumed the additional responsibilities of director to strengthen the team.
Mitutoyo sees the future as exciting, with the launch of products including the MiStar shop-floor CMM, the Formtracer Avant and the Crysta‑Apex V series of CNC CMMs for smart factories.