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5 ways 3M BIC can help firms with its lab and technology facilities

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5 ways 3M BIC can help firms with its lab and technology facilities

Businesses have different needs and challenges, particularly technical firms that may need specific facilities or technology in order to operate or innovate.

At the 3M BIC we have the capabilities and expertise designed specifically to support the challenging needs of companies, from product design, prototyping or product verification technologies to providing lab space for research and development (R&D) projects.

Here are 5 ways the 3M BIC can help your business through our lab and technology facilities:

  1. Lab space for rent

Our adaptable lab space at the 3M BIC is designed to flex with high tech businesses, from fully kitted out laboratories to dual-purpose office and lab spaces. Our technical team can support new tenants to ensure they have all the resources they need within their labs to ensure they can hit the ground fully operational.

Recently, we added two new labs to our portfolio that can be adapted for businesses looking to innovate in a laboratory environment, alongside other pioneering businesses within the 3M BIC.

For more information about our available lab space for rent, click here.

  1. Industrial X-Ray Computerised Tomography (XCT)

Our in-house industrial X-Ray Computerised Tomography (XCT) capabilities can undertake precise internal and external measurements and 3D imaging of objects made from aluminium, steel, titanium and a range of plastics.

Alongside in-process monitoring in metal additive manufacture (AM), it can be used to identify and reduce errors in design and builds before full-scale manufacturing is undertaken.

Our XCT client projects to date include the investigation into the porosity of bone in soil/water degradation, the study of ballistics scoring on gun barrel innards, as well as the inspection of circuitry and circuit boards.

We recently supported the investigation into a small metal part for an electrical sensor company, which enabled us to view where the channels in a product were without destroying the item and testing and checking that electrical wires were intact.

To find out more about our XCT facilities, click here.

  1. Additive manufacture

We have extensive Additive Manufacture (AM) facilities in both polymers and metals at the 3M BIC that can support product development and prototyping.

We have worked with a number of businesses from a range of sectors, including a manufacturing company where we helped reverse engineer a gearing system, and a large turbine company where we created a part using selective laser sintering (SLS), which was cheaper and lighter but still robust enough for their needs. We have also developed vehicle parts through 3D printing, as well as metal light fittings.

Other examples include working with heritage companies, particularly in the textile industry, to reverse engineer legacy parts to ensure the continuity of production, as well as a small aerospace company looking at reverse engineering of a legacy/obsolete part within their galley equipment.

Recently our design team supported the NHS Frontline with PPE (now CE marked) face shield components during the first lockdown, and currently working on the investigation of materials for use in an animal welfare product.

To find out more about our additive manufacture technology and capabilities, click here.

  1. Microscopy

The microscopy capabilities at the 3M BIC enable businesses to view objects and areas of objects that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

One of our tenants recently used our Smartzoom5 digital microscope for measuring circuit chips and some of the sensors that they develop. Another tenant used the Zeiss microscopes to investigate wear and tear on one of their medical devices.

To find out more about our microscopy facilities, click here.

  1. Measurement capabilities with NPL on site

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is the UK’s official National Measurement Institute (NMI) and established NPL North of England at the 3M BIC in 2013. NPL North of England is on hand to support local manufacturing businesses and help them compete at a global level.

NPL North of England’s state-of-the-art laboratories are well-equipped with a wide range of up-to-date inspection equipment, providing local manufacturing industries with access to measurement facilities that enhance productivity and quality, reduce waste, improve manufacturing efficiency, and support the introduction of new products and processes.

For more information about NPL North of England click here.

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