GERI Facilities

Facilities

General Engineering Research Institute

GERI's facilities

GERI's state-of-the-art laboratories and machining tools help ensure its researchers can lead the way in engineering research.

From highly-sensitive microscopy equipment for use in biomechanics, to very large-scale industrial milling machines, GERI’s laboratories are equipped with industry-standard tools to aid research at any scale, whether requiring the Asylum Research Atomic Force Microscope or powerful Jones & Shipman grinders.

In addition to a variety of specialised machinery, GERI is equipped with the latest engineering computer simulation technology.

Facilities within GERI's research groups

GERI's research groups have access to specialist equipment. Click on the relevant group below to find out more about their facilities:

Industrial lasers

GERI has access to a range of low to medium power industrial laser systems with associated beam delivery and motion control systems.

GERI's equipment:

  • SPI G3 20W fibre laser
  • Quantronix Osprey 8W 532nm laser
  • Lotus Laser systems 40W CO2 laser engraving / cutting system
  • Laser Machinery Inc. 50W TEA CO2 laser
  • JK Lasers JK702H 350W Pulsed Nd:YAG laser
  • JK Lasers FL400 400W CW fibre laser
  • Fianium 10W pS fibre laser
  • GSI Lightning Scanning heads
  • Aerotech tables: 300mm x 300mm linear motor stages with 150mm Z axis; 800mm x 600m x 150mm precision ballscrew systems
  • KSV CAM101 Contact angle goniometer

Advanced Manufacturing and Metrology facilities

In addition to its well-found advanced manufacturing and metrology laboratories, GERI has several major items of research equipment, principally very large machine tools and grinding machines. These include a range of modern advanced CNC machine tools, among them the Jones & Shipman machines outlined below plus a Jones & Shipman Universal (CNC), Bridgeport 5 axes high speed machining centre, and manual surface and cylindrical grinders (Abwood, Jacobsen, Jones & Shipman).

As well as the facilities listed below, other resources include a low temperature Precision Grinder, Arboga Darenth Coolant delivery system and an extensive precision measurement facility, including access to SEM, AFM and X-ray diffractometry facilities. The Group also has well-equipped simulation and computing facilities and general engineering workshop facilities including milling machines.

Recent innovations have been exhibited at international machine tool exhibition, (including MACH and EMO).

Precision Production Touchscreen Controlled Surface, Profile and Creepfeed Grinder

This new model combines the award-winning and patented concept of a technically-advanced Precision, Production Surface, Profile and Creepfeed grinder, the Dominator, with an easy-to-use GE-Fanuc® touchscreen control. As on all Dominator models the absence of a reciprocating table and a wheelhead column gives major benefits with respect to structural rigidity and machine dynamics, with totally enclosed guarding.

Specification:

  • Conventional and Creepfeed surface grinding on one machine
  • Radical Cuboid design gives high rigidity with small footprint
  • Table capacity 600 x 200mm (24" x 8")
  • GE-Fanuc® 'Self Teach' touchscreen control
  • Operator friendly, menu driven, graphical software suite of surface, profile and creepfeed grinding and dressing cycles
  • Grinding wheel options from 100 to 300mm(4" to 12") diameter
  • Wheelhead motor options from 7,5 to 11 kW (10 to 15 hp)
  • Precision ballscrews on all axes with GE-Fanuc® Digital AC servo motors and Tenth Micron (0.000004") Heidenhain® 'Absolute' linear scales
  • Wheel dressing In or Out-of-cycle plus Dress-on-demand for plain or complex wheelforms
  • Intelligent roughing out of new wheel profile
  • Standard or ISO shape wheeldress and grinding cycles
  • Dressing options include Standard Diamonds, Diamond Discs, Diamond Rolls and a table mounted NC Diaform®
  • Straight, Convex or Concave creepfeed cycles in standard software suite
  • 3rd, 4th and 5th axis options
  • Ability to combine from 1 to 20 linked cycles with automatic in-cycle dressing and dress compensation

Ultramat Machine Tool: Jones & Shipman Ultramat CNC

Medium Production Cylindrical Grinders.

The Jones & Shipman Ultramat CNC has a one-piece 'Tee bed' design, with fully supported table. For more information, please visit the Jones & Shipman site and download the relevant brochure.

Specification:

  • Windows® based full software suite
  • Graphical set up style
  • GE-Fanuc® 210i CNC
  • Easy and rapid set up
  • Simple profiles easily dressed from table or tailstock mounted diamonds
  • Easy form dressing of Complex profiles with optional integrated articulating diamond dresser
  • Choice of Plain, Angle Head or Universal wheel heads
  • Optional Infinitely Variable rotating 'B' axis wheel head
  • External and internal Thread grinding option
  • 'C' axis option for full Out of Round grinding
  • Full integration of options tailored to suit each application

Bio Engineering

Bio-Engineering facilities include new laboratories equipped for molecular and cell biology, a prototype in-house built digital holographic microscopy system and access to scanning electron microscopes.

GERI’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Laboratory

GERI has recently moved into UAV research. In-house expertise on UAV’s has been joined to GERI’s existing strength within optical sensor design, which has created new research opportunities.

The Institute has a new bespoke UAV laboratory, which is equipped with eleven aircraft that can carry a wide range of sensor technologies, including:

  • High-definition video
  • Thermal imaging
  • Stereo-vision
  • LIDAR
  • Gas sensing

New sensors are also under development within the Institute.

GERI is the co-ordinating partner on the Horizon2020 Project “DigiArt”. This project will use UAV’s to 3D data capture historical sites. From this data capture researchers will construct new virtual reality implementations and, as a result of this work, everyone will be able to experience these cultural heritage sites no matter where they are in the world. You can learn more about DigiArt and GERI’s role in it at the Digital Project website.

Asylum Research, Molecular Force Probe (MFP-3D-IO) Atomic Force Microscope coupled to an inverted Olympus IX 50 Stereo Microscope Base (CMG)

The MFP-3D is a high-performance Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) designed specifically for biological applications. It is a versatile AFM that combines molecular resolution imaging and pN force-based measurements. The MFP-3D is coupled to an inverted optical microscope (Olympus IX50), which sits on an active, anti-vibration table (TS-150, HWL Scientific Instruments, Germany) which is housed in an acoustic isolation chamber (IGAM, Germany) to eliminate any external noise.

Combined with its ultra-low noise performance and unprecedented precision and accuracy, the MFP-3D-BIO has raised the bar for AFM instrumentation in bioscience research. Our system is equipped with the Asylum Research Bio-heater, which enables samples to be heated up to 80°C with an accuracy of 0.1°C, and is also equipped with a closed fluid cell to allow measurements to be made in a completely sealed environment.

Such an incredibly sensitive measuring instrument requires high stability and isolation from vibrating noise sources. Therefore, also included in our GERI system is a TS-150 active anti-vibration table by HWL Scientific Instruments GmbH, Germany in conjunction with a NOAH Series acoustic isolation chamber by IGAM mbH, Germany. For a more detailed specification please visit the Asylum Research website to download the brochure.

Zeiss Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope LSM 510 META (CMG)

The Zeiss LSM 510 Meta laser scanning microscope is mounted on an Axiovert 200M BP computer-controlled inverted microscope. The system is equipped with CO2 and temperature control to allow maintenance of a stable physiological environment and thus real-time live cell imaging. Our system also enables FRET (Fluorescence resonance energy transfer) and FRAP (fluorescent recovery after photo-bleaching) studies to be carried out, and is also equipped with software that enables 3D surface analysis of solid structures.

This microscope is equipped with the following laser lines: blue diode 405nm, Argon ion 458, 477, 488 and 514nm, He-Ne 543nm and He-Ne 633nm. Images were obtained using the following objectives lens: Plan Neofluar 20×/0.30 numerical aperture (NA), 40×/1.30 NA oil immersion, and Plan Apochromat 63×/1.4 NA oil immersion.

The microscope is also equipped for DIC microscopy and has a motorised filter carrier equipped with UV, blue and green excitation and x-y stage. For a more detailed specification please visit the Zeiss website to download the brochure for the LSM 510 META using the 'Productfinder' tool.

OPTONOR VibroLab1000 TV Holography (ESPI) System

The VibroLab1000 is powerful and extremely sensitive tool for vibration and deformation analysis. Laser: HeNe 5mW Object Size: < 1cm x 1cm to approx 1m x 1m. For further technical specification details visit the manufacturer's website.

Development of optical trapping to study cell mechanics

GERI researchers are currently in the process of constructing and characterising a single tapered fibre-based 3D optical trapping system to aid in the study of our cell mechanics research. The optical trap may be used to anchor non-adherent cells and also for micro-manipulation in biomechanics experiments.

During the characterisation process GERI researchers are interested in the effects that differing taper profiles and insertion angles have on the optical forces that are generated.

2D X Ray Inspection

GERI has access to a unique 2D X-ray inspection system, which it uses to carry out ultrasound signal processing research.

Comet FEINFOCUS TIGER X-ray Inspection System (Model: FXS-160.40)

The FEINFOCUS TIGER X-ray inspection system manufactured by Comet is a unique 2D X-Ray inspection system that offers a view into the third dimension via oblique viewing at virtually any desired angle utilising the company’s proprietary Auto Isocentric Motion (AIM) technology. The high-precision detector manipulator rotates a full 360°, and tilts up to 70° to view complex assemblies at oblique angles.

The system also offers an additional two-axis (x and y) manipulation of the sample and a third axis (z) manipulation of the X-Ray tube, with normal positional accuracy down to 100 micrometer (µm). FEINFOCUS proprietary open tube X-Ray technology allows for feature recognition below 1µm.

The TIGER offers a geometric magnification of up to 727x (total magnification up to 2800x), proprietary True X-Ray Intensity (TXI) control for consistent image quality.

Designed to meet the rigorous needs of computer, automotive, telecom, military/aerospace, medical device, and information storage markets, the system is ideal for inspecting planar devices, such as printed circuit boards (PCBs) in electronics assembly, and an extra-large sample tray area of up to 24” x 24” (610mm x 610mm) to accommodate larger boards and multi-up flip chip assemblies.