New opportunity for Devon firms to see their products up close

12 Mar 2018

Devon businesses can now benefit from free access to a University of Plymouth facility that is unique in the South West.

Plymouth Electron Microscopy Centre (PEMC) has a range of state-of-the-art microscopy equipment that can help businesses see their products in more detail than ever before. Based at the University of Plymouth, PEMC has a history of working with businesses across the South West, including Langage Farm, the Barden Corporation and Fine Tubes. Growing numbers of businesses now rely on the facility for quality control, failure analysis and new product development.

PEMC’s latest piece of equipment–a Focused Ion Beam Scanning Electron Microscope (FIB-SEM)–is only the second in the country to be made available for commercial use by a university. It can simultaneously scan, analyse and mill through a range of materials, creating digital 3D models at a nanoscale. Thanks to a £1.7m grant from the EU’s European Regional Development Fund, more than 40 Devon businesses will get free access to the equipment between now and the end of 2020. 

The equipment is expected to be of particular interest to companies in the science, aerospace, engineering, bio-medical, manufacturing and microelectronics sectors. 

The first commercial user of FIB-SEM was Plessey Semiconductors. Plessey’s LED Lead Designer, John Whiteman, said: “Access to the FIB-SEM at the University has already made a difference to our understanding of our product development process, unveiling levels of detail that are key to Plessey continuing to develop micron scale LEDs for future lighting and display technologies.”

Claire Pearce, PMCP’s Project Manager, said: “Over many years, PEMC has developed a fantastic reputation for working with businesses. This new dual beam microscope significantly extends our capability in providing rapid solutions to questions of structural integrity, materials characterisation and product development. This is an extremely valuable resource when it comes to product development, failure analysis and quality control.” 

To discuss opportunities with PEMC, please contact or call Claire Pearce on 01752 588908.


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