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What is Precision Engineering
In the modern world there is a huge focus on the creation of high precision products, and as a result the processes used to manufacture these products have become highly sophisticated professions. Part of these highly specialist professions is the work of the precision engineer, which involves a painstaking attention to detail and requires knowledge of a wide variety of measurement, fabrication, and control issues.

The role of precision engineering in the UK is critical for our country’s competitive position in the world of high technology. This is because increasing the precision (that is, the accuracy and repeatability) of a machine or process will allow us to compete with other hi-tech producers such as Japan and America.

Precision engineering is now the key science within the manufacturing industry because it actually cuts across all the major disciplines of manufacturing technology. Precision engineering is concerned with the design, development, manufacture and measurement of components and systems as wide ranging as aerospace components, micro-electronic devices or grinding machines. It also deals with techniques such as scanning tunnelling microscopy, diamond turning, computer-aided design, and dynamic modelling.

The process of precision engineering focuses on many areas that are important in the research, design, development, manufacture and measurement of high accuracy components and systems such as precision controls, metrology, interferometry, materials, materials processing, nanotechnology, optical fabrication, precision optics, precision replication, scanning microscopes, semiconductor processing, standards and ultra-precision machining.

The work of a precision engineer requires, among other things, a systematic approach to determining dimensional errors. This is due to the fact that when measurements are made, precision engineering requires a quantitative assessment of the total uncertainty of the measurement. Precision engineering also involves design methodology, error budgeting, uncertainty analysis, metrology, calibration/error compensation, precision controls, and actuators and sensors.

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