On Saturday we were again honoured to receive a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovations category for our highly innovative SP80 ultra-high accuracy analogue scanning probe. The product is used on co-ordinate measuring machines (CMMs) for the highly accurate measurement of complex parts such as automotive and power train components.
This is the 15th Queen’s Award that we have won in our 39-year history, making Renishaw one of the UK’s most successful award winners of all time, with only internationally renowned brands such as British Aerospace, Rolls-Royce and JCB having achieved more recognition from Her Majesty.
In some parts of the world Queen’s Awards are well known, but still remain something of an enigma to many people living outside the UK. However, they are quite simply the most prestigious award for business performance that a UK-based company can receive.
They were first granted in 1966 and originally known as ‘The Queen’s Award to Industry’, were only available for organisations. Today there are three Queen’s Award for Enterprise categories – International Trade, Innovation and Sustainable Development, plus an award for individuals, The Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion. All awards are conferred annually by the Queen on her birthday, the 21st April.
As might be expected for an award given in the name of the British Sovereign, the assessment process for entries is rigorous. An Advisory Committee containing representatives from Government, industry and trade unions, assist the British Prime Minister in advising Her Majesty The Queen as to whom should win an Award.
Commenting on his company’s latest award, our Chairman and Chief Executive, Sir David McMurtry, highlighted the contribution of staff from across the world who have ensured the success of the SP80 scanning probe, from innovative designers and skilled manufacturing personnel, through to the highly dedicated sales staff from across our offices in 32 countries.
The SP80 is designed for the highly accurate measurement of parts with deep features and can therefore carry very long styli up to 800 mm long with a mass of up to 500 g with no counter balancing and no significant degradation in measuring performance. The dynamic response of the probe enables highly accurate scanning without sacrificing speed, thereby reducing production bottlenecks and improving process control.
Given that annually around 150-200 Queen’s Awards are granted to businesses and individuals across the UK, the Queen has to delegate the presentation of awards to her regional representatives. Within each UK administrative ‘County’ (similar to a US state), there is a Lord-Lieutenant who is the permanent representative of the King or Queen in that County. In Gloucestershire, where Renishaw is based, there have been eight awards this year, ensuring that our own Lord-Lieutenant, Dame Janet Trotter, will be kept busy over the summer period at award ceremonies.
As has happened fourteen times before, representatives from Renishaw associated with the SP80 will also attend a special function in the grounds of Buckingham Palace during July, a special privilege that last year was enjoyed by two members of the design team for our TRS2 laser-based tool recognition system which won the same Innovations award in 2011.