A great team in engineering: Sir David McMurtry and John Deer

Uploaded by InstituteofPhysics on 17.10.2012

John Deer: I came from a small town in the Swansea valley and I did an engineering apprenticeship
Sir David McMurty: I was determined I was going to go into a career in the aircraft industry but I applied for a job in what is now Rolls-Royce. So I was about 33 when I was deputy chief designer and that was the time that we started Renishaw
Deer: David and I met in the library of Rolls-Royce and he described a product that he'd invented
Sir David: I thought well here's a person who is obviously bright, obviously got the energy and wants to do something so I thought this is the man I have to try and convince
Deer: He showed it to me on the shop floor and both of us decided that this is a product that we can sell. David's strength is that he's a great innovator as well as designer
Sir David: Well John's strengths is always commercial nouce. He has a great skill of organising things so they can get made
Deer: Renishaw started in March 1973 and was based in my home. The garage was the machine shop, dining room the office and my 4th bedroom was assembly
Deer: So we carried on for 3 years and then subsequently moved to Woodland Redge in 1976
Sir David: The areas of science which we are active in is metrology which is the science of measurement
Sir David: The first product came about was purely by accident I think. In my role at Rolls Royce as deputy chief designer I was asked to solve a problem that occurred on the shop floor and they had a quarter measure machine trying to measure if a instrumentation pipe of a concord engine. The machine they had, had a solid probe on the end so when you actually pushed it against it, to contact it, to measure it. It pushed it out of the way and of course they couldn't get sensible readings
Sir David: The way to get accuracy out of the probe was to design a probe that when it touches the object at the instance of touch it freeze the coordinates, the measurements and that was achieved by using electrical contacts through a series of contact points within it. So that when you touched it one of them was removed and you processed the signal
Deer: We were going to be selling to big companies who had absolutely failed to solve the problem of manufacturing a sensor capable of being used on their machines
Deer: So we had no problem whatsoever in introducing the product to the major companies in America, Japan and indeed Italy and the UK
Deer: Research and development is absolutely crucial to Renishaw. If you have strong patents you can charge what the product is worth, rather than competing with another company which drives the price down
Deer: Distry board is for the company is for the company and that's what makes me really proud
Sir David: It puts the company in the spotlight
Deer: I think people love working here. They come in, in the morning. They pass the lake. See the ducks and swans and I think it gives them a good feeling