Flann Microwave Marks 60 years of Success as Leading Manufacturer of Microwave Components

Flann Microwave has celebrated 60 years of success with an investment in a new Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) to further enhance the precision manufacturing and testing of its waveguide and calibration technology. Over the last six decades, Flann has secured a global reputation for innovation and the production of precision microwave and millimeter-wave passive waveguide components, sub-assemblies, calibration kits, and instrumentation to 500 GHz. The company is based in Bodmin, Cornwall, UK and has a team of 60 employees. They serve customers in the telecoms, government, automotive, aerospace, defense and research sectors, exporting more than 80 per cent of what they produce. Flann have worked with government agencies in the UK and overseas to write many of the standards used in the industry today.

Flann has already taken delivery of its new OGP CNC 300 CMM (coordinate measuring machine), which incorporates TTL (Thru The Lens) laser measurement and has a standard accuracy of +/-1.8um in XY & +/-2.4um in Z, although when used as a comparator, Flann expects to be able to realize +/-0.15um or better. It will enable engineers to automatically measure a part or assembly from an inspection program which can be written in conjunction with the engineering drawing, picking faces of the 3d model of the part and applying the geometric constraints and tolerances from the drawing.

Flann was founded in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, in 1956 by engineer Bernard Fleming, who took his experience in radar and combined this with a passion for innovation and insight into the potential of waveguide technology.

Some highlights of Flann over the last 60 years include:

  • Played a key role equipping the newly-built Goonhilly Earth Station, which received the first live transatlantic television broadcasts from the United States in 1962 - and Flann, is still supporting the facility more than 50 years on.
  • Developed the first computer-controlled waveguide attenuator – these measurement devices are used to test and calibrate microwave data links for phone and mobile networks and are used 24/7, 365 days a year by manufacturers all over the world.
  • Developed precision microwave standards used to calibrate measurements by National Metrology labs including NPL (UK), NIST (US) and most other countries.
  • Designer and manufacturer of specialist waveguide components used in airport-type security body scanners.
  • Involved in the manufacture, installation and test of precision waveguide equipment as part of the upgrade of the country’s Air Traffic Control Radar system. The 10-year project carried out by NATS, the UK’s air traffic management company, was completed in 2013 and involved upgrading or replacing all of the UK’s main 23 radar stations.

Flann Microwave