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Re: Hornby - sign of the times

Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:08 am
by Bigmet
Well that's one view. Some of us have worked in the UK on cutting edge tech, which is still sold all around the world. But it doesn't employ the people who believe in adjustment by sledge hammer, and are unwilling to keep up. I had the joyful task of trying to persuade a couple of UK business to implement six-sigma quality assurance. They didn't want to, it was too much trouble, 'the way we have always done it is good enough' etc. from board level all the way down to production level. Both gone, total failures, all the UK manufacturing jobs lost.

Re: Hornby - sign of the times

Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:42 pm
by senorsenales
I couldn't agree more Bigmet, but in the sixties there developed a huge customer demand which British industry couldn't, or wouldn't, try and keep up with, some for the reasons you example. There is no doubt that some of what we have left is of a very high quality, but we lost a whole lot more.

Built in obsolesence comes with modern equipment far beyond the capabilities of the ordinary home mechanic, not because it is of poorer quality, its just more difficult to fix when it goes wrong! - and of course they stop holding the parts you want when they seem to get over a certain age.

The reasons that older things seem to keep going is that they were relatively simple and, if they went wrong, could be fixed at the roadside if required. As the previous owner of three Morris Minor 1000's over the years, they were certainly fixable by the most hamfisted mechanic (me), but today I am restricted to exchanging the oil because I don't have a linkup computer to tell me what has gone wrong!.

Re: Hornby - sign of the times

Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 8:53 pm
by D605Eagle
With proper managment and no accountants on the board, any business can flourish. Just look at JCB on how to do it properly. We digress anyway.......
I believe that Hornby just go away with making any old rubbish they could as they had zero competition through most of the 60's and 70's. Lima's appereance did nothing to make them sit up and take note. When Airfix and Mainline started to get a strong foothold in the UK Hornby didn't have the technical ability or the money to upgrade its range for a very long time. Taking the gamble of making the rebuilt MN to a high standard built in China literally saved the company, they sold in excess of 30k units in the first year. The way the costs of manufacturing and transport are rising UK manufacturing is slowly becoming more favourable again, and Hornby keeping hold of the factory in Margate instead of flogging it off for yet more house building might prove to be a canny move in 5-10 years time.

Re: Hornby - sign of the times

Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:25 pm
by martin_l_jones
Interestingly, although driven by German and Japanese owners the BMW plant at Oxford and the Nissan plant in Sunderland in terms of quality and production output is at the highest level in the automotive industry worldwide.

It's not all doom and gloom..

Re: Hornby - sign of the times

Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:26 pm
by martin_l_jones
Just bought the Hornby Stobart Class 92, mmm

What a load of ....

Re: Hornby - sign of the times

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:09 am
by GWR_fan
Hornby was once held in esteem, post war , but was only available to those with the money to spend. Along came Triang-Rovex who produced what then was a very cheap nasty train set, to appeal from a low cost point to those post-war families who had little to spend on food and necessities let alone 'entertainment'. Triang-Rovex found a niche market and prospered. Give the market what they are prepared to pay for - cheap and nasty. It was not long before Triang-Rovex was knocking on Hornby's door and determining Hornby's future. Gone were the days of 'quality', replaced by what the market wanted - affordable!

Triang tried to hide their past under the rug by changing their name to Hornby to disguise their past and trade on Hornby's reputation for quality. That ploy still exists today and people still think "Hornby", oh yes they made quality trains. I was truly surprised after fifty years away from Hornby (Triang) how nothing has changed. The old Triang designs/tooling still existed into the 1990's and only moving to China really had any impact on Hornby's future. I believe one Hornby loco steam outline body has not been upgraded since the original Triang 1960's tooling. A lot of the drives still bear resemblance to 1960's chassis designs.

Tim

Re: Hornby - sign of the times

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:49 am
by kristopher1805
Yes we have come a long way, still back to Hornby, they make some truly excellent steam loco models but have managed to confuse themselves in a number of places, the model ranges are all over the place and some sets are a big strange but a bargain can be found.

Without a doubt in terms of reliability Hornby steamers are better than Bachmann although of course there are exceptions (I am here talking about running and load haulage and electro-mechanical reliability) the worst problems being weak valve gear.
Black 5, Patriot/Scot, Brit/Clan, N15, new B1, 4f(shame it has traction tyres) are all great models, some of the newer models or those recently revamped run nicely too such as the 2P and the D49 Railroad is a pleasant surprise, The 4-6-0 County is great value. Still Hornby spoil it with falling out NEM sockets all over the place (usually most inaccessible place then the loco comes round, runs over its own coupling and the gremlins come out in force - crash! Drawbars are all different I just hope they now keep to the D49/2P/B1 format - there was nothing wrong with the old Dublo system after all. My Tornado A1 is pretty good too and the haulage capacity of Hornby locos is really good, the B1's haul 15 Wrenn wagons over my 1 in 33 grades and not even notice them so credit where its due.

Lets have more like the B1 Hornby and sort out the problems, In this regard I support any manufacturer who has a go and we need them both, the British OO market has its limitations in market size and this will always cause higher unit cost over the life of the product, Hornby do well for us and without them we would all be much the poorer and not just financially. OK so now get the O1 out - please!