Archive for Manufacturing

Why Is Britain Outsourcing Contracts?

Posted in America, Britain, England, European Union, Government Spending, News, Politics, Royal Navy, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 07/10/2016 by floroy1942

Is the UK government going mad or what? I have read over the last year of major manufacturing projects being outsourced to foreign companies by the dozen. Looking for the cheapest option is not always a good thing, and it is killing our own manufacturing industry. Our steel industry was sold off to Tata, an Indian company some years ago, but why? I guess it was so the original directors and owners could make a handsome profit.

Our own steel industry is in dire straits having lost thousands of jobs over the past two years, and yet there is no help from the government. This loss of jobs was due to the government buying the cheap, state-subsidised Chinese steel.

Take for example the Hinkley Point nuclear plant that is being built. Why outsource it to France? Are our engineers not capable of building a nuclear power station? Why are we buying steel from China when our own steel industry is collapsing? If the contracts had been awarded to our own companies it would have saved thousands of jobs, and perhaps our steel industry as a whole.

And now yet another idiotic decision has been made by allowing France to supply the steel used to build a major part of our next fleet of nuclear submarines! A contract has been signed with French group Industeel to supply the steel used to build the pressure hull of our new Trident replacement.

In years gone by we had the greatest manufacturing industry in Europe but this has been whittled away by successive governments. Even our trains and busses are manufactured in Germany among many other things, and for what?

British manufacturing is slowly being strangled by so many contracts being given to foreign country’s. It is time the government did something to try and save our manufacturing  companies, for otherwise the entire industry will collapse completely. I live in hope that things will change – soon.

Roy.

The European Union – The Assassin That Is Killing Britain.

Posted in America, Britain, David Cameron, England, European Union, Germany, News, Parliament, Politics, Relationships with tags , , , , on 05/07/2016 by floroy1942

I received this from a friend today and thought it worth passing on to all those who think we should stay in the European Union. This shows the steady, and continuing destruction of Britain’s manufacturing base by the European Union. If this goes on we will be left with nothing.

Subject: Fw: EU grants – A few thoughts to ponder.

Cadbury moved factory to Poland 2011 with EU grant.

Ford Transit moved to Turkey 2013 with EU grant.

Jaguar Land Rover has recently agreed to build a new plant in Slovakia with EU grant, owned by Tata, the same company who have trashed our steel works and emptied the workers pension funds.

Peugeot closed its Ryton (was Rootes Group) plant and moved production to Slovakia with EU grant.

British Army’s new Ajax fighting vehicles to be built in SPAIN using SWEDISH steel at the request of the EU to support jobs in Spain with EU grant, rather than Wales.

Dyson gone to Malaysia, with an EU loan.

Crown Closures, Bournemouth (Was METAL BOX), gone to Poland with EU grant, once employed 1,200.

Marks & Spencer manufacturing gone to Far East with EU loan.

Hornby models gone. In fact all toys and models now gone from UK along with the patents, all with EU grants.

Gillette gone to eastern Europe with EU grant.

Texas Instruments Greenock gone to Germany with EU grant.

Indesit at Bodelwyddan Wales gone with EU grant.

Sekisui Alveo said production at its Merthyr Tydfil Industrial Park foam plant will relocate production to Roermond in the Netherlands, with EU funding.

Hoover Merthyr factory moved out of UK to Czech Republic and the Far East by Italian company Candy with EU backing.

ICI integration into Holland’s Akzo Nobel with EU bank loan and within days of the merger, several factories in the UK were closed, eliminating 3,500 jobs.

Boots sold to Italians Stefano Pessina who have based their HQ in Switzerland to avoid tax to the tune of £80 million a year, using an EU loan for the purchase.

JDS Uniphase run by two Dutch men, bought up companies in the UK with £20 million in EU ‘regeneration’ grants, created a pollution nightmare and just closed it all down leaving 1,200 out of work, and an environmental clean-up to be paid for by the UK tax-payer. They also raided the pension fund and drained it dry.

UK airports are owned by a Spanish company.

Scottish Power is owned by a Spanish company.

Most London buses are run by Spanish and German companies.

The Hinkley Point C nuclear power station to be built by French company EDF, part owned by the French government, using cheap Chinese steel that has catastrophically failed in other nuclear installations. Now EDF say the costs will be double or more and it will be very late, even if it does come online.

Swindon was once our producer of rail locomotives and rolling stock. Not any more, it’s Bombardier in Derby and due to their losses in the aviation market, that could see the end of the British railways manufacturing altogether even though Bombardier had EU grants to keep Derby going which they diverted to their loss-making aviation side in Canada.

39% of British invention patents have been passed to foreign companies, many of them in the EU.

The Mini cars that Cameron stood in front of as an example of British engineering, are built by BMW mostly in Holland and Austria. His campaign bus was made in Germany even though we have Plaxton, Optare, Bluebird, Dennis etc., in the UK.

The bicycle for the Greens was made in the Far East, not by Raleigh UK but then they are probably going to move to the Netherlands too as they have said recently.

Anyone who thinks the EU is good for British industry or any other business simply hasn’t paid attention to what has been systematic asset-stripping  from the UK.

Name me one major technology company still running in the UK, I used to contract out to many, then the work just dried up as they were sold off to companies from France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, etc., and now we don’t even teach electronic technology for technicians any more, due to EU regulations.

I haven’t detailed our non-existent fishing industry the EU paid to destroy, nor the farmers being paid NOT to produce food they could sell for more than they get paid to do nothing, don’t even go there.

I haven’t mentioned what it costs us to be asset-stripped like this, nor have I mentioned immigration, nor the risk to our security if control of our armed forces is passed to Brussels or Germany.

I tried to find something that’s gone the other way, but I just can’t. If you think the EU is a good idea:

1 You haven’t read the party manifesto of The European Peoples’ Party.

2 You haven’t had to deal with EU petty bureaucracy tearing your business down.

What a huge mess! The sooner we get out the better, for soon all our assets will have been stripped away with the help of the European Union.

Roy.

Is Your Car On The Recall List?

Posted in America, Britain, Canada, European Union, Germany, Modern World, News, Traffic, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 04/05/2016 by floroy1942

With the massive recall of cars of various makes across the world it is evident that manufacturing ‘ain’t what it used to be’.

Takata Airbag Failures - Up To 2015

Takata Airbag Failures – Up To 2015

After the Takata airbag recall, which to date numbers 28.8 million and with a further 40 million suspected units, car manufacturers have been inundated with vehicle recalls for one problem after another.

When you look at the annual recall figures the numbers are astounding: Ford: 434,000 vehicles, General Motors: 4.8 million vehicles, Toyota: 6.4 million vehicles, Nissan: 1 million vehicles, Volkswagen: 160,351 vehicles, Honda: 900,000 vehicles, Tesla: 29,000, BMW: 232,000 vehicles. These are the figures from 2015 and it makes you wonder if its worth buying a car at all.

This year the numbers are far exceeding the totals for 2015 with the Volkswagen and Mitsubishi scandals among other things. Volkswagen recalls have already gone through the roof this year, what with the emissions scandal. As you can see from the photo, only one CEO has resigned. For me it should be all of them.

It is worth remembering that Volkswagen also covers companies controlled by them such as Audi, Seat and Skoda. So far as Mitsubishi is concerned, they have manipulated fuel usage figures inflating mileage results on at least 625,000 vehicles.

One thing is sure, this year many more recalls will happen for one reason or another. It makes me wonder if its worth buying a car at all, perhaps we should go back to the horse as a form of transport.

We are So Very Sorry!

We are So Very Sorry!

The main reason for all these problems is in my view manufacturers wanting to cut production costs just so they can make more profit. There can be little doubt that the age of proper quality in manufactured goods is long gone. Even if you buy an i-Phone these days the projected life is just three years, that is presuming you have no problems within that time frame. So what does that tell you?

When I worked for Rank Xerox many years ago as a quality control inspector, it was my job to tour the production line and carry out tests on various parts that would be built into machines. On many occasions I found defective parts and wanted to have them removed so they wouldn’t end up in copy machines. Each time I was over-ruled by the production managers and the parts still went into the machines. I believe today the situation is far worse.

Takata Airbag Exploding

Takata Airbag Exploding With Shrapnel

It has been shown that some bad parts contained in cars like the Takata airbags, can actually kill or seriously injure the driver. In other cases defective brakes, steering, and even cruise controls have been responsible for deaths.  Thankfully they are very few, but many people have been injured by defective car parts.

Manufacturers don’t care if they get sued by the relatives of drivers who get killed by faulty parts, why should they, for the payout out is probably less than 0.00000001% of their total profits for the year!

Is it not time that governments started clamping down on manufacturing by insisting that these companies get back to the old system of proper quality control? They still call it ‘quality control’ today but it is a shadow of what it once was because the almighty profit must come first. Companies today don’t care a damn if what you buy breaks down so long as it lasts longer than the guarantee period.

The Truth Of It All!

The Truth Of It All!

My wife bought an Apple laptop some time ago and she had endless problems with it. Apple changed it three times for a ‘supposed’ new one which in actual fact turned out to be one that had been refurbished.  It would seem that companies will do just about anything these days to increase their profits. And when you look at it closely, it’s all about making the ‘fat cats’ fatter!

So what of the future? Well, the way things are going at present it looks like it will only get worse!

Roy.

Can You Trust Your New Car?

Posted in America, Britain, Canada, England, Environment, Europe, Modern World, News, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 24/10/2015 by floroy1942
Martin Winterkorn CEO Of VW - Is That It? - No Accountability?

Martin Winterkorn CEO Of VW – Is That It? – No Accountability?

Car manufacturer recalls are becoming normal these days as one after another, customers find faults with their new vehicles. The biggest scandal to hit the manufacturing industry currently is of course the Volkswagen emissions cheat that has put the company in an unenviable position.

Emissions Test

Emissions Test

This scandal is not directly dangerous to those in the vehicle for they have been fitting parts to cars that cheat the emission regulations and this act not only affects Volkswagen but also Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, and overseas-brands SEAT and Skoda. So from this you can gather that a great many vehicles have been affected.

The sad thing is that air pollution has become a major worry today with the number of vehicles on our roads which are causing many diseases like cancer among those who breathe in the fumes daily. From this you can understand that cheating an emissions test is putting people’s health at risk, although not directly. But Volkswagen are not the only ones, for many other companies have had to recall their products for one reason or another.

New cars cost a fortune these days, but sadly times have changed for it is difficult to have 100% faith in what you have bought. Eleven vehicle manufacturers have issued recalls because of faulty Takata airbags in their vehicles that have killed more than 10 people and caused the recall of 34 million vehicles. Drivers were killed when a faulty airbag exploded in front of them and sent shrapnel into their face and bodies.

Result Of Toyota Gas Pedal Fault

Result Of Toyota Gas Pedal Fault

Among some of the worst problems associated with manufacturing errors were the Toyota ‘out-of-control’ gas pedal in 2009 and 2010 which resulted in 30 deaths. In 1980 Ford recalled more than 21 million cars for a fault that allowed the gearbox to slip from ‘Park’ into ‘Reverse’ causing more than 6,000 accidents, 1,700 injuries and 98 deaths. In 1995 car makers Honda, Nissan, Chrysler, Mitsubishi, GM, Mazda, Suzuki, Subaru and Isuzu were caught out by a seatbelt failure where the release button jammed and people were trapped in the car by their seatbelts. Since 1980 a total of 50 million cars have had to be recalled by the manufacturers for serious defects.

These are all manufacturing faults that are causing problems for motorists across the world. It makes me wonder how far this trend will go? Are we at some time in the future going to be travelling at 120kph down a motorway when one or all four wheels fall off the car?  It makes you wonder.

VolkswagenIt is a sad indictment of today’s world that manufacturers will take any risk to save a few pounds to increase their profits. Years ago when I was young you bought something knowing you would get literally years of use out of the product because it was made properly without any shortcuts, or as today, a built-in life of a year or maybe two if you are lucky.

The main problem is that people today are fixated on money, and the more they have the more they want. All manufacturing companies take shortcuts, or use items in the manufacture of their product that they know will have a limited life.

I worked for a well-known copier manufacturer in years gone by as a Quality Test Engineer and carried out tests on parts used in the machines to see how long they would last. I also carried out quality tests on products being used to build the machines on the manufacturing line. Many times I found unsatisfactory parts, but was overruled by management who went ahead and fitted them anyway.

Faulty Airbag

Faulty Airbag

That was a long time ago, but now the situation is even worse, as indicated by the use of the Takata airbags which obviously had not been quality tested sufficiently. It is an epidemic where manufacturers concentrate on profit instead of reliability, for they do not care if what you bought breaks down after one year, because they know people these days will just go out and buy a new one. Such is modern life and the sad thing is, no-one seems to be held accountable.

Roy.

China’s Involvement In Western Unemployment

Posted in America, Britain, Europe, Immigrants, Modern World, UK, USA with tags , , , , , on 02/11/2012 by floroy1942

Just take a look at the label on things you buy these days, anything from a coffee machine to designer clothes, and almost 90% of the time it will say, ‘Made In China’. There can be little doubt that the Chinese manufacturing sector is booming thanks to western companies, and has been for at least the last ten years. In the meantime unemployment rates in most western countries are climbing to an almost unsustainable level, and anyone with half a brain must see there is a link there somewhere.

Apple Production Line China

Apple Production Line China

I took a look at the box for my new iPhone 4S today and sure enough, it was assembled in China. Clothes my wife buys in well-known designer shops all carry a label saying made in China, and sometimes Taiwan, Malaysia and even Thailand.

While this may be good for company profits, it does nothing for the living standards of those who slave away day after day in the Chinese factories.

In many western countries people are beginning to blame the influx of immigrants for taking away national jobs, and naturally this is a factor, but by comparison to China’s contribution it is minimal. But before anyone starts waving the big stick at China we must analyze why manufacturing for western companies has moved to this communist country. The simple answer is economics! But to be honest, you have to dig much deeper to find the real reason, and those responsible. The short answer to that is we are ourselves to blame.

During the seventies and eighties trade unions were the strongest they have ever been, and never a year went by without some union or other going on strike for more pay, less working hours etc. etc. I admit freely that in some situations their demands were quite legitimate, but most were highly out of order. It is true that in many cases the union demands were based on high profits being made by the employing companies, but high profits generate growth and more employment whereas the reverse is true when profits are low. A look at history will show clearly that this incessant demand for higher and higher wages in the western manufacturing sector has generated the need of companies to examine their options for cheaper labour costs.

Designer Clothes Made In China

Designer Clothes Made In China

For manufacturers it is a “Catch 22” situation whereby if they raise their prices to cover the extra labour costs the items became too expensive, the market slumps and down go the profits needed for investment. Also, if prices went up the unions would be back demanding more money and it became a self-defeating exercise in futility. So to a certain extent it was our own fault that companies started looking overseas for a cheaper manufacturing process.

When you consider that the average wage paid by western companies to Chinese workers is something like a dollar a day, whereas in the west that would be a fraction of the hourly payment for a worker, you can see how it makes economic sense to  move your manufacturing base to such countries. Even adding on the extra shipping costs of the raw materials and the finished product it still comes out far cheaper than our own labour.

Unemployment Lines In Spain

Unemployment Lines In Spain

It is inevitable that as American and European manufacturing costs rise, more and more companies will see the sense in turning over their manufacturing processes to Far Eastern countries like China where goods can be either made, or as in Apple’s case assembled, in any country on the other side of the globe at a tiny fraction of the cost.

This will inevitably result in even more job losses in the future and with it will come increased unrest, but when push comes to shove, we will have no-one to blame but ourselves. It is all a sad fact of life that workers today must face up to, even though the truth may hurt.

Roy.

Size Frustration

Posted in Britain, England, Europe, Germany, Insanity, Modern World, Spain, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , , , on 11/09/2011 by floroy1942

Have you ever tried on a pair of trousers or skirt in a shop, and found the darned things don’t fit, even though its your size? A common enough problem for shoppers all over the world. From a recent article, it seems manufacturers in all countries tailor their wares for a set of sizes applicable (or perhaps most flattering) to their population.

Size 34, But My Size Is 32

It seems that e.g; an American size 34 would be the equivalent of a size 30 in France, because the French are naturally slimmer than their American counterparts. Britain and Germany etc. fall somewhere in between. Its the same with shoes, where no two manufacturers seem to agree on a standard size. In the clothes business, there are even major differences between shops on the same High Street. What is a size 32 in Top Shop will be a size 30 in say D&G.

This Towel Is Too Big!

This mis-matching of size is wide spread, and covers anything from shoes to bed sheets, dresses to pillow cases and coats to pillows. Bed sheets are a favourite pet hate of mine, for some have an enormous tuck-in , almost twice the size of the bed, while others have virtually none. I mean, really, a king size bed is a king size bed, is a king size bed, if you get my drift.

I also find it extremely annoying when I buy pillows for example, and have to make do with a pillow case almost twice as wide. Its like the pillow case manufacturers just decided to make a bag thingy but couldn’t think what for, and then someone had the bright idea they may do as a covering for pillows

This One Is Too Small

Try buying a bath towel for instance! In one shop it wouldn’t cover your errhhum!, while another is the size of a bed sheet and hides all your best features! While size differences may be a good thing for some people, it can mean an extremely frustrating problem for the shopper. Personally, I think it’s time for all manufacturers to get together and decide on a world-wide size system for all these important items. It sure would make life easier for the lowly buyers!

Roy.

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