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Andy Y

Hornby 2015 Announcements now made

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When folk say Hornby should return to the UK, are these the same people that tell RMweb members who build things that they are elitist? So who is to man Hornby UK Manufacturing plc........Imported Chinese labour?  Like a good few on here, I am old enough to have lived through the turmoil that wrecked manufacturing in this country. But that was a long time ago and the children and grandchildren have lived through 'softer' times and are not equipped or even motivated to do certain jobs today. Just a thought.

Edited by coachmann

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 the children and grandchildren have lived through 'softer' times and are not equipped or even motivated to do certain jobs today. Just a thought.

 

Whenever I talk to manufacturers and the education sector, I hear that every apprenticeship scheme is over-subscribed by a factor of one hundred.  

 

My daughter's recently embarked on a four year Chemical Engineering degree.

 

And I stopped trusting the Daily Mail a number of years ago.

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When folk say Hornby should return to the UK, are these the same people that tell RMweb members who build things that they are elitist? So who is to man Hornby UK Manufacturing plc........Imported Chinese labour?  Like a good few on here, I am old enough to have lived through the turmoil that wrecked manufacturing in this country. But that was a long time ago and the children and grandchildren have lived through 'softer' times and are not equipped or even motivated to do certain jobs today. Just a thought.

 

When you start mentioning things like: a Tinman's Jenny, English Wheel, breaches piece, double curvature etc.. Some people think your are talking a Foreign Language!!

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When you start mentioning things like: a Tinman's Jenny, English Wheel, breaches piece, double curvature etc.. Some people think your are talking a Foreign Language!!

 

The past is a Foreign Country.  Talk to the eager-to-learn about Pano-Views, CGI, rapid-prototyping and 3D-printing instead.

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But that was a long time ago and the children and grandchildren have lived through 'softer' times and are not equipped or even motivated to do certain jobs today. Just a thought.

 

... Not that they're ever going to get the chance to find out. :nono:

 

Last time i checked the figures, there were approx 2.5m unemployed (+ all the other 'disenfranchised*' jobseekers) & 0.5m jobs available. Do the math.

 

* ie, anyone syphoned/massaged off to make the figure appear not so bad.

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You may be right, that their business model is fundamentally flawed. I would actually consider parts of it to be short-sighted (and Hornby's strategy of putting all its eggs into a single manufacturing basket was obviously flawed, even before that factory was bought by its main competitor's holding company).

 

The alternative implied by your post (keep manufacturing in the UK) was, according to all the data we have seen (and Jason Schron has been particularly helpful with data for Rapido) utterly unsustainable - the price rises would have made current Hornby prices look modest while the quality would have been very much poorer.

 

If they didn't go to China, what should Hornby and Bachmann have done?

 

Paul

Good points on both sides.#496 and #497

 

Hornbys major issue was putting all eggs in one basket. A more balanced approach to Chinese manufacturing might have been better . They moved everything to China, some items eg track and low manpower intensive items could still have been made in this country. Don't Peco still manufacture track in this country? Peco are not more expensive than Hornby , in fact their setrack is priced lower. In addition I would have invested in or bought a Chinese manufacturer to secure my supply chain. They tried to do it latterly with Sanda Kan, realising too late they were over a barrel. They were too greedy going for the fast buck and outsourced all manufacturing. One essential difference with Rapido is that I believe they own their Chinese facility, as do Oxford Diecast, so exercising control. Hornby have clearly lost control of its supply chain.

 

Interesting points over on MREmag last Wednesday where Airfix were in process of bringing back manufacturing to UK for better control over supplies. And before someone interjects , they did go bust but because of Mecanno , the railway division was profitable.

Edited by Legend

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My sentiments entirely, with the introduction of the MK1s I would say this is a must for 2016 unless Hornby surprise us !!!!

 

And a Blue grey range of Mk1s without lights please

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When you start mentioning things like: a Tinman's Jenny, English Wheel, breaches piece, double curvature etc.. Some people think your are talking a Foreign Language!!

But that's easily solved. Education, education, education.

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Last time i checked the figures, there were approx 2.5m unemployed (+ all the other 'disenfranchised*' jobseekers) & 0.5m jobs available. Do the math.

That implies that there are 2 million people out there to do the new jobs that are created for them.

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Hi,

For those believing manufacturing en-masse can return to the UK.

I had a look at the Chinese Government website which enforces the Chinese Minimum Wage.

http://www.clb.org.hk/en/content/wages-china

 

 

It had a really interesting graph on actual labour costs - the Chinese Minimum represents around 40-60% of total monthly earnings depending on employer. 

In the area where Hornby and most other Train manufacturers are based the Monthly Minimum Wage is £133 pounds. And this despite an 80% rise in wages since 2009, with a further increase planned through to 2016.

 

Now £133 - That's the gross figure - before any tax, and accommodation and food costs an employer might deduct (remember most workers live in dorms of 10 people for 11 months of the year whilst they work).

 

Ok, living costs and expectations are lower.

 

But ignoring those factors because we are only really talking about the cost of manufacturing a model train - Can we really expect to pay people any where near this low rate and manufacture anything requiring a high level of labour?

The only way manufacture can return to the UK for high labour items like model trains is either - much higher cost, lower specification or a blended manufacturing approach where the heavy labour jobs happen in China and we undertake the low labour costs work.

 

Oh - just remembered the BBC did a Photo story on the old Scalextric factory in 2001???

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/picture_gallery/05/in_pictures_toy_story/html/10.stm

 

Picture 10 shows the dorms and the monthly wages for an average factory worker then.

Edited by GWRtrainman

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Whenever I talk to manufacturers and the education sector, I hear that every apprenticeship scheme is over-subscribed by a factor of one hundred.  

 

My daughter's recently embarked on a four year Chemical Engineering degree.

 

And I stopped trusting the Daily Mail a number of years ago.

I haven't bought daily papers since 1963 and I am pleased the apprenticeship schemes are over-oversubscribed........There aren't enough brickies and odd carriers for starters. People take for granted what is around them and it is their norm. The norm when I was a young man in the 1950s was little different from 50 years before and I actually asked for a job coal-bagging simply because it was days and allowed me to cover my commitments with the pop group in the evenings. I earned twice as much with the group but parents in those days were conditioned into thinking popular music or acting weren't real jobs. If I had mentioned going into model painting full time I would have been laughed out of the room, but conditions had changed by the time i eventually did. But we digress, and I still wonder who in this country is equipped to assemble Hornby railway models. Maybe all the railway modellers worthy of the title should move to Margate in readiness!  :biggrin_mini2:

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You say you are listening Hornby so prove it !! To make some friends would it not be possible for Hornby to re-run the models that were so short the first time around and satisfy the proven demand ? I am thinking of the locomotive Exeter and the Southern Bogie B Passenger Brake Van in SR Sage Green Livery (R4535) both of which I missed out on. I am sure other forum members can come up with other products that are no longer available due to under production.

 

Regards Stephen.

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I haven't bought daily papers since 1963 and I am pleased the apprenticeship schemes are over-oversubscribed........There aren't enough brickies and odd carriers for starters. People take for granted what is around them and it is their norm. The norm when I was a young man in the 1950s was little different from 50 years before and I actually asked for a job coal-bagging simply because it was days and allowed me to cover my commitments with the pop group in the evenings. I earned twice as much with the group but parents in those days were conditioned into thinking popular music or acting weren't real jobs. If I had mentioned going into model painting full time I would have been laughed out of the room, but conditions had changed by the time i eventually did. But we digress, and I still wonder who in this country is equipped to assemble Hornby railway models. Maybe all the railway modellers worthy of the title should move to Margate in readiness!  :biggrin_mini2:

I wouldn't move to Margate just yet as they are apparently selling the factory! So what's left of the Original Hornby..........the name?

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But of course, Legend, the Hornby name actually belongs in a factory in Liverpool.

 

I haven't contributed to this thread up till now, and it seems to be drifting off topic a bit.

 

I'm pretty pleased with the Hornby 2015 announcements, mainly the S15.

 

However, there definitely seems to be a conscious effort by Hornby to ignore some of the more obvious livery options for their existing tooling. I've been patiently waiting for years for them to produce the Class 31 in plain green with the headcode box, and GSYP with headcode disks. Also, a King Arthur late crest with 6-wheeled tender and late crest Schools with original chimney would be nice, and a loco-drive Flying Scotsman as preserved in 1963. As for the Class 31s in golden ochre, light blue, green with double arrows, blue pre-TOPS, well, I gave up and got the Lima ones, even though I would have thought they would make ideal Collectors Club models.

 

But then, you only have to watch The Apprentice to see the kind of people who think they are fit to run a business, and I'm not just referring to the contestants.

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Oh, and I forgot - there are about four chimney and tender permutations of BR era Castles that haven't been done yet, too.

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Lol like it locoholic and tend to agree on your views on people fit to run a business.

 

I think an issue maybe that Hornby either don't have access to their old tooling or it needs modification before it can be produced by new vendors. This would account for the lack of "obvious livery options" on existing tooling. Going back to the new range of Pullmans , I can only assume the original tools are not available , hence the new range. The current Pullmans are available from Hattons at "bargain" price of £25.

 

Yes would quite fancy a single chimney Castle with Collet tender and late BR crest, sort of like the original H-D Bristol Castle . As far as I know a combination that Hornby hasn't produced yet

Edited by Legend

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The

) 3. Disband workforce in GB that is capable of operating such factory. 4. Once British based company is committed to only buying Chinese- massively increase your costs, slow your production time and THE IMPORTANT BIT: HAVE MANUFACTURERS ***BID*** FOR PRODUCTION SLOTS. If company A is prepared to pay more than company B- then company B doesn't get its models made.

 

 

 

 

Hi Paul

 

There is an argument to support that viewpoint (that UK manufacturing is unsustainable). However, that assumes that the disparity of production costs stayed the same as they were previously.

For example, when I was last in this hobby 1990s- £35 would buy you a top link model. I can see how that would not be sustainable in 2014 UK production prices. However, Hornby (and our Italian friends at Lima) were making profit back then. Then in the quest for MORE profit they went to China where they could probably DOUBLE their profit margin for the same retail price.

 

 

The fact is that Hornby's Margate factory was never capable of producing models to the same standard as the likes of Kader was the real reason why production was moved to China. Bachmann were becoming a major competitor because they were producing models that were a much higher standard than Hornby's, but at the same price. I remember how reviewers were constantly stating how the paint finish/printing on even old Hornby models was much better when they started to be produced in China, because of the modern techniques that they use. Don't forget that Chinese factories have been producing high quality models since the 70s when Hornby were still producing "hey lets re-use this bogie/chassis from another model as it has the same number of wheels" type models.

 

Now, Hornby could have invested in modern production techniques in their own factories, but we would have ended up with Fleischman etc. price levels which UK modellers wouldn't have tolerated, so they had no real choice other than to move production to China.

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I haven't bought daily papers since 1963 and I am pleased the apprenticeship schemes are over-oversubscribed........There aren't enough brickies and odd carriers for starters. People take for granted what is around them and it is their norm. The norm when I was a young man in the 1950s was little different from 50 years before and I actually asked for a job coal-bagging simply because it was days and allowed me to cover my commitments with the pop group in the evenings. I earned twice as much with the group but parents in those days were conditioned into thinking popular music or acting weren't real jobs. If I had mentioned going into model painting full time I would have been laughed out of the room, but conditions had changed by the time i eventually did. But we digress, and I still wonder who in this country is equipped to assemble Hornby railway models. Maybe all the railway modellers worthy of the title should move to Margate in readiness!  :biggrin_mini2:

Plenty of decent brickies round here Coach - mind you at least half of 'em speak have a native language which until not so many years ago was very firmly stuck in the eastern Bloc.  And there are plenty of un/semi-skilled jobs going, almost invariably filled by European immigrants because many of the local unskilled aren't over keen on working for wages that aren't really enough to live on.

 

The big problem with this country is that we have de-skilled over education system, done away with readily obtainable access to tech colleges and evening course and created a large skills gap while at the same time reducing to taxi driving people like a chap I know who is a skilled, time served, toolmaker.  You cannot go creating high skill demanding industry - such as model railway manufacture involving injection moulding - without an appropriate skill base.

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Surely that's not a coincidence. Trewavas and Kelly due out next year no doubt.

 

Whilst on this subject, I was in Modelzone in WH Smith in Reading today, and was amused to see in the display cabinet a Hornby Industrial 0-4-0 for "Transatlantic Industries" and next to it another 0-4-0 for "Gildenlow Salt".

 

I can only presume the latter was a guest of the former for live performances.

 

Looks like Hornby may be more Prog than just Marillion.

 

Best Regards,

 

ZG.

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With regard to Vietnam, Pentax lenses were being made there in the early 1990s. They were one of the smaller Japanese manufacturers.

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Easy to say Hornby are returning to UK, not so easy to actually achieve.

 

I dare say a lot of skills went, when Triang stopped making stuff at Margate.

 

Once your skill goes, then the machines (assets) get sold off pretty quickly too. It's a generation thing, once you break the skill generation, then it's pretty much lost forever. 

 

However....

 

There's no reason why Hornby can't assemble stuff here. Make it elsewhere, and assemble, and final QC in the UK. I have a Hornby 52xx box here, and it mentions Hornby, and Margate, but not, made in China.....

 

I wonder how many people on Planet Thanet have actually seen an injection machine, let alone work & support one.

 

I've had the 'pleasure' of setting up a high speed production line from scratch. Believe me, it's a big ask, and it can take months, or years. Someone has to pay for that, and unless Hornby can tap into government backed development money, it's unlikely to happen in the UK.

 

Ian

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That implies that there are 2 million people out there to do the new jobs that are created for them.

 

All that is needed then is someone to create 2+ million jobs & we#re sorted.  :banghead:

 

By the time that ever happened, there'd be another few million more thrown on the scrapheap made redundant - + god knows how many more economic migrants...... 

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One of the things to remember is that educated and skilled are not the same. The UK has a lot of very well educated people but also an acute skilled shortage and apparent contradictions where skilled craftspeople can earn considerably more than degree qualified professional staff as a result of the laws of supply and demand. When I worked in electricity skilled coded welders who could both pass the NDE and weld inspection and also do it quickly were as rare as the proverbial and paid silly money in the outage season. I'm talking about the high end welders, not the run of the mills guys. Where I work considerably less than half of the staff are British and the immigrants are paid the same salaries as British workers in addition to recieving relocation, having their immigration/legal costs funded etc, which is not cheap. We are currently advertising for a number of posts and have recieved one application from a British native which I find a bit depressing. The roles we are recruiting for carry salaries in the range £40 - 70k so are not minimum wage. Quite how we have ended up with simultaneous high unemployment and an acute skills shortage is a long and complex story I think (not helped in the 1990's by creating a culture where everybody had to have a degree and writing off traditional vocational training as being for those too dim for university) but this apparent contradiction is a very real one in my experience.

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One of the things to remember is that educated and skilled are not the same.

Yep my sister inlaws both have degrees, they can work out the internal volume of a pickle jar but they can't open it.

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Whilst on this subject, I was in Modelzone in WH Smith in Reading today, and was amused to see in the display cabinet a Hornby Industrial 0-4-0 for "Transatlantic Industries" and next to it another 0-4-0 for "Gildenlow Salt".

 

I can only presume the latter was a guest of the former for live performances.

 

Looks like Hornby may be more Prog than just Marillion.

 

Best Regards,

 

ZG.

 

If Hornby are doing some of their small tank engines in Prog names thats a stroke of genius! Bet someone at Hornby loves that little attention to detail for a train aimed for the toy sector, but little chuckle over those that notice too.

 

Admit I didnt look at them as I never needed to. Might just take an interest now, especially given how good some of the acts are!

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