Return to 1970-1974

Vision 090

The Duke of Beaufort, KG, Lord
Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, paid
a visit to Mitcheldean Plant on
June 15. After his initial reception by
members of top management in
Mr Portman’s office, the Duke’s first
call was on Design Engineering
where he was introduced to Rank
Xerox machines. Our picture shows
Ken Fox, 4000 Design Manager (far
left), demonstrating the results that
can be obtained on a 4000 machine,
With the Duke are Director of
Engineering Stan Pratt and
Engineering Design Manager Tony
Burke (far right). Our distinguished
visitor also toured production areas
and was shown round the Supply
Centre. (See page 2 for story and
more pictures.)
B e l o w : Phil Bennett (Paint Shop) meets
the Duke again — they met once before at a
Guildhall function in Gloucester in 1947.
B o t t om p i c t u r e : Sandra Snell. in charge
of the Technical Library, shows the Duke the
wide range of Standards kept. ‘He seemed
particularly interested in the work we do ‘
she told us.
The Duke in 4000 Assembly copy quality area with Ken Horrobin, Assistant Manager,
and Training Supervisor Don Holder (centre). Don demonstrated the capabilities of
the machine — the Duke thought the results ‘fantastic’.
Lord Lieutenant of the County of
Gloucestershire, bearer of one of the
oldest offices of the Crown as Master
of the Horse, Chancellor of Bristol
University — the Duke of Beaufort’s
titles make impressive reading.
But the keynote of his visit to
Mitcheldean on June 15 was
informality; he displayed a keen
interest in our products and obvious
enjoyment in meeting Plant people
during his tour.
He was joined at lunch by some 55
people, including members of the
Long Service Association,
representatives of the unions, and
personnel involved in local
government and community relations.
Derek Portman, Director of
Manufacturing Group, welcomed the
Duke to our Plant which, he said, ‘is
responsible for the support, one way
or another, of 50 per cent of the
population in the immediate region.
Between us, we are responsible for
personal spending in this area of
some £ 7 i million a year.’
Mitcheldean, he said, had been the
base for an expansion which would
shortly embrace six factories in five
different countries.
The Duke, who received our
congratulations on his Golden
Wedding anniversary the day before,
much appreciated the display of his
coat of arms (motto : Mutare vel
timere sperno — I scorn to change or
fear). He said he was ‘greatly
impressed’ by the Plant and he
wished us continued progress and
The Duke walks through the Auto Plating area with John Court, Manager,
Component Manufacturing (Finishing) and (behind him) Mr Portman.
Chief Henry and l\Ars Fajimorol<:un visiting 4000 Assembly. Looking at a 4000 machine with
them are (from the left) Dennis Dickinson, leading hand on mechanical run. Manager Ralph
Zimmermann, General Manager Peter Salmon. Graham Ravenhall, RX Manager, New Markets
& Distributors, John Hackett, International Co-ordinator, Communications, from RXHQ, and
Gordon Nicol, Mr Salmon’s PA.
Chief Henry Fajimorokun of Nigeria,
who is currently helping in the
setting up of a Rank Xerox Nigerian
operating company, visited us with
his wife on June 21 to learn about
our operations here at Mitcheldean.
A powerful figure in the Nigerian
business community, he is chairman
and director of the Henry Stephens
Group of Companies (engineering,
import/export, etc.), a director of the
Standard Bank of Nigeria, President
of the Nigerian Association of
Chambers of Commerce, Industry &
Mines and of the Lagos Chamber of
Commerce & Industry, and holds
many other prominent positions. The
Chief, who speaks English excellently,
said he would do everything he
could to make sure Rank Xerox was
one of the leading companies in
Nigeria, and he expressed a wish to
make a return visit to Mitcheldean
later on to see more of the Plant.
The Chief, who takes a particular interest in student welfare, spent some time looking round
the Training School. Here electrical instructor Arthur Bibey (centre) tells him about the work
that apprentice John Sluman is doing — constructing electric and electronic circuits.
S u c c e s s o r
t o Len S t i e r m ai
Paul Kosters has been appointed
Deputy General Manager, Venray,
from August 1. He will progressively
take over responsibility for the
management of the Venray Plant
from Len Stierman, now Divisional
Director of Manufacturing Operations
(Continental), and will assume full
responsibility from January 1, 1974.
Mr Kosters, who recently spent
two weeks at Mitcheldean for talks
with Plant and Group executives,
has been employed by Remington
Rand in Holland since 1967 and
was latterly General Manager of
their manufacturing plant in
s’Hertogenbosch. He previously held
senior managerial appointments with
Philips at Eindhoven.
Gerry Oprel, currently Manager,
Finance and Administration, has been
appointed Assistant General Manager,
Venray, from August 1.
M u l t i – m i l l i o n Pound
P r o j e c t
Work is commencing at our Welwyn
Garden City Plant on a multi-million
pound project extending the facility
for manufacturing xerographic
receptors which will be built into new
products being assembled at
The project will include new offices,
laboratory, service facilities and
effluent treatment plant; the managing
engineers are Matthew Hall
Engineering Ltd of London.
The Welwyn site covers an area of
some 21 acres and employs over
1,000 people. The project will take
full advantage of new technological
developments in xerography and its
advanced nature is such that a
substantial increase in this number
of employees will not be
On the NIC appreciation course at Rugby:
(from the left) Bob Rogers, Barrie l\Aorgan,
Ted Adams, Ken Holloway, Tony Wood,
Roy Ellerslie, the course tutor and his
assistant, Ralph Pepper, Norman Rudge,
Brian Barnes and Alan Ravenhall.
supervision from tiie Machine Shop
more recently attended a week’s
special course at East Warwickshire
College of Further Education at
Rugby. Briefly, this covered the
management and operation of N/C
installations in broad terms to enable
the supervisor to appreciate N/C
principles and economics.
This was the first of its kind in the
country, being tailor-made for us.
Since it will be used subsequently
by other companies requiring an
N/C appreciation course, we can
justly claim credit for having
pioneered in this respect.
Preparations for the machines, and
also for the men who will control
them, have been steadily progressing
since we wrote in our March issue
about the numerically controlled
machine centre being set up in the
Machine Shop.
A glance through the doors into the
vast area cleared and excavated
earlier this year won’t reveal much of
the progress made there, for the bulk
of the work so far has been below
ground, providing the special
foundations required by these 19-ton
Pits measuring 16ft x 13ft have been
dug and filled with concrete to a
depth of 5ft 6 in. to accommodate
the base of each of these 19
‘heavies’. The last was due to be
completed as we went to press, to
be followed by concreting of the
remainder of the floor area.
The whole contract, which
represents a colossal amount of
concrete — 1,600 tons to be precise,
should be completed towards the
end of August.
The first of the Burkhardt & Weber
multi-spindle N/C machines will then
be installed and the pre-set tooling
facilities set up so the machine can
become operative as soon as
As we explained earlier, the centre
will be what is known as a ‘dedicated
area’ with its own support facilities,
including cutter grinding, pre-set
tooling, paint spraying, maintenance,
inspection, stores, and offices
housing the PED and Work Study
It is hoped that, by the beginning of
1974, the last of the 19 machines
will be in its working position.
The advanced nature of the machines
has called for a special training
programme. A session on
programming was held for PED
planners in Training Department last
January, with an instructor from
Burkhardt & Weber.
Since then, setters, inspectors and
personnel from PED and other
departments have attended a course
on N/C machines at the West
Gloucestershire College of Further
Education, arranged for us by
Training in collaboration with Brian
Barnes, who will be responsible for
the N/C complex.
Brian himself and members of
Pouring in concrete to make a
firm foundation for one of the 19-ton
Cpl Bill Wood offers some of the excellent
fare he prepared to his CO, Lt-Col. P. Shaw,
who presented Bill with his Territorial
Efficiency Medal at the recent open evening.
Bill Wood is a chap who likes to be
on the go. During working hours he
is a progress chaser in Production
Control, a job he likes because it
involves getting around the Plant,
‘worrying’ out the parts needed for
assembly in Remodelling.
Bill is, in fact, a Terrier. For a couple
of hours every Tuesday he dons a
green beret and battledress and joins
his fellow volunteer soldiers at the
drill hall in Ross-on-Wye. They form
part of ‘D’ Company (Herefordshire
L.I.), the Light Infantry and Mercian
Volunteers, with units at Cinderford
and Ledbury.
As everyone knows, an army, even a
reserve one, marches on its stomach,
and as chef. Corporal Bill sees that
its stomach is well cared for.
Senior executives from local industry,
including representatives from our
Personnel Department, had a chance
to taste a sample of Bill’s fare at an
open evening held at Ross on
May 29 when Bill was presented
with his Territorial Efficiency Medal,
awarded him for 12 years’ continuous
service with the TAVR.
He has, in fact, been with the
Terriers for 16 years, but the 12-year
medal has only just caught up with
him. A former regular in the RAF,
Bill originally joined the Herefordshire
Regiment at Cinderford; when their
cook left, he decided to step in. He
was transferred to the Catering Corps
and trained at the Aldershot College
of Catering where he did basic and
advanced cookery and then an
NCO’s course.
Apart from the obvious character
training, the spare-time soldiering
with ‘D’ Company offers plenty of
activity — which suits Bill fine. The
Terriers travel extensively in the
British Isles, flying in helicopters.
Admiring Bill Wood’s medal are some of his
fellow Terriers who work at our Plant.
Left to right: Cpl Mike Gurden (Polishing Et
Vibro), Cpl Tom Smith (Internal Transport),
LjCpl Terry Jode (Machine Shop),
Pte Derek Johns (Electrical Maintenance),
Cpl Colin Seddon (Work Study) and
LI Cpl Bruce Davies (4000 Assembly).
Nicknamed ‘The Admiral’ because of his
Navy service, Pte Johns is regimental cook
in ‘D’ Company, and Bill’s right hand man
when it comes to catering.
Photos: Walbrook Photography
going to sea in Royal Navy frigates
and — the most important part of the
training year — taking part in the
annual summer camp.
This year Bill and his fellow RX
Terriers went to Otterburn in Scotland
for two weeks, with one week’s paid
leave from our Company. At camp
Bill does what he likes best —
catering for large numbers. ‘None of
your convenience foods though,’
said Bill. ‘The soups and gravies are
home-made, so are the meat pies
and steamed puddings.
‘We take our field kitchen equipment
for field exercises, but use the
existing camp equipment on site.
Nowadays this includes automatic
mixers, dishwashers — the lot. Spud
bashing is out. But we’re trained to
work under any conditions. I’ve
managed to cook a meal for the men
using old oil drums converted into
ovens before now!’
When not cooking for the TAVR,
Bill likes to do a bit of freelance work
for weddings, parties and similar
occasions. His biggest job so far
was a party for 200 last Christmas
which he handled with the help of
one person — his 14-year-old
‘I sometimes do the Sunday dinner
at home,’ he told us, ‘but I prefer
cooking for a lot — the more the
As further proof of this. Bill goes to
camp once a year to cater for several
hundred boys (many of them from
remand homes). His judo expertise
is as essential as his catering
expertise on this tough assignment.
He’s also a local soccer referee for
the North Gloucestershire Football
FC League and has been an amateur
athlete (he ran for the RAF crosscountry
team in 1 953). No doubt it
all comes in handy when he’s
chasing progress at Mitcheldean.
Just in case you ttiink we’ve not
done our homeworl<, we’d better put
on record that the Plant also has
several men doing reserve army
service with the Royal Monmouthshire
Royal Engineers, a couple of Royal
Navy auxiliary reserve ratings and
various others doing their bit for the
country in different branches of the
One of the engineers who attended
the recent Engineering Conference
at Oxford came back with the
comment that the Company’s
long-range plans for development
seemed positively mind-bending.
So just in case references to the
setting up of a SOLAR system at
Mitcheldean and Venray, two
Manufacturing Group plants, give rise
to suspicions that, having made such
remarkable progress and expansion
throughout the world, we are
contemplating a take-over of the
universe, here are the sober facts.
For the past three or four years our
material requirements planning
system, SPARCS — which tells us
what components and materials to
order, in what quantities and when —
has done a reasonably good job.
But progress and expansion are a
very demanding pair, and it has
become evident that SPARCS, and
the computer to which the system is
geared, are rapidly becoming
inadequate to cope with the
increasing volume of stock and
material activity, and the developing
needs of users.
So SPARCS is being progressively
‘extinguished’ and a new system,
SOLAR, is appearing over the
horizon to beam down on the matter
of material control, and reveal more
clearly the information needed for
planning within Manufacturing
It is hoped that SOLAR will not only
overcome the shortcomings of the
SPARCS system, and cater for the
increase in the volume of work, but
also be a base for future development.
The system falls into five segments.
These can be phased-in independently
and will progressively replace the
existing SPARCS system.
As SOLAR Project Manager, Brian Crosby is
co-ordinating tlie whole programme
between the Group sites.
Chief architect of the SOLAR system is Hugh Colby (left), SOLAR Information
Systems Project Manager. A senior analyst in Information Systems Department
at Mitcheldean, he is pictured here with Systems Manager Jack Outhwaite.
SOLAR will be installed first at
Mitcheldean, commencing spring
1974, and follow six months later at
Venray; it will take about a year to
be fully implemented at each plant,
and may later be adopted by other
As Solar Project Manager, Brian
Crosby is responsible for
co-ordinating the whole programme
between the Group sites.
The user requirements are being
co-ordinated by Hank Shrijver;
Ron Swenson heads the Group
Information Systems aspect; while
Peter Grainger is responsible for the
multi-plant training programme.
Mitcheldean is the lead plant for the
system design. Before any decision
was taken, a very detailed study
was carried out by an Information
Systems team, led by Hugh Colby as
SOLAR Information Systems Project
This study covered the areas of
problem definition, feasibility,
analysis and design, taking into
consideration suggestions and advice
from user departments, and it was
as a result of this that the SOLAR
system was accepted.
To handle the system as well as the
workload from other systems a new
computer of a different type and
greater capacity was essential, and
the article on pages 8 and 9 explains
why we decided on the Honeywell
But we can’t implement SOLAR
effectively, any more than we can
put up a new computer building,
without preparing proper foundations.
The new system will demand a high
standard of accuracy in keeping
records. ‘In fact,’ said Mr Crosby,
‘we shall have to get our general
housekeeping up to a banking level
of accuracy.’
It is the responsibility of the Working
Party, headed by John Macdonald, to
get this groundwork done before the
implementation of SOLAR (see
page 10).
A steering committee, consisting of
senior executives and headed by
Ron Morfee, has been set up to
ensure that the Working Party’s
recommendations, where approved,
are implemented, and to see that the
SOLAR target dates are kept.
The effectiveness of systems depends
upon the people who operate them,
and it is appreciated that those
involved at every level have a need
to know not only how, but why and
So a comprehensive and participative
training programme has been
included as a vital part of the overall
plan to clear away any cloudy
thinking and ensure the right climate
for our new SOLAR system.
‘This is the first real Group training
activity, a multi-plant operation,’ said
Peter Grainger, Manager, Organisation
& Development, Manufacturing
Group, who was clearly enthusiastic
about the challenge.
The SOLAR training programme has
three main objectives, he told us: a
commitment to the need for
improvement; an overall improvement
in performance; and involvement of
supervision in training.
As a truly participative programme,
it is planned to receive as well as to
give — to make those involved aware
of the current weaknesses and at the
same time give them the opportunity
to contribute to improvement.
It’s a tall order (there are altogether
some 400 supervisors and clerks
involved at Mitcheldean — 250 at
Venray) and each site has a Training
Officer working full time on SOLAR.
At Mitcheldean it is Keith Laken, so
we asked him to outline the plan.
Keith explained that the first stage of
the programme, which commenced
last spring and continues until late
summer, is being given over to
appreciation sessions, tied in with
meetings which are designed to help
create the right environment for
effecting changes, to encourage
discussion and to stimulate people’s
comments on what needs to be put
right under the present SPARCS
The programme relies heavily on
supervisors and section leaders who
are asked to co-operate by holding
meetings with their staff and get
their commitment to the need for
changes. Their views will then be fed
back to the SOLAR Working Party
who will enable useful contributions
to be built into the training plan.
Training Department will in turn
assist by offering any training in the
techniques of instruction that may
be needed — the give and take we
were talking about.
The second stage of the programme
will involve the building up of
training sessions on the ‘mechanics’—
understanding how the computer
works, how other departments
function, and how the SOLAR system
operates and helps those who
use it.
The participation will not be just
between people at Mitcheldean, but
also between Mitcheldean and
Venray. Each plant will develop its
own training ‘packages’ on different
aspects such as the computer, or the
function of a particular department,
prepared in such a way that they
overcome any language obstacle.
We hope to publish more on this
subject as the training programme
gathers momentum.
Our business at Mitcheldean is
becoming more and more complex
and requires highly sophisticated
methods and systems to control it.
Many of these systems rely heavily
on the use of computers to process
quickly the mass of information
required to manage a factory of this
We have had computers installed in
the Plant since the latter half of 1967.
These machines have ranged from
the initial very small tape model to the
current medium range Honeywell 437,
which utilises discs and tapes.
However, despite this steady increase
in power, our computing capacity
has never really caught up with the
demands that a fast developing
organisation has placed on it.
Early in 1972 it became apparent
that a shortage of computing power
was placing a severe limitation on
the service being offered to the
Plant and, if we were to achieve our
objectives in this area, something
had to be done.
A long time was spent in clarifying
the requirements of the Company, in
ensuring that our plans met these
needs, and re-assessing, very
critically, our Information Systems
strategy for the future. As a result of
this lengthy deliberation it was
agreed that we were in fact moving
the right way and that a much more
powerful machine was required. It
was also established that one of the
larger Honeywell H6000 range
might well fit the bill.
In order to satisfy ourselves as to the
power of the proposed computer,
test runs were devised to simulate the
sort of work we plan to run.
A member of our Software Group,
Mike Brown, supervised the running
of these tests at Honeywell’s plant in
Phoenix, Arizona, and the results
indicated that the manufacturers’
claims as to performance were
As a further check other users of this
type of computer were visited in
Germany and Italy. Agreement was
then reached that an H6060 machine
should be installed at Mitcheldean.
The planned machine is very much
more powerful than those currently
installed, and in fact will probably be
the largest single computer in Rank
Xerox. It is capable of handling
several jobs simultaneously and has
significantly more data storage
capability than our existing
equipment — an essential feature if
we are to integrate our systems as
The handling of remote users via
telephone lines is another area where
the H6000 range scores heavily; this
will be a very important factor in our
longer range plans to reduce the
amount of paper generated and move
Layout of the North block
Says Information Systems Manager Jack
Bonney : ‘SOLAR’S home will be the most
modern datacentre in the Company’.
to enquiry processing techniques,
using ‘television screens’ to display
data when and where required.
The computer destined for us is
currently undergoing final trials in
Honeywell’s factory at Newhouse,
Scotland. It cannot be installed in
Mitcheldean until the new building
is complete; in the meantime,
however, we plan to link teletypes to
it via the GPO telephone system so
that we can use it to develop new
Although this is a fairly large and
very powerful computer, it is unlikely
to be the end of the story as far as
Mitcheldean is concerned, and
further upgrades within this model
range are already being planned.
Graham Rudge, Programming Services
IVIanager, Information Systems, and
John Williams (right) of Project
Planning, Plant Facilities, have collaborated
closely on the datacentre project.
The provision of a new building to
house our new computer equipment
was made necessary by two major
factors :
(a) The existing facility cannot be
expanded to take it,
{b) very stringent new requirements
covering datacentre design have
been issued at corporate level.
Several alternatives were investigated
before the final configuration, size and
site for the building were agreed.
For the first time at Mitcheldean we
have had the opportunity to provide
a facility tailor-made for data
processing use, and considerable
effort has been expended by
Information Systems and Plant
Facilities Departments, together with
the Company’s architects, Preece
Payne Partnership, to ensure that this
opportunity is used to the full.
The building, in fact, splits into two
modules with a common entrance in
between the two. The South block,
the one nearer building 44, will house
Information Systems Management,
Systems and Programming
Departments and Organisation and
Methods. This will be an open-plan
The North block will house the
datacentre itself— in other words,
the computer associated machinery
and direct support sections. It is in
this area that the major design effort
has been centred.
Very serious consideration has been
given to the problems of work flow
and data storage and handling, with
a view to making the centre a true
‘data factory’.
A great deal of effort has also gone
into the design of the security
systems, in order to meet the stringent
corporate requirements. The whole
of the datacentre will, in fact, be a
closed security area with admittance
to authorised Information Systems
staff only.
The only entrance door will be
electrically controlled by the
receptionist during normal working
hours, and at other times will be
protected by a badge lock system.
Users delivering data or collecting
output will be allowed to enter the
Receiving and Despatch Rooms but
cannot go any further.
All other outer doors are protected
by alarm systems linked to the
gatehouse and where combinations
of doors exist, in the Paper Store,
Waste Paper Store and Plant Room,
these are interlocked so that only one
can be open at any time.
As a further security measure the
Computer Room and Tape/Disc
Library are individually protected by
badge-locked doors.
This emphasis on security accounts
for the absence of windows and
hence rather fortress-like appearance
of the North block.
Protection against fire is provided
throughout by smoke detection and
sprinkler systems and the walls of
some sensitive areas are four hour
fire rated.
Possible future expansion has been
considered, particularly in the
Computer Room, which is large
enough and sufficiently well
controlled environmentally to take
two large computers.
The North block is due for completion
in September of this year with the
South block following on in
November. Graham Rudge
Our s e c o n d a r t i c l e o n P r o d u c t i o n C o n t r ol
d e a l s w i t h t w o a r e a s w h e re
The Working Party at work. Clockwise
round the table are: Dave Sanderson,
secretary Jock Yuill, chairman John
MacDonald, Doug White, Keith Laken and
Allan Tully.
Special Investigators
The newest function within
Production Control — it was
introduced last April — is that of
Manager, Special Projects.
John MacDonald operates this as a
one-man concern, but for his first
‘special project’, SOLAR, he has been
joined by five people with specialist
The SOLAR Inventory Disciplines
Working Party, of which John is
chairman, consists of Keith Laken
(Training), Dave Sanderson
(Production), Allan Tully (Information
Systems), Doug White (Accounts)
and Jock Yuill who is Group User
Representative with special
responsibilities for Mitcheldean.
It is the brief of this Working Party to
define and investigate areas where
there are problems, even those which
may not come directly within the
scope of SOLAR, discuss them with
the departments concerned and put
forward constructive recommendations
or ‘action plans’.
Naturally they rely on feedback from
those working in the areas under
consideration, and from time to time
people with particular knowledge of
those areas are invited to join the
‘Our aim is to get the initial
spadework done, to see that the
ground is clear before the SOLAR
system is built up,’ said John.
‘Anything which may hinder the
carrying out of the necessary
inventory disciplines and therefore
affect the accuracy of the data
base merits our attention.
‘We report to the steering committee,
which consists of senior management,
for their approval and backing.
‘If this is forthcoming, our
recommendations are then
implemented through the
departmental managers. Jock Yuill
acts as secretary to both the Working
Party and the Steering Committee;
having a foot in both camps, he can
ensure close liaison between the two
Several aspects are already under
investigation ; some of them are
long term and results may not be
evident until later this year and early
in 1974.
Right a b o v e : Fred Coombes (centre),
excess and obsolete materials supervisor,
talks with Ossie Williams, float and lead time
section leader, and (right) Ben Davies, the
department’s ‘man in SOLAR’, fulfilling a
computer liaison function. Right: The two
File Control section leaders — Jim Evans on
the left, Ernie Evans seated at desk (they’re
not related, by the way). Centre is secretary
Beverly Creed.
Computer Contact Men
‘Production Control’s day-to-day
representative with Computer
Operations on material requirements
systems’ is a good way to describe
the Planning & Support function.
Explained Manager David Davies:
‘We maintain the computer files (data
stored on tape/disc) which are the
master product files relating to all the
models we manufacture within the
‘We are responsible for the accuracy
of the file data and we monitor all
input, advise user departments if
difficulties occur, and distribute the
These files, which relate to Stock,
WIP (Work in Progress), Parts and
the BOM (Bill of Materials) are
constantly updated as information
comes in from Design, PED, Stores,
etc., advising variances.
The periodic ‘explosions’ to which
the BOM is subject are a feature of
programme administration — a
function essential to Mitcheldean
production planning in that it
controls the planning and
implementation of all Mitcheldean
production programmes.
Recommended calendar programmes
for our fiscal year are received from
Ron Greenland, Manager, Production
Programmes at HQ. As programmes
administrator, Cyril Powell obtains
the agreement of those involved in
production and support areas, and
the initial programme is translated
into an RXMP production programme
showing what will need to be
produced in each four to five-week
period, model by model, to meet
Group requirements.
It is that production programme
Studying tabulations are David Davies,
Planning & Support IVIanager, and
John Ireland, senior supervisor, float and
lead time.
which is ‘exploded’ on the computer,
using the BOM file as the base data,
to provide a breakdown of parts from
the top assembly to the nuts and
The print-outs, listing the parts
involved and showing how many are
needed, how much is in stock, how
much WIP (on order or being made
at Mitcheldean), what new orders
must be put out or what existing
orders need to be rescheduled,
constitute the ‘bible’ from which the
provisioning and issuing personnel
featured in our last article on
Production Control obtain their
working information.
The content of the BOM file is
constantly monitored and brought up
to date with assembly drawings
which come in from Design as
Engineering Orders authorising a
change, so that at any time Computer
Operations can supply a print-out of
the state of design of any particular
‘We act as a central clearing house
for the Plant on any problems
connected with the BOM file,’ said
David Davies. ‘Last April there were
no less than 143,000 entries on the
file. Even so, we have a very low
error rate.’
Another function of the department
is the vetting and actioning of orders
for material received from outside
sources such as Venray, Welwyn and
Supply Centre — which again affect
the state of the files.
Analysis of ‘float and lead times’ is
the special responsibility of John
Ireland. He told us: ‘We use lead
time as one of the basic factors in
calculating economic and convenient
batch quantities of parts to be
purchased. Very expensive parts are
scheduled weekly; very inexpensive
ones are ordered in large quantities.
‘What we have to do is regularise
batch quantities, and determine how
the medium price parts should be
(Continued from page 11)
brought in and how much we should
order at a time. This operation is
done manually at present but it will
be computerised when SOLAR is
An important function carried out by
Planning & Support to minimise
waste is excess and obsolete stock
analysis. Engineering Orders can
make a part obsolete, but it may be
possible to rework the part and make
it usable.
Technical man Fred Coombes is
responsible for this aspect. He
identifies what can be used again
and reports back to PED who decide
whether to undertake this ‘nonstandard’
A recent development of the
department’s planning responsibilities
concerns manpower rather than
materials. David Davies has been
working on a budgeting manual — a
formal assessment of manpower
requirements in Production Control
achieved by studying the age of
models and their size in terms of
numbers of parts involved, and
relating them to the manpower
required to support them.
‘This way we can build up a total
Production Control budget and
forecast the level of staff
requirements, enabling the best
possible use of our manpower
resources,’ said David.
{\Ne plan to feature the remaining aspect
of Production Control — Stock Control —
in our September issue.)
David Davies chats to Cyril Powell,
programmes administrator.
They mend Broken Children
Alveston Lodge seemed like any other
happy home. Roses were filling the
cheerful rooms with their perfume.
There was a shriek from the children’s
playroom but it was only the mynah
bird. The children’s toys were put
away in their own private cubbyholes
and the TV set was dozing.
Most of the children were playing in
the garden, clambering over climbing
frames, looking after their pet rabbit
or guineapigs, and generally enjoying
the June sunshine in the large
So the group of Christian Fellowship
members and friends who visited the
Lodge on Saturday, June 23, were
able to chat uninterrupted to the
house parents, Mr and Mrs Farley,
and find out how this home, one of
the 14 MiJIIer Homes for Children in
Bristol, Clevedon and Weston-super-
Mare, was run.
It was an afternoon of wonder: at
how they provided for 14 children
on an income derived entirely from
donations; at how they managed,
with only one assistant living in, to
cope with all the physical work
(Mrs Farley, for example, gets up at
5 am to organise the Monday wash I );
and at how they were able to help
these children of all ages, most of
them emotionally disturbed and a few
requiring psychiatric treatment, to be
integrated into normal society.
‘Some of the children can’t smile
when they first come,’ said
Mrs Farley. ‘Some have had up to
seven different homes before they
get here. We aim to give them
security and stability in an atmosphere
of Christian love. The change that
this can bring about, not only in their
mental attitude but even in their
physical appearance, is dramatic’
These family group homes are a
development from the orphanages
set up by George MLiller over a
hundred years ago. Times have
changed radically since then ; but
there is still a great need, particularly
among the children who are helpless
victims of broken homes.
The MiJIIer homes get no Government
help; they prefer to operate
independently. But they have to
conform to strict Government
requirements, and their annual
expenditure runs at more than
£100,000 per annum. Yet thanks
to people’s generosity the necessary
money comes in and the MiJIIer
miracle continues.
A ^Wake’ for the 3600
As you will have noticed from our
June issue, the last 720 to be made
at Mitcheldean did not pass
unnoticed. Neither did the phasing
out of the 3600 machine to make
room for a newer model. To mark the
passing of the last machine from
Mitcheldean a 10-verse ode was
penned for posterity by John Dighton
of 4000 Assembly, and a ‘wake’
was held at the Social Centre on
June 16. Judging from our picture,
any feelings of sadness and nostalgia
on this occasion soon evaporated I
J . Ingram
LETTER Time’for Retirement
They’ve both earned a rest from
‘watching the clocl<‘ — and yet, oddly
enough, that’s one thing they like to
do now.
We’re talking about Ruth Higgins and
Stan Richardson, who each recently
became the owner of an elegant
400-day clock.
Taking advantage of the early
retirement arrangement, Stan left on
May 23, his 63rd birthday, after 35
years’ service. He was responsible
for cycle switch assembly and ‘A’
transport on 4000 floor, and everyone
he worked with was sorry to see
him go.
‘Stan, the cheery chargehand’ we
called him in an article we wrote
over 11 years ago in VISION, and
cheery he has remained.
He and his wife Nellie, who worked
as cleaner at the Plant but left when
Stan retired, were looking bronzed
after a short holiday when we called
to see them.
Beside the clock in Stan’s livingroom
was a handsome table lighter.
‘I was presented with that at a
wonderful party which 4000
Assembly gave for me at the Wye
Hotel on June 9. Nellie was given a
beautiful bouquet and they presented
me with this Ronson lighter, and a
scroll. I’m going to have that framed
and hung on the wall beside my
25-year certificate.
‘You know, it was a bit like “This is
your life” at the party. Who should
turn up but my old boss Pat O’Hare
and ‘Skipper’ who used to be at
Mitcheldean in the Bell & Howell
days. It was lovely to see them
We asked Stan how he planned to
spend his retirement. ‘I shall do a bit
of fishing, and then there’s the dogs.
The system’s going pretty fair; no
big wins as yet but I’m holding my
own. Tell them I’m still working on
the formula,’ he said.
Both Nellie and Stan came from
London. ‘I’m not a Cockney,’ Stan
points out. ‘I was born in Harringay.
Now I’ve got the time I’m going to
go back and visit members of my
family I haven’t seen for years.’
A month after Stan left us, we said
goodbye to Ruth Higgins. Ruth had
worked in Quality Control for 16
years — much of that time on ‘W’
standard items in Goods Inwards
Her department too gave her a
wonderful send-off party, on the day
she retired, at Castle View Hotel,
Kerne Bridge. It was a day to
remember, she told us.
‘I had four bouquets altogether I
Then there was a 400-day clock from
the department and friends in the
Plant, which Quality Control
Manager Dave Mills presented to
me. And on top of that, they gave
me a Parker fountain pen, a box of
chocolates and an orchid, presented
by Brian Weyman.’
Another much appreciated present
for Ruth was a Russell Hobbs
Ralph Zimmermann, IVIanager, 4000
Assembly, presented Stan with a clock and
a cheque from his colleagues. A second
cheque, from the LSA, was handed over by
chairman Henry Phillips. Right: Ruth has
‘got it made’ now, as far as morning tea
is concerned! This useful gift from the
association was presented by president
Bernard Smith.
‘Teasmade’ from the LSA, presented
by President Bernard Smith. ‘I
wanted that because I always get
the morning tea and now I won’t
have to get up to do it I’ she laughed.
Ruth’s husband, Eric Higgins,
Supervisor in Production Stores, was
there at the presentation; he retires
himself at the end of August after
over 26 years with us.
‘We shall take it easy then,’ said
Ruth, ‘and spend more time in our
garden. We grow all our own
vegetables and we’ve got eight
lawns to cut,’ which sounds more
like a full-time job to us I
If you have, then please —
let your departmental correspondent know,
or leave It at any Gate House for
collection by me.
or post it to me at Tree Tops, Plump Hill,
or ring me — please note my
n e w ‘ p h o n e number : Drybrook 542415.
IVIyrtle Fowler, Editor
The mikes were being temperamental,
promised items weren’t materialising,
the programme couldn’t be
finalised — but that’s often the way
before a show. It was ‘all right on
the night’ though, and the 250 or so
people at the Variety Club evening
on June 8 in the Social Centre were
obviously appreciative, even though
the first item was an unscheduled
electrical fault which caused some
delay in starting.
The ‘in-house’ and ‘sub-contracted’
talent was mainly vocal. In addition
to favourites such as Sadie Pritchard,
Ted Chetcuti and Gordon Davies,
there was Gwyneth Lewis of
Engineering Records with sweet’n
soft ballads, duettists Joan Hulbert
and Myrtle Fowler with a ‘catty
serenade, the popular Anjeloes, and
12-year-old Heather Miles, granddaughter
of Bill Miles (Machine
Shop) whose mature voice made
people wonder if they were hearing
a Julie Andrews Mark II.
Ken Farmborough varied the
programme with monologues/poems
but his outstanding performance was
a silent one, when he rose from the
tomb and did a ‘Danse Macabre’.
Ken, whose bones were all his own
handiwork, had the company of a
seductive vampire in Jean Cox,
while Gordon Davies brought more
life to the stage as a drunken fiend.
It was all devised by Jack Benbow
whose pianistic talents were in great
demand throughout the show.
The programme was professionally
compered by the yodelling
Yorkshireman, Andy Hardy.
Backstage Bill Pritchard coped
expertly with sound and lighting
effects while John Earl stagemanaged
with the help of Denise
Cooper, Boyd Cox, Pat Jordan and
others, not forgetting Hilda Baldwin
who was ‘on the door’ and Tony
Cale ‘on call’ for medical, or
make-up, first aid.
The ‘Miss Shop Floor’ competition
didn’t attract as many entries as had
been expected, but the judges —
Sister Collins, Fred Green (GMWU)
and guest Graham Friend —
unanimously agreed the title should
go to petite Elaine Warren (4000
Elaine later presented a cheque for
£80 from Variety Club funds to the
Forest of Dean Physically
Handicapped ; it was received on their
behalf by Mrs Earl.
i , .
Line-up of some of the people in
the show. Right: Pretty Elaine
Warren gets a congratulatory kiss
from Sister Collins who ‘crowned’
her ‘Miss Shop Floor’. Elaine, who
works in 4000 Assembly, won
her title Just a few days before her
16th birthday.
Chess Finals
Elaine hands over a cheque for £80 from
the Variety Club to Mrs John Earl,
representing the Forest of Dean Physically
Sweet Surprise
Which lady shop steward had a suspiciouslooking
blob analysed and was told by the
lab it was a sugar bonbon ?
As we went to press, the finals of the
Wickstead Shield Chess Tournament
were due to take place on July 17 in
the Social Centre, commencing
7.30 pm.
Fighting for first place in this
interdepartmental KO competition
were Production Control, the current
holders of the shield, and Forest
Rooks Old Boys, with third and
fourth positions being decided in a
contest between PED Pawnbrokers
V. Maintenance ‘A’.
B r e a k f o r Art
During the summer the Art Club are
confining meetings to once a month
instead of weekly. Come the
autumn, they will be back to regular
Wednesday evening classes at
7.30 pm in the Training School
Cinema. Check dates with John
Hutchins (810 int.) or Eric Weeks
(870 int.).
Terry and Janet Frowen, W/elsh ballroom
dancing champions four times over,
demonstrating at the Dancing Club’s dance
on May 4. The event w/as a sell-out and
it is hoped to engage further top-line
artists for future special dances. The club
took the floor for the last dance of the
season on June 29 when the Woodville
Rubber Co. Dancing School and the
John Blackburn School joined them.
Purchase supervisor Margaret Watkins
presents a parting gift from the girls of
Admin Building 23 to Louisa Hook, the
‘ladies’ lady, on her retirement.
Vera (Purchase) and Andrew Harris whose
wedding took place on May 19 at Lydney
Register Office.
R e t i r e m e n ts
Best wishes to the following who retired in
June: Louisa Hook (Cleaning), Gilbert
Brain (Security), J im Copeland (Supply
Centre), Ted Ikeson (Tool Inspection),
William Powell (Production Control), Tom
Woodward (Sheet Metal, RX Cinderford).
Also to those who will be retiring in J u l y:
Lloyd Evans (Remodelling), John Hampston
(3600 Assembly), Harvey Harper (Works
Engineering), Leonard Hatch (Heat
Treatment), George Hull (Remodelling),
Tom Owen (Machine Shop), Horace
Parsons (Spares & Sub-assembly).
21st B i r t h d ay
Jane Murrell (Accounts) on July 5.
W e d d i n g s
Sandra Miles (Goods Inwards Inspection)
to Brian Smith (Service Engineer) at the
Forest Church, Drybrook, on June 9.
J. Ingram
Carole Jones (Machine Shop office) to
Barrie Goodall (Machine Shop) at the
Baptist Chapel, Cinderford, on June 30.
B i r t hs
Suresh, a son for Venkat (Design engineer)
and his wife Krishna, on May 22.
Philip, a son for Brian Marshall (Spot Weld)
and his wife Tina, on May 22.
Ian John, a son for Ray Watkins
(Information Systems) and his wife Julie
(formerly Comps section. Finance &
Admin.), on May 26.
Rachel Camille, a daughter for Hugh Cromie
(4000 main line) and his wife Susan
(formerly secretary to Graham Linley), on
June 1.
L e s l i e Briscoe
We record with regret the death on July 5
of Leslie Briscoe (Spot Weld) at the age
of 57. He had been with us since 1967.
Brian Smith and his bride, Sandra.
The RX Ladies’ team: from the left (front row) Lynn lemboli, Pat Milliner, Sue Maclean,
Cynthia Knight (capt.), Mary Brooks, Helen Banks; (back row) Chris Perry, Rita “Young,
Debbie Dickinson. Madeleine Davis, Lil Hughes, Ann Clements, Jean Creed. Bob Davies
is the team’s manager, and arrangements for this particular match were made by
Eric Knight, husband of team captain Cynthia. Said our female footballers afterwards:
‘The Aston Villa team were a very sporting lot.’
Bloody but unbowed is perhaps the
best way to describe the state of the
RX Ladies’ Football Team after their
match with Aston Villa Ladies at
Weston-under-Penyard on June 17.
The visiting team, who are affiliated
to Aston Villa and play in the
women’s league, travelled from
Birmingham to beat us 22—2. Said
Rene Phelps, our team’s chairman :
‘This was only our sixth game so far
so we mustn’t be too downhearted.
We’ve got a better idea now what
sort of standards we should come up
against if we joined the league.’
But if our team lost, Weston gained
to the extent of £12 towards further
recreational facilities. And Eric
Faulkner and Roger Ellis were very
happy — they won the lucky
programme number prizes.
An eye-witness let us have this
kick-by-kick report of the massacre:
‘The game opened up to quite a fast
pace with the Villa side setting up;
four attacked in the first ten minutes
with the RX goalkeeper saving
her side twice. Villa continued to
pressurise RX at a stunning pace
and scored four goals in a space of
five minutes with some attractive
football. The RX defence had no
answer to the attacking moves of the
Villa and were soon another goal
down with a fine 20-yard shot.
‘RX attacked midway to first half
which produced a corner, but they
could not find a way through the
Villa defence. Villa girls continued
with constant pressure, stringing
together many fine passes, and the
overworked RX defence could
find no answer and were soon three
more goals down. A couple of fine
saves by the RX goalkeeper before
half-time still couldn’t prevent Villa
from getting two more goals and
reaching double figures.
‘By swapping goalkeepers at
half-time the game continued with
the Villa forwards pressurising their
own goalkeeper, who brought off
several fine saves but couldn’t stop
her goal-hungry mates scoring four
more goals by the middle of the
second half.
‘Aston Villa players put the ball on
goal line, inviting a RX player to
score; the RX goalkeeper threw
her arms up in despair and saved the
goal! But two minutes later a good
goal was achieved by RX. This
put more life in the players; they were
awarded a penalty and the RX no. 11
made no mistake this time.
‘But at length RX gave way to a
fine Villa side and were well beaten
by 22—2.’
Our girls did much better on July 8
when they played Tilly’s Ladies at
Goodrich and won 8—1, raising
£14 for the local PTA.
For Sale
Car trailer, 7 ft x 3 ft, 1 ton capacity, metal
chassis, full lighting and equipment, etc, very
good condition, £75. Chain saw, Husqvarna
•65, as new, £65. Motors: ’63 VW1200
Beetle, regd. no. 3056R, good engine,
transmission, tyres, taxed, £60: ’60 red
Zephyr Convertible, Mkll, no rust, sound
engine/transmission, 5 new tyres, new brake
shoes, etc, £60. Complete motors for spares
at £10 each. Calor gas cooker, full size, £5.
All above open to offers. Ray Barrington
(Design D.O.), tel. 870 int.
Camping Gaz double-burner stove, £5.
S. Preedy (Quality Control, Cinderford),
tel. 09-26 int.
1970 ‘ H ‘ reg. 1500 Hillman Avenger Super
de luxe, taxed. Pete Strickland (4000
PED), tel. 677 int.
Roof rack for Volkswagen Beetle, £3-50.
Gardex bath bar, white, new (unwanted
gift), £7. Dave Britton, tel. 351 int or
Coleford 3078.
Detached house five minutes’ walk from
centre of Cinderford, comprising five
bedrooms, three reception, bathroom,
kitchen, car port, all mains services. Needs
some attention. Including small plot of land
for which planning permission is being
sought. Further information from C. Powell,
tel. 183 int.
Record player Murphy Majorette — 4-speed
Automatic/Manual, £8. D. A. Roberts,
tel. 409 int.
House for sale at Five Acres, nr Coleford.
Semi-detached, kitchen/diner, lounge,
3 bedrooms, bathroom, WC, part central
heating, telephone. Large garden with
lawns. Tel. Coleford 2492 (during working
hours ring Cinderford 09-17). Also crash
helmet, as new, size 2. W. Roberts (RX
Cinderford, tel. 09-17.)
Decca 20in black and white TV, 405 and
625 lines, three years old, excellent
condition, £25 o.n.o. P. Johnson
(Maintenance), tel. 320 int.
Weston Master V. exposure meter, as new,
virtually unused, £8. Barrie Lewis, tel.
485 int.
Detached Swiss-style luxury bungalow,
3 bedrooms, double garage, full central
heating, large garden. A. F. Rawlings
(Machine Tool Maintenance), 5 Fir View
Road, Hewletts Way, Ruspidge, Cinderford.
Sunbeam Rapier Fastback Coupe, 1968,
40,000 miles, o/drive, white, excellent
condition. HP available, £575 o.n.o.
Tel. 277 int.
1964 Hillman Minx, good condition, £150
o.n.o. Roger Kempster (ADF), tel. 273 int.
1965 Vespa GS160 scooter, blue, white
and chrome, excellent condition, many
extras, £45. S. Edmunds, 43 Tamar Road,
Brockworth, Glos.
W a n t ed
Assorted plastic buckets. Any quantity.
G. Hale (3600 Assembly).
Players — by Mitcheldean Badminton Club.
About 75 per cent of members are from
Rank Xerox. They play at Newnham, hope
to find facilities nearer home soon. Anyone
interested please contact Cynthia Hart
(Reception), tel. 140 int.

Parker 51, engraved ‘Colin’. Owner please
contact J. Burkett, Transport. Tel. 414 int.
16 Printed in England by Taylor, Young (Printers) Ltd.