Return to 1970-1974

Vision 102

Septembef 74 No. 102
Focus on Optics
More recent Xerox machines, with
their varying magnification modes,
have created a wider need for an
understanding of optics.
To meet this need, the West
Gloucestershire College of Further
Education in Cinderford has been
arranging, at our request, courses on
optical theory and photometry
(production and transmission of
light, lenses, light measurement, etc.).
Our picture shows t w o PED
Electronics engineers on such a
course — Dennis Wadley and (right)
Roger Garlick — using an
optical bench to measure the focal
length of a lens, under the watchful
eye of their lecturer, Mr F. E.
Harnden. (See pages 6, 7 and 8.)
Apprentices win the
The annual Apprentices v.
Management cricket match took
place on July 8 at Mitcheldean on a
fine evening.
Management batted first on a good
wicket and openers Keith Laken and
John Notley soon settled down to
the task of scoring runs. But with the
score on 26 Keith hit across the line
of the bail once too often and was
trapped Ibw for 14 runs.
John struck out, and his brilliant
innings of 69 included five 6’s and
five 4’s.
The remaining batsmen could only
muster 18 runs between them and of
these Mark Southall, Tony Roberts
and Ron Barnett each recorded
‘ducks’, Gary Trigg taking 6 wickets
for 28 runs.
The Apprentices then batted, chasing
the total of 102. Openers Richard
Johnson and Keith Marfell got the
side off to a steady start but, with
the accurate bowling of Keith Laken,
they were soon struggling at 42 for
3 wickets.
However, Gary Trigg (23) and
Robert Johnson (31 not out)
steered the side to 9 0 — 5 when Gary
was ‘adjudged’ out.
The Apprentices team comfortably
reached the Management total to
w i n by 5 wickets.
Many thanks are due to the umpires
— D a v i d Williams and Don J e f f e r i e s—
and to the Mitcheldean Cricket Club
for the facilities provided.
4th Year get the Trophy
Earlier this year, the annual
Apprentice Skittles Tournament took
place w i t h four teams entered, each
absolutely sure it was their turn to
capture the exclusive trophy.
After losing in the preliminary round
to the 3rd year, the 4th went from
victory to victory, owing much to
Alan Robertson who became the
tournament’s highest scorer w i t h 43
With the first year unable to keep
their fixture, there was a grand
play-off between the 2nd, 3rd and
4th years. In the last three legs, the
4th year suddenly produced a
dazzling spell of bowling — w i t h a
superb stint from Alan Robertson who
collected 18 pins w i t h three balls —
to clinch the trophy by 36 pins.
A team has since been selected to
represent the Apprentices against the
Management on October 10.
Robert Johnson £t Steve Worgan
Helping Hands
There was an extra treat for the
youngsters taken camping last
month at The Biblins centre,
Symonds Yat, by the PHAB
(Physically Handicapped Ablebodied)
They enjoyed an afternoon’s angling,
w i t h fishing tackle lent and advice
freely given, by the Olde Ferrie
Handicapped Children’s Angling
Club, many of whose members work
at Mitcheldean.
The youngsters caught a f ew fish,
had tea, went cruising on the Wye
and had a go on the dodgem cars.
Tony Pritchard (Machine Shop) and
a friend in full Scottish regalia went
busking w i t h their bagpipes, and
hauled in a useful ‘catch’ to help
pay for the outing.
Money raised by raffles, etc., within
the Plant has also swelled the funds.
Said Machine Shop supervisor John
Williams, w h o is chairman of the
angling c l u b : ‘These youngsters need
to be treated like any other young
people and given the same
opportunities wherever possible.
‘We got a kick out of seeing them
enjoy themselves so much and we
hope to arrange further outings for
other physically handicapped
Showing one of the youngsters how
a reel works is Ernie Skelton
(Salvage Section, Machine Shop).
Behind him. Machine Shop
supervisor John Williams gives a bit
of angling advice.
Captain Robert Johnson receives the trophy from General Manager Ron Morfee on behalf
of his team of Apprentices — Lloyd Gill, Terry Hook, Richard Johnson, David Lewis,
Keith Marfell, Alan Robertson, Mark Savager, Roger Smith, Gary Trigg, Steve Worgan
(reserve: Peter Knight).
The Management team — (back row) Mike Cooper, John Notley, Arthur Bibey, John
Gurney, Tony Roberts, Steve Ferriman, Mark Southall; (front row) Keith Laken, Ron Barnett,
Frank Edwards (captain), Gordon Nicol. Len Hart, the man in mufti, was there as always
to support his lads.
Consequent on various changes of
programme/location, the following
appointments were announced prior
to the summer shutdown :
Graham Linley has been appointed
Manager, Lydney Plant. Assistant
Managers are Arthur Cooper, who has
transferred from 4000 Assembly, and
Mike Perkins, formerly 4000
Assembly Supervisor.
John Court is now Manager,
Finishing and Low Volume Assembly
Departments at Mitcheldean.
Reporting to him are Malcolm
Powell, who has been promoted from
Assembly Supervisor to Assistant
Manager at Mitcheldean (/e RX 1000
Build, 660 and 720 Teardown and
Spotweld) and George Douglas, w ho
continues as Assistant Manager
responsible for Finishing Department.
Don Holder has been promoted from
Training Supervisor to Assistant
Manager, responsible to Ted Sage,
Manager, Assembly Shop No. 1 .
Graham Price (right), formerly Director of Manufacturing Information and Control,
Manufacturing Group, has been appointed Vice-President, Control, of Xerox Corporation’s
Information Technology Group, based at Rochester, New York. He took up his new job on
September 1 and, before he left, Derek Portman, Director, Manufacturing Group, made a
presentation to Mr Price and wished him all success.
Alec Ravenhall, formerly Machine
Shop foreman, has been appointed
Assistant Manager, Shop Loading,
in Production Control.
Mike Carter joined us as Chief
Chemist in the Works Laboratory in
August, replacing Geoff Howard who
has left the Company. Mr Carter,
who reports to Manager Les Davies,
previously held the position of
Selenium Products Manager at
Welwyn Garden City.
Promoted to Assistant Manager — from the left, Mike Perkins, Malcolm Powell, Don Holder, Alec Ravenhall. Chief Chemist Mike Carter
Engineering Centre
Rank Xerox is acquiring a 50 acre
site at Milton Keynes new city in
Buckinghamshire for an Engineering
Centre, which will ultimately house
over 1,000 engineers and scientists.
Occupation of the Milton Keynes site
by the Rank Xerox Engineering
Group is to commence later this year.
The new centre will provide Rank
Xerox and Xerox Corporation with a
modern engineering facility where
research, technological developments,
product design for worldwide
manufacturing and the study of
advanced manufacturing development
will proceed side by side.
The Rank Xerox Engineering Group
is an integral part of Xerox
Corporation’s worldwide research and
development activities. These include
technological development related to
the corporation’s commercial
interests in centralised and
decentralised copiers and duplicators.
facsimile devices, engineering
printing systems, micrographics, and
other aspects of office information
The Milton Keynes location
was chosen because of its
accessibility to our Welwyn Garden
City and Mitcheldean Plants. It is
convenient to Heathrow Airport,
giving access to Company plants on
the Continent as well as the Xerox
Corporation Research and
Development Laboratories in the
United States.
Engineering Group
As a further step to decentralise part
of the Controller’s function, the
Finance section at Mitcheldean will
now be the responsibility of
Engineering Manager, Tony Burke.
As a consequence, the following
appointments and realignment of
management responsibilities became
effective from August 1 :
Ray Pyart, now Manager, Planning
and Control, has been made
responsible for the Finance and
Planning section, whilst retaining his
responsibilities for new products and
Xerox residents.
Roger Hood has been appointed
Assistant Manager, Finance, and
both he and Colin Bird, Manager
Planning, now report to Mr Pyart.
The Manager, Planning and Control,
has a functional responsibility to the
Controller, Engineering Group, in
respect of financial planning,
reporting and control procedures and
Nigel Percival has been appointed
Manager, Technical Services, and, in
addition to his responsibilities for
Draughting and Office Management,
now has reporting to him Don Peates,
Manager, Model Shop.
mm mmmm mm m mm
W e h a v e s p e n t t h e l a s t 2 0 0 y e a r s s h a p i n g m a n t o m e e t t h e n e e d s o f i n d u s t r y.
I t w o u l d n o t c o m e a m i s s t o s p e n d t h e n e x t 30 y e a r s r e – s h a p i n g i n d u s t r y t o m e et
t h e n e e d s o f m a n . ‘ — Dr T h e o W i l l i a m s o n , D i r e c t o r o f E n g i n e e r i n g , RX
E n g i n e e r i n g C e n t r e.
The Russian term for Group
Technology (GT), roughly translated,
becomes ‘scientific principles of
family planning’.
But the GT trials going on in the
Machine Shop are not what you
might imagine I
We only mentioned it because it was
in Russia that GT (classifying parts
into ‘families’ requiring the same
machining elements, so the parts can
be machined by a common tooling
set-up) was evolved some 20 years
Since the industrial revolution the
direction has been towards
specialised machines doing particular
operations in high volumes. This
leads to large amounts of work
waiting between operations. Often
the work is so organised that it is
hard for a man to appreciate his own
part and the importance of the
particular job he is working on, in a
very complicated system.
Now theorists are realising that
changes to the mechanics of a
process should not be considered
without taking into account the
people who have to make them work.
The problem is, how to achieve the
advantages of l ow volume operations
(job satisfaction, close control, good
communication) without losing the
economic advantages normally
associated w i t h continuous f l o w – l i ne
John Wood, Deputy Manager,
Production Engineering, believes one
answer may lie in Group Technology.
As in the majority of machine shops.
we have at Mitcheldean what is
known as ‘functional plant layout’ —
that is, all the mills, drills, lathes, etc,
are grouped together. Components
f o l l ow a complicated path throughout
the Machine Shop, visiting various
types of machines in random fashion,
making control difficult, and in many
cases taking five or six months to
reach the finished parts stores.
In recent weeks, 10 to 15 per cent
of the shop has been involved in
testing a different style of layout,
w i t h trial groups of machines
dedicated to making smaller batches
of specific parts which have similar
machining and/or geometric
Two of the units (nos. 2 and 4)
have been set up specially — the
various drills, mills, Borematics, etc,
having been moved to a cleared area
for the test runs; and t w o (nos. 5
and 7) virtually existed already (the
big Brasshouse machines making
side frames for the 3600, and the
Cincinnati N/C machines making
drum supports for the 4000) but the
necessary controls had not been
‘We’ve been on the trail for nearly
t w o years,’ said Mr Wood. ‘It was in
November 1972 that we first
approached a firm of consultants.
Group Technology International, to
do a survey and advise whether GT
could be introduced with advantage
to the Company.’
Although little is known of the
applications in Russia, a number of
Western companies, Serck Audco and
Ferodo among them, have put GT
f u l ly into practice. Every f i rm which
has gone in for GT ‘ w i th the right
attitude’ has claimed substantial
The consultants thought we could
too, and they prepared a report
showing how the Machine Shop
could be reorganised into units
(the experts call them ‘cells’), and
giving the control procedures to be
Brian Fisher (left), shop loader for the trial
units, and Norman Rudge, day shift
supervisor Behind them — the ‘profile’, a
rotary loading chart showing work input
over a four-week period.
Our Management agreed t o the
running of four trial units. Said
Mr Wood : ‘Prior to March this year,
when we were ready to run, we gave
a presentation to senior shop and
section stewards and by and large
we received no adverse reaction.’
Of the wide range of advantages
expected from GT, the most
dramatic is that resulting from
reduced throughput times, due to
less queueing between operations.
Reductions in cost of handling
(because machines are positioned
close together), and in costs of
setting and materials (because of
planned loading sequence and
‘family’ processing), increase in
capacity, better quality, and reliable
delivery, are other advantages.
On the social side, GT offers
benefits by reducing monotony,
encouraging participation, improving
group communications and enabling
effective reaction to unforeseen
We talked to some of those concerned
w i t h the test runs to see what their
own reactions were.
Said Fred Tedds, Manager of
Mitcheldean Machine Shop: ‘I see
GT as being better from the shop
The test runs have been monitored by a fortnightly meeting between representatives from
Machine Shop, PED, Quality Assurance, Work Study, Production, O B M, Information
Systems, Works Engineering, Accounts, Production Control and Personnel. Chairman of
the GT committee is John Wood (centre). Deputy Manager, Production Engineering.
Night shift supervisor Tony Sharpe with
setter Terry J ode. Said Terry: 7 thinly GT
has got to come — it cuts down throughput
time, and it mattes for a better worldng
supervision point of view. The
sections get a batch of work to do
each week and can clearly see
problems as they arise. Inventory is
cut, work movement is reduced, and
we get better use of productive floor
‘Items can be traced easily, and if
machines break down, the impact on
production is known immediately.
People are more interested too —
they get a feeling of involvement.’
As foreman (day shift) of trial
units 2 and 4, Norman Rudge
confirmed that GT improved work
What about the operators ? ‘We
didn’t direct anyone; we asked people
if they would be prepared to take
part in the test runs and we had no
refusals. We set out a ‘profile’ or
load input chart; as we went along,
people put forward ideas for
improving it — GT gives them a say
in things.’
What about training ? ‘It was
surprising how much ability was
already there. With GT, people may
be switched from one type of
machine to another, or to work on
the bench, and in many cases people
didn’t need any additional training.
After the first week output was above
shop average.’
Night shift supervisor Tony Sharpe
also sounded enthusiastic. ‘It has
certainly created a better working
atmosphere. People feel they have
an identity — there’s a family feeling
about the units which helps in
overcoming any problems.’
Operators Miles Brookes and Gilbert
Phelps recalled when they worked in
a similar set-up on the 813 shaft line
some years back. ‘We had a really
good section going w i t h drilling,
grinding, milling, reaming; we don’t
think there’ll be any difficulties if this
develops in the same way.’
At the time of writing, unit 4 had
been fully operational for around two
months; the more recent unit 2
is a bigger, more complicated set-up
and may throw up additional
The production control side
(provisioning and shop loading) is
very much affected. The trial
units have been manually
provisioned, but, should the scheme
be extended to the rest of the shop,
there would have to be modification
of our computerised material
requirements planning system
The general feeling here seemed to
be: ‘Although full introduction of
GT would imply a fairly changed way
of doing things, there is nothing
impossible, given sufficient time to
work things out in reasonably stable
A n o t h e r A p p r o a ch
As we went to press, eight of the
machines in the N/C Machine Centre
had been accepted for production.
Six of the total 19 had still to be
installed, and it is hoped that all will
be in by the end of the year.
I he
At the beginning of July, Charles
Loughlin made what was probably
his last appearance at Mitcheldean as
MP for West Gloucestershire, since
he will not be standing at the next
Accompanied by his wife, he lunched
w i t h members of RX Management,
Plant trade union officials,
representatives of the Forest of Dean
Trades Council, the LSA, and the
Sports & Social Club.
Mr Loughlin recalled that the first
speech he made in the House of
Commons had been based on the
need to do something about the
unemployment situation in the
Forest area. He spoke of the growth
of Rank Xerox, and its relation to the
prosperity of the area.
Manufacturing Group Director Derek
Portman wished him a long and
happy retirement, and Louis Couque,
General Manager of our Lille Plant,
presented a bouquet to Mrs Loughlin.
‘The French do certain things better
than others,’ commented Mr Portman !
Shirley Popejoy {that’s her marked ‘For Export’) and her family were emigrating to Canada,
and supervisor Jack Venn {out of our picture) was about to present her with a bouquet on
behalf of her friends in Electrical Sub Assembly, when Mr Loughlin happened along with
Works Manager Don Elliott and kindly did the presentation instead !
I r. Mrs Loughlin talking with Edna Hanman
{RXC Machine Shop). Sadie Scott {Elec.
Sub Assembly) and Margaret Winch
(secretary to Mr Portman).
Mr and Mrs Loughlin chat to Des Gibbs
{4000 Assembly supervisor).
This month the doors of the West
Gloucestershire College of Further
Education open to admit its new
intake for the 1974/75 session.
And if the present trend continues,
the numbers will be higher than
those for September 1973 when
3,055 students were enrolled.
This trend is not due just to the
population explosion — or to the
Engineering Industries Training
Board. Possibly part of the answer
lies in the fact that the atmosphere at
college is free from the constraints of
school. People come to learn because
they choose to do so, not because
they must.
Says Jeffrey Welburn, the principal:
‘We keep regulations to a minimum,
we don’t breathe down their necks.’
The students have their own
association, run on independent
lines; the use of an assembly hall for
functions, sports facilities including
tennis courts and t w o football pitches,
a well-stocked library, and a
refectory offering excellent fare at
reasonable prices.
Twenty years in further education,
Mr Welburn was previously at the
FE College in Welwyn Garden City.
‘We had Rank Xerox people there
too !’ Three years ago he took up the
post of principal of what is still
remembered by many as the
Cinderford Mining & Technical
School (it became a college in
B e l o w : A student on the optics course
lool W l i y T ER
Saturday. Ocfobar 26
supported by
T H E H I – L I F E S H O W B A ND
f=^nlday, November 29
Return visit of the fabulous
R A V E L L l i y G T O lM
B A I V D «. S i n i e E RS
supported by
r i n g Roy S t e w a r d , e x t . 169
F o r S a le
Desmo e x t e n d i n g roof rack, as n e w . S/S
sink t o p , R/H drainer. R. M o r r i s , ext. 272.
Welson guitar, g o o d c o n d i t i o n , in case.
Reid Hopkins, S p o t w e l d , ext. 2 7 2.
Detached 3 – b e d r o om house at M i t c h e l d e a n,
double g l a z i n g t h r o u g h o u t , d e t a c h e d garage
w i t h w o r k s h o p and W C , gas central heating,
corner plot w i t h w e l l planned and s t o c k ed
garden. Many extras t o i n c l u d e carpets, gas
f i r e , pelmet l i g h t s , f i t t e d k i t c h e n units, etc.
£ 1 2 , 0 0 0 o.n.o. R. C. J o n e s , ext. 8 6 9.
T w o rally seat covers t o fit 1 1 0 0 – 1 3 0 0 cc
cars, black, £7 pair. Leather rally steering
wheel 13 in. t o f i t B L M C 1 1 0 0 – 1 3 0 0 range
of cars, £ 3 – 5 0 . C. M a h o n e y , ext. 9 1 1 .
T r i c y c l e w i t h carrier, pedal boat and pedal
tractor, all T r i a n g . A. Meek, ext. 744.
H i l l m a n spares. T. Daunter, S u p p l y Centre
Transport, ext. 236.
Mothercare pram, g o l d , very g o o d c o n d i t i o n,
c o m p l e t e w i t h accessories i n c l u d i ng
s h o p p i n g tray, £16 o.n.o. Also Baby
Relaxer, £ 1 . E. Cole, RX C i n d e r f o r d , ext.
917, or 2 4 S u n n y Bank, C o l e f o r d.
C o l e f o r d , 3 – y e a r – o l d detached 3 – b e d r o om
house, quiet central c u l – d e – s a c , f i t t ed
k i t c h e n , gas central heating, garage, etc.
Offers around £ 1 2 , 8 5 0 . Coleford 2557.
4 – b e d r o om detached house, central h e a t i n g,
d o u b l e g l a z i n g t h r o u g h o u t , garage, £ 1 6 , 5 0 0.
Waterside, R o s s – o n – W y e . Colin Butler,
ext. 3 2 8 or Ross 3 9 8 8.
Pair c o r d e d j o d h p u r s , 2 4 i n . w a i s t , £2.
Goodyear tyre, 6 0 0 x 13, 1 5 0 miles approx.,
£4 50. D. A. T r i g g , Op. 4 0 , 4 0 0 0 mini line,
ext. 907.
W h e n s e n d i n g i n i t e m s p l e a s e g i v e y o ur
e x t e n s i o n n u m b e r and/or d e p a r t m e n t t o e n s u re
i n c l u s i o n .
V e n e t i a n b l i n d , pale lime, 5ft 6 i n w i d e , 3ft
d r o p , excellent c o n d i t i o n , £5 o.n.o.
R. C o l e m a n , ext. 208.
S e m i – d e t a c h e d 2 – b e d r o o m b u n g a l o w w i th
garage, large k i t c h e n & e l e c t r i c central
h e a t i n g , £ 9 , 0 0 0 . R. Kempster, Lydney
ext. 10, or D r y b r o o k 5 4 2 9 6 9 evenings.
O i l – f i l l e d e l e c t r i c radiator, Dimplex, £12.
E x t e n d i n g 3 – t i e r ladder, almost new, £8.
Mrs. G. A. Nevell, 96 Eastern Avenue,
M i t c h e l d e a n .
H i g h pram, Marmet, b r o w n , c o l l a p s i b l e,
s h o p p i n g tray f i t t e d , £ 1 5 . G. Horlick,
Carpenters Shop, or 4 3 Old Dean Road,
M i t c h e l d e a n .
T w o – b e d r o o m e d d e t a c h e d b u n g a l o w,
M i t c h e l d e a n , £ 8 , 5 0 0 Drybrook 5 4 2 9 0 9 or
ext. 104.
1 9 6 8 Mini C o u n t r y m a n M k 2 , 1 0 0 0 cc,
e x c e l l e n t c o n d i t i o n , £ 3 5 0 . S. Foy, ext. 917
or C i n d e r f o r d 2 2 2 5 2.
W a n t e d
‘ T i k i M a o r i ‘ ( N Z j a d e f i g u r e ) . Mrs M.
Dunkley, ext. 9 7 2.
S e w i n g and d r e s s m a k i n g d o n e at home.
Mrs S. Cromie, 8 W o o d v i e w Orchard
Caravan Site, C i n d e r f o r d.
People i n t e r e s t e d in f o r m i n g an air r i f le c l u b.
F. Prosser, S e c u r i t y , or D r y b r o o k 5 4 2 0 1 1.
A n y o n e t o make up a car f o u r s o m e f r om
L e d b u r y t o M i t c h e l d e a n . Staff hours.
B. D o w n i n g , ext. 5 3 4.
F o r H i re
D i s c o / l i c e n s e d bar f o r b i r t h d a y or
engagement parties, etc. Best rates.
Glan J o n e s , ext. 6 7 7 or C i n d e r f o r d 2 2 9 9 1.
F o r y o u r e n t e r t a i n m e nt
C o n t a c t S. A. Gaylard E n t e r t a i n m e n ts
A g e n c y — d i s c o s a s p e c i a l i t y . Drybrook
5 4 2 8 0 7 .
S t i n g s R e m o v ed
Wasp nests r e m o v e d free of charge.
C i n d e r f o r d 2 2 8 1 8.
T o L et
V i l la o n Costa Blanca, S p a i n , a c c o m m o d a t i on
f o r up t o 6 persons. Further d e t a i l s f r om
W a l l a c e Wheeler, R o s s – o n – W y e 3 4 0 2.
If y o u have, t h e n p l e a s e—
let your d e p a r t m e n t a l c o r r e s p o n d e n t know,
or leave it at any Gate House f o r c o l l e c t i on
by me,
or post it t o me at Tree Tops, Plump Hill,
M i t c h e l d e a n ,
or ring m e — i t ‘ s D r y b r o o k 5 4 2 4 1 5.
Myrtle Fowler. Editor
Printed in England by Taylor, Young (Printers) Ltd.