Return to 1975-1979

Vision 118

The 9200 Goes Zoom!
In the early 1960’s, when ‘Xerox’
was a mysterious section tucked
away in Building 11, we
introduced the zoom lens on a
range of cine cameras. Now a
similar facility is available on our
latest product, adding infinitely
to the flexibility of the 9200.
it was on behalf of Rank Xerox
that development of the zoom
lens was undertaken by Xerox
Corporation; we could foresee
a need for the facility in view of
the variety of paper sizes
available in the European and
Japanese markets.
Our cover picture, taken in the
Optics Laboratory, shows
engineer Keith Williams at the
operative end of the Eros
equipment used to measure the
quality of the image produced
by prototype lens.
Adjusting the zoom lens mounted
in the centre is Frank Cannings,
who has recently moved to
Engineering Group to work for
David Day as Assistant Manager,
Optical Technology. (See story
on page 6).
Director, Manufacturing Operations (UK)
Jack Tester
You will know, from notices that have appeared and the announcement in
the last issue of VISION, that a complete restructuring of our Manufacturing
organisation has taken place, but you may not be aware of our reasons for
embarking on such a big step.
In September 1975, the Manufacturing Group ‘Change of Direction’
Conference indicated some major changes in the environment within which
the Group is operating. These changes which have become evident largely over
the last two years are both external and internal.
Externally, we have had to face an economic recession in the Western world,
increased competition, an inflationary situation, and the fact that manufacturing
costs are becoming an increasing factor in total Company performance.
Internally, we have experienced problems concerning quality, excessive
inventory levels, material control disciplines, lack of uniformity in our systems
and low utilisation of plant capacity.
All these problems were reviewed and proposals were developed to work
towards their resolution; part of those proposals involved a restructured
In addition, three main objectives were posed for the Operations side of
Manufacturing Group — priority of attention to quality, increase in cost
effectiveness, and adherence to programmes.
Within the UK and Continental Operations structures the aim is to have
uniformity across all plants — that is to say, we are adopting the same sort
of organisation and, as far as possible, the same policies and procedures.
In order to bring this about, and to enable UK Operations to work towards
the achievement of the three objectives mentioned, a structure has been
adopted which divides both Mitcheldean and Welwyn into a number of
Centres (either Operations or Support).
Each Centre Manager has responsibility for achieving those objectives within
his particular sphere; each has responsibility for making the decisions, and
has been given the necessary resources within certain bounds, to enable
him to carry out that task. The Centres located at Mitcheldean are as follows:
Current Products
Works Management
Manufacturing Engineering
Jim Mitcfiell
Manager, Current
The 9200 and Current Products Operations Centre Managers each have
responsibility for: production engineering work on the assembly activities of
their specific models; quality control, including quality engineering;
production control; and the assembly activities concerned.
The Works Manager has responsibility for: production engineering work
on components; quality control, including quality engineering, on parts
fabrication ; production control (in order to ensure that the assembly teams
can call off those parts demanded by the programme, and that spares demands
are met); parts manufacturing operations; purchasing (centralised for all
activities); and provision of a site-wide Works Engineering service.
The Manufacturing Engineering Support Centre Manager has responsibility
for: co-ordination of activities on new products; tool engineering (including
electronics); industrial engineering; quality engineering on new products;
and functional control of production engineering and quality control teams
reporting into Operations Centres.
Finance and Personnel Support Centre Managers have normal functional
support and service responsibilities.
It is now essential that everyone, no matter what their status, within this new
structure strive together to achieve a successful future by concentrating on
our three main objectives:
• quality • cost-effectiveness # meeting production schedules on time
All alien forces take note — we have Dr
Who on our side! His presence at the
Bristol launching pad (where he first
appeared disguised as the Branch h/lanager
Sales) helped to create the right
U F T O F F –
F A m i o n i !
The last view we at Mitcheldean
usually get of a machine made on
site is when it is carried out of the
Plant on the back of a lorry.
From then on it’s up to the people in
our Operating Companies to find it
a good — and profitable — home.
But up to last February we’d never
met any of them or had much idea
how they go to work.
So we were delighted to be invited
to attend the sales launch of the
9200 by the West of England branch.
The three-day event was held at
Rank’s Unicorn Hotel in Bristol and
followed a pattern set for all 17
branches of the UK Company
throughout the country.
To kick off, there was a presentation
to some 120 print room managers at
which TV personality Raymond
Baxter did an excellent ‘Tomorrow’s
World’ act featuring the 9200.
On the second day the guests were
the people who sign on the dotted
line — directors and managers from
leading companies in the area. Their
presentation was followed by
the branch launch itself when
salesmen and others connected with
the selling operation gathered for
their own in-house version. And
what a show it was !
Launching the 9200 into the market
was likened to the lift-off of a
spaceship. Hard-hitting sales talks,
backed up by screen and stage
presentations, followed each other
in slick succession.
We had ‘the print room of the future’
with two silver-clad key operators
commanding a couple of 9200’s,
engineers in spacesuits, not to
mention a whole galaxy of well-timed
sound and light effects. Even
Dr Who dropped by !
A highlight of the show was when
the flexibility and productivity of the
9200 was strikingly demonstrated in
a race between the two star machines,
proving that the 9200 takes only a
few seconds more to cope with a
complicated multi-original collation
job than it does with a straightforward
duplicating run.
Salesmen were exhorted to ‘sell big.
sell hard and sell new’; centralised
print areas, especially those using
outside printers for rush jobs, are the
main target, and it was emphasised
that the 9200 should not displace
existing RX machine placements that
were profitable.
This high volume high revenue
machine is necessitating not only
new selling methods but also new
technical and supply strategies to
ensure maximum machine
availability. (It got a bit specialised
at this point — words like stocking
echelon, telephone diagnostics and
emertel, fell strangely on the ears of
us Mitcheldean mortals.)
If manufacturing costs for our
newest product are much greater, so
too is the selling effort needed.
To further fire the sales force into
obtaining orders (the ‘fuel’ needed
to launch the 9200 into orbit), a
special award scheme was announced.
There are still more branch launches
to come and, in any case, the
‘selling cycle’ for a single machine
takes about six months. But so far
the reception of the 9200 in the
field generally has been very
Some UK Users
UK concerns w h o have already
installed 9200 machines include
such household names a s Cadbury
Schweppes, British Rail, E s s o , I C I,
Pilkington. Massey-Ferguson, Rolls
Royce, McAlpine (who have t w o ),
G E C (with three), and Vauxhall
Motors who have taken four.
It is important
that the 9200
should be placed
in the right
RX TRAIN STOPS AT LEIPZIG A five-coach British-built train was
the central exhibit in the British
sector at this year’s Leipzig Spring
Fair, held from March 14-21. It was
the Rank Xerox exhibition train built
by British Rail at Swindon and
specially constructed with a
demonstration coach, conference
room, staff living quarters and
service areas.
Demonstrations were held on the
train during the Fair to launch the
Xerox 4500 in the Deutsche
Demokratische Republik market. A
range of our other copier-duplicator
machines was also shown.
The Rank Xerox export drive in
Eastern Europe began nine years ago
and we have exhibited at the
Spring Fair every year since.
In 1973 a new dimension in
developing trading contracts started
with the launch of the RX train,
which has just paid its third visit to
Leipzig. With a changing display of
the latest copiers and duplicators,
it has travelled over 50,000 miles
through nine countries, and
demonstrations have been given to
more than 80,000 government
officials, technicians and managers
from a wide range of industries.
After the Fair the train left for
Karlovy-Vary and will be staying in
Czechoslovakia until May when it is
scheduled to return to this country
for a major refit.
‘Look & Listen Exercise
In order to get a quick feed-back of
any problems encountered when
typical installations of the 9200 are
made, whether within the Company
or at customer’s locations,
representatives from either Field
Engineering, Manufacturing or
Engineering go along to look, listen
and take note.
The observers from Manufacturing
Operations (UK) are chosen mainly
for their knowledge of the machine.
They may be sent to London, like
production engineer Neil Jones and
Roger Smallman (Quality Control)
who both went to attend one
installation ; or they may go abroad,
like production engineer Ian Paterson
who found himself in Paris covering
not one but three installations (one
of them with Radio France).
Says John Pinniger, Manager, 9200
Programme Co-ordination: ‘Although
we are primarily interested in
A revised telephone directory is
about to make its appearance — in a
completely new Eurosize form.
Running to some 100 pages, it
covers 15 Rank Xerox locations in
Europe served by the Intelnet
As in the PO directory, names appear
alphabetically (there’s no pecking
order). Each name is followed by
the Intelnet number (which at this
site is the same as the internal
telephone number), the GPO number,
an abbreviated account of the
person’s function, the departmental
code and building/floor numbers.
For example, Roy Brooks, Manager —
Communications, has an entry as
Brooks, R. A. 888 396 MP/Pers/Comms 6229 23/2
MP stands for Mitcheldean Plant,
Pers for Personnel Department and
Comms for Communications; this
sort of abbreviation is necessary as
manufacturing-related problems,
we are also using the opportunity to
feed back any other queries from
the field — say, for example, a point
concerning the service manual.
‘In fact, whenever anyone has been
on observation duty, he reports back
to Field Engineering at Slough for a
de-briefing session.’
John, together with Ron Martin,
MG Programme Co-ordinator, is
providing the direct liaison into
Manufacturing Group for this
co-ordination exercise.
Reception in Japan
Alan Kennaugh, electrical training
supervisor, 9200 Assembly, has gone
much further afield than any observer
on 9200 business; he recently spent
a week with Fuji Xerox, attending
the arrival of the first batch of zoom
lens machines sent over from
13 characters is the maximum
allowed spacing.
Other prefixes you’ll notice are
TSSG (Supply), Eng (Engineering)
and MG (Manufacturing Group).
Each site section, identifiable by
different coloured pages, also includes
a glossary of abbreviations and
‘personal’ information relating to
that site.
Says Mr Brooks: ‘This directory has
come about as a result of the Intelnet
private communication network.
Intelnet has been very successful
since its inauguration ; it would be
even more successful if people
would keep their calls as brief as
possible so allowing the system to
benefit a greater number of users.’
It is planned to issue the directory
every three months. The accuracy
depends on input, so please make
sure that, if you have an entry and
you do make a move, you advise
Communications promptly.
Improved Benefits
for You and Yours
A further improvement has taken
place in the benefits provided for
employees and their dependants in
the event of a serious accident to or
the death of an employee (and that
includes those who have not yet
become members of the pension
Briefly, the revised benefits are as
• Where death occurs, regardless of
the cause, time or place, a lump sum
is payable to the employee’s
dependants of 4 x his or tier annual
salary at the date of death.
• Where death occurs due to an
accident, but regardless of the time
or place, an additional lump sum is
payable to the employee’s
dependants of 2 x his or her annual
salary, making a total benefit of 6 x
his or her annual salary at the date
of death.
• Where an accident occurs
(regardless of time or place) resulting
in the loss of limbs or eyes or in
permanent total disablement, a lump
sum is payable to the employee of 6 x
his or her annual salary. This benefit
does not prejudice any claim which
the employee may have in law
against the Company or third parties
for damages resulting from the
• In addition to the above, the
present level of benefits in respect of
widows’ pensions, children’s
allowances and discretionary
allowances for other dependants will
The cost of these improved benefits
is borne entirely by the Company.
Full details are available in a booklet
which you can obtain from the
Personnel Department. They will
also let you have any additional
information concerning the revised
benefits or you can contact the
secretary of the Rank Xerox Pension
Scheme, Mr A. C. Chapman, Bridge
House, Oxford Road, Uxbridge,
Middx. Tel: Uxbridge 51133.
If you have, then please —
mall it to me c /o Reception, Building 23
or leave it at any Gate House for
collection by me,
or post it to me at Tree Tops, Plump Hill,
or ring me — it’s Drybrook 542415.
Myrtle Fowler, Editor
HOUI/ABOUTABIT? Don’t get u s wrong — a B I T stands for a Beat Inflation T i p . If you’ve
any bright ideas on t h a t subject, don’t keep t h em to yourself — p a ss
them on to u s . You could w i n a couple of pounds in t he p r o c e s s .
You may, for example, have a t ip f o r getting more mileage out of every
gallon, or a hint on h ow to s t r e t c h the housekeeping money that little
bit further.
We’ll pay £ 2 f o r every one t h a t ‘ s published in each succeeding i s s u e of
V I S I O N . There’s no deadline, j u s t w r i t e the idea down, together with
your full name, department and internal extension (if a n y ) , and send it in
an internal envelope addressed t o : T h e Editor, V I S I O N , c / o Reception,
Building 23.
PS C e r t s for t he f l a t racing s e a s o n do not qualify.
Directory goes Eurosize
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n e e t i n g p l a c e m e e t i n g p l a c e meeting p l a c e m e e t i n g p l a c e m e e t i n g p i a c<
! a c e m e e t i n g p l a c e m e e t i n g p l a c e m e e t i n g p l a c e m e e t i n g p l a c e mee^
Every week George Carpenter
covers about 1,000 miles in his
Minibus, operating between our
locations at Mitcheldean, Cinderford,
Lydney and on occasion. Northern
Two Minibuses are used on the
inter-plant circuit, which provides an
hourly service, but whereas the other
bus is driven by different drivers,
George is ‘dedicated’ to his.
He’s driven various types of vehicles
in his career — a breakdown lorry
when he worked with Red & White
Services, a Spacemaster in the Supply
Centre — but he prefers the
Minibus to them all.
He carries passengers, delivers mail
and occasionally takes the sick
person home.
‘I meet lots of folk this way and it
livens up the day. I had two full
loads this morning —the nice
weather seems to bring out the
He’s so sold on the life he’s even
called one of his six home-trained
greyhounds ‘Minibus’, though it
does go a heck of a lot faster than
the Ford Custom’s average speed.
‘I race my dogs at Gloucester and
Bristol’, George told us, ‘and
Minibus has won 11 races so far.’
George is a youthful grandfather (his
daughter is married to Roger
Kempster, an inspector at Lydney);
his brother, Andy Carpenter, also
works at the Plant, in 4000 Dept, and
so does Andy’s wife Sandra who
was featured in our January issue
when she received a financial award
for success in her studies.
Having interviewed Controller John
Field (see next issue) we stopped for
a chat with his secretary Jane
Carney, and discovered that she, too,
believes in keeping figures in good,
healthy shape.
Making use of the Leisure Centre
facilities in Gloucester, she’s recently
taken up both Keep Fit and swimming.
Her husband, Alan, who works in
Facilities Planning, has done
competitive swimming and, she
says: ‘I’ve always been left paddling
with the toddlers so I want to catch
up. So far I’ve managed a very
splashy crawl!’
Alan is taking a Works Management
course and he also does rugby
training (he plays for the ‘old boys’
team of Sir Thomas Rich’s School)
so Jane finds these leisure pursuits
help fill the hours when he’s not
They both used to work at Dowty’s
but it was through the rugby club
that they met — Jane used to type
the minutes for the secretary.
They were married about 18 months
ago, have their own house and enjoy
adding improvements. Jane reckons
she does the ‘planning’ while Alan
provides the ‘facilities’.
They share the housework. ‘Alan
doesn’t mind using the Hoover as he
regards it as a masculine piece of
machinery — but he draws the line
at wielding the duster.’
For relaxation Alan likes to play his
12-string guitar, despite the cat’s
noisy objections, while Jane finds a
creative outlet in sewing and
cooking — ‘especially anything with
a drop of plonk in it!’
iVIike Stevenson works in
Resources Planning (Industrial
j Engineering) but his life doesn’t
really revolve around a pocket
Hailing from the Black Country, he
has now settled in Mitcheldean
village and is involving himself in its
community life.
The opening of the new centre has
meant that the youth club can be
re-started and Mike is a committee
member along with John Hek, John
Jones, Dave Powell, Vere Christopher
and others. He also represents the
club on the Community Association
committee, and is helping improve
the main hall by putting in subdued
lighting and spotlights for use on
social occasions.
His other main interests come under
the headings of singing, steam and
A one-time choirboy, he’s now a
first tenor with Drybrook Male Voice
Choir. He says he likes all kinds of
music but puts Beethoven top of his
charts. His collection of 420 LPs is
chiefly of the classical variety, with
some pop records ‘for when I want
to relive my adolescence I’
He first fell for steam trains when, as
a member of a loco spotters’ club, he
tripped head first into the engine
inspection pit at King’s Cross. Now
he owns a mass of model railway
equipment and is conducting ‘a
psychological exercise’ on his wife,
trying to persuade her that a complete
railway layout would look very nice
in their spare room.
As for stamps, Mike specialises in
the Indian variety; he also has a
world collection and considers his
British Colonials an advance on
etchings I
The fitting of the 9200 with a zoom
lens means that the user, instead of
being restricted to choosing any one
of the three fixed reduction ratios, can
select any scale of image between
the two existing limits — 102 per
cent magnification down to 61 -5 per
cent reduction.
By turning the zoom knob, he can
experiment, adjusting the size of the
image to order and noting the ratios
on the digital display unit in relation
Zoom lens specialist Mike Sherborne (right)
discusses a drawing detail with Lionel
Fisher, another member of the 9200
design team. mm to the prints produced.
When he has decided on the ratio he
wants, he selects the quantity and
any other facility — and at the push
of a button out come the prints with
the image ‘cut down to size’ or
slightly enlarged.
The three fixed reduction ratios are
being retained because they are the
ones most frequently used : 98 per
cent is useful to avoid cutting off
print where this goes right to the
L e f t : Production Engineering technologist Ron Watkins at the CTF (contrast
transfer function) bench in Building 32, specially commissioned for production
testing of the zoom lens ; Ron is looking at an NC control cabinet — out of this
picture but in the one on the right, where electronics engineer Brian Snelgrove is seen
pressing one of the manual controls. Watching is David Day. Manager, Optical
Technology, Engineering Group.
In 9200 Assembly — left Bill Whitlock fits the zoom lens into the optics assembly
and sets it; right Gordon Jones assembles the console; a separate ‘image reduction’
panel incorporates the zoom controls and the digital display unit which flags
up the ratios.
edge of the original; 75 per cent is
for reducing computer print-outs to
standard A4 size; and 71 -6 per cent
is the reduction from A3 to A4 size.
These ratios are fixed during
assembly, but they can be unfixed by
the engineer when the machine is
installed, and reset to other ratios at
the discretion of the customer (oddly
enough these modes are referred to
by the technical types as ‘discrete
positions’ — yes, they do spell it
like that!).
There is another knob on the ‘image
reduction’ control panel. Only
applicable when the zoom lens has
been selected, it enables the user to
reposition the image of the original
document, whether it is on the platen
or in the automatic handler, while
the original remains untouched by
human hand, as they say.
This means that users who are
making up books with double-sided
printing can move the text away
from the spine or binding without
juggling with the original or having
to reduce its size. The secret lies in
the timing of the flash exposure.
Fitting the zoom lens has involved
certain changes behind the control
panel in the printed wiring boards, or
logic boards, which form the
command centre of the machine.
And in the optic sub-assembly,
instead of the earlier triple lens (the
main lens, the Add and the Add Add),
there is now one multiple lens.
If you look down through the platen
glass while turning the zoom knob,
first clockwise and then the other
way, you can see how, with each
turn, the lens appears to move up
towards the platen or down into the
depths of the machine.
In reality, the movement is not up or
down but in an almost horizontal
direction, which all goes to prove
how good the mirror image is I
In layman’s language (and we hope
the engineers won’t wince), this is
what happens: when turned, the
zoom knob sends a demand to the
logic board; the board asks the lens
to report on its position via a
potentiometer (‘pot’ to its friends)
and compares the answer with the
demand. Then it instructs the lens
accordingly, causing the lens drive
motor to run it along the rails to the
demanded position.
As the lens moves, it automatically
adjusts the position of its various
elements to suit the demanded ratio.
When a fixed reduction mode is
signalled the same process happens,
but this time the lens is governed by
a pre-set button.
To quote Mike Sherborne, who has
been associated with the design
side ever since the project moved
into close focus at Mitcheldean :
‘As zoom lenses go, this is a pretty
clever piece of gear.’
Clive Cowmeadow (9200 Production
Engineering) and apprentice Roger Ball
take a close look at the jacking mechanism.
Operator Jim Bradley (a fervent Manchester United supporter) presses a button on the
control panel and watches as the module scores a goal at all four corners.
PUSH-BUTTON PALLETISER To keep the 9200 input modules
moving along the production line,
each is mounted on a build ‘dolly’ —
a highly manoeuvrable trolley.
But when they are finally ready for
packing, they have to be transferred
on to a wooden shipping pallet.
Until recently this operation was
carried out by forklift truck; the
trouble was, it tied up the truck for
long periods as the job of placing a
module fair and square on the pallet
was not one that could be rushed.
The PED Planning boys came to the
conclusion that the operation should
be automated in the interests both of
time and safety. A palletiser device
had been created some years ago
for the 2400, predecessor of the
3600, but it was in bad condition,
it wasn’t compact, it involved a good
deal of manual work and in any case
it would have cost almost as much
to automate it as to design a new one.
Planning consulted with TED,
calculators were flourished, rough
sketches made. The crux of the
problem was how to raise the
machine off the build dolly and
lower it safely on to the pallet with
the bolts correctly aligned.
The answer was found in a jack, or
rather four of them, and a complete
tool tryout at the manufacturers,
Racal Engineering (L & H) Ltd of
Tewkesbury, confirmed that the
device was ‘all right’.
The finished palletiser, painted
bright blue, was set up in 9200
Assembly a few months ago and has
been providing an efficiently
automated finish to the manufacturing
The whole operation is controlled by
one man and the palletiser is so
programmed that each step can only
take place in correct sequence.
On arrival, the input module is
wheeled, ADH end first, into the
palletiser between guide rails and
locked into position. From then it is
largely a matter of button pushing.
Bob Brown loads wooden pallets into the
stacker which holds a total of 14.
The jacks, one at each corner, move
in and lift the module up, clear of the
dolly which is wheeled out of the
way. The stacker feeds a pallet on
to a carriage which then moves it
along into position beneath the
raised machine.
Separate up-and-down controls on
the jacking positions are used to
lower the module half-way so that
the operator can check the
alignment. If all is well, he presses
another button on the console, and
the module is fully lowered so that
the bolts go home and can be
firmly secured.
With kits and polythene cover neatly
taped in place, the job is almost
done. Just two more buttons to
press. One works a cylinder which
gently pushes the module on to a
conveyor track (the only part of the
old palletiser to be incorporated in the
new design); then it’s away to the
Warehouse and the big, wide world.
The press on the last button sends
the carriage back to the stacker
position, ready for the next
palletising cycle.
‘As production builds up, we shall
appreciate more and more the
benefits of this final bit of automation
on the input production line,’ said
Assembly Manager Brian Mould.
Alf Parker and Barry Box of TED discuss a point with John Goode (Tool Control).
Way back in the 1930’s, a young man
walked into the drawing office of
our forerunners, British Acoustic
Films who made equipment for the
motion picture industry, and said to
a nervous ‘new boy’: ‘Don’t bother
to stand up— I’m nobody.’
The young man was Stan Pratt, and
the new boy ‘Max’ Miller who
retired from Engineering last year
after 47 years’ service. When, this
February, the time came for Stan
himself to retire, he had risen to the
position of Director of Engineering
Division within the RX Engineering
Group, and his almost half century
of service had encompassed some
outstanding achievements, notably
in the film and television industry.
He was ‘somebody’, and had been
so for many years, but he hated fuss
as much as ever. It was typical of
him that the time of his departure
from Mitcheldean in 1973 to take up
the directorship was so well guarded
by him that even his then secretary
Yvonne Hart was taken by surprise I
A Perfectionist
Mitcheldean people recall him
chiefly as a professional perfectionist.
Says Stan Wheeler, who is now
Electronics Programme & Technical
Services Manager: ‘He has a logical
and unrelenting approach to
problems, the ability to read a
well-researched and well-written
report and, within a few minutes,
detect the only point of weakness,
however subtly disguised. He is
invariably right.’
ASP admits to no formal
qualifications, yet he is a Fellow of
the Royal Photographic Society, of
the British Kinematography Sound &
Television Society and of the
American Society of Motion Picture
and Television Engineers; in 1962
he received an ‘Oscar’ — the
American Academy of Motion
Picture Arts & Sciences Award of
Merit for Outstanding Achievement —
for the design of an automatic film
colour printer.
In the field of Xerox activities, he
was one of the key men who
assisted at the birth of Rank Xerox.
To keep our account in chronological
order (ASP always liked people to
be logical), Stan first came to
Mitcheldean during the war to head
up Engineering, and he had a large
part to play in the design and
development of transformers.
But by 1947 he was back at
Shepherds Bush where, as Chief
Engineer, he was responsible for
much original work that greatly
furthered the development of the
film and television industry in this
In the interests of diversification, it
had been arranged for BAF to make
Bell & Howell equipment in Britain
under licence, and it was on a visit
to B & H in the USA that the late
Tom Law (later Managing Director
of Rank Xerox), together with Stan
Pratt as technical adviser, first met
Joe Wilson and his colleagues in the
Haloid Corporation, the forerunner
of Xerox.
Their purpose was to look at the
xerographic process invented by
Chester Carlsen; they subsequently
persuaded the Rank Organisation
Board to take on the commercial
application of this process and
Rank Xerox as we know it today
grew directly out of that Rochester
meeting in 1955.
The Company was by this time
known as Rank Precision Industries
and in 1960 Stan moved back to
Mitcheldean at the request of Fred
Wickstead, then Manager of the Cine
& Photographic Division. Stan
became Chief Engineer and, as
Stan Pratt appraises the precision worl< on a
glass decanter which was the gift of his
former associates at Bell & Howell His
friends and colleagues at Mitcheldean,
aware of his interest in sailing, gave him
a sextant which was presented by
Engineering Manager Tony Burke {seen
right). On the left is Mrs Fred Wickstead.
Said Stan: ‘Those of you who continue
must keep up the good work — / shall come
back and haunt you if you don’t!’
Tony Burke put it, ‘Just as Fred was
the force behind Mitcheldean, Stan
was the force behind Mitcheldean
Engineering, not only guiding and
driving the massive growth which
followed the xerographic ‘explosion’,
but leaving a permanent (so long
as we maintain it) understanding in
Engineering, and in Manufacturing
as well, of the concept of design
During his time here with us, Stan
was responsible for ‘bashing more
than a few engineers into shape’, as
Stan Wheeler puts it. Many are
now in senior posts at Rank Film
Laboratories, the BBC, Bell &
Howell — ‘not forgetting most of us
engineers at Rank Xerox !’
By a strange coincidence, the
retirement dinner for Stan Pratt, held
on February 13 at Mitcheldean,
came close to being the 21st
anniversary of that first meeting in
March 1955 which led to the
formation of Rank Xerox.
Among the gathering of old friends
and colleagues was Fred Wickstead
who pointed out that Stan’s great
contribution lay ‘not only in what he
did for the Company but also in the
example he set as a person.’
A Practical Academic
Tony Burke described Stan as a rare
combination — a practical academic;
practical in the sense that he had a
masterly feel for Engineering, for
materials, for parts, for machines and
how they will behave in service;
academic in the sense that he has
always retained a spirit of enquiry
and a concern for accuracy.
‘He has always set a standard of
perfection for himself and for others. . .
His capacity for analysis led him to
pioneer, develop and maintain with
great success organisational and
administrative innovations as well
as technical ones. It also enabled
him to master technologies and to
hold his own with any of the experts.’
Stan Pratt’s technical achievements
make an awe-inspiring list. Chiefly
associated with the film and television
industry, they have included a range
of studio, processing and projection
equipment; a number of them, such
as an early miniature cassette tape
recorder and a domestic tape
recorder, were ahead of his time.
We, and many outside our sphere of
operations, owe a great debt of
gratitude to Stan Pratt.
// you’re a speed-writer, you’ll know that those letters stand for ‘It’s good for you — it’s
good for us.’ That was Training Manager Derek Lee’s comment when he presented
certificates last February to a group of students who have been taking courses in the
subject. Having acquired the skill herself last year, Ruth Morgan of Personnel took a diploma
in teaching the subject and is now passing on her knowledge to others. She told us the
girls had worked very hard indeed (three of them gained distinction); the girls in their turn
were ‘very appreciative’ of the help they had received in adding to their business
qualifications. Our picture shows Mr Lee handing a certificate to his secretary Pamela Jones:
centre is Ruth Morgan. The other successful students are (from left, back row) Jane Elsmore,
Carol Wall, Denise Tittensor, Ruth Davies; (seated) Jacqueline Bailey, Jane Davis,
Freda Roberts, Linda Claridge.

Tribute from B & H
Derek Hopes, formerly Export
Manager in the Sales Department of
Rank Precision Industries at
Mitcheldean, and now with Bell &
Howell, brought, with a gift from
‘Bell & Howellers’, a message of
good wishes from his Chicago
‘In Bell & Howell’, he said, ‘there is
still a widespread recognition of the
debt of gratitude which we owe
Stan for the work which he did,
in particular his Oscar-winning
design of the light valve which is the
heart of the Bell & Howell printer;
we are still selling it in ever
increasing numbers throughout the
world, although it was introduced as
long ago as 1961.’ No design has
ever equalled it in reliability and
quality of performance.
The quantities of printers and light
valves sold to motion picture
laboratories throughout the world
represent ‘something like 80 per cent
of the world market for additive film
More Departures
Yet more long serving people left in
February under the recent voluntary
redundancy/early retirement scheme.
Their departure took place before we
had a chance to interview them and
we wish them well in the future.
They are: Marion Brain (RX Lydney)-
15 years; Frank Fellows (Machine
Shop) – 18 years; Lew Hale (OA) –
15 years; Clifford Meek (Polishing
Shop) – 28 years; Mac Powell
(Spares Packing) – 15 years; Harry
Smith (Machine Shop RXC) – 15
years; Frank Symonds (Machine
Shop) – 22 years; Bob (Lofty)
Thomas (Machine Shop) – a total of
38 years.
To help cover the cost of the summer
outing for retired members, an ‘Over
Thirties’ dance was held in the
Social Centre on March 6; Peteira’s
Strict Tempo Dancing Disco gave
their services free, with the result that
nearly £100 was raised for the cause.
in t he
Manufacturing Group
Further to the recently announced
organisation of the Mfg Group
Industrial Engineering function,
Graham Hutcheson has been
appointed Manager, Industrial
Engineering Projects, reporting to
Tony Bryson, Manager, Industrial
Mr Hutcheson joined Manufacturing
Group in December 1973 as Manager,
Personnel Research & Administration;
prior to joining the Company he was
for a number of years with PE
Management Consulting Group.
Manufacturing Operations (UK)
Jack Woods has been appointed
Administration Manager —
Manufacturing Operations (UK) as
from March 1 ; he is responsible to
the Personnel Manager —
Manufacturing Operations (UK).
In his new position Mr Woods
assumes responsibility for all
overseas travel, insurance,
telecommunications, mail, stationery,
catering services, personnel transport
services and all associated matters
connected with the Company’s
Secretariat Department.
In addition, he is assuming
responsibility for the implementation
and maintenance of the Protection of
RX Information Policy and policy
control of Safety and Security matters.
Reporting to Mr Woods are:
Manager — Safety & Security Jack
Timms (with responsibilities for safety,
security and protection of RX
information while retaining those of
Metrication Officer); Manager —
Communications Roy Brooks
(telecommunications, mail and
stationery); Insurance/Travel Officer
John Spratley (overseas travel, all
insurance and Company agreements,
Frank Tonge has succeeded John
Notley as Manager — Transport,
reporting to the Manager, Works
Engineering. He has been with the
Company for 11 years, having been
Supervisor, External Transport, since
1973. Mr Notley has left the
Milton Keynes
The Board has with great regret
accepted the resignation of Dr Theo
Williamson, who originally joined the
Company on a short assignment to
assist Dr Winternitz to build the
Engineering Centre; with this project
now well established he has left to
pursue other interests.
Dr Michael Smith has been appointed
Group Director, Engineering, of the
UK Engineering Centre; he joins the
staff from the Webster Research
Centre where he was Vice-President,
Technical Staff for ITG. He joined
Xerox in 1962 and was previously
Vice-President, Xerographic
Technology Development. He gained
a PhD and Master’s degree at
Southampton University.
The Sports & Social Club ‘board of directors’ for the ensuing year; their responsibilities
are given below, their names are (from the left): front r ow — Gordon Cruickshank,
Roy Steward, Tony Haynes, Jack Woods, Andy Davies; centre — Sadie Pritchard,
Anne Fox; back r ow — Bill Jones, John Ireland, John Earl, Pat Jordan, Barry H/lills,
Roger Kempster,
Talk a b o u t Y o u r Money
The long-awaited annual general
meeting of the Sports & Social Club
took place on February 12 in the
Social Centre. The fact that the
previous AGM had been held as long
ago as April 1974 gave point to the
treasurer’s comment in his report
that the club needs a full-time
Accounts presented covered the two
years to August ’74 and to August
’75. It was intended that a set
covering the five intervening months
would be prepared as at January 31,
’76, for presentation to members this
spring and thereafter accounts
would be presented each spring.
Other main points to which the
treasurer drew attention were:
• Expenditure on social activities
was commensurate with those
provided; the total had in fact
dropped, due to the Company paying
wholly for the children’s parties in
1975; major expenditure had been
on the provision of sporting
equipment in 1975.
# Income showed an acceptable
level regarding subscriptions and the
Bonanza Draw (in which the prize
money had been increased with
minimal effect on profit); bar prices
Total cash in hand as at August 1975
amounted to around £36,000 (at the
end of January this year it had risen
to £37,000).
During the period under review, the
position of assistant treasurer was
relinquished by Anne Fox, whose
help was gratefully acknowledged,
and Gordon Cruickshank had
carried on the work.
Secretary Roy Steward, in his report,
covered the various events and
section activities which we have
regularly reported.
To recap: Table Tennis has done
well (our players won the Hereford
Section Division League and the
Lydney & District League last year);
Chess and Billiards have proved
popular; Shooting is lively; Tennis
was played in season but Adventure
fell by the wayside and Swimming
sank without trace.
Interdepartmental Skittles continues
to attract a big response and
Interdepartmental Football was a
success in 1975; Variety is still
performing; Photographic maintains
its pace, and its place as our longest
surviving club; the strong silent men
keep up their Karate; Dancing is
sitting it out; Bridge was the newest
section until Sailing started getting
had been maintained at a level to
sustain a modest profit only; and
income from the juke box and fruit
machine was limited by opening
• There had been a build-up of
stock in line with the high level of
social activities; the current account
had been reduced and the club now
had two building society accounts —
one with Woolwich and one with
Provincial — which are ordinary share
accounts for short-term investment.
under way. Now there’s the sound of
Music too I
The report of chairman Tony Haynes
was devoted almost entirely to the
question of the provision of new
club facilities.
Those who were at the 1975 AGM
will recall that plans for the provision
of a new club house were going
ahead and the building was targeted
for completion end-1975. But by
the time planning permission had
been obtained, the Company was no
longer able to finance the project,
although the steel and bricks had
already been purchased.
Instead, increased facilities had been
given by the Company in the form of
three rooms in Building 6.
The club had investigated the
possibility of using club funds to
continue the original project but this
proved impossible as a grant would
still be necessary.
Thoughts had then turned to the
conversion of Building 6, using club
finances, but this location could not
be made fully available for some
considerable time.
After discussion, it was decided that
the committee should look into the
various possibilities and a period of
two to three months was fixed
during which any other useful
suggestions put forward could be
considered; these could be brought
to members’ attention at the special
AGM which will have to be held to
consider the five months’ lapsed
accounts referred to earlier.
Andy Davies explained the
reasons behind the proposed new
rule for sectional finances. Hitherto
it had not been the policy of the
club to ‘capitalise’ its equipment, but
to write it off as a loss immediately
which was not realistic; under the
new procedure, equipment could be
Pam Bevan takes note of the proceedings,
just for the record.
itemised as capital and depreciation
shown. The new rule was accepted.
Thanks were expressed to all those
who had supported the club and
shown interest and enthusiasm, not
forgetting Cyril and Nancy Beard
who run the bar facility so efficiently.
O f f i c e r s a n d C o m m i t t ee
The following were elected to office:
chairman—Tony Haynes; secretary—
Roy Steward ; assistant secretary—
Barry Barton; treasurer—Jack Woods;
assistant treasurer—Gordon
Cruickshank; committee—Andy
Davies, John Earl, Anne Fox, John
Ireland, Bill Jones, Pat Jordan,
Roger Kempster, Barry Mills, Sadie
Sectional representatives are:
Billiards — Barry Barton ; Bridge —
Wilf Jones; Chess — John Johnson;
Golf— Dave Robinson ; Karate —
Brian John; Music — Jim Watts;
Photographic — David Payne;
Sailing — Tony Rand;
Shooting — Neil Williams; Skittles —
John George; Table Tennis — Andy
Davies; Tennis— Hubert Evans;
Variety— Eileen Wakeling.
New P u b l i c i t y Post
A new post of publicity officer has
since been created and the first to
hold office is David Payne.
All news for VISION concerning any
section should in future go first to
David and he will chunnel it through
to us. He works in Mfg Group
Purchase on the first floor of Building
42 and his extension is 937.
Frank Prosser moves that the treasurer’s
report be accepted.
S t r i l c i n g a N ew Note
The newly formed Music Society has
already attracted over 50 members.
Aiming atencouraging the appreciation
and performance of music, the
Society’s plans embrace visits to
concerts, evening and lunchtime
‘listening’, the engagement of guest
artistes and workshop sessions.
Membership fee is 50p per annum.
As we went to press, the major
interests of the membership were
being assessed by the officers and
committee. They are: chairman —
Ted Lewis; secretary— Richard
Jones; treasurer — Jim Watts;
committee — Sarah Hall, Angela
Miller, Ian Haynes, Harold Gardiner,
John Johnson.
H a n d i c a p Pool S t i o ot
Members both new and old took
part in a handicap pool shoot at
Meend Farm, Ruardean, on February
22. It consisted of ten going away
birds and five driven pairs. After the
first ten birds, the shoot was wide
open with quite a few people still
in the running. The second ten
really sorted things out, leaving
Neil Williams as outright winner and
Barry Clein a close second. A
shoot-off between Hubert Burton
and Tony Burcher established Tony
in third place.
Man f r o m t t i e BBC
A lot of cats were let out of
broadcasting bags when Dennis Dick
of BBC Bristol came along on
February 20 to give a film and talk to
the Amateur Photographic Club and
guests on President’s Night.
To kick off, there was a colour film
The Distant Horizon”. Made some
years ago on behalf of the
Gloucestershire Training Committee,
it was filmed by club chairman
Robin Berks assisted by Lionel Fisher
and showed the useful work being
done by youth leaders in various
fields who help to widen the
horizons of the young.
Mr Dick complimented the
cameramen on a ‘beautifully shot
film’ before showing his own
excellent film about BBC Bristol.
On a tour behind the glass screen,
we saw the work of the regional TV
station (which produces Points
West), the local radio station, and the
network production centre which
makes programmes on both TV and
radio for national networks.
This latter job may take cameramen
anywhere in the world and poses
considerable problems as regards
gear etc. (‘You can’t ask a penguin
in Patagonia to do the scene again
because the camera has broken
down,’ said Mr Dick).
We saw a relaxed Johnny Morris
planning a jaunt at a Rheinfest, and
doing a live transmission with a
policehorse as co-star; we looked
into the dubbing room where they
mix sound effects, commentary, etc.,
on a multi-track machine; we were
there when they got the news
together, when the Natural History
Unit filmed the lifestyle of the
hunting wasp, when John Craven
chatted up some youngsters about to
appear on his programme. Teamwork
and timing emerged as the vital
Afterwards it was ‘Any Questions’
from the audience which Mr Dick
answered fully and entertainingly.
PS Winner of the ‘Humorous’ slide
competition on March 4 was Bob
Dixon; Jimmy Bake judged the
Golf P r i z e s a n d P l a c es
Golf Society outings for the 1976
season, including venues for pots,
have been arranged as follows:
May 10 — Hereford
June 17 — St Pierre
July 12 — Knowie (Inter-Dept Cup)
August 6 — Abergavenny
September 1 4— St Mellons (Summer Cup)
October 8 — Broadway (Scratch Cup)
Over and above the usual prizes of
65’s there will be an additional £5
voucher for the overall winner on
days out where no pots are being
played for (this is to encourage our
‘cash’ crazy members to attend).
A new competition is being introduced
this year; called the RXGS Order of
Merit, it is based on the best six
cards returned from all society days
out, and is aimed at finding the most
consistent golfer attending.
Officers and committee for the
ensuing year are: Captain—Ian
Billson; chairman—John Cash;
secretary—Derek Parker; treasurer—
John Spratley; Sports & Social Club
representative—Dave Robinson;
committee—Ron Caldicutt, Alistair
Caldwell, Bob Ford, Des Gibbs,
John Jones, Richard Matthews,
Spot Meek, Bill Meek, Brian Wragg.
A r t C o m p e t i t i on
The following are the proposed
classes for the Art Competition:
Painting — Oils: Portraits —
Representative — Abstract/
Impressionistic; Watercolours:
Representative — Abstract/
(max. size —4ft length/breadth).
Sculpture — Any medium —
Representative (handcut, not
Carving— \Noo6, leather/linoleum
(max. size — 2ft square/diameter).
Handicraft — Needlework —
Embroidery — Crochet.
(max. size — 2ft square/diameter).
Judging, by outside artists,
will probably take place late
September or early October.
M e m b e r s P l e a s e Note
Membership cards are now available
from secretary Roy Steward in
Personnel Department.
Though you might think otherwise from
our picture of her, hAary Barnett’s retirement
at the end of February was not an ‘early’
one under the recent scheme. She was
secretary to the Controller, Operations in
Group Finance, but for most of her eight
years with us she worked for IVIike Clibbens,
now fJIfg Group Controller (Continental
Operations). Our picture shows him
presenting her with gifts from her colleagues
at Mitcheldean on her last day at work.
Feather Brain?
Who on night shift at RXC looked out of
the window and exclaimed : ‘Is that snow?’
‘No’, came the reply, ‘it’s someone on the
roof plucking a b . . . . goose 1′
B i r t hs
Emma Louise, a daughter for John Bilton
(Design) and his wife Susan, on January 10.
Nicholas John, a son for Trevor Knight
(Senior Internal Auditor) and his wife
Cathy, on January 20.
Daniel Lee, a son for Michael Howell
(Design) and his wife Lynne, on January 21.
Jodie Emma, a daughter for Anne Boyd
(formerly secretary to Jack Tester, Manager,
Manufacturing Engineering) and her husband
Chris, on February 4.
Scott Anthony, a son for Colin Brickel
(Engineering) and his wife Shirley (formerly
Engineering Records), on February 4
Richard, a son for Roger Bennett (Manager,
Operational & Support Audit) and his wife
Jeanette, on February 6.
Duane Alan, a son for Alan Partridge
(Goods Inwards) and his wife Heather
(formerly Canteen), on February 12.
Samantha Louise, a daughter for John
Brickel (RXC Inspector) and his wife
Phyllis (formerly 4000 Assembly), on
February 14.
Nicola Jane, a daughter for Lynn Sterry
(formerly RX Lydney) and her husband
Roger, on February 24.
Terry and Karen Richards
Karen Rogers (Purchase) to Terry Richards
at St John’s Church, Cinderford, on
January 24.
We are sorry to report the deaths of;
Roy Wakefield (Supply Centre) on March 2
at the age of 47 ; he joined us in September
Stan Griffin (Goods Inwards) on March 6
at the age of 51 ; he came to us in June
Our sympathy goes to their respective
For Sale
GEC b & w TV, 20-inch, good working
order, pleasing appearance, £20 o.n.o.
Drybrook 542011.
Yorkley outskirts — 3-bedroomed modern
detached house, fully fitted kitchen, 26ft
lounge/dining-room, utility room, bathroom,
£12,750. R. Walker, Group Inventory
Control, ext. 845 or Whitecroft 562821.
Leeway pram/pushchair, navy blue, 1 year
old, excellent condition, £8 o.n.o.
T. J . Bullock, Drybrook 542027.
New frame tent inc. cooker, table and chair,
etc. B. Johns, RXC, ext. 19-17.
35,000 BTU central heating solid fuel
boiler. Ideal Standard, brand new, shop
price £170, accept £95. Also two interior
doors — cheap. Cinderford 23477.
John Aley roll over bar type A rear hoop
and rear stay (for Mini), £8. Pair 2 up 2
down lamp brackets (Mini), £3. Sebring
Mach 1 racing mirrors, £3 pr. 32 dif twin
choke Weber carb., £5. R. A. Carter, Mail
Room, BIdg 23/2, ext. 950/1196.
Imperial 66 typewriter, standard, fully
reconditioned, £25. E. Sherwin, ext. 1307
or Blakeney 311.
Leeway Luxicot carrycot (red velour with
navy interior); Leeway transporter; wooden
carrycot stand (will also fit all types of
baby bath); good condition, £12 for all
three. R. Kempster, Lydney, ext. 16-10.
Pair Clark’s Caribbees sandals, red suede,
current style, size 4 J , never worn, bargain
at £4-50. Drybrook 542415 after 6 pm.
Vauxhall Viva van 1964, MOT until October,
£60 o.n.o. D. Probert, Lydney 16-10.
Four internal flush doors, 2ft 6in. x 6ft 6in
£5-50 each. Two external doors, 2ft Bin x
6ft Sin, £9 each. G-Plan sideboard, £12.
R. Hill, Lydney 2291.
Revo Valiant Super Four electric cooker,
good condition, £25. D. Price, Lydney
ext. 16-10.
When sending in items please give your
extension number and/or department to ensure
Triumph 1300, excellent condition, 5 new
tyres, 12 months’ MOT, £425 o.n.o.
B. Castree, ext. 601.
Imp-bits — most engine spares except
block, plus: oil pressure gauge, £4-50;
water temp, gauge, £4-50; ammeter, £1 -50;
small dished s/wheel, £3-50; rally style
seat covers, £4-50 per pair. Ian Thomas,
ext. 255 or Whitecroft 562703.
Mitcheldean— 32 Colchester Close, ideally
situated in quiet cul de sac, 3 bed semi,
with cent, htg and garage, large fully fitted
kitchen and carpeted diner, telephone point,
all carpets included, £9,250 for quick sale.
Drybrook 542990 or ext. 1194 (Info.
Systems Dept).
12in. steering wheel with Mini boss, £7;
pair of 4 J J x 10 wheels, £6; seat cover
for Mini, £ 3 ; pair of Mini sills, brand new,
£4; 520 x 10 crossply tyre, used, £1-50;
reversing light kit, £3; seat cover for Viva,
£3. W, Wylde, ext. 839.
1961 Morris 1000, can be repaired or used
for spares, £25 o.n.o. L. Kear, Windy Ridge,
Coalway, Coleford ; ext. 604.
Oscilloscope Solartron CD1012 25 MHZ
band width, highest offer. Decca 25in
colour TV, overhauled, working, slimline,
£100 nearest. Two Valor Inca flue-less
convector gas heaters, as new, £15 each.
One gas fire (3 radiants), £25. Whitecroft
562026 after 4 pm.
Servis washing machine, twin-tub, good
condition. G. Adams, PED, ext. 655.
Yak II dinghy with oars, etc, and 4hp
outboard motor, approx. £80 under list
price. R. Powell, ext. 1173 or Drybrook
1971 Citroen Diane, J reg, 11 months
MOT, 50 mpg, £325. Cinderford 22864, or
C. Thomas, Packing Area, 4000 Dept.
Prinz sound stereo system 5, 3-piece, record
player and 2 speakers, good condition, £35
o.n.o. Also Tansad Alwin pram with canopy
and cover, shopping tray and mattress;
baby walker and bottle warmer, offers
invited. Cinderford 23274.
Towing bracket for Vauxhall 101 Super.
R. Kempster, Lydney 16-10.
One Michelin ZX tyre, reasonable condition,
to fit Mini. Ross 4562 or ext. 374.
Full size gentleman’s pushbike, in good
condition. D. Price, Lydney, ext. 16-10.
Piano, in good condition. Wilf Jones,
ext. 654.
Medium-sized fridge, 9-12 cu. ft. chest
freezer, upright vacuum cleaner, twin-tub
washing machine, bureau, decent piano.
S. Glennie-Smith, ext 708.
At Stud
English springer spaniel, liver and white,
field trial bred, son of field trial champion
Bricksclose Scout. Ross 4562.
Make your spare bedroom pay! New
employee needs temporary lodgings pending
sale of own house and re-location. Barry
Greenwood, Mfg Group Inventory Control,
ext. 924.
To let — two-bedroom semi-detached
house, fully furnished, gas central heating,
garage; situated west side of Cheltenham,
available end of January. Vernon Haynes,
ext. 861 or Cheltenham 23845 evgs.
Buffets for parties &• wedding receptions up
to 100. Reasonable prices. Norah Dyer,
ext. 902.
12 Printed in England by Taylor, Young (Printers) Ltd.