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Vision 125

May/June 77 No. 125
What’s Brewing in Building 6?
If you think our next product is to be some RX-type Forest Brown, you’re in for a disappointment. The home brewing kit you see here was simply to help explain the techniques of Material Requirements Planning, as related to an assembly. The machine requiring the assembly was represented by the empty beer mug, the parts list by the recipe, the bill of materials by the five-gallon kit and so on.
But something must have gone wrong
with the MRP process at this training session, held appropriately in what was once the vat house of the old Wintle’s Brewery at Mitcheldean.
For when David Davies (SOLAR Project Team) turned on the tap, no beer flowed out, and everyone had to be content with a sniff at the barrel.
Waiting hopefully for a pint in this picture are (from the left) Rob Powell, Alan Lane, Simon Wood, Angus Macaskill (all of Management
Information Services), Des Haines (N/C Complex), Jean Marshall (MIS), Brian Kear (Production Planning & Control), and Vic Gertner (MIS). David, and Eric Tose of Training (far right), who have been giving lectures on MRP to some 450 people across the site, didn’t need any training themselves for the demonstration — they’re both home brewers. So too is Brian Kear who told us ‘i made some beer two years ago and it’s still good for putting on chips!’
New Controller
GerrY Lane took up the appointment of Controller, Mitcheldean Plant, on May 2, reporting to Director Ron Morfee. He succeeds John Field who resigned from the Company to take up an appointment as Financial Director of CBS Records UK. Mr Lane has held various managerial posts in Group Staff during the last two years and, prior to joining the Company, held several plant and central staff positions in the finance functions of Chrysler, British Leyland and Ford Motor Company. Change at the Top With effect from May 1, J. Maldwyn Thomas relinquished his post as Chief Executive of Rank Xerox Ltd while retaining his position as the Company’s Chairman. Xerox Corporation have invited Mr Thomas to join Xerox Consultants Inc. as a Senior Vice-President and he will also remain on the Xerox Board. These changes take into account the increasing time and energies he is now having to devote to representing the Company’s interests on a range of international public issues. The Legal, Secretarial and Communications functions, together with the International Trade Advisory Office, now report to the Chief Staff Officer, Paul Allaire. A Special Donation The Three Choirs Festival, which is held in turn at the great Cathedrals of Worcester, Hereford and Gloucester, celebrates its 250th Anniversary this year at Gloucester from August 20—28. It is probably the oldest music festival in the world and this year Manufacturing Group are making a special donation out of the Charities Fund to pay for the major work being performed on August 27 — Mahler’s ‘Das Lied von der Erde’ (The Song of the Earth) with Dame Janet Baker as soloist, and The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Louis Fremaux. An additional work during the concert will be the first performance of a new Suite by Richard Rodney Bennett entitled ‘The Christians’.
At the beginning of May, the London Symphony Orchestra embarked on a European tour of 19 concerts in six countries. Some of these concerts took place in Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, and this part of the tour was sponsored by our Eastern Export Operations Division. Prior to the commencement of the tour, two concerts took place in the Royal Festival Hall — a Silver Jubilee concert conducted by Andre Previn on April 17 and a performance on May 1, conducted by Colin Davis. The orchestra was conducted during the tour by Claudio Abbado and Colin Davis and the pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy performed at a number of the concerts. Incidentally, the 9200 is currently being launched in the Soviet Union.
The Company, through the Chairman, have made a contribution to the National Appeal Fund (something in excess of £30,000), and Manufacturing Group are donating £2,500 a year for three years towards this figure. In addition, £150 has been given to the Mitcheldean Appeal.
We would like to convey readers’ greetings to HM Queen Elizabeth on this, her Silver Jubilee.
Apart from helping to finance the tour to Betzdorf by the Cantilena Singers (see below). Manufacturing Group have recently contributed varying sums to local organisations amounting to a total of £1,950.
A rather unusual item which caught the attention of the press was a cheque to the Courtyard Arts Trust for the Beatrix Potter Exhibition to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Tailor of Gloucester, and to support removal of the exhibition to the USA.
There has also been a contribution to the Gloucester Cathedral Bells Appeal for £70,000 to renew/repair the bells and establish a fund for future maintenance.
Other local organisations which have benefited include: Mitcheldean Old People’s Committee; Newent & District Choral Society; Ross Cottage Hospital League of Friends; Longhope Recreation Ground (purchase of land); Berry Hill Memorial Institute; Oak House Trust, Coleford (physically handicapped); Berry Hill Rugby Football Club; Forest of Dean Rotary Club (Lydney Day Centre); Welwyn Garden City Community Trust (which distributes money to deserving charities in the area); and Imperial Cancer Research Fund (local appeal to add to works collections in memory of former Mitcheidean employees). MUSIC”” AN INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE
As a member of the Cantilena Singers, a chamber choir based at Ross-on-Wye, Allan Paton of Production Engineering gives us this account of their concert tour in West Germany. Ross Grammar School and the High School of Betzdorf, which lies about 100 miles east of Cologne, have had reciprocal holiday exchange agreements for a number of years. The ties between the two towns were strengthened by the visit of the Betzdorf School Chamber Choir to Ross last year as guests of the Cantilena Singers. This year, on Easter Sunday, the Cantilena Singers set out for a week’s concert tour in and around Betzdorf as guests of the choir. The trip was financed by concerts and social events given and arranged by the Cantilena Singers, and by donations from local commercial and industrial organisations, including a generous donation from Rank Xerox.
We were met by our hosts at Cologne, and taken to Betzdorf, which is in a beautiful valley between heavily forested hills, where we were introduced to our ‘foster families’. This was the start of an interesting, and exhausting, week which was filled to capacity with concerts, tours and social events.
We performed a wide variety of works, including some English folk songs and negro spirituals. Our one song in German, ‘Chor der Engel’ from Faust, was much appreciated by our German friends who said that our diction was so good they could understand every word {we couldn’t I).
It has been truly said that music knows no frontiers, but the friendship, understanding and mutual respect achieved during this short time went far beyond the boundaries of music. Such exchanges as these must surely help in improving international relations generally.
Travel broadens the mind — and shatters the illusions. Steve Knighton, who left in January for a two-year assignment with Rank Xerox (Iran), was given sun-tan lotion, among other presents, by well-wishers in the Supply Centre. He wrote recently to say that a pair of snowshoes would have been more appropriate; most of the roads out of Tehran were impassable and his twin daughters wanted to know where the promised sand and camels were. Steve is a finance man and his transfer (and that of Martin Woods who returns from Iran next July) represent a unique form of export — of Mitcheldean people and their expertise to assist in Rank Xerox/ Xerox operations around the globe. Other instances come to mind : Mark Southall of Personnel has recently returned from a spell with the Operating Company in Madrid;
Eddie Shermer, our current representative, Stuart Harrold and Ernie Watkins have all been ‘exported’ on occasion to Fuji Xerox; and Don Presdee has out-travelled them all, as
Kate Phillips
you can read in our story below. Currently we have 38 people out of Mitcheldean working as residents with Xerox in the USA, and we assign people to Venray and Lille on a regular basis. Although several have made business visits abroad, the only girl we can recall having been ‘assigned’ was Kate Phillips (now Ron Morfee’s secretary) who went to Venray while working for Jim Evans to assist him on a special mission. Exporting people is a very specialised procedure. Administrative Services Manager Derek Wintle, who deals with international assignments, says: ‘We have to lift people out of one set of circumstances and set them down in another, making sure we comply with ail the different national requirements. We take on not only the legal but also the moral responsibilities.” ROUND THE WORLD WITH RANK XEROX
For nearly half of his 13 years at Mitcheldean, Don Presdee has been out of the country. He’s worked on current products in places as near as Venray, as distant as Australia; in sub-zero temperatures in Stockholm and in the heat and humidity of Brazil. It all started with Don being sent over in 1967 to assist Venray with its first production programme — the remodelling of 813s to 660s. This task stretched over a period of two years, with Don dividing his time between Mitcheldean and Venray. As a direct result of this programme, a need arose for Australia to set up its own facility, so off went Don to the Antipodes for 14 weeks, giving technical assistance on the remodelling of 813s, and of 914s to 720s in the Sydney National Workshops. The latter were designed to serve not only Australia but also other Far Eastern Operating Companies—in New Zealand, Malaysia/Singapore and Hong Kong. Not long after returning to Mitcheldean to concentrate on the upgrading of 2400s to 3600 machines Don was given another assignment— in snowy Sweden. This was for eight months during 1970/71. There was a Regional Workshop in Stockholm which was to handle all products up to the 4000, and Don was based there, responsible for all machines in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. A short spell back at Mitcheldean to ‘warm up’ with the 4000 was followed by his longest and most
exotic assignment yet— in the Americas with Xerox Latin Group. If you saw the November 1973 issue of VISION, you’ll have read how our pioneer set up a plant to assemble 660s at Resende, set in a Brazilian national park 112 miles from Rio de Janeiro. ‘We had Brazil’s own “Sandhurst” as neighbours and we used to do all their copying for them,’ says Don. Tommy Knight jnr joined Don for a time to set up a goods inwards inspection function. He reported at the time that, though lizards were common, he never saw a single snake and the nearest he got to seeing an alligator was when Don was presented with a stuffed one 1 Don’s assignment stretched to four years, during which he did a spell on programme management at Rio de Janeiro with XBRA (Xerox Brasil) and converted part of the Resende plant into a national refurbishing centre.
Then the pace, and the temperature, got a bit hotter still. By ‘plane he traversed what is the fifth largest country in the world, from the Argentinian border, south of the Tropic of Capricorn, up to the Amazon river basin, near the Equator, setting up a network of ‘turn-round centres’. Machines which would formerly have had to make long journeys for repair can now be dealt with at these mini-workshops, cutting delay by several months. Transport has always been a problem, but new roadways are opening up places hitherto inaccessible except by ‘plane. The Amazonas Roadway, which was under construction while Don was there, has cut right through the jungle, making it possible for someone to drive all the way from Canada right down to the Argentine and Tierra del Fuego — if he has the time. (continued on page 4)
Part of the design which won a S50 first prize and a trophy for Heather (left) and Ruth Capewell in the sheet art competition held in Rochester on Easter Saturday. They are the daughters of Engineering res/dent John Capewell and his wife Jennifer. 3
Bob Hook, who went to the USA in July last year for a two-year contract representing Manufacturing Procurement, has sent us this chilling account: Whilst helping to start an American colleague’s car last winter, I was told that Rochester has two six-month seasons. The first six months are really bad, lots of snow and chilling winds. The second six months — well, the skiing isn’t that good but . . . The temperature first went below freezing on October 18, 1976, and from then to March 23, 1977, we had 121 days of below freezing temperatures. January 27 was a particularly nice day for a picnic with a North ‘wind
ROUND THE WORLD WITH RANK XEROX (continued from page 3)
Don, however, did what the airminded Brazilians do — he flew everywhere. To Manaus (a town in the Amazon jungle which has just become accessible by road); to the new capital Brasilia (‘There are Indian reservations near here,’ Don told us, ‘and they’re still finding groups of aborigines who have never seen a white man before, let alone a 660 !’); to the important industrial centre of Porto Alegre, capital of Brazil’s most southerly state where the gauchos (cowboys) tend vast herds of cattle. He also flew to Mexico City in connection with multinational sourcing of components and while there followed the well-beaten track to the famous city of Acapulco. Like the thousands of American tourists who go there, he climbed the Moon Temple Pyramid and gazed at the sun calendar carved on stone — relics of the ancient Aztec civilisation. Last September, Don returned to ‘Mitcheldean City’ and work with the SOLAR Project Team, but now he’s on the move once more. His wife Jean and family, who accompanied him on the Swedish trip and for a time on the South American assignment, are not packing their bags, however. As Manager, Refurbishing Centre, Don will continue to be involved in international operations but will be based at our plant in deepest Lydney on the banks of the Severn. ‘I’ve been assured there are no alligators there either,’ said Don, without moving a muscle.
Bob Hool(‘s son ^^^H A/e/7 outside their ^^^V apartment amid ^K^m the boy-high I”‘.; ^^^B snow. TV^V chill’ cooling the air down to a pleasant -63°F. It was a new experience to chip ice from inside the windscreen of my car. Have you ever wondered what happens to anti-freeze in those conditions when it’s only guaranteed for -34°F? Snow, they say is one of nature’s wonders. From December 31 through February 10, we were given the privilege every day of seeing this wonder at first hand. That, for those of us without calculators, is 42 consecutive days! For drivers, the problems start before you even get into the car. After a particularly heavy fall of snow and high winds, people without a garage, like myself, play a well-known game called ‘hunt the car.’ If you’re going to dig your car out of a drift, first dig through to the number plate. Snow tyres are most effective, although I have found them to be somewhat lacking when faced with drifts up to 14ft high blocking the road. Xerox had up to 12ft drifts on top of the buildings and had to redistribute the snow for fear of structural damage. Another test for us eskimos is a ‘white out.’ This is the term given to blinding heavy snow that falls very quickly and, backed by winds up to 50 mph, makes driving visibility zero ! My wife encountered just such an event in January whilst driving to the stores and promptly ran off the road — fortunately without injury to herself or the car. Providing the temperature or wind is not too severe, Rochester becomes a marvellous place for kids who can go tobogganing, ice skating and skiing. Our son’s snowman, Fred, lived in our back garden from early November to the end of February and only needed three head transplants. Substantial clothing is a must before venturing out, and my normal equipment consisted of two pairs of thick socks, snow boots (similar to ski-boots), heavy insulated snow parka, thick gloves, scarf and ski hat. Summer, so I’m told, is scheduled this year for the third weekend in July. I don’t think I’ll buy any sun-glasses but I must get another gallon of de-icer.
Matk in a/ladrid Last October, at a time when hordes of holidaymakers were returning, or had recently returned, from Spain, Mark Southall was making his way out there. Not for a winter break, but to carry out an assignment with the Spanish Operating Company, as a temporary member of their employee relations staff. Mark, who joined us as a graduate trainee in 1971, is Industrial Relations Officer (supervisory/ administrative staff), his career having developed along with the IR function under Derek Knibbs’ management.
A/larl< Southall We’ve commented in past issues on Mark’s successes on the cricket field. What we haven’t reported, because we didn’t know until Training told us, is that he recently gained his MSc in management studies, having written his thesis in his spare time, and that he has a flair for languages. This language facility stood him in good stead when, in preparation for the assignment, Mark took an intensive course in Spanish; subsequent experience proved that conversations in Spain could be carried on satisfactorily using both languages. His wife Madeline, who accompanied him on the four and a half months’ visit, did have the occasional problem on shopping expeditions, and she’s still wondering why, when she asked for a kilo of onions, she was given four — plus potatoes, oranges and lemons I While in Madrid, Mark visited the Coslada factory on the city outskirts; here toner and developer and certain components are made, giving employment to some 50 people. The couple spent their Christmas holiday at a resort near Alicante on the Costa Blanca, and found squid and paella an interesting change from turkey. Altogether the ‘temporary transplant’ seems to have worked very smoothly. Mark reckons he had to make only one major change in his lifestyle — he had to switch allegiance from Hereford United to Real Madrid I
Rhidian Goddard talks about Metrication in Time In accordance with International Policy and Common Market Regulation UK47931/MET/77, sub-section V, paras 14-17 inc., this year we shall be changing over to metric time. The changeover date is agreed as June 7, 1977. This will fulfil two requirements, the first being purely on economic grounds insofar as the changeover celebrations will coincide nicely with Her Majesty’s Jubilee Day, thus saving yet another Bank Holiday. The second requirement is equally important, in that jewellers and stores must have sufficient time to stock up with metric clocks and watches to enable them to cope with the expected rush of business. Having now reached agreement with our European Member Countries on the implementation of metric time, it is important that all of us understand the reasons for this change, and, more important, what effects it will have on our everyday activities in the future. Before we go any further, the Board would like to extend its heartiest congratulations to our ministerial negotiating team for sticking to the June 7 implementation date. This was a tremendous achievement in the face of overwhelming opposition to anything prior to 1980. The Regulation defines the new units and compares them with the old system. Comparisons are also made between metric and pre-metric timescales to assure people that they are not being conned as they were with earlier metrication regulations. In simple terms metric time works like this:
100 metrisecs = 1 metrimin 100 metrimins = 1 metrihour 100 metrihours = 1 metriday 10 metridays = 1 dekaday = 10 pre-metric days 10 dekadays = 1 hectoday = 100 pre-metric days 3-64 hectodays = 1 metric year = 364 premetric days 3-65 hectodays = 1 metric leap year = 365 pre-metric days Obviously some minor adjustments have had to be made to previously accepted notions of how many days make a week and how long is a second or, in metric time, a metrisecond. During the course of debate it was considered impractical to attempt to change the periods of light and dark that we are accustomed to. To retain the old time period of a second and simply retitle it as 10 metrisecs would have entailed stretching a day
to 26 hours, 26 mins, and 40 sees, long. Various suggestions and schemes to achieve this were proposed and discussed, but proved too expensive at the present time. The problem will be re-addressed when sufficient funds are available from North Sea Oil revenues; meanwhile, the standard metrisec period of time will be adjusted to suit prevailing conditions. Further, the old pre-metric periods of a week, fortnight and month will disappear. In their place we shall have the dekaday — equivalent to 10 pre-metric days, and the hectoday — equivalent to 100 pre-metric days.
‘It’s been like this ever since they started the ten-day metriweek.’
In practical terms, assuming that we retain the two-day weekend break, this will give a working week of 8 days. The advantages to industry are obvious and we can now look forward to an era of vastly improved productivity. Commercially, the introduction of dekadays and hectodays will provide scope for tremendous economies in one direction and unlimited opportunity in the other. Take for instance the humble calendar or, as it will be known in the future, the Sundekadaylog. In the economy version there will only be 3-64 pages, each page representing one hectoday. Incidentally a fringe benefit already apparent is that each hectoday can represent the old-fashioned spring, summer and winter conveniently dividing the seasons by page. A special sub-committee is already sitting to decide which of the seasons will be represented by the •64 hectoday page. Guidelines have been laid down to ensure the cricket and football seasons are not curtailed, but Christmas may have to be scrapped or moved to some time in the spring.
On the other hand, aficionados of artform Sundekadaylogs will be pleased to note that plans are afoot to produce their favourite wall decoration in dekaday periods, thereby producing 36-4 metric maidens for their delight. The sub-committee set up to study the effect on sport and the environment has unearthed some interesting side effects of the shorter metrisec time period on athletics and transport schedules. World record times are currently in old-fashioned minutes and seconds which are convertible to metric time by applying the simple formula : 1 metriday = 26 hrs 26 mins 40 sees (assuming 1 second = 10 metrisecs) 24 = -907 approx. 26-4356 By applying this factor to the new metric timings, a true comparison can be made with old records. Conversely performances will have to improve by 93 per cent to achieve the same figures in metric time. The same rule, of course, applies to bus and train timetables, but we are assured that sliding scales of adjustment to correct translation errors will be published well in advance of ‘M’ Day. Finally, clocks and watches in their current form will disappear, to be replaced by metric timepieces with a 100-metrihour capability. Owners of battery-powered watches are warned not to try a larger battery as a do-it-yourself conversion. Exhaustive tests by the Department of the Environment have shown that, apart from a personal safety hazard, the country could not stand the energy drain. Shop stewards and management teams will shortly embark on a short course of instruction in the application of metric rates to overtime and nightshift working — the old fractional rates of time and a third, etc., becoming obsolete on ‘M’ Day. Happy metric timepiece watching I
Seriously Though …. Your alarm clock will continue to ring at 7 am or whatever when the national metrication programme has been fully implemented — which is to be sometime in 1980. But there’s more to metrication than metres, litres and kilos, as we realised on talking to Metrication Project Manager Guy Bedford. More on this subject in a future issue.
Reg Mallaband arranges the contents very carefully so that they fit snugly into the carton.
Like the captain on the bridge, John French, Supervisor in Spares Operations, looks down on the flow of work in the packing area.
Classed as hazardous goods, these cans of paint travel cushioned in Vermiculite, a light-weight thermal insulation material which Graham Morgan is pourmg into the carton. Sir ALL WRAPPli:i) UP mS FOR EXPORT
Packaging operations are often referred to as ‘the paper and string department’. Wooden crates and cases, heavy duty cardboard boxes, pallets, plastic fillers, tough adhesive tape — all these we saw in Mitcheldean’s Supply Centre. The paper and string we missed. ‘If you can see what you’re handling you take greater care of it than if you don’t’ is the Rank Xerox philosophy. Which is why we ship many of our machines on pallets simply covered with a polythene sheet. But that’s over-simplifying. To get the complete story we went first to Machine Operations in the Supply Centre, and were guided to where the action was by the sound of — pistol-packers I Machines are packed under programme; but the type of packaging, explained chargehand Vince Taylor, is dictated by a variety of factors — the size of pack, its destination and mode of transport, the requirements of the customer. There are about five permutations, says Vince. If it’s going by sea, the machine goes in a wooden case because it will disappear into the hold of a ship; if going by air freight, where cost is a vital factor, minimum packing is used, and the goods are only cased or crated when this is specifically requested. If going ‘groupage’ (where the goods are grouped by the shipping
agents with those of other exporters), everything is crated, with the contents visible through the slats. In the case of road transport, the machines simply travel on their pallets which are nailed to the wooden floor of the container or secured in some way to the sides — it’s called ‘dunnaging’. Machines for EEO markets, which go first to Welwyn Supply Centre, are a ‘special case’, in both senses. The method of packing, specified in the contract, is designed to protect the machine even if it is left standing outside for months in several inches of ice. Each machine is placed on a pallet covered with a base sheet of polythene. Bags of silica gell (so much per area) are put inside to absorb moisture, so preventing condensation and possible rusting. A polythene cover goes over, and is heat-sealed to the base sheet, leaving a small hole. Through this the air is extracted by vacuum so that the polythene sheet clings to the machine and the package is neatly taped. Sides of tongued and grooved wood, or plywood, lined with bitumen paper, are built up round the machine, the joins being glued with mastic; the sides are then pinned together with a conventional hammer and nails, and lastly a pneumatic spotnail gun is used to drive home special nails or staples — with a bang. Finally all the relevant information —
invoice numbers, weight, etc. — is stencilled on the sides. In Spares Operations they pack anything which isn’t a machine — cleaning fluid, wooden pallet, tools for engineers’ kits or an actual spare part for a machine. To look down from the top of the two-tier office on to the Spares Packing area is rather like looking down on a river busy with square craft of all sizes, with here and there a sail billowing white.
Slowly but surely the current moves them towards the docks and their journey to the far corners of the Rank Xerox world.
In Machine Operations, Supervisor Frank Beara with Harry Pincott, Machine Control Supervisor chargehand Vince Taylor. Sleeping unconcernedl Supply Centre’s ginger puss — CAT 3?
Having sealed his box with waterproof adhesive tape, and bound the whole carton with plastic straps joined by metal clinches. Bill Baker marks the weight, destination, invoice numbers, etc., on the side. 7 enjoy a bit of sign-writing’, he says.
: Malcolm Wootton fills up the spaces s jumbo size carton with ‘monkeynuts’ olystyrene filler called Pelospan); it stops joods shifting about. Above: Eric of Packaging {left) and f\Aervyn or, chargehand in Spares Packing, iss an entry in the hazardous goods ual.
Spares for most destinations are packed in heavy duty cardboard cartons (there are seven or eight different metric sizes in the International Standards Organisation range); some go in exactly, like toy building bricks, others of more awkward shapes, like sub-assemblies, require special packing. Pre-packing is done in the adjacent Spares Pre-packing department. A ‘telescopic overshipper’ is used for the majority of orders; this is a cardboard box with a deep lid which can be raised to accommodate the height of the contents while keeping them securely covered. EEO consignments, however, like the machines, have to be packed in wooden cases unless under five kilos, in which case they go as wrapped parcels.
Colin Organ positions a box of spares for Venray on the floor weighing machine.
Hazardous goods A wide range of goods, such as paint and paint thinners, aerosols, tubes of Bostik, etc., are classed as hazardous goods and these are always packed separately. Until needed, they are kept locked up in what is generally known as the Paint Stores, a building which has to conform with rigid regulations laid down by the insurers. With regulations concerning the transport of hazardous goods having become so involved —there are International Air Transport Association regulations, international maritime dangerous goods codes and various other rules, standards and agreements — a hazardous goods information manual has been compiled by Mitcheldean Packaging Department, for the guidance of our own and other Supply Centres. Within its 146 pages are defined the various goods we send out with all kinds of information about their flash-point, shelf life, etc., plus the
lATA classification, bulk packaging instructions, sea shipment restrictions, export documentation and suchlike. There are clear instructions on the necessary emergency action to be taken at sea, fire-fighting recommendations and medical first aid, together with samples of any special labels necessary. These labels signify flammable liquids, magnetized materials, aerosols, and so on. For we need to protect not only the goods but the people who handle them. ‘This way up’ may not be understood by, say, a handler in Iran, so we add an arrow, or a wineglass, printed on the package to indicate the upright position. A breaking wineglass means ‘fragile’, while an umbrella with raindrops indicates the pack should be stored under cover. But even these are not a guarantee against mis-handling. There must be some unfortunate people in the handling business who have never seen a wineglass, for example.
(continued on page 8)
Iks nd 5 the
Four stages in packing a microprinter for an EEO destination: from the left — with the silica gel in position, Les Preece seals the polythene cover and base sheet together, leaving a small opening: air is extracted by the vacuum machine operated by Bill Morgan, and the hole is sealed. The package is neatly taped, sides are placed in position and stabiliser blocks are strategically fixed to hold the microhead steady: then the lid goes on. Far right: Les Sterry uses the spotnail gun to ‘bang’ the nails firmly home: the destination and other necessary details are stencilled on the side.
(continued from page 7)
And Packaging engineer Johnny Johnson told us a tale about some native bearers who were carrying cartons showing the umbrella sign ; when the rain poured down, they balanced their loads on their heads ! Did they misinterpret the symbol, or were they just doing the intelligent thing from their point of view? In West Africa, crates may be slung over the side of the ship into bum boats to be rowed ashore; consignments to remote parts of Eastern Europe may travel part of the way by mule train. This is not exceptional treatment, and it says much for the packaging materials and methods we use that the damage rate is very low — about 0-2 per cent. Nevertheless, research into new packaging materials and methods is an ongoing thing. Within the Supply Centres there are sections which are dedicated to providing our goods with the best possible packaging specifications at an economic cost. Two-monthly meetings of Packaging representatives are held under the aegis of Packaging and Materials Handling Department in Uxbridge to review policies, exchange information and ensure there is no duplication of effort. Eric Real, as Manager of Packaging Materials & Systems Development, investigates new materials and methods. The compiling of the hazardous goods manual (Eric’s Epic?) has occupied many months during which he and Peter Baily, Warehouse, Transport & Packaging Manager, visited Venray and Welwyn Supply Centres to co-ordinate requirements. Packaging Co-ordination Manager John Hodgson, who liaises closely with Eric, works with Johnny Johnson on the design of pallets, kits and packs for machines and spares. High value items are given a packaging handling test by outside test houses who carry out compression, vibration and drop tests on our behalf.
By being brought in during the design stages of a product, the section are often able to get round a packaging problem before it materialises, so saving time, trouble and expense. Says John Hodgson : ‘We have been doing an exercise on foam plastic packing for EEO, who require us continually to look at costs on their behalf.’ The same applies to ‘special materials’ despatched from Welwyn Supply Centre who have their own packaging specialists. At one time there were 22 different sizes of bottle, but shipping developer and toner around the world has been made much easier since the range was reduced to three: one for developer, two for toners. The bottles are high density polythene with a polythene-coated aluminium cap. The caps are heatfused after filling, then fitted with a protective overcap. Instructions in eight languages make them virtually universal. Currently the advantages of shipping machines with the photoreceptor drum, developer and toner already in them, are under review. One thousand 3100 machines are going out with these products in situ, plastic seals over the apertures of the developer housing, and foam plastic to protect the drum. A big trial was the only reasonable way to test the scheme. Another current concern is to conserve the working life of photoreceptor drums. Although additives within the alloy keep the coating stable, exposure to temperature extremes over long periods still affect the drum. So somewhere on the high seas between here and Hong Kong there is a constant recording thermometer packed up with a Rank Xerox consignment, logging heat levels inside the crate.
The instrument’s six-month memory will be used to plot a temperature time curve for the two-way trip. It has been done already for the routes to South Africa and Finland. Climatic hazards exist, but they hold few surprises for the Rank Xerox export team.
Gold Award for Reg
One of Reg Dixon’s favourite records is of tfie never-to-be-forgotten blood donor episode in tfie Tony Hancock series. Don’t I get a badge 7 tfie comedian, asked after giving his first pint. He didn’t, but Reg Dixon has one now — the Gold Award of the National Blood Transfusion Service in recognition of his splendid record of 50 blood donations. Our picture shows John Wilks, Manager Purchase, presenting the award to Reg, who is Manager of the department’s Electrical Section. With them is Mrs Allen, Assistant County Organiser, who handed Reg a certificate and a letter of appreciation from the South West Regional Transfusion Centre at Bristol. LETTCR Retirement Our best wishes go to Jeff Sleeman who opted for early retirement at the end of March, having completed some 27 years with the Company. Jeff started as an assembly worker, but for most of his time with us he worked as Import Supervisor in Purchase Department, subsequently transferring to Supply Centre when the import and export functions were combined.
Obituary We record with regret the sudden death on March 26 of Len Hart. A former member of the LSA committee, Len retired in February last year after 33 years’ service with the Company. He had been in charge of the Apprentice Training School since its inception in 1961 and during those 1 5 years hundreds of apprentices, including his own two sons, passed through the school. The moulding of these youngsters into good engineers was more than just a job for Len and he was proud of the fact that the school is now recognised as one of the finest in the West of England. Another long-serving member who died suddenly, on April 5, was Stanley Walford. He was 53 and had joined the Company in March 1960. He worked in 4000 Assembly, then in the Flexibility Pool, and at the time of his death he was a Works Engineering storeman. A quiet and genuine person, he was well liked by those with whom he worked. We extend our sympathy to the families of both.
John Hodgson and Johnny Johnson in Packaging consider the merits of these cases for 9200 repairable assemblies.
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When ex-collier Bert Smith came to Mitcheldean to work on projector assembly in the Bell & Howell days he ‘hadn’t a clue what was meant by 2 thou’. But’, he says, ‘Roy Smith taught me what was what, and I took to it like a duck to water.’ In his 15i years with us, Bert has also worked in the Sheet Metal Shop, in 813 assembly (setting the presses and riveting machines) and on the 4000 floor. Today he is a salvage repair operator working at Lydney. Having undergone extensive hospital treatment as a result of his coal-mining days, Bert reckons he’s a pretty good salvage repair job himself I
Gardening is his hobby, and at Broadwell where he lives he has a large conservatory with two vines. ‘I had over 2 cwt of grapes last year, and I’ve laid down some Broadwelltype Bordeaux.’ Bert has four children and six grandchildren. Two sons, Barry and Brian, work in Production Planning & Control and QA Product Unit respectively. Daughter Carol kept the family name when she married another Smith — Roger, who is currently on assignment in the USA. This July Bert and his wife are flying the Atlantic to stay with the couple in Rochester. ‘I haven’t flown since I was 17 so I’m quite excited about it,’ says Bert.
This is a picture of a Winker — one of that dreaded group of men who have been losing an increasing number of football, darts and skittles games and are threatening to lose more. Having acquired a clue to their whereabouts, we went sleuthing in an attempt to uncover the shocking facts about their activities.
A hidden camera took this picture of a Winker as few have seen one (or want to). Known to Personnel as Shane Hiilman, he is in reality John Rotten, and was discovered masquerading as a Production Planning & Control parts analyst. Here he wears the uniform of a Winker — off-the shoulder sweat shirt, unspeakable trousers and censored SOX. The majority of Winkers, when at work, look remarkably like production engineers and we can now reveal that among those hiding beneath this disguise are the Boss Winker, Sid Vicious alias ‘Archie’ Andrews, Jaws (John Harding), Tinkerbell (Billy Whitfield) and an apprentice member — ‘Bites Your Legs’ (Royston Jones). We suspect that the last-named must have some sinister connection with the Winkers’ latest hit record ‘You’ll Never Walk Again’. Not content with all their losses, the Winkers are now issuing a challenge to all, and sundry as well, to fight them in the skittle alley, on the dartboard, in the football field, and in other unmentionable places. Those who take up this challenge are asked to ring ext. 436; they have only themselves to blame if they win.
Linda Aiisopp and her husband Nigel first hit it off on the hockey field, while playing in a mixed side. Linda plays this increasingly popular game every weekend; Nigel, who belongs to Cheltenham Hockey Club, and once played in the West of England side in the European Tournament at Lille, reckons he gets in some 80 games a year. It was his club which organised a ten-mile sponsored walk on Palm Sunday in which Linda and Nigel took part. With donations it raised the magnificent sum of £1,200 in aid of the Star Centre for mentally and physically handicapped people at Ullenwood, Cheltenham. Between them they accounted for £40 of this sum, with the help of their sponsors at Mitcheldean. A Quality engineer, Nigel found backers among fellow engineers while Linda, who is secretary to Peter Grainger, Manager, Training Et Development— Mfg Operations (UK), did a persuasive job in Personnel and among Group staff. The couple have been with us for some three years. Previously both worked (and played hockey) at Dowty’s; Linda was a trainee secretary and Nigel an apprentice. Linda also plays the occasional game of squash, and used to play netball (she’s played for Gloucestershire and tried once, unsuccessfully, to form a team here at Mitcheldean). But the fact that she’s an athletic type doesn’t mean that Linda has no interest in the domestic arts. ‘I love cooking, and I always do a bit of knitting in the lunch break,’ she told us. ‘I’m also mastering the Knitmaster, and I’ve already started on a pair of sporty socks for Nigel. They’re a secret weapon for breaking through the defence line!’
“Go Ahead” for New Club House After years of waiting and hours of hard worl<, the new club premises are at last to take concrete shape. At the annual general meeting held on March 31, the Sports & Social Club committee was given a mandate, based on the results of the recent referendum, to proceed with the project. Chairman Tony Haynes reported that, while 113 were against, a majority of 1,142 had voted in favour of a go-ahead. To recap briefly, the site is being leased to the club under a 99-year lease at a nominal rental. Should the Company at any time cease trading from this site, the club still has ownership of its property. Planning permission was granted in February last and a tentative builder’s cost has confirmed the total project cost of £120,000. With the club’s accumulated funds, the amount of loan required is £80,000 which the Company have agreed to lend over a period of five years, the club repaying this in five equal instalments of £16,000. To enable the club to enter into a loan agreement, application has to be made to the Registry of Friendly Societies who have set rules which must be included in those of any club seeking registration. At the meeting the committee were empowered to make the necessary amendments to the club’s existing rules. One of these legal requirements is the appointment of trustees whose duties were also set out in the referendum. Some doubt was expressed as to their exact responsibilities and Wilf Jones, a member of the Working Party, undertook to clarify the question of ‘bonding’ with the Company solicitor. There will also be a report back on the appointment of a full-time manager at a later meeting. Jack Wakeling, on behalf of the membership, thanked the committee, and especially the Working Party, for having put in so much effort to get things moving. But, as chairman Tony Haynes pointed out, there is still a great deal more to be done. Already the committee’s sights are set on achieving the additional sports facilities. In view of this, it was felt essential that the committee elected should hold office for two years in the interests of continuity — a suggestion which was approved.
The following were elected : Chairman—Tony Haynes; vice-chairman—Roy Steward; secretary—Anne Fox; treasurerGordon Cruickshank; trustees—Barry Barton, Tony Haynes, Wilf Jones; committee—John Earl, John Johnson, Bill Jones, Pat Jordan, Roger Kempster, Don Parkinson.
Financial Note It was reported that the year to January 31 last had financially been one of the club’s most successful with total cash in hand approaching £50,000. The Bonanza Draw continued to be a most effective fund raiser; total monies spent in prizes amounted to £9,415, which included £750 worth of prizes for the Xmas Draw.
Final Notice As we went to press, state of play in tournaments/interdepartmental competitions was as follows: SIdttles—Ladies: The Brandysnaps play the 7 & 4’s in the finals on June 18. Men’s: Approaching the semi-finals, with July 2 as the expected finals date. Football—Ardrionians beat PED Crusaders 3 : 2 in the finals on May 16. Snooker/Billiards—Dobbs is snooker champion; billiards final to be played. Chess — Wickstead Shield at semifinal stage, Portman Trophy in second round. Tennis— Entries due for ladies’ and men’s singles and mixed doubles.
CAR POOL Persons to form car pool from Newent (staff hours). J. Spiers, ext. 551 or Newent 820847.
Battle at Broadway The first event of the 1977 season took place at Broadway GC where some 45 golfers battled against the elements. Foul weather seems to be a regular feature of our visits to Broadway and the morning scores reflected this, with only one golfer returning a nett score below par for the course. This honour fell to Ken Ellway (PED) with a nett 71, closely followed by Rich Matthews (MG) with 72 and Al Caldwell (Design) with 73. After an excellent lunch, the 45 took to the course again to contest a Stableford round. This was closely fought with three golfers tying for first place with 35 points scored. The fortunate three were Frank Baker (guest), Tony Haynes (Supply Centre) and Pete Pritchard (PED). The prize, a £5 voucher, for the best golfer over two rounds went to Frank Baker for a nett 74 morning round and 35 points in the afternoon round. A.J.C.
Supply Squash ‘Em Five members of Supply Centre Management played HM Customs, Gloucester, at squash on April 15 — and won 3—2. lain Livingston and Mike Morgan won their games, David Brisker and Gerald Cooke lost theirs; everything then depended on Roy Nivison who, after a long, hard-fought battle, ensured victory for Rank Xerox. Our band of five then proceeded to ‘thrash’ the Customs men at ‘pool’ (American-type billiards). A cricket match between both parties is now being organised.
From the account on the left you might have expected us to have been swamped with entries for the VISION Cover Picture contest. But in fact they were disappointingly few; there was only one which justified a prize and we’re pleased to award the sum of £15 to Chris Saywood for his delightful picture of ‘People at Work’. The setting is autumn in the Cotswolds, so we’re keeping the photo for use in an autumn issue.
President’s Night March 18 was an evening the Amateur Photographic Club will long remember. Officially President’s Night, it was also prize night, and the occasion for saying farewell to president Derek Portman whose last day it was at Mitcheldean. A warm-up half-hour enabled guests, who included representatives of the Mitcheldean Parish and Forest of Dean District Councils, to study the exhibition of nearly 100 entries in the black and white photograph competition, or watch the showing of transparencies entered in the various slide competitions held during the past year. Highlight of the evening was the first showing of the entries in the Rank Xerox/Xerox Corporation slide competition. Although the slides had been judged individually during the afternoon by Geoff Benger, senior photographer of the Western Daily Press, the results had not been published, and tension mounted as first one, then the other streaked ahead, Chris Saywood keeping the record straight on his ‘electronic flip-chart”. There were some superb shots — by Bill Hobbs, Bob Dixon and Chris himself — but Xerox once again pipped us at the post. Total score was 243 for Xerox, with Rank Xerox only four points behind. Best slide was one taken by J. Blair of Xerox entitled ‘The Letter’; as Mr Benger pointed out, this stood out from the rest because it told a story. There was consolation for Mitcheldean, however, in the fact that Richard Walford produced the ‘best single flower study’, judged the second best slide in the contest. Five of the ‘Ten Best Films’ in the annual Movie Maker contest were shown during the evening — amateur efforts which were remarkably professional. Mike Dewey (Reliability) won first prize overall in the black and white competition, while Chris Saywood (Production Engineering) and Richard Walford (Design) were joint runners-up. Bob Dixon (PED) came first in the transparency section, with Valerie Jordan second and Mike Wilkinson (Industrial Engineering) third. Mention should also be made of Chris Fitt (Supply Centre) and Vance Hopkins (Industrial Engineering) who did well in the individual competitions though they didn’t make the finals.
Art Competition Entrance charge for the autumn competition will be lOp per exhibit. Items must be indicated in advance for insurance purposes — forms available in due course.
Before presenting the prizes, IVIr Portman was himself presented with two albums of photographs taken during his seven and a half years at Mitcheldean. With him is club chairman Robin Berks.
Winners in the black S- white competition — (from the left), Mike Dewey who came first, and joint runners-up Chris Saywood and Richard Walford. Below: Richard’s picture of frosted cobwebs which came first in the open class
Table Tennis Triumphs Our Table Tennis Section have been adding considerably to the glory of Rank Xerox, and their own silver collection, recently. Having taken part in the Lydney District winter league programme. Rank ‘A’ team won and the all-apprentice ‘B’ team made a creditable start by coming seventh out of ten. Two out of the three teams entered in the KO competition (run on a handicap basis) reached the finals, team 1 eventually being beaten by team 3 which consisted of the Smith brothers, Barry and Brian, Bob Toomer, and Phil James who stepped in as reserve. Bob also won the individual championship while Andrew Davis and Rafe Cherry beat Phil and Barry in the doubles final. ‘We’re looking towards Gloucester for next year,’ says Bob. The annual Rank Xerox Mitcheldean tournament will take place sometime in the autumn.
Diamonds with Service Added lustre for Mitcheldean ! The following have received, or are due to receive. Rank Xerox emblems for 20 or more years’ service: 30 Years Ken Fox, Engineering (February); Bill Cinderey, Quality Assurance (April); Jack Woods, Personnel Administration (May). 25 Years Jeff James, Machine Shop, Cinderford (April); Jeff Kew, Engineering (April). 20 Years Terry Baxter, Quality Assurance (April); Ben Harper, Production Control (May); Barry Izatt, Quality Assurance (May); Mary Meek, Production Control (May).
Works Manager Don Elliott lost ‘a first-class secretary’ in Mary Cole when she retired at the end of March after some ten years with us. Among the flowers and presents she received were a personal gift from Mr and Mrs Elliott and a basket of indoor plants, presented to her by Dave Sanderson on behalf of the North Gloucestershire branch of the Institution of Works Managers who also wished to show their appreciation. Mary is seen right with Mr Elliott and her successor, Eugene Jones, looking at the many signatures on her farewell card.
Christian Fellowship Programme On June 21, the Rev John Barlow of Grange Road Baptist Church, Gloucester, is visiting Mitcheldean to talk about ‘The Whole Armour of God’. There will be an informal discussion on the subject of the talk at the Tuesday meeting following the visit.
The remainder of the June meetings will be taken by Fellowship members themselves; they include a Bible Discovery session tackling ‘The Year of Jubilee’ on June 14. All meetings are held Tuesday lunchtime in Lecture Room 1, Bid 6 (Training) — everyone is welcome.
Weddings John Beard (Machine Shop) to Jane Rogers at St Stephen’s Church, Cinderford, on March 1 9. Allan Haines (QA, Cinderford) to Susan Eagles at Ross-on-Wye Church on March 26. Jane Flowerday (secretary to Terry Quartermaine, Manager, Group Production Control) to Alan Bryan (Finance) at Peterstow Church on Easter Saturday. Ken Johnson (Quality Engineering) to Gina Milsom at St Peter’s Church, Cliffords Mesne, on Easter Monday. Penny Millard (MIS) to Dennis Morris at Lea Church on April 23. Clive Davies (PED) to Linda Humphries at Belmont Abbey, Hereford, on April 30.
Silver Wedding Congratulations to Allan Paton (9200 Production Engineering) and his wife Beryl who celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on April 5.
Births Emma Louise, a daughter for Gordon Hayward (Production Control, Lydney) and his wife Lynne (formerly secretary to Colin Peters, Manager, Supply/Demand Analysis, MSGS), on February 28.
Emma-Jane, a daughter for Dave Roberts (Tool & Consumable Stores office) and his wife Jenny (formerly Purchase) on March 31. Karen Marie and Angela Jane, twin daughters for Michael Bendall (member of the Engineering resident team at Rochester, USA) and his wife Helen, on April 1.
Mitcheldean — semi-detached bungalow, full cent, htg, lounge/diner, 2 dble bedrooms with fitted wardrobes, bathroom with turquoise suite, kitchen with diner, landscaped gardens, garage, £12,000 inc. fitted carpets. Drybrook 543082.
MGB Roadster — accessories; full tonneau cover, complete tow-bar, car jack, silencer and pipes. Offers. T. A. Knight, ext. 814.
Badge bar and 2 spotlights, £5. J. Hawkins, ext. 401.
Air rifle, extremely powerful, with scope. Weihraugh model HW35 de luxe -177, 5 months old, immaculate, cost £104, accept £70. Polaroid Swinger colour/BW in case, as new £10; Child/beginner’s guitar, 6-string with case, very good condition, £10. J. Wood, ext. 318.
Recently overhauled upright piano, iron framed, overstrung, 85 notes, walnut case, brass candle-holders, £150. Steve Glennie-Smith, ext. 579 or Ledbury 2807.
Baxi Bahama gas fire as new, radiant convector, 5 burners, piezo-electric ignition, stainless steel with rosewood finish end panels, complete with chimney blanking plate and full instructions, £25. Baxter, ext. 594 or Painswick 813527.
5 cu. ft chest deep freeze, £35. 4ft 6in. bed complete with mattress, £6. 2ft 6in. bed, complete, £2. Morris 1800 wheel trim, unused, £2. Ext. 371 or Gorsley 452.
John and Jane Beard
Dennis and Penny Morris
Jane Marie, a daughter for Frank Beard (Supply Centre) and his wife Lynne, on April 22.
Robert, a son for Barry Smith (Production Planning &• Control) and his wife Marilyn, on April 22.
1969 (G reg) Raleigh Moped, 49cc, red and white, good runner, nearly 80 mpg, taxed and tested until August, £30 o.n.o. J. White, ext. 16-12/10 or Whitecroft 562470. Philips mono tape-recorder (mains), 3 years old, 4-track open spool, at least one 7in. tape included, £25 o.n.o. S. Williams, Cell 10, Machine Shop, ext. 450. Patio doors and aluminium windows. R. J. Smith, ext. 628 or Churchdown 713090. English springer spaniel puppies, liver and white, 1st class Field Trial pedigree. Ext. 374 or Ross 4562. Three-bedroomed semi-detached house, gas cent, htg, garage, well-kept garden, end of quiet cul-de-sac overlooking forest. Modern Parker-Knoll three-piece suite, excellent condition, £70 o.n.o. Barry Torrance, ext. 818. High capacity air compressor pump, water-cooled, needs modification to end plates; will deliver 14 cu. ft per minute at 750 rpm. Offers. Rod Dix, ext. 1244.
Hi-fi speaker chassis of high performance; 2 Goodmans Trebax and 2 Goodmans Midax pressure-driven horn units; 2 12in. bass (1 Whiteleys, 1 Goodmans); 2 sets 3-way crossover filters; £40 the lot. Given free to purchaser — 2 4^ cu. ft bass reflex cabinets each fitted with Goodmans acoustic resistance units. P. Gerrard, Reliability, Bid 3, ext. 245. Combi-Camp 500 trailer tent complete with inner tent, mattresses, back rest and spare wheel, £300 o.n.o. Dave Windmill, ATE Workshop, Bid 40/2, ext. 1393.
Allan and Susan Haines
Clive and Linda Davies Photos j. Ingram
Mark Anthony, a son for David Payne (Manager, Group Purchase Operations) and his wife Marion (formerly RX Venray), on April 25.
We regret our recent error in reference to the Graham Dowding Memorial Shield.
Avenger tow-bar. Stan Wellington, Supply Centre, ext. 1143 or 397. 1975 Honda 500/4, excellent condition, many extras. 1600E Cortina’G’reg., MOT until Jan. 1978, taxed, excellent condition, £675. Mrs. J. Weyman, ext. 823. Austin 1100 spares, inc. doors, seats, screens, bumpers, boot lid, heater, carpets, etc. L. D. Williams, ext. 626. Baby’s wicker crib complete with mattress, as brand new, £6 50. Drybrook 543069. Navy blue Mothercare pram with matching canopy, £18. Bath and stand with non-slip mat, £2. Both items very good condition. K. Scrivens, ext. 408 or Drybrook 543124.
Gloucester — 2-bedroomed terraced house, completely modernised, new roof and re-wired, £7,100. Offers considered. Mrs. S. West, ext. 286. 150cc Lambretta, ‘F’ reg. but rebuilt and re-sprayed 1976, £100 o.n.o. Also large quantity Lambretta spares. Kitchen dresser, cottage style, £95 o.n.o. Coleford 2893 or V. Oxiey, ext. 1168. Wedding dress, white satin with lace bodice, train and hood, size 14, £17 o.n.o. Drybrook 542007. White kitchen cabinet, as new, £35. Mrs C. Jones, ext. 514.
Wanted Cement mixer, any condition, will consider repair if necessary, state price. C. Dolby, ext. 882 or Lydbrook 350. Rotavator, condition immaterial. N. Swan, ext. 534. Stereo FM tuner-amp or separate tuner and amplifier. Martin Jones, ext. 1368. 12 Printed in England by Taylor, Young (Printers) Ltd.