Return to 1980-1984

Vision 147

Jackie joins the
‘Hallo Girls
With a smile in her voice, Jackie puts a call through under the eye of supervisor Nadia Kemley.
Nineteen-year-old Jackie Bowkett,
who joined teleconnmunications in
Januan/, just loves being a ‘hallo girl’.
The first teenager to start a work
experience project at Mitcheldean,
she has been learning to operate the
switchboard. ‘Getting used to the
numerous names and the company
set-up is the hardest part’, she told us.
Though confined to a wheelchair,
Jackie has not let it prevent her from
leading an active life. She became
head girl at her school in Malmesbun/;
then, having acquired an armful of
badges, she won her Queen’s Guide
award, as well as silver and gold
medals in the Stoke Mandeville
paraplegic games.
It was while undertaking a
business studies course at Cinderford
tech. that she came on a visit with
fellow students to Mitcheldean last
year. (Incidentally, her father Derek
worked in our model shop for many
Like many other youngsters she
was finding it practically impossible to
find employment. However, letters
were exchanged and in due course a
six months’ work experience project
was arranged for her in the telecommunications
department. Later on
she will spend some weeks in the
telex room.
Jackie comes to work in a taxi and
one of the girls takes her to lunch in the
canteen; she is very independent and
has a number of interests which
include doing potter/ at evening
classes and belonging to the So-So
Club at Drybrook. Last year she went
with her sister on a youth group
exchange visit to Germany.
In our line of vision
change for
VISION is 21 years old this spring, and it
has preserved the sanne appearance for
seven years.
This alone provides a sound enough
reason for a change in Mitcheldean’s
magazine. At the same time we must do
our bit to trim costs.
So we’re changing over from letterpress
to the lithographic process, which
gives us more flexibility in layout and cuts
out the cost of engraving blocks.
The copy is now tapped out eighties’
style by the computer-typesetting method.
That doesn’t mean, however, that the
editorial typewriter has been pensioned off
and we now go straight to page-proof with
the aid of a couple of visual display screens,
a keyboard and a computer. (Although
‘those who know’ assure us that that time
is not far distant for industrial editors!).
We’re also using a lighter weight
paper so that, even with the higher rates
now in force, a saving can be made in
postage costs.
Still in the ‘change mode’, we are
aiming to achieve a less cluttered look by
cutting down on capital letters for names of
departments and titles denoting pecking
order — this brings us in line with many
house journals today, including the head
office publication HQ A/ews.
Incidentally, you may be interested to
know that Peter Fryer, editor of HQ News
for the past five and a half years, has
vacated the editorial chair (to concentrate
on writing a book) and John Bettelley of
corporate affairs is taking over the hot seat
so as to ensure a continuity of news from
head office. (Happy writing, Peter!).
Support for the disabled
As you no doubt know by now, 1981 has been designated the Year of Disabled People by
the United Nations.
The objectives include promoting efforts to provide disabled people with help,
training and guidance, and to make opportunities for suitable work available to them.
Rank Xerox units are being asked togive their support and various company activities
are being planned in different parts of the world.
It is good to know that here at Mitcheldean we have not been slow in responding to
that appeal, as you can see from our front cover story.
We have quite a few registered disabled people among our employees on site and
now is an appropriate moment to thank, on their behalf, those able-bodied people among
us who regularly help them to get on the buses, or take them to lunch, and generally make
life easier for them.
Helping the young iobless
Terminal offer
Diablo Systems Inc., the Xerox subsidiary,
are making a special offer of two models of
their daisywheel keyboard terminals to
Rank Xerox employees. The models are
priced from $1,700 (£773) which is
approximately 60 per cent less than the
normal one-off price.
The terminals, supplied with printwheel,
ribbon, typewriter keyboard and
communications interface, are suitable for
connection to home computers, communications
links and other set-ups where the
RS232/V24 interface is employed, and are
available in 220 volt and 115 volt
The offer ends on 30 March, so get
your application form from Personnel
i Reception quickly if you would like more
Brian Fowler, apprentice
•raining coordinator, reveals
he inner mysteries of a 9400
to ‘work experience’
youngsters Andrew
Jennings (centre) and Mark
Cover girl Jackie is not the only unemployed youngster we are helping to make
A few weeks ago two 16-year-olds — Andrew Jennings and Mark Damsel! — joined
us under our ‘work experience’ scheme, and they are doing a modified first-year basic
engineering course for six months in the apprentice training school.
Others have been taken on since we went to press and the intention is eventually to
provide similar projects for some 20 young unemployed persons.
To qualify, they have to have been unemployed six weeks since leaving school. They
are presented as candidates by the local careers guidance people and, if accepted, are
sponsored by the Manpower Services Commission.
We are also co-operating in another scheme to help the young jobless. Along with the
six apprentices of our regular intake we have two EITB-sponsored apprentices who are
doing a year’s City & Guilds mechanical course — 17-year-old Malcolm Thomson and
18-year-old Mark Griffiths.
EITB-sponsored apprentices
Mark Griffiths (left) and
Malcolm Thomson learn
how to set up a milling
machine under the instruc
tion of training officer Eric
When Dave Eggleton went for the high
one, he nearly broke the springboard.
But he vaulted over the box
successfully — a feat which helped him
and his 11-year-old daughter Lucy to win
the annual ‘supporters’ competition run
recently by the Forest of Dean Gymnastic
Each child competitor entered with
one parent and Dave found himself doing
press-ups, step-ups and climbing ropes,
not to mention completing an obstacle
relay course. ‘But I enjoyed it’, said Dave,
‘and winning was a bonus!’
He won’t, however, be taking up
gymnastics seriously in future; he reckons
that his garden of one acre provides him
with all the exercise, and obstacles, he
Honours list
In true budget style, i Murray
holds aloft a handsome briefcase (the
Michael Jarrett award) which he received
for being the best student on the National
Examinations Board in Supervisor/Studies
course. A planning analyst in configuration
control (CBA), Keith told us that as part of
the course he and his fellow students had
to set up an imaginar/ company. Their main
trouble was getting an imaginary- loan from
the bank! ‘Although it was all hypothetical,
it was a bit of an eye-opener’, he told us,
‘and it made you cautious about selling the
family jeweller/ and starting up on your
own’. Delighted about his award was his
wife Jennifer who worked in our ‘dev. lab’
some years ago and mum-in-law Joan
Jones of electrical subs.
The achievements of these and other
successful Mitcheldean students were
acknowledged at the annual presentation
financial awards on 30 January which we’ll
featuring in our next issue.
Six of the
Rank Xerox Mitcheldean students
p r o v e d t h e m s e l v e s t o be ‘six of the
best’ w h e n they w o n awards for
o u t s t a n d i n g achievement in a
v a r i e t y of courses undertaken at the
West Gloucestershire College of
Further Education, Cinderford,
d u r i n g the 1979/80 session. We
p i c t u r e t h e m here w i t h their awards
a n d o f f e r t h e m our congratulations.
As the student making the greatest
progress on a business studies course, 20-
year-old who took her ONC Part
II as one of our commercial trainees, was
awarded the Runnymede Dispersions Cup
she is seen holding here, plus a £10 prize.
Daughter of Mike Keen of payment
operations, she has been working in the
supply centre as a warehouse
administration clerk since July. Said
transport manager Charlie Walker: ‘She is
doing excellently and we were fully
expecting her to achieve something like
As part of a team of five taking their
Mechanical Engineering Technicians
course, part III, Brian Stephen- (left) and
Alan Miles not only won the Arthur Watts
trophy, but also made a useful contribution
to the equipment of the physiotherapy
department of Gloucester Royal Hospital.
Ex-apprentice Brian, who works in
refurbishing QA, and Alan, an inspector in
the fuser roll area, helped to design and
make an exercise unit for the use of those
trying to recover lost strength in hands and
arms (handles connected to two shafts
drive a pointer which shows what
improvement is being made).
The Ken Winfield cup, awarded to a
student in the final year of a senior
engineering course for the best record in all
aspects of the course, has again been won
by a Mitcheldean ex-apprentice. This time
it was Robert Murr» who brought it home
in achieving his Mechanical Engineenng
Technicians course, part III. Robert works
in small batch as a skilled machinist; when
he joined the department two years ago, he
was the third Murrell to do so! His cousin,
John, also an ex-apprentice and skilled
machinist, was already working there; so
too was his cousin Keith, now a
chargehand at RX Lydney, so he felt quite
at home.
Fourth-year apprentice Jeffrey
Morgan has joined the growing list of RX
apprentices who have won the South
Wales Institute of Engineers’ shield —
awarded to the engineenng student
gaining the best collective course and
examination results. Nineteen-year-old
Jeffrey, who did a Technician Education
Council — electncal engineering course
(equivalent to an ONC), is now taking his
Higher National Diploma at Birmingham
The office of the future (js envisaged by Bhid Goddard)
Had a good fantasy
today, dear?
As you sit behind your familiar desk in your
familiar chair contemplating today’s
avalanche of unsorted priorities, do you
ever look around you and wonder how
today’s technology ever got you into this
Furthermore, do you ever wonder how
tomorrow’s technology may change your
field of view and alter your environment in
the future? Will it still be substantially like
the office we have come to terms with, or
will some modern miracles yet to be
unleashed alter our working habitat beyond
our wildest fantasies?
Do we need offices in the future,
anyway? Unless somebody removes or
replaces the word, the answer has to be
Since the Industrial Revolution, when
the office housed the clerical staff (admin,
to you), offices have proliferated like
nothing else on the industrial scene. They
are the veritable rabbits of an industrial
society, breeding in direct ratio to the
success and inevitable expansion of the
profitable enterprises that originate them.
As long as there are industn/ and
commerce we are stuck with the office.
Likewise, as long as there are invention and
innovation we are stuck with the design
office, the sales office, the ultimate office
of corporate headquarters and all the
offices of all the functions that form the
communications chain or lifestream of a
modern company.
How about the design office — what
will that look like in the future? In all
probability the draughting will be done by a
computerised robot programmed by a new
breed of technician engineer who will have
to vent his frustration on a string of
sensually-textured worn/ beads because
he hasn’t got a pencil to chew any more.
His or her vitaminised, decaffeinated,
temperature-controlled and artificiallysweetened
‘happy juice’ will come from an
automated comfort centre ergonomically
situated at the hub of this modern design
During the frequent de-stressing
periods the microprocessor control unit will
convert the whole centre to a dream shop
(complete with functional androids if
necessary) where fantasies are satisfied
and minds are programmed to grapple with
the next XCN.
We shall, of course, need to update
the sales office with all the latest
technology. Our customers will expect to
be treated to the ven/ best presentation
techniques which will probably start with a
fully animated laser hologram of the new
product, accompanied by lashings of
computer-matched ‘Mickey Finns’
guaranteed to have the potential
customers reaching for their plastic credit
cards after two helpings.
Corporate headquarters, of course,
will be the showpiece of the company.
With building land at a premium, the
relative importance of the business and the
image it needs to present to the world will
dictate skyscrapers far higher than
anything we have today.
Historically, businesses have always
tried to maintain the classical pyramid
structure first invented by Cheops. You
may recall that he lived at the top and was
the boss of the onginal pnnting and
duplicating firm that first discovered how to
copy writing on stone tablets.
Unfortunately none of his machines
survives today.
Rhid Goddard (ab envisayed Ey Eric Weeks)
However, as I have already pointed
out, land prices will prohibit pyramids in the
future, so we shall have to rely on a tiny
personal microchip-impregnated badge to
tell us where we are in the hierarchy.
More realistically our progress to the
top will be established by which floor our
office occupies in the soaring Plexiglass
finger of arrogance that symbolizes our
company’s success.
What about the pecking order in the
office? you may ask.
Well, the top man or woman will
obviously occupy the penthouse suite.
Inside each subordinate office the office
manager will sit — or rather recline — in a
tailored control centre.
We shall not require the power of
speech because all communication will be
between machines. Microprocessors and
computers will discuss the problems
between themselves and present a set of
options for us to choose.
It won’t even be necessar/ to press a
button to select an option. An optical
monitoring device will do the donkey-work
by detecting our basic urge to linger on the
most attractive option presented on the
head-up display.
From the control centre the office
manager will also be able to monitor his
staff arranged like satellites around the
mother ship, and re-distribute their
workloads in line with the arrival scanner’s
estimate of probable performance, based
on physical and mental measurements
taken whilst they were travelling up in the
high-speed elevator.
Impressive, what! You haven’t heard
the half of it. Each individual will be able to
control his or her environment to the
absolute degree. They will be able to select
temperature, humidity, audio and visual
comfort parameters, what to have
intravenously injected for lunch and, in the
executive grades, arrange a sensual
encounter guaranteed to make them late
for dinner.
And what of the equipment in this
office of the future?
Well, some of it will be needed to do
the work. Obvious, you might say; but
remember that even today’s office has
developed as much around the needs of
the individual within the corporate image
requirements as the needs of the business.
We have image-controlled furniture
and filing cabinets; and, if the company is
economically sound, a wide selection of
gadgets designed to help us in our work
and convince the visitor that all the latest
technology is affordable and available.
The gadgetn/ at the same time is
usually a reflection of individual choice and
we are all prone to select the things that
appeal to our vanity or complement our
working environment.
Project this personal need into the
future and you can easily imagine an office
that offers not only the latest technology to
process the company business needs, but
offers all the requirements to enable you
and me to enjoy the things we think about
during working time but would never
confess to our nearest and dearest.
Will we want to go to this office of the
future? Of course we will. We all need a
sense of purpose, a sense of belonging, a
break from incontinent pets and marital
And anyway, where else would we
find a Xerox machine to run off a copy of the
crossword so that the ancient art of writing
can be practised?
“Tie exciting sport of jalopy racing
Eric takes off.
benefited by over £400.
Rank Xerox supports these events by
providing the wherewithal to purchase the
trophies for one of the class races.
‘Autograss racing is the new name for the old sport of jalopy racing’, Eric Real (ISC) told us.
‘It was coined to reflect the way this sport has developed’.
‘You mean racing old bangers?’ we asked innocently.
Eric was shocked. ‘Good heavens, no! You mustn’t confuse the two’. And he
proceeded to fill one of the yawning gaps in our knowledge of things on four wheels.
Jalopies today range from standard
saloons, modified to strict safety standards
but with production engines, suspension,
etc., to the highly developed saloons in
which large capacity engines are mounted
in standard saloon body shells.
Such hybrids as Ford Escorts fitted
with Alfa Romeo engines and Volkswagen
Beetles fitted with V6 or V8 engines are
The ultimate in jalopies is the ‘special’
which Is designed and built by the owner
from the floor up; such vehicles
incorporate specially-built engines which
are sometimes supercharged.
‘Their average speed at the 1980
national championships was over 70 mph’,
says Ehc.
There are several other Rank Xerox
employees besides Eric who are
aficionados of the sport — Sue Davies
(design engineering), Derek Howell (also
ISC), and John Martin (IE).
Sue, who has been on the jalopy scene
ever since she was knee-high to a grass
tyre, shares a special fitted with a Ford V6
3-litre motor designed and built by her
Derek is the ‘pit king’ for an Alfaengined
Escort; Eric drives an unmodified
Escort (and, as you can see, is now building
his own special); and John, who took a
break last season, races an unmodified
The autograss racing season runs from
April to October with national
championships held usually in July/August.
Cars qualify for the nationals by amassing
points in the races prior to the event, and
these places are hotly contested.
Mitcheldean was nearly able to boast a
national champion last summer — Sue got
through to the 1980 championships, and
was in the lead on the final lap when her car
unfortunately broke down. Better luck next
time round, Sue!
She belongs to the Gloucester &
District club while Eric, Derek and John are
in the Forest of Dean club (Eric’s wife
Claudine was the club’s champion lady
driver in 1980).
These jalopy clubs, plus Stroud &
District, Yate & Sodbun/ and Bredon Hill
clubs, make the Gloucestershire Autograss
It was the Stroud & District which
hosted a New Year’s Day meeting at
Moreton Valence when a large crowd of
spectators were given all the ‘thrills, spills
and roll-overs’ they could wish for. But the
season proper begins in ApnI.
One of the summer highspots is
‘Tenby week’ when families and friends
can get together to enjoy a week’s seaside
holiday with jalopy racing events thrown in,
so to speak.
In addition to the normal fixtures, the
Gloucester Autograss League runs a
special charity meeting.
The Twyver Unit for Disabled Children
(Cheltenham) was supported in 1979, and
last year the Leukaemia Research Fund
Spills and
Derek takes tha strain as Eric
fits a wheel to the special he’s
building. That’s Sue in the
Driving behind bars
Isn’t it rather a dangerous sport? we
wondered, glancing at a photo of a jalopy
apparently being driven upside down.
‘Not at air, says Eric. ‘In fact, it’s a lot
less risky than driving on the roads’.
And Sue reckons that riding her horse
is potentially more hazardous than lapping
the circuit.
Safety standards are ven/ strict, they
told us. Drivers are protected by a roll cage
within the car and have to wear protective
gear and a full harness safet/ belt. Fuel is
limited to three gallons and there’s an
easily accessible cut-out switch in case of
What about cost? ‘Well, if you want a
bit of the action, you can get out there for as
little as £50’, says Eric.
• this feature has aroused your
iterest in autograss racing, either as a
iriver or supporting member, do get in
ouch with Eric on ext. 649 — he’ll be
pleased to tell you more.
A look at our CBA machines
Top of
the Line
Ever since t h e i r i n t r o d u c t i o n , o u r machines f o r t h e centralized business area
have d o m i n a t e d the t o p end of t h e p h o t o c o p y i n g market, and as yet they
r e m a i n largely unchallenged. In this article g r o u p programme manager
C h r i s B r a m s d o n of RX headquarters reviews t h e i r development, f r om the
X e r o x 9200 — t h e f i r s t of t h e f a m i l y — t o t h e v e r y l a t e s t ‘ i n t e l l i g e n t ‘ machine,
t h e X e r o x 9700, w h i c h represents a major step t o w a r d s any office of the
f u t u r e .
Pictured against the background of the CBA assembly floor
are foreman Graham Weaver (left) and Bnan Mould,
manager of the department. Brian and Graham have
worked together for 18 years — right from 914 assembly in
My first real awareness of the 9200 family came in
1971 wlien I arrived in Rocliester as ttie
programme resident on tfie 3100. At tfiat time tfie
9200 product was in ttie development phase and
was code-named Ardri.
This name was the subject of much debate as to
its derivation (it comes from the Gaelic A r d Righ
— high king) and the correct pronunciation (as it
turned out, most USO people used ‘Ardree’, and
some RX people the correct ‘Ardry’}.
I recall the first occasion I saw a 9200. The size,
complexity, speed and capability of the product
were incredible to me since my previous
in volvement had been with products such as 660,
4000, etc.
In fact, the whole scale of the operation was
incredible — the number of engineers involved,
the development and tooling costs which were
rumoured in the corridors, the size of the planned
production area, the projections of revenue from
the product, and so on.
There were, of course, problems which leaked
through the self-imposed Ardri security net, but
consistently they yielded to the application of
resources and dollars. When I left Rochester in
mid ’73, plans for field test, IMO and launch were
well advanced.
After a year in Dallas I returned to the UK to be
responsible for the 360017000 family, and found
that a Rank Xerox Ardri army had been
established. The programme was number 1
priority and seemed to be granted almost
unlimited resources and dollars — often, it
seemed, at the expense of other programmes.
Clearly the approach succeeded. In early 1975 the
first RX 9200’s were produced and after extensive
qualification testing the UK field test commenced
in Manchester and Liverpool in mid ’75.
There was then an additional challenge for
Mitcheldean to cut-in the block 7 zoom lens
configuration. This overcame the paper size/
reduction ratio limitations of the add/add lens
system used in the US configuration and the
block 4-6 RX machines.
The 9200 was launched in all major RX markets
over the period December ’75 to autumn ’76.
My involvement with the 9200 family
commenced in 1977 as GPM of the 9400. This
product was many people’s introduction to
machine diagnostics and the additional
opportunities of microprocessor technology.
The early demonstrations of the 9400 were a
revelation to most of us as we marvelled at, for
instance, jam recovery on a duplex job, or the
ability of the machine to undertake elaborate selfdiagnostic
Round table discussion between members of the 9500 engineenng team.— (from left) Ken Williams, Keith Bradley, Lionel Fisher, TSPM
John Stammers, Mike Lazarevic, Bob Howell and Len Young. (Sadly missing from the picture is Ossie Radford, who as section leader
made a big contribution to the project, and whose untimely death was reported in our last issue).
CBA machines
It’s a Multinational Effort
There are many complex sourcing and design
control aspects to RX CBA products:
The initial design activities on most new
products are carried out in Rochester and on
recent products the drawing masters have been
held there.
Machine parts are sourced in the UK and
Europe; and many parts, where tooling costs are
high compared with the parts cost, are sourced
from the US vendor.
* The 50-bin and 25-bin sorters are produced in
Photoreceptors and circuit boards are
produced in Welwyn Garden City.
Toner is produced in Venray and Coslada
Machines are refurbished in Lille and
In the optics tent, operator Bill Price aligns the main barrel of an 8200 add-add lens system
with the use of a low-powered laser beam. On the right is foreman Graham Mem/.
Outstanding record
The development programme and initial build of
the 9400 were achieved on schedule but were
followed by a traumatic period as 9200
production was phased out and 9400 failed to
achieve build programme. However, in period 5
of 1979 the plant met plan with an incredible
output of 9400 machines, and has continued to
achieve programme ever since, which is, of
course, an outstanding record.
Underlining the rate of change of development
required to stay ahead of competition, we are
phasing out production of 9400 at the present
time and are well up the learning curves of the
two new products, 9500 and 8200.
The 9500 has evolved as a major programme in
its own right out of the 9400 copy quality upgrade
work, which was originally intended to provide a
conventional new build and field retrofit
The machine has now been launched in the UK,
France and Germany, and is being very well
received by customers and Rank Xerox
personnel. The offset quality is enabling our
salesforce to sell additional machines, and the
solid area and half capabilities are boosting copy
The 8200 has been run by a separate team as a
fast track programme which has met all its
schedule objectives and has now been launched
in the UK, France and Germany with eight more
opcos launching this February.
The product, which enables Rank Xerox to utilize
better the CBA engine in decentralized
environments, is a derivative of the 9400 engine
slowed to 70 cpm, with 9400 features such as
duplex path, sorter, ADH and XMM removed, and
RDH, on-line finishing/stapling and 9500 copy
quality included.
In addition to the export of machines to all Rank
Xerox operating companies, Mitcheldean has
met the challenge of providing CBA products for
both Fuji Xerox and the 9700.
In this day and age, the export of a significant
volume of machines to Japan is almost unheard
of but all CBA machines installed by Fuji Xerox
are, and we hope will be, produced by
The provision of machines to the Japanese
marketplace requires meeting several unique
goals: the capability to feed B4 (10.13 in x 75.53
in) originals and copy paper in addition to A4; the
handling of lighter weight papers; provision of
both 50 Hz and 60 Hz machines (since Japan is not
served by a single supply); and meeting the
stringent Dentori safety standards.
Those of us involved with the FX programmes are
also able to appreciate at first hand the drive for
quality which is now the norm throughout
Japanese industry.
(continued overleaf!
Copy quality of the 9500 is its outstanding selling feature. Seen here checking CQ in the
product stabilization test area are (from left) Dave Wade (OA engineering), Pete Walby
(MED), John Lewis (QA engineenng) and Pete Pritchard (MED).
bliiis. approacn
An exercise called SLIK (service level
improvement kit), designed to improve the
range of parts for CBA machines carried by
service engineers, has proved a resounding
As a result, engineers are able to supply 90
per cent of the parts needed from their vehicles,
compared with the previous 70 per cent.
Said Dave Eggleton, manager of inventory
planning & control (TSD): This has been
achieved by carefully re-assessing which and
how many parts should be carried by the
engineers, re-arranging the interior of the
vehicles and designing packages to fit into the
new layout.
‘The engineer benefits by not having to go
back again to the customer with any outstanding
parts, and the customer is satisfied first time
round on 90 per cent of the calls — which was
the target w e set ourselves.’
The SLIK approach has been applied in the
UK, France and Germany with such success that
it has been decided to extend it not only to all
European opcos but also to other products.
CBA machines
The latest CBA machine-the 9700-is an electronic printing system which combines computer,
laser and xerographic technologies, and is the first direct link between computers and the
xerographic process.
Since it is a relatively low volume product, the 9700’s for installation in Rank Xerox
markets are assembled in California using 9400 engines produced at Mitcheldean.
Introduced in the USA some three years ago, the 9700 became available in the UK
complete with a range of systems software for sale, lease or rental from the beginning of this
year. It is being launched also in Holland, Sweden and France.
The new product is regarded as a major building-block in the company’s long-term plan for
participation in office information systems.
Using digital information, the 9700 can simultaneously create both a business form and the
computer-generated text to go on that form.
It is the only computer-linked pnnting system which can print on both sides of the paper,
thus offering useful savings for computer information users in paper, postage and storage.
The 9700 can receive the computed data either directly ‘on-line’ from an IBM mainframe
computer, or ‘off-line’ via nine-track magnetic tape of the type produced by virtually all other
makes of computer.
Laser technology is used to convert this electronic data into the selected type style. At
the same time, from its own storage, the 9700 will extract the form or letter to be printed,
combine this with the computer data and then, using the xerographic process, print the
resulting documents at the rate of two per second and up to 18,000
lines every minute, depending on type size and format.
The output is all on A4 format and the machine can switch instantly
between horizontal and vertical page formats.
The choice of type styles and sizes is virtually unlimited and the
9700 will also print company logos, signatures and any other shape that
can be ‘digitised’ to utilize the 90,000 dots per square inch printing
Wherever computer technology is linked to a demand for more
than 700,000 high quality prints per month, a 9700 installation is
Market trials by leading computer services bureaux have indicated
that the use of the 9700 gives them a leading edge in quality and
creativity of output presentation.
One such user predicted: ‘In my opinion, computer sen./ices
bureaux will not survive in the next few years without the 9700. Our
clients will come to expect this quality and speed of computergenerated
Link with the
Ways in which the tremendous output of
the 9700 can be linked to the company’s
word processing range, such as the Xerox
850 and Xerox 860, are being explored, and
in the future we can expect to see 9700-
type machines linked into the new
Ethernet communications system
announced some time ago.
Ethernet evolved from over five years
of research in the field of network
technology at the Xerox Palo Alto research
centre; it has been tested extensively in
the USA and is in the process of being
introduced world-wide.
It consists of a TV-style coaxial cable
made up of one or more segments, each of
which can be up to 500 metres in length.
An attached transceiver device
connects the cable to various types of
office equipment — word processors,
computers, electronic printers — at a
business site and in this way allows each
unit to exchange information with any
For example, a memo composed at
one work-station can be transmitted and
displayed on the screens of any or all other
work-stations using the network, or a
document can be created at one location
and pnnted at other locations.
Each unit in the system has a unique
address. Information is transferred in
‘packets’ which include the data to be sent,
the address of the unit that will receive it,
and the address of the unit sending it.
The first direct link between computers and the xerographic process, the Xerox 9700 can
create an almost limitless variety of forms and other required layouts which can be stored in
the machine’s memory and recalled or changed at the touch of a button.
An Ethernet network itself has a
unique address and it would be possible to
connect Ethernet networks to each other
and to outside communications facilities
for long-distance transmission.
This latter area too is being explored; it
would, of course, require the approval of
British Telecommunications.
Use of the network specifications by
other corporations and organizations is
being encouraged, and Xerox is making
patent licences available to manufacturers
of components and systems utilizing
Ethernet technology.
\leil Blake, manager advanced systems for
Sank Xerox, shows a sample section of
thernet cable with transceiver attached.
Eddie Shermer (holding cut-glass tankard convertible forsaAre!) pictured with colleagues at a
goodbye ceremony, ^/ianagers Jack Tester and Ken Fox (LSA vice-president) made the
At the end of Novennber we said goodbye
to our original ‘man in Japan’ — Eddie
Q ^ c r r r – r of manufacturing engineenng
support operations.
After starting in the Tool Room, Eddie
became involved in the transfer of Bell &
Howell activities to Japan and he went on
to act as our liaison with Fuji Xerox both
in engineering and manufacturing
engineering. In fact, almost a quarter of his
21 years with the company was spent
actually on assignment in Japan.
It was through his visits there that
Eddie met and married Kiyoko who has
herself helped out as interpreter on
occasion. They both attended a gettogether
with current Fuji Xerox residents
at Mitcheldean and their wives, held to
mark Eddie’s retirement.
The UK Company’s electronic printing
group have recently reported the sale of
the first two 9700’s in Europe to a company
operating a computer printing bureau (a
million dollar deal); the latter are now using
a 9400 for printing off much of the original
work created on the 9700, and are ‘looking
to take a 9500 later this year— so the 9700
interest has picked up two CBA sales that
Rank Xerox might never have seen
Fuji Xerox
win business prize
Fuji Xerox has received the coveted
Doming Prize — an award made annually to
Japanese companies which excel in quality
control and productivity.
The prize was named after business
consultant Dr W. Edwards Doming who,
while a professor at New York University,
gave a sehes of lectures in Japan in 1950
which are generally credited with
promoting an awareness of quality control
and productivity through statistical
To win the award, a company must
undergo rigid testing, examination and
screening by a committee of scientists,
engineers and businessmen.
Fuji Xerox was one of four recipients
chosen to receive the award in 1980 and
Rank Xerox chairman Hamish Orr-Ewing
expressed the company’s congratulations
on their admirable achievement.
Stan Cherry also retired last
November, having worked as a production
engineer for some 20 years at Mitcheldean.
The advanced technological tools with
which he has been involved in his job are in
sharp contrast to the 160 or so hand tools in
his home workshop which he wields with
great skill as a wood sculptor, winning
recognition far beyond the confines of the
Being hospitalized prevented him
from saying goodbye to all his friends, but
we were pleased to hear that he is making
progress and has already made a start on
new work, including a piece depicting a
freeminer of the Forest of Dean at the turn
of the centun/.
Another member of manufacturing
engineering who left before Christmas was
who had clocked up 18 years
at Mitcheldean. Initially involved with the
‘back end’ of Bell & Howell projectors, he
took over the first 914 product from John
Smith and from then on worked on a
number of later models, finishing his time
with us in the sphere of vendor/technical
Breeding pigs has long been a hobby
of Tony’s and he is now developing this as a
business venture.
lilbert Bear known to his
colleagues as Gillie, also left in December.
All of his 19 years were spent in the
Machine Shop where he was engaged in
straightening shafts and other bench work
— an area in which he acquired
considerable expertise. In recent years he
had worked mostly on night shift.
Though the part he played in finance
varied little during his 18-plus years with us,
analyst assumed a different
character whenever Christmas came
along. Ever since they were formed by
Norman’s father in 1955, the Wesley
Players have called on Norman to help
entertain Cinderford audiences with their
pantomimes — as a robber in ‘Babes in the
Wood’, or a witch in ‘Hansel and Gretel’.
Norman crept quietly from the
Mitcheldean stage but if you saw the
recent show ‘Sinbad the Sailor’, you might
just have recognized him in the guise of a
tall ohental called ‘Thing Hi’.
Les Wright
We are sorry to report the death on 2
December of Les Wright at the age of 65.
He had retired in October 1979 after 36
years’ sen/ice in our sheet metal shop, first
at Mitcheldean and then at Cinderford. Our
sympathy goes to members of his family.
January s a w the retirement of senior
analyst Les Baynham a well-known
personality in the matenals/production
control environment.
During his 20 years at Mitcheldean Les
had been involved with raw materials, EO’s
and XCN’s, and with a great deal of the
early planning on the 813 and 660 models.
At his leave-taking John Court, who
until his recent appointment was manager,
manufacturing production control, said:
‘With his all-round experience, Les has
recently been a great help in sorting out
600 new parts launched into manufacture
in a short-time phase’.
Les Baynham (centre) takes his leave of
fellow-workers at Mitcheldean after receiving
farewell gifts from manager John Court.
As the eight competitors for the individual bridge trophy commenced play in the
clubhouse on 10 November, little did they realize that one of their number— ruthless Ron
Watkins (QA) — was going all out to improve on last year’s results of two second places.
was on the cards
^exposed again!
In a photographic club battle which took
place in the function room of the club
house on 8 Januan/, our own photo club
came a commendable third. This success
was somewhat overshadowed by the
unfortunate fact that there were only two
other contenders — Hereford Photo Club
and Ross Photo Society.
However, the attendance level was up
on past occasions with a few new faces in
the Rank Xerox contingent — perhaps we
can keep this up for future events!
The judging and critique were carried
out by IVIrs Mildred Southern from
Gloucester Photo Club, and she eventually
placed Ross first, a position they’ve held
against us for the last three years. But our
time will come . . .
Hereford came a ven/ close second
and will probably be worthy contenders for
next year’s three-club championship.
The evening was rounded off with a
social gathering to discuss the finer points
of ever/one’s entries.
The RX club will, we hope, exact
revenge for their defeat in their next battle
against the CEGB at Barnwood on 9 March.
Any members who would like to submit
entries are asked to contact their local
committee member.
At the end of the evening’s play, a long and tense struggle, Ron had achieved the first
leg of his ambition (but only just). He had emerged as joint winner with Brian Charmley (IS).
Two weeks later the players reassembled, plus some new faces (always welcome)
for the pairs trophy. Ron and Wilf Jones (IE) found themselves partners, and Ron’s last
words before commencement of play was: ‘I’ve got one ‘first’ — now I want the second’.
And they made it, though too close for comfort, with the first four pairs all with a
chance of winning.
The results of this year’s bhdge tournaments reveal some interesting facts:
• It is the second time running that Brian Charmley has won the individual trophy (the first
to achieve this distinction was Richard Walker).
• It is also the second time running that Wilf Jones has won the pairs cup — but the first
time this has been done.
• Ron Watkins has made histon/ by becoming the first player ever to complete the double
win of both the pairs cup and the individual trophy. He is also the first to have collected all
three RX trophies, having been a member of the winning invitation team in 1979.
Note for the bridge player’s diary: the 1981 invitation teams event will take place on 28 April.
Bridge winners (from left) Brian
Charmley, Ron Watkins and Wilf
nams get computerised Amateur radio enthusiasts, familiarly known as ‘hams’, would seem to merit a more
impressive nickname these days if they operate like Mr Dixon of the Radio Society of
Great Britain.
Mr Dixon was the speaker at the December meeting of the Amateur Computer Club
and his demonstration of his computer system for slow-scan TV and its use in computergraphics
made it one of their most interesting and informative meetings.
With the aid of equipment that includes a video camera (for digitizing pictures), a
decoder and microcomputer, he is able to transmit to other radio enthusiasts not only
single black and white (or coloured) photographs, drawings, etc., but also composite
pictures of high quality — for example, photographs of himself together with a map of his
home area, Ross-on-Wye.
A highlight of the evening was when he showed his audience a playback on the
screen of a NASA cassette of the recent Saturn landings.
Since software is expensive, members would like to be able to borrow each other’s
computer programmes; but their microcomputers, computer languages and systems
vary considerably.
So at their Januan/ meeting members discussed the design of interface circuitr/
which would solve the problem.
‘We are not going to tn/ to interpret existing soft^vare’, Keith Jones told us, ‘but if we
can establish a standard format, then when we write new software it will be
interchangeable and we can swap pieces of equipment and memory.’
hat trick
The Design engineering team of John
Taylor (captain), Nick Swan and Geoff
Baldwin have won the Wickstead shield for
the third year in succession by defeating
Supply Centre transport (Terr/ Daunter
(captain), Alan Brown and Ron Parker) in
the finals of the interdepartmental chess
John Taylor also won the Portman cup
for the individual tournament while Tern/
Daunter was runner-up.
This year’s competition will soon be
under way. If you wish to compete, please
contact John on ext. 1865, Terry (961) or
Glyn Williams (1351). There’s no need to
worr/ — you won’t be drawn against a
computer — yet!
Personnel manager Derek Knibbs presents the Wickstead shield to chess champ John Taylor.
Waiting to receive their awards are (from left) Terry Daunter, Ron Parker, Geoff Baldwin and
(far rigfit) Alan Brown.
^ % • Two hundred and forty five-and six-year-
U ^ l * | 1 7 TllCIf O should add up to a lot of noise. But 4 QA I T IJAwVW those who came to the children’s party on
J * 17 January in the Social Centre were
remarkably quiet as they sat at the tea
tables after the film show.
But they were merely conserving their strength. The hokey-cokey really wound them up
and they ran true to form after that.
There were lots of games, and gifts from Father Christmas (Stan Seaborn arranged a
personal appearance), and as far as we know they didn’t unwind again until after the
hard-working bus stewards had got them safelv home.
(The two parties for the older children will be featured in the March/April issue).
Seasonal music, interspersed with
selections from ‘Man/ Po’ppins’, played by
the Rank Xerox Christmas Band helped to
bring the sound as well as the spirit of the
festive season to Mitcheldean on 17
December (social club) and 18 December
(waitress-service dining-room).
For their last performance on the 19th,
they travelled to Lydney where this picture
was taken. ‘We were a bit short of cornets’,
said conductor Derek Wade. But it didn’t
seem to affect their usual high standard.
The lunchtime concerts were very
successful too in raising £80 for the
Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Putting you in the picture
Richard Darn/I, a son for Darn/I Kear (worl<s
engineering) and his wife Sue, on 22
Alice Keri, a daughter for Lome Baynham
(inventop/ control) and his wife Jane
(formerly training) on 26 December.
Mike Read (MED) to Janet Marshall at St
Michael’s & All Angels, Mitcheldean, on 8
Stephen Carpenter (facilities planning) to
Karen Griffiths at Abenhall Church on 22
Carol Hyett (central records) to Paul Mason
(CBA assembly) at Holy Tnnity Church,
Drybrook, on 29 November.
Mark Jordan (PCD) to Margaret Coe at
English Bicknor Church on 3 January.
Ron Blanckley (commodity operations),
Eileen Buffin (engineering), Jack Davies
(machine shop), Merrick Gwatkin (electncal
subs.), Fred Rudge (goods receiving), Jack
Wakeling (cycle counting).
We record with regret the deaths of the
following: Mike Brown (electncal subs.) on
17 November at the age of 44, having
joined us seven years ago; Daisy Richards
(assembly) on 11 January, aged 56, after 11
years’ service; pensioner Henn/ Beard on
13 December at the age of 64.
Our sympathy goes to their families
Stephen and Karen Carpenter A
Paul and Carol Mason
Home help for
earthquake victims
As manager inventory control, Andrew Bentley-
Taylor appreciates the importance of getting
commodities to the right place at the right time.
So when his brother-in-law, who had been
successful in obtaining a second-hand caravan,
asked Andrew to help in getting it to the
earthquake victims in Italy, he readily agreed.
They had three days in which to do the
round trip of 3,050 miles. What was needed was
an estate car so that the two of them, plus a
friend, could take turns in sleeping while on the
move. The company were able to assist here by
providing a car and the necessary ‘green card’.
The Round Table saw to all the administration
and on the evening of Fnday, 16 Januan/, the
trio set off to collect the five-berth caravan from
a depot in Kent.
International help took the form of free
channel crossing and the waiving of road tolls;
but progress was slow as the car, pulling a ton
weight, could do only 15 mpg and they had to
keep stopping for petrol.
They took the coastal route from Marseilles
to Genoa and arrived at the army distribution
centre outside Naples at 3am on the Sunday.
‘No one seemed to speak English but we
managed somehow’, said Andrew. ‘We were
ven/ impressed with the way the army were
coping with the business of getting these
homes-on-wheels into the mountainous areas
where they were most needed.’
After a stay of seven hours (and some sleep
while stationary for a change) they set off on the
return journey, taking the mountain motorway
through the Alps — all bridges and tunnels.
‘There was 4ft of snow, and I’ll never forget the
sight of Mont Blanc in the moonlight — it was
worth staying awake for’, said Andrew.
They caught the channel fern/ by the skin of
their teeth and arrived home on the Monday at
2pm very tired, considerably out of pocket, but
pleased at having completed their mission
successfully, and in record time.
‘There’s only one thing I regret’, said
Andrew. ‘I missed seeing Pans — I was asleep
on both occasions!’
Help for the victims in terms of men and
money has of course been forthcoming from
Rank Xerox Italy; two task forces went into
action before Christmas and employees donated
several hours’ pay to the relief fund.
Almost 6,000 dollars were given by the
company to buy first-aid materials, food and
other necessities for the small town of Calife
which was particularly badly affected. Another
28,000 dollars were given to the relief fund from
Rank Xerox Italy’s chanties budget and a
substantial donation was also sent from RX
Eyes on Safety
Total number oi
N o v / D e c 7 9 Nov/Dec ’80
The following have become eligible for
company service awards:
December— Gillie Beard (machine shop),
Brian Davis (electrical subs.); January —
Dave Barnard (finance), Les Baynham
(production control), Reg Fishburne (works
engineering), Alan Hughes (machine shop),
Tony Luckett(RX Cinderford), HeleneWest
(central records), Jack Osborne (manufacturing
January— Dennis Barnard (manufacturing
engineering), Mike Brain (machine shop),
Harold Carpenter (works engineering), Ken
Cook (works engineering), Ewart Nelmes
(works engineering), i Cinderford).
30 Year;
January — Harold Hale (recently retired
from assembly production control).
If you have, then please —
mail it to me c/o Corporate Affairs, Bid 51/4,
or leave it at any Gate House for
collection by me,
or post it to me at Tree Tops, Plump Hill,
or ring me — ext. 566 or Drybrook 54241 5.
,’/e fowler. Edit
12 Printed in England by Taylor, Young (Printers) Ltd., Cheltenham