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"I do wonder though about some of the American imports into the UK as it does seem on the evidence presented that the Americans have less than rigourous quality control procedures."

I think you need to see a chinese factory!
Its very difficult to translate "quality control" into chinese!

Peter
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson)Hi Peter - not sure where U are coming from with this comment...

Quote "I think you need to see a chinese factory! Its very difficult to translate "quality control" into chinese!"

****I have long experience dealing with China (including indirectly with Sanda-Kan more recently) and the truth is that they can produce with at least as good a quality as any Japanese, EU, UK or US manufacture - and do so at a lesser price because of lower labour costs and controlled costs for materials / services.

example: When Alpine, one of the premiere brands in car stereo moved much of their manufacture to China, their warranty failure rate (already very low) actually dropped close to a further 50% - this was largely down to the fact that the Japanese laid down a rigid QC procedure and materials standards specification. They were amazed that things got better not slightly worse, but then realised they had ASSUMED that Japanese factory people would always do a perfect job, while they rode the chinese hard all the time....

So... The whole issue of quality control SPECIFICATION is down to the company buying the product.

Another much smaller and less significant example, for my my own electronics & other items made in Asia I specify acceptable brands for key components and pay more because of it - as to assembly, all are are 100% QC checked with an active test procedure on every single one - and I pay more because of that too.

As a result I add a few percent to my costs but can confidently offer a goof proof warranty knowing that problems will be consumer created not product related....

The real culprits for supposed "chinese quality" are the brands who drive the brands down at any cost so they can buy cheap and sell dear.... and the cost of their heavy handed approach is usually in lesser material, less time taken (so less checking) and lack of ability so apply standards they won't pay for, so they pay nothing and get equivalent quality.

Anyway... As to the rash of "quality problems" recently, this is largely a political spin issue:

Did you notice that just before it happened, the US had demanded that China revalue their currency or else.. and then China had reminded the US that they could easily dump a HUGE amount of in US bonds if they so wished, effectively lowering the USD value so raising a middle finger to US heavy handedness...

Personally... Give me well specified product out of china in place of most other places every time - they have the skills, the most modern technology and the finest production machinery money can buy, and will respect a Mfr who sepcifies properly and will pay the small amount extra for an excellent product - and do it faster and cheaper than any EU, UK or US source...
Richard

I think i should have worded my comment far more carefully.

Some of your points i agree with but i'm afraid others i do take issue with. My criticisms of chinese manufacturing are really on 2 main points. the first is perhaps not relevant to your field of electronics (at least not mainstream) and that is the general level of clenliness in the chinese factories. Many chinese simply dont realise that in order to produce precision items (such as model railway equipment) you have to keep the room clean. i am sure we have both watched the programmes on telly where they show the modern call centre spotlessly clean. i am sure buy your writing that you have been to china on a few occations and will know as i do that this represents a very small part of chinese working culture. often if you go up a floor you will see what its really like.
This is not me making out that chinese factories are slums. but this is a fact that is readily recognized buy the chinese government (who are doing their best to sort out the problem).
As i am sure you are aware, in chinese manufacturing, maintainance of equipment very much takes a back seat. and preventative maintanance practicies that we would concider routine in the west are virtually non existant. Again i accept you are from an electronics backround and so things may well be better in that area.
Also this is not an issue of cost. how much does it cost to tell an employee not to keep spitting on the floor

The second point i take issue with is that in your reply you quoted an examply of a japanese manufacturer that moved production to china. to start with i dont think it is fair to compare an ordinary japanese manufacturer to any other one that has someone breathing down their necks all the time (i would also like to know how the figures you have quoted have changed over time. and not just after the initial move. again as the factory starts to degrade and the building that was put together in a hurry starts to leak and the lack of maintanance kicks in)
I would far rather have a japanese product than a chinese one. because the japanese take pride in their work. generally speaking the chinese dont (my girlfriend being the exception of course!!)
If i buy a japanese model, i know it has been put together carefully, i know it has been properly washed before painting, i know the paint shop was imacculatly clean and i know there is absoloutly no contamination whatsoever in the paint (i am talking about dust and foreign object contamination and not lead) i know it has been handled with care throughout the manufactuing process. i simply cant have that confidence with a chinese manufacturer.

You are from an electronics backround so you may have a different slant on this and i think this may be a case of different industries doing things differently. but i would be astonished if a chinese manufacturer could maintain a high standard without building a new factory about evry 2 years.

My initial thoughts about the lead contamination issue was spin as well. but it wouldnt supprise me in the slightest if it was true. The food stories that the chinese government are passing off as spin are totally believe

Peter
 

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i really didnt want this to become a Hornby issue.
I dont think hornby is a good example anyway. the models hornby were making before they departed our shores were frankly shockingly bad. if they could be concidered models at all. i would love to be able to say they were good in their day but i dont that can honestly be said.
Thats why at the time i was modelling american.

Peter
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 23 Sep 2007, 12:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The Chinese put in a 48 hour week in a plant that has more automation than the old Margate factory. The old Hornby models had about 8 body components to assemble. Current Hornby models have over 100!

I have started another topic which includes figures.
I do not crusade. I provide balance. Model Rail Forum is not here as a knocking shop and the fact is Hornby claim to be selling large numbers of Select units and decoders and if they are this suggests that Hornby understand their customers requirements rather better than DCC experts! This may worry Richard and others in the trade as it could affect sales of their higher margin consoles so their comments may not be entirely without prejudice and this has to be factored in.

New visitors (and we do get a lot!) will read the comment and will not understand the context in which the comment is made.

The Hornby Select has been described by Richard and other DCC cognoscenti as a throw away console. Surely if they are in the trade they should see this as a positive rather than a negative! The fact is the Select can be used in conjuction with an Elite so it is not so throw away as the DCC cognoscenti claim.

And the Select is bringing DCC to the people and many of these people eventually trade up if they want more. No other console to date in the UK (even Bachmann's EZ-Command) has succeeded in bringing DCC to the people. This is all a big positive for UK DCC if only Richard and others could see that!


Happy modelling
Gary

Please lets not drag up this debate again. Gary the concensus of evryone apart from you and Hornby is that it simly is not DCC. there are many questions of it that you conveniently ignored on "that thread".
Now can we drop it unless there are any new developements.

This thread was about chinese manufacturing. NOT DCC in any way, shape or form.

Peter
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson)I think you need to sort the wheat from the chaff: There are a zillion little subcontacting companies who certainly are little more than sweatshops and home based businesses, relying on the labour of people who work between seasons and go home for the harvest. There are a LOT of chinese companies that are every bit as professional and "clean" as any in Europe - these are the core of Chinas future, as the low labour cost won't last long - already the wages are starting to rise...

I think the mistake is to wash up all in the mass - there are more highly qualified graduates in many chinese factories than in any in the West.

i actually wasnt refering to tin pot subcontracting companies. many companies have their showrooms (for want of a better term) but look beneeth the veneer.

A lot of clean factories?? where? which is the luckey province? i have travelled china many times and i have to admit there have been a couple, literally just a couple. i think i can count 3 i have been impressed with and that i would concider up to western standards many of them have their posh bit then you find out where the work is really done and my heart sinks.

Peter
 
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