The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 8 (December 1, 1928)
Production Engineering — Part XXVII — Facing New Ideas
Is your capacity strained when you have to face a new set of conditions?
Can you master new ideas, new methods and new machines—and make them produce the goods?
In the new shops there are new machines of every kind. All of them are tried, tested and proven machines, and, with regard to the output of each, there is no element of experiment whatever.
We have to learn to operate them efficiently.
We have to develop the tools to suit our work.
We have to maintain not only the machines but the tools at top form.
We have to direct them with precision to make them “deliver the goods.”
The facts may be summed up thus: All types of modern machinery, every amenity in working conditions, may be provided, but, unless every operator, tradesman and foreman sees to it that the machines and conditions are used to the fullest advantage their mere provision would achieve very little.
One word of advice—don't be one of those afraid to ask questions. I know there are machines installed that are puzzling many—more than will admit it. It is far better, however, to have to plead guilty to an innocent faux pas in this direction than to remain in a puzzled state of mind in regard to the operation of any particular machine. So don't hesitate to ask questions.
In the new workshops there have been installed many machines never before seen in New Zealand. The makers of these machines have sent a film illustrating how they work. That is an excellent idea.
The heating of tyres by means of electricity inside the shop will also be a notable advance in the equipment of the new workshops. This work, on account of the smoke and flames associated with it, was done formerly in a selected place outside the workshop. This is a wonderful advance, as those acquainted with this operation will well know.
A foundry with a concrete floor! Brass melting without any pit fires at all! Cupola charging under the direction of trained metallurgists! Die casting under pressure! Automatic oxy-acetone welding and cutting machines! Centre lathe work going to boring mills! Turrets, etc.! Electric riveters! Fuel oil furnace! Forging machines! Bulldozers! All these, and many others are part of the changes that are to be faced and mastered in the new shops.
The success of our work depends on our mastery of these machines and processes. As I said above, if in doubt, don't hesitate to ask questions. Their answers will be forthcoming.