Update on the next DCC kit

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Update on the next DCC kit

Post  Steam Traction World on Thu 08 Nov 2012, 8:01 am

I thought it was about time I gave you an update on production of the remaining kits for the Road Loco and Showmans.

Production drawings have been issued and materials ordered for the next ‘half’ kit which we’re calling Kit 30A. This kit will mainly consist of the LH & RH Motion Guards and the Seat plus a few other incidental items. We should be able to dispatch this early in December.

The seat will consist of a welded box section frame and will include a single padded seat. We will be making available a couple of additional options which you may wish to consider. The first will be a simple frame that can be attached to the one supplied and will accommodate two people. The second option is a variation on the first one, but as suggested by Tim Watson will be able to utilize a Land Rover Bench Seat. We’ll send out some diagrams and photos of the various options with the next kit.

Prototype production of the Road Loco and Showmans roofs is progressing quite well. We have already taken delivery of some trial roof timbers and are just waiting for a couple of items to be delivered so we can start assembly. We’re going to concentrate on the Road Loco one first just because of its relative simplicity.

As soon as we have something to show, we’ll put some photos on the forum.

Regards

Steve

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Re: Update on the next DCC kit

Post  Robfishman on Thu 08 Nov 2012, 11:36 am

Thanks for the update Steve, been meaning to give Isabel a call the last couple of days. Do you know if there are kits coming out before Christmas for us "running behinds" I'm a couple of kits behind and finger crossed have two weeks off over Christmas so it would be great to do something other than lining over the break.

Sorry everyone for mentioning the “C” word but its not far away now, I wonder what goodies Santa Royal Mail will deliver this year….an engine hoist may be?

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Re: Update on the next DCC kit

Post  Brian M on Sun 11 Nov 2012, 10:48 am

Hi Steve,

Any chance we can have the exciter housing in kit 30A, as it will take a few weeks to paint and line… Very Happy

Regards,

Brian M

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Re: Update on the next DCC kit

Post  Brian M on Thu 15 Nov 2012, 10:58 am

Steve, when do you think the final kit will be available for the showman, as I made a tentative commitment to be somewhere in March 2013 with the engine in lights, but to be honest that is looking dubious as the schedule from STW is falling further and further behind.

Regards,

Brian

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Re: Update on the next DCC kit

Post  eng14110 on Thu 15 Nov 2012, 1:33 pm

Hi All,
Is it just me or do any other RL/SRL feel that we are being forgotten/neglected at the moment? Having not received a kit from STW since the end of August I feel somewhat let down when I read, to quote Dean “All the machines are currently working on 6" and 4.5" Foden parts with the 6" Foden Rear Axle kit hopefully going out next week.”, Knowing that the builders of these kits have been receiving their kits on a monthly basis. I appreciate that STW have had problems with computer software but feel that they should be giving some priority to those of us that have been waiting nearly three months for a kit. Come on STW don’t let us down at the end of our build. I was looking forward to displaying my newly finished engine at Alexandra palace in January and singing you praises, but this now seems like it’s not going to be an option.

Colin

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Re: Update on the next DCC kit

Post  Steam Traction World on Thu 15 Nov 2012, 2:25 pm

Colin,

Steve has wrote to customers & put updates on the forum explaining that we are currently working on the prototype roof etc. He's also said we'll be shipping part of a kit shortly and explained what was in it.

I was asked for a update by a Foden builder and told him the situation of the machine shop. This is only a small part of the company.

Nobody has forgotten about the R/L or Showmans builders. We've had one guy cutting over 1000 pieces of box section for the seats all week, someone else making prototype roof supports and a welder preparing jigs to weld the seats together. Additional to this I've spent one and a half days this week proving a complex program on the new machine that Haas said couldn't be done which enables us to manufacture the star fingers in your next kit in a single operation saving around two weeks labour.
You could therefore argue why wasn't this information put on the forum at the same time as the Foden information to try to eliminate the feeling you've been forgotten? Well the bottom line is that currently we are working the factory from 7am until around 8pm most days & we just haven't had time to constantly update the forum. Every spare minute is spent making bits.

Finishing the DCC Engines is still a massive priority for us also as once completed we hope that once you guys are showing and rallying them the new batch will take off. Additional to this it's still a massive revenue producer for us so the sooner we get it out the sooner we get paid. It's also difficult to look at producing or sending out the Trailers until the engines are finished. Please bear in mind that the last kit/kits are the most complex. We are only prototyping it in the first place due to customers input and comments. It would have been a lot easier to send out a single seat like on the Agricultural engine but lots of people were asking for the option of a double seat and we'd not made one of these before. The same applies to the roof, it would have been a lot easier to supply a roof like seen on the rally fields however we've been asked for roofs that can be easily removed or hinged that isn't then straight forward. Things like this cause delays but we are still working our balls off to keep it to a minimum.

I hoping to add some photos today for everything on the go but I've just not had chance to get my camera out during the day. I'll do my best to upload soe tomorrow.

All the best

Dean


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Re: Update on the next DCC kit

Post  Brian M on Fri 16 Nov 2012, 1:10 am

Hi Dean,

In Colin’s defense the hinged roof and single/dual seat options were always part of the showman build, well they were when I placed my order at the end of 2010, so it should have been no surprise to STW.
Having a busy production issue is not the fault of the builders, so it is a fair point he makes. Therefore, when do you think the DCC kits will be finished, based on the latest schedule?

Regards,

Brian

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Re: Update on the next DCC kit

Post  Steam Traction World on Fri 16 Nov 2012, 2:50 am

Brian,

At no point during my reply did i say Colin's points weren't fair. I understand Colin and others frustration and all i tried to do was explain the situation at present and point out that just because I had stated the machine shop was running on Foden stuff it doesn't mean the rest of the factory was.

Sometimes its impossible to win with a forum.......spend all day making bits and someone moans there's no updates.....spend all day putting updates and someone else moans there's no bits.

In answer to your question regarding the schedule. A letter was sent out apologising for the delay stating Kit 30A will be 'despatched towards the end of November' and also stating 'we will be able to give you a good estimation of the remaining kit delivery schedule at this time'. Steve also started this post to give everyone an update. As soon as I know anything more or have any photo's to add i'll post something further.

Hope this answers your question.

Regards

Dean








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It'll all be OK in the end

Post  Steve Traill on Fri 16 Nov 2012, 4:24 am

When developing a new product there are a lot of unknowns and this is where trust in the Company and the people working in it will give you comfort. Steve & Deans track record in seeing things through and 'finishing the job' are second to none and the fact that when MW went through all the old customers had the opportunity to finish their engine (very often at a discounted rate) shows that when the going gets tough we (as customers) have nothing to worry about.

The Showmans/Road Loco is a ground breaking product in it's development as a complex 'kit' engine, nothing similar has ever been attempted by anyone before and to try and pin accurate time scales to every kit would be impossible. I think that they have been amazing in being able to produce so many kits on time up to now. I remember the first MW batch of single cylinder engines didn't manage to stick to the timetable anywhere near as close as STW have with the RL/Showmans

Well done guys and I for one am happy to be patient waiting for the next kit secure in the knowledge that the finished result will be to the high standard of everything they make. cheers cheers cheers




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Re: Update on the next DCC kit

Post  highpressure on Fri 16 Nov 2012, 7:43 am

As an opinion is being canvassed I will state that I do not feel that we have been forgotten as the recent update on the forum followed by the letter gave reasonable explanation of the current situation. I happen to be in the very fortunate position of doing the Road Loco which means that I only have one kit to go to finish and have had a great time at the end of the season due to careful planning of the the steam test to allow me to be in a position to steam but to be fair I was planning that back in March/April to make sure there were no hitches. As with all of these kits it needs to be right to ensure a good final product and I can also appreciate the number of single items nessecary for each kit as there are 50+ units of each.

By the way Colin are you going to Portsmouth in a couple of weeks? If so I look forward to seeing you there and we can have a right old moan together Very Happy Very Happy

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Re: Update on the next DCC kit

Post  Tony King on Fri 16 Nov 2012, 8:06 am

I'm totally in Steve Trail's camp on this issue. When you sign up for a build of this nature, ie, completely new project, small production, supplying a very diverse "builders market" at an incredibly competative price, with back up & support second to none, I personally don't think that the delays to date are anything to worry about!!
Try looking into an alternative way of building engines of this complexity, within this "time frame".......You be hard pressed to find one at the price you're paying at STW............. No worries from me!!
Regards,
Tony

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Re: Update on the next DCC kit

Post  Kevster on Fri 16 Nov 2012, 8:34 am

My personal view is I would much rather wait for a part and know it was 100% than have it rushed out maybe not quite as good as it might have been.

I like to sit back relax and enjoy my build at a nice steady pace, I have no time limit on my build, it will be finished when its done.

Kev

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Re: Update on the next DCC kit

Post  Flasback on Fri 16 Nov 2012, 11:36 am

okay, I have got to join this topic as I find it confusing to the lead of the discussion, simple question asked.. 'when will the kits be ready' as Brian wanted to agree to showing off the STW Showman Engine which should be a pat on the back for STW AND Brian. He has been asked to show his engine at events from taking it to a steam gathering in October...Answer not given as STW don't know and hope to define at the end of November. At no point has quality been an issue or discussed in the initial thread although I have had several build issues which I have discussed with STW and Brian has posted on the Forum; although I did have to strip my LP piston out the other day as the piston rings were oversize and was a nightmare and really hacked me off to the point I would have sold the engine for a £5 if anyone had asked. Who has not had a problem with their build which we have accepted to a point and overcome as we have gone through this project.

If you purchased a car or had a builder do an extension and went away for three months and issued you a letter saying he had a problem or initially highlighted what other work he was doing would you not be frustrated? If you are up to date with the kits then you are in a position to steam but that is not the full story as the showman has a generator and lights, if I wanted a R/L or another model I would have purchased that but I did not.

Also another point of reference MW should not even form part of this thread as Steve and Dean integrity has not been questioned or even part of the same company so why bring it into the discussion!!!!!!

Sorry to rant but I find it frustrating when a simple question is asked and the thread goes off the topic or are we saying that if we have a concern we should ring STW and only use the forum to show what colour our engines will be......



Last edited by Flasback on Fri 16 Nov 2012, 12:22 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Update on the next DCC kit

Post  craig@STW on Fri 16 Nov 2012, 11:54 am

we are working on the seat and the roof kit is being prototyped Cool

the machine shop has had very little to do with this so we are pushing on with other kits.

has the showmans/roadloco been forgotten ??... no, we need this model finished and out there steaming to help boost future sales to keep the company going.

are we all working hard at he moment ??? the factory is currently producing more than it has ever done... but due to the nature of the parts its taking longer to get things out the door Cool

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Re: Update on the next DCC kit

Post  Steam Traction World on Fri 16 Nov 2012, 1:17 pm

Please find attached some photo's i took this evening. Excuse the poor quality but it was late and dark and as I didn't have my camera I had to take them on my phone which has no flash.

Please also bear in mind that a number of Showman's customers have requested a working exciter. This was never in the original plan but we do try to please where we can so we are working on this as well as the other items you are all waiting for.

Without trying to make excuses it is easy to run in to problems that did not exist 2-3 years ago and we had no way of predicting. For example we sourced the twisted brass almost 3 years ago. Of course it would have been suicidal for the business to order it at that time so we waited until it was required to then find out the company no longer in business and the only other supplier we have found is in the USA. To eliminate delays we have even tried doing it ourselves (some successful and some not so) but like everything else it eats into the week.

I hope the photo's show we are doing something. I meant to also take some of the roof braces fitted to the control model but it totally slipped my mind. I'll do it when we're in tomorrow.

All the best

Dean


Roof Supports:



Some of the Seat Box Section after cutting:



Box Section waiting to go on machine:



Box section being machined:



Machined and waiting to be welded:



Additional to this are the Stars.....I will add a video of the new machine making these next week. Although i spent a long time proving they could be done i am still waiting for 2 new live tools to enable me to drill and tap them at the same time.

Dean


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