Tuesday, October 10, 2017

An Old Friend Returns:


The MV Cosco Rotterdam is due in ShangHai in the next few days to load cargo bound for Australia. This cargo will include the balance of Eureka's 40 class production run which is predominantly the "with sound" units together with the "non-sound" units not forwarded previously by air.
The Cosco Rotterdam is expected to sail from ShangHai on the 13th of October and is due in Port Botany on  Thursday, the 26th of October. This should see the 40 class delivered to Eureka's offices on Monday the 30th of October.  Distribution will commence immediately starting with those modellers who have confirmed both the details of their orders and their current address.
Distribution of the non-sound units has reached the half way point. Not all engine numbers were received in the first shipment so the complete distribution of non-sound units will have to wait until the sea shipment is received at the end of October.. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017


 Liverpool Exhibition here we come.




 A pallet of non-sound 40 class waiting transport to Shanghai airport for on-forwarding to Aus.



Assembly of the 40 class at the factory is almost complete. Unfortunately, anything sent by sea now would not arrive in time for the Liverpool Exhibition. To have at least something for the exhibition, the above pallet of non-sound 40 class has been forwarded by air and is due to arrive at Kingsford Smith on Monday the 18th of September. They should be cleared through Customs by the end of that week.
Distribution will start immediately but there will be a good number of units available at Liverpool.
The "with sound" 40 class and the remainder of the non-sound units will be sent by sea and depending on shipping dates should arrive in Port Botany around the 21st of October. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Meanwhile back in the Decoration Department.

      Whilst the assembly of the 40 class attracted most of the attention on our recent visit, across the corridor in the Decoration Department the 12 wheelers (MAL, ACS and AB) are the centre of activity.
      The accompanying photos show two pad printing machines in operation in the Decoration Department printing on Eureka's MAL/ACS/AB carriages.
      Photos 1 and 2 show a one colour machine being used to print the belt lines on a 12 wheeler. In photo 1 the locating inner can be seen. In photo 2 the operator places a carriage body onto the inner, presses the operating pedal and the printer head through a process that I do not fully understand, picks up the ink and locates it precisely as required on the side of the carriage body.      




Photo 1                                                                                          Photo 2




 
Photo 3
       Photo 3 is interesting for several reasons. This machine is a three colour machine. The carriage body is placed on the locating inner as with the one colour machine. The slide visible at the bottom of the photo then locates the carriage body at the first position where the first colour is applied, then the slide moves to the second position where the second colour is applied and so on to the third position.
       Amazing!!!!
       The second point  of interest (to a Westerner) is that the operator is female. There is very little discrimination in China between men or women as far as employment is concerned. This operator and her male counterpart on the single colour machine are skilled workers and would be earning considerably more than workers on the assembly line. Whilst the eureka staff were at the factory a labour dispute was taking place which when resolved saw both pad printing operators receive increased pay.    
       
       The Eureka 12 wheelers have now completed their time in the Decoration Department and are now waiting their time in the Assembly Department. September is expected to see this happen and so delivery of the 12 wheelers should take place in late October/early November.

       Spare complete chassis's and more spare six wheel bogies will also come with that delivery.

      The pre-delivery price is now finished. The price for the MAL/ACS/AB carriages is $150 per car. 
 

      
     



Sunday, August 13, 2017

      In our last post it was pointed out that the Eureka team was about to head off to the factory in China, partly to escape from the extremes of winter weather then being experienced back home.
      On this point alone the trip succeeded beyond our wildest dreams when we exchanged Sydney's  winter conditions for the most extreme summer heat which Nanjing and its environs were suffering at the time of our arrival.
      In the seven days we spent in Nanjing the day time peak temperature was over 42 degrees C every day. Two days of site-seeing were made extremely difficult by the heat.
      Fortunately as the accompanying photo shows, the factory was well aware of the problems posed by the heat and deployed a sophisticated array of equipment to improve the working environment of the staff in these extreme heat conditions.
     Unfortunately, the impact of the deployment of these advanced cooling devices may not have achieved the desired outcomes as whilst we were there the assembly line staff placed a ban on the daily hour of scheduled over-time because of the difficult working conditions. 




      Fortunately though, largely due to the heroic endeavors of the workers on the assembly line the 40 class is now almost complete with only the fitting of the sound decoders remaining to be carried out. The decoders have arrived in China from the manufacturer in Canada and will be fitted and tested this coming week.
      Half of the total shipment will then be air-freighted to Aus with the remaining half following as normal by sea.      
      The Eureka staff took the opportunity to bring back three models from the production line (see accompanying photos).









     

Monday, July 17, 2017

Type 1 vs Type 2

More photos from the factory this batch featuring the Type 1 and Type 2 variations in the green livery.

 

Type 2 -side view
Type 1 - overhead. Notice cooling vents and stack position.

Type 2 - overhead. - Notice stack position, lack of cooling vents  


Friday, July 14, 2017

A Visit to the Factory should shake off this Cold Weather.

The Eureka Models staff  will be heading north to visit the factory in the last week of July.
Today's temperature in Nanjing was 35 degrees C which should help thaw out the old bones of the Eureka staff. Unfortunately at the same time the humidity factor was 72 % which might make things a little uncomfortable and much like the conditions we all use to experience when visiting factories located in Southern China in the summer. 


Still, the weather is not the main reason we are visiting the factory and the accompanying photos show progress in one of the other areas we have more than just a passing interest.


The photos show an Indian Red completed 40 class just prior to it being sent to the factory of a sub-contractor where it will be used  as a sample for the manufacturing of the blister packaging required for the project.  



 

Assembly of the 40 class is now almost complete with the factory saying that two more weeks should see completion of the project. Three or four weeks after that should see the 40 class shipment arrive at Port Botany.

There will also be a lot of other matters to be discussed during this visit. An edition of "The Eureka Times" has been ready to go to press for over a month now but it has been decided to hold it for another two weeks so that the latest news from the factory can be incorporated before publication. 

Whilst on the subject of publications, the Eureka website has been moribund for some time now. This is currently being worked on with the first step involving the migration of the web site to another host-server about to happen. This will be followed by a total re-vamp of the site over the next few months. There are a couple of new features planned so stay tuned.

Friday, June 23, 2017

12 Wheeler Progress

 

 

       With the Assembly Shop now fully occupied with the 40 class, back in the Paint Shop the focus of activity has switched to the MAL/ACS/AB 12 wheeler project.
       Almost nightly at the moment contact from the factory is received checking another stage in the decoration of the MAL sleeping cars, the ACS branchline composite cars and the AB dining cars.
       Present progress suggests a mid August delivery date.
       Delivery will include more spare bogies and complete under-frames.
 

40 Class progress

Assembly of the 40 class is proceeding at a fast pace at the factory. The latest step in the process is the completion of assembly of the gear boxes for the full production run.

 As part of this assembly process an extensive  process of testing of the gear  boxes has been carried out. Several chassis have been run for hundreds of hours on the factory's test track with the tick of approval being given to the gear boxes.

The accompanying photos show that plastic tubs of the gear boxes have now joined the other 40 class items already stacked up around the assembly area at the factory. 

 

 

 

 

With gear boxes now complete the next step in the assembly process, the assembly of chassis's has commenced.  Current progress is in line with completion of assembly in mid-July and delivery at Port Botany around mid-August.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

More 40 Class Up-dates


                                     


      Photo 1. Chassis's in the process of being polished








 


Word from the factory tonight is that painting will be finished tomorrow (1 June, 17) and that assembly of the 40 class has already started. Photos 1 and 2 shows the assembly line at work with workers in the process of chassis polishing.



 Photo 2. De-burring and polishing.




    Whilst the assembly line is a hive of activity, across the corridor the Decoration Department is wrapping up the painting process. Piled high in areas around the assembly line specifically set aside for such purposes, are mounds of parts for the 40 class which have come from their turn in the Decoration shop and are now waiting for the time when they will be needed in the assembly process.                                              

Amongst the mounds of painted parts is  this one of 40 class cabs. 
            .     .


The assembly process will seriously get under way on the 1st of June with the completion of painting. Most of the components required for the 40 class are on hand but there are still some to arrive. Baring any delays in the delivery of these outstanding components the factory expects to be able to dispatch the 40 class in the first week of July. This should see the 40 class shipment arrive at Port Botany in the first week of August.
More updates later.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017


 40 CLASS PROGRESS UPDATE.


Painting of the 40 class is in full swing at the factory with painting expected to be completed within the week.
The painting process (or decoration process as it is usually called at the factory) is a fascinating step in the overall construction of a model. It requires constant attention and the need to be on hand (not literally) for around 14 hours a day whilst painting is underway.
The following three photos are a good illustration.  




These three photos arrived almost immediately work on the Indian Red version commenced.
The question from the factory was "which of the three versions did we prefer and which was more correct"?
Ignore differences in the colours as any variations are caused by the lighting.







 Along with the arrival of the photos came a  reminder from the factory that painting was in progress and an answer within five minutes would be appreciated.






 After a quick check of the 40 class photo library an answer was forwarded to the factory. (Not quite within the five minutes but near enough.)
The Eureka office then settled back into its normal state of chaos to wait for the next request from the factory.





The factory is currently finishing two other projects for customers after which the assembly-line will be turned over to the 40 class for final assembly. Painting needs to be finished quickly to be ready for this process.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Another 40 Class Update:


     Progress on the 40 class is going ahead quickly at the factory and is just following the normal assembly process. However, on the other side of the Pacific at QSI work on the sound installation is also well underway. The sound decoders were manufactured in China previously and the first step in the installation process is to check fit the decoder. The above photo shows this process with the decoder being trial fitted to a chassis from the current production run. These are identical to those produced by Sanda Kan all those years ago so it was not surprising that the trial fitting did not produce any problems.
     The next step in the sound process is to burn the sound files into all of the decoders. After this the decoders are fitted to a mounting pcb and then they are forwarded to the factory in China for assembly into the "with sound" 40s. 
     Back at the factory in China injecting is underway and decoration (painting) of the parts is taking place as parts are received from the injection sub-contractors. Injection is expected to be completed by the middle of April after which decoration will be finished and final assembly completed.
     The Eureka office now has several running non-sound samples and is expecting a sound-equipped version from QSI any day which will be most enjoyable. The non-sound running samples at the Eureka offices are superb. They are smooth running and are very quiet. With this quality base the sound versions should also be of a very high performance.
Green type 2 body modified to show type 1 body with added ventilation on roof.

Type 2 body with vertical louvers on rear engine ventilation in Royal Blue.





Type 3 body with mesh grille on rear engine ventilation and across body stack in Indian Red

     The above art-work is not final as there are minor corrections to be made including adjustments to the numbering. The above workings were mainly used to get the main body colours right.
     Squirting is under way and will be finished in April. Decoration is also under way and is expected to be finished in May.
     Also coming with the production run of the 40 class will be spare wheel sets complete with wheels, axles and gears. (An expanded coverage of the problem of this topic can be found in The Eureka Times 32.)  Price is not finalised yet but will be around $25 for six complete wheel sets.
     The final price of the 40 class ($330) now applies





Saturday, April 1, 2017

MAL/ACS/AB 12 Wheeler Update.


A set of injections for the 12 wheelers.
                                        Bodies, interiors and underframes for the three cars.                                                                             
     
      Received from the factory the last week in March is a complete set of injections for the MAL sleeper, ACS Composite car and the AB dining car. These three cars are the second offering in Eureka's series of 12 wheelers, the first being the NCR sets.
      The same high quality and accuracy as the NCR sets, these samples have gained the tick of approval of all who have seen them. The factory has been advised accordingly and the likely program for these cars involves squirting in April, decoration (painting) in May and delivery in June.
      Given that the previous planned delivery date was September, in time for the October Exhibition, a June delivery date would represent a considerable advance in delivery time for the project. It also augers well for the rest of the Eureka program as the factory works its way at speed through our outstanding and new projects.
     Due to a number of requests, coming with the three cars will be a number of complete under-frames including KD couplers and wheel sets. Price is $40 per under-frame. Numbers will be limited and pre-orders are advisable.
     Also coming will be more wheel-sets as with the NCR sets.  These went very quickly and so again, pre-orders are advisable. Price is $25 per wheel-set.  

     For an order form for any of the 12 wheelers contact the Eureka office. Pre-order price is currently $125 per car. This will increase to $155 per car after 30 May, 2017.