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.
       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).