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motorworks
08-27-2009, 07:10 PM
This is an interseting read:

http://www.600group.com/media/news-article.asp?ID=189

It is about the restructing of the 600 group and how they are now regertting having their products "made in china" and how they had "an unacceptable level of warranty claims"

Wonder if they refunded any money to the poor fools who purchased a
"made in china" cholchester?!

I got an auction notice some time earlier this past summer from the
Forward group who were reps for the 600 product in Canada.
They were auctioning off all the new equipment!!

(Posted the auction notice on the practical and was quickly put down
by their dictator. Upset that now too many may show up and drive the prices up :) ) (http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/showthread.php?t=175732&highlight=auction)

So does this mean that they, the 600 group, may start making their own product back in the UK?
e2die

.RC.
08-27-2009, 07:47 PM
They might move production to India now.. :D

The machines were made in China but were still extremely expensive...A Triumph 2500 was something like AU$50 000 new, I would imagine they made huge profits on such a machine as a visually identical machine made by Dalian sold for AU $12 000.. In fact Dalian made the Colchesters...

John Stevenson
08-28-2009, 03:29 AM
They are not telling the whole story here.
Their operation in China was staffed in the QC section by their UK guys, at least that's the story they gave out to cover the fact that their prices never moved when they made the move from UK manufacture to offshore.

So if QC was bad it was on their watch on their operation, you can't blame the Chinese for that only management and QC.

When I was looking for my last new lathe they quoted £10,500 for a bare unit, TOS quoted £5,400 for a fully equipped model.

Their argument to me was in 10 years time their lathe would be worth more which is true.
I reckon that the TOS is now worth something like £1,000 to £1,500 and the Colchester would be worth say £2,500, possibly £3,000 but I would have had to throw another £1K plus at it to have the same luxury of equipment.

.

philbur
08-28-2009, 09:48 PM
600 Group brands, including Colchester-Harrison, Electrox, Pratt Burnerd and Gamet Bearings.

I think it's a common ploy. A marketing organisation buys respected brands then sells crap under those brand names at top brand prices, make big profits. Finally, when the brand name is totally devalued, they hype things up by claiming reorganisation/restructuring in a hope to revive the brand name and resume business as normal. Jaguar have been doing it for decades.

Phil:)

beckley23
08-28-2009, 10:13 PM
Apparently the problem is in engineering by the 600 Group.
http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/showthread.php/600-group-regrets-going-187549.html
Harry

oldtiffie
08-28-2009, 11:05 PM
There is nothing wrong with the commercial aspects of maximising capital and return on capital.

It just has to be managed properly.

Using a "name" and capitalising on people buying "name" products is as old as ........... as is buying in bulk/cheap and re-branding while screwing the supply chain.

A "good name" is worth a lot of money as is a good business that has hit "hard times". It is usually counted as "good will".

The building industry has always done this as have the automotive and food industries - amongst many others.

"Starrett" does it.

Its almost impossible to protect people from themselves as they resent "intrusion" unless or until they "get it wrong", or someone else gets the same or better thing cheaper.

Who really knows or cares who the supplier sources his stuff from as long as it works to the standard you require of it and you have a documented requirement and warranty?

Things that are a "must" include but are not limited to being confident that it will work and has a good warranty plus good repair facilities as well as a good range of spares at good prices.

Commercial decisions should all be made from an informed position which means knowing the risks and pricing them accordingly.

Sometimes I get it "wrong". On those occasions the risk was mine and I took it, so I "eat it", shrug my shoulders, don't complain, write it down to experience and just get on with it.

In other words, to me anyway, its not so much what it costs as what its worth (to me). If the cost does not exceed the worth by too high a margin, then provided I've made an informed decision based on known or perceived risk, it is, by my definition, a "good buy" which includes a reasonable level of risk.

If the sale was in accordance with the advertised or implied terms and conditions and if it was accepted then the implied risk as to the serviceability and fitness for service is largely in the hands of the buyer. If that is the case then his position it a bit less than what otherwise be the case.

I think that John Stevenson made his case very well.

.RC.
08-29-2009, 01:26 AM
Colchesters were never much chop anyway.. They were only successful because they were cheap..

oldtiffie
08-29-2009, 02:33 AM
Too troo Ringer.

Here's the latest Colchester offering I've seen lately - but it works - note the speed control - CNC and one-shot oiling are options:
http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Old%20machinery/Old_lathe4.jpg

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Old%20machinery/Old_lathe1.jpg

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Old%20machinery/Old_lathe2.jpg

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Old%20machinery/Old_lathe3.jpg

Peter N
08-29-2009, 05:25 AM
Colchesters were never much chop anyway.. They were only successful because they were cheap..

Perhaps you might have said "...cheap and worked very well".
If they were cheap and useless, they wouldn't have had the market success that they did, with some of them still in use 40 and more years on.
My Bantam is 31 years old, quiet, and relatively unworn, and will still cut as accurately as I need.


I think it's a common ploy. A marketing organisation buys respected brands then sells crap under those brand names at top brand prices, make big profits.

As the 600 Group bought Colchester Lathes back in 1954, I don't think this quite applies in this case, though I agree that a great deal of corporate behaviour does conform to this.

Peter

.RC.
08-29-2009, 06:01 AM
Perhaps you might have said "...cheap and worked very well".


Well cheap and did what was expected of them, I also think marketing has a lot to do with it..I do not see a lot of colchesters around in engineering shops..

What would you prefer, a Mascot or a Mazak???

kmp
08-29-2009, 06:42 AM
What would you prefer, a Mascot or a Mazak???

Might be an interesting answer to that as I suspect few Home Shop Machinists will have used a Mazak.

If you promise not to tell anyone as it is a well kept secret in many parts, some of the Yamazaki Mazak series machines (Quick Turn, VTC) for the european market are made (not assembled - made) in the UK. Their facility in Worcester is very impressive as are their machines. Mazak made some fine manual lathes in the 1960s but the one's I used were all 18-20" and a bit large for most home shops - mine at least. Their smaller CNC stuff is superb IMHO of course.

Best regards

Keith

Peter N
08-29-2009, 08:57 AM
Well cheap and did what was expected of them, I also think marketing has a lot to do with it..I do not see a lot of colchesters around in engineering shops..

What would you prefer, a Mascot or a Mazak???

I have. Without getting into a pi**sing contest, just about every injection mould-making toolroom I have been in during the past 34 years has had a Colchester in there, and many still do. Many had other lathes as well, but the often maligned Colchesters have been a staple of the engineering business, just as much as the Bridgeport which also gets lumped into the same category by many.

Neither are the best machines out there, but they both do what what they were designed to do very well.

Peter

nheng
08-29-2009, 09:35 AM
I have to at least give the 600 group CEO credit for posting his name and phone number, if it is a working number and doesn't ring some pub in Heckmondwike.

Having been a devotee of HP and Agilent test equipment for decades, I recently attempted to contact several high level officers regarding a brand new spectrum analyzer I bought from Agilent, built in China and unfortunately with firmware from China also. The thing was functionally a POS and was returned within a week.

I had absolutely no success in tracking down phone numbers or working email contacts for any of the top people, either executive or techincal.

It's good to hear at least that 600 is investing in the UK manufacturing. I love my UK Harrison M300 and always felt the Brits gave it good capabilities in a well made package.

We have parts made in China including hand and arm-held injection molded, overmolded instrument enclosures as well as high end fiber optic components. In all cases, you really have to be connected to those who control the quality of the product.

I suspect that one problem with parts moved to China is that the original manufacturing prints didn't really dot the I's and cross the T's regarding all finishing and tolerances. Some details were taken for granted and any quality shop produced what you wanted. Move to China and you only get what you asked for, and were willing to pay for.

Good example of this was the toy lead paint problem several years ago. Supposedly the specs for the toy did not properly specify the paint. Anyone with half a brain would know that lead paint is out but if you are just building "things" and building them to a price, you use whatever you can.

Den

Black_Moons
08-29-2009, 10:58 AM
nheng: sorry to hear about that analyiser. (For those who don't know, they are very high end electrical test devises that general start at $5,000... Used)
'High end' ones can easily cost $100,000+ new. hardly something you would except the company to cheap out on.
Agilent used to be a good brand too.
(Electrical brand name test equipment is typicaly very expensive but very high quality and surives all the way to the hobby market 20~40 years later (And is still highly useful))

lazlo
08-29-2009, 02:26 PM
Apparently the problem is in engineering by the 600 Group.
http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/showthread.php/600-group-regrets-going-187549.html
Harry

"A significant feature of the Groupís strategy was the outsourcing of a large part of production and supply from China. Regrettably, the levels of quality originally envisaged were not achieved and, despite a major effort by the engineering and quality teams, the result was an unacceptable level of warranty claims."

What a surprise -- you get what you pay for...

SDL
08-29-2009, 03:53 PM
"

What a surprise -- you get what you pay for...

Correct but most Operations Directors / VP Operations still don't get it.

Steve Larner