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Old American Iron still on the job

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Doc Nickel View Post

    -Yessir. And as the classic reply goes, the advent of the car put a lot of buggy-whip makers out of business. The advent of the electronic relay put a lot of telephone switchboard operators out of business.

    What about all those old-time service station attendants, who would pump your gas, check your oil, and top up your tires? How many places still have morning milk deliveries? Or the truck that comes to dump coal into your basement bin?

    What.?Do you have to put your own petrol in your car and pump your own tyres and put oil in your car yourself. ? Wow.


    • #32
      Originally posted by plunger View Post

      What.?Do you have to put your own petrol in your car and pump your own tyres and put oil in your car yourself. ? Wow.
      Today, here in Portugal, all you need to carry is a smartphone with an internet plan. An official government app takes care of your documents including ID, social security card, drivers licence, vehicle registration, vaccination information and other documents. To make payments we use a universal payment service by means of an app that associates your phone number and IMEI/serial number to your bank card and enables you to pay or send money to other people with the same service. You can even withdraw cash using a ATM machine by introducing a code generated by the app. Even bridge and highway tolls are registered by a small tag on the windshield. Petrol and compressed air is available self service 24/7
      Helder Ferreira
      Setubal, Portugal


      • #33
        Originally posted by gellfex View Post
        The question is whether that was bad process control or simply good quality control of a difficult to control casting process.
        -It was pretty much everything. Rumor has it, the son of a famous industry type threw the plant together on a shoestring, buying old, worn-out equipment from other plants that were upgrading and modernizing. The "degating" lathe I ran was an old, worn-out piece of crap. I was told, later, that that was the last OEM supplier that still hand-poured castings- there were five giant open-hearth furnaces, where two guys walked up, dipped ladles full of aluminum, walked back to the casting machines, and poured it by hand into a mold.

        Story goes, he put it together, banking on dad's name, and expected to get bought out and make a fortune off the sale. It... didn't work that way.

        The guys with the air chisels that cut off the "wing" gates would habitually gouge or dent the still-hot, still-soft sidewalls, to the point they wouldn't clean up in the mills. One of the biggest, in my opinion, was a lot of the wheel designs were "spoked", a cast version of a spoke wheel, a style that was popular back then. It was very common to have a void in one or more of the spokes right out of the mold. I'd wager that's where the lion's share of rejects were due to that.

        But there was a ton of other problems, that I didn't notice as a snot-nosed kid, but realized later. Workers coming in stoned or drunk, near-zero budget for replacement tooling- even pallets, which were more nail and patch than wood- poor QC on the actual melts (as I said, porosity was a big one, I know I rejected a bunch of castings each day when I'd spot an unfilled spoke, a void in the side, or whatever) and I was told that a lot of wheels got rejected after the paint line for runs and other blemishes. (And apparently they didn't try stripping the paint- just threw 'em back in the melt.)

        Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)