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27th March 1913, Page 15
27th March 1913
Page 15
Page 16
Page 17
Page 15, 27th March 1913 — V ERM IN % (f
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We Direct the Attention of Our Readers to the Fine Series of Photographs, specially taken for the "C..M." at Bristol, which are Reproduced on this and the succeeding pages.

Straker-Squire industrial models have, to an exceptional extent, been concerned in the remarkable development of the motor-haulage industry, and especially of the passenger-carrying branch of it, during the past six or seven years. Sidney Straker and Squire, Ltd., has Decently intimated its constructional policy for the immediate future. Amongst the latest models which it now offers to buyers are the new C.O. wormdriven three-ton model, and a. new worm-driven version of the wellknown Straker one-tonner, or Ntype, to use the shop designation.

Construction Facilities.

The time seemed appropriate to us, therefore, to familiarize ourselves once again with the latest developments in regard to manufacturing facilities which are at the disposal of Sidney Straker and Squire. Ltd. Brazil, Straker and Co., Ltd., is the proprietor of extensive works at Fishponds, Bristol, and it is there that the well-known Straker-Srmire commercial models am manufactured to the designs of Sidney Straker and Squire, Ltd., of Nelson Square, Blackfriars, London, S.E. It is, in the writer's opinion, always a difficult matter adequately to convey to readers a satisfactory impression of the actual manufacturing facilities of a great works. It is not an easy task to talk intelligently in terms of hundreds of square feet of shop area, and it is not particularly informative to the lay mind to catalogue a list of machine tools in conjunction with the names of their makers.

Production Routine.

Most of our readers—and by far the majority of them are users or prospective users • know by now that a big works, largely, if not wholly, devoted to the production of chassis, invariably includes certain well-defined departments. There is the beginning of things, the drawing office, the rough stores, where raw material and stamped and cast parts are collected from the works of all the various specialists whose aid is depended upon ; then there is the machine shop, with all its many modern specialized tools, arranged in bays or batteries, suitably grouped for the proper sequence of operations ; there is the finished stores, into which the machine shop pours the tooled parts, subsequently to be gauged and certified as O.K. by the lynx-eyed officials of the view room. Into the finished stores, too, come completed components from gearbox, engine and axle-erecting bays, from radiator and tank shops, and all the other small detail departments charged with the production of the various compon.ents of standard chassis.

Chassis Erection, Then there is what is perhaps, if systematically arranged, the most fascinating of all the many branches of activity of a modern works: we refer to the chassis erecting shops. To the lay mind it is always something of a marvel that. the specialists of the machine and fittings shops can go on producing components and details by the thousand without necessarily having any very intelligent idea what integral part or parts such pieces will play in the final production as it leaves the works. To the lay mind the only way to make an article, whether it

be a motor chassis or a summerhouse, is to build it entirely on the spot from a pile of raw material which is kept handy. The infinite care necessitated by preliminary design, ordering in bulk, and the subsequent assembling of each separate component, in great batches for simplicity of repetitionary production, is a factor which it is difficult for any but those who are mechanically trained fully to appreciate.

Foresight is Vital.

There is, or at least should be, nothing of the hand-to-mouth method about the modern factory. Hoards of both rough stores and of finished parts are accumulated under their own piece numbers long before there is any semblance of the complete chassis or other mechanical unit, upon the production of which the resources of the factory are for the time concentrated.

For the Uninechanical Mind.

We have written in this strain because we feel that it, is often a hopeless task to convey intelligently, and in a way that, shall not result in boredom, an impression of a great works organization to the mind of tho .ordinary and often unmechanical man who buys and uses commercial vehicles— and he is the man to whom our pages are addressed primarily. The highly technical reader, with his keen appreciation of refinements of workshop organization, and of particularized employment of one-job tools, is only incidental to our normal circulation. THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR is the iigers' journal.

The Fishponds works, where the Straker industrial models are produced, finds employment at the present time for something like 500 hands. In regard to its equipment, we are inclined, to abandon all cataloguing and description of it in favour of our own excellent series of photographs which we are, by the courtesy of Brazil, Straker and Co., Ltd., and at the request of Sidney Straker and Squire, Ltd., enabled to reproduce herewith.

The C.O. Type.

Most of the pictures bear evidence of the production of a, large batch of the new C.O.-type wormdriven chassis, one of them showing the substantial pressed-steel frames waiting their turn in the chassisassembling shop, whilst other views show the same chassis in course of completion, and, later, ready for the road and running out of the teat shop. These three-tonners are to be available fitted either with a chain-drive or a spur-drive gearbox ; the chain box is the subject of one of our illustrations.

The Bridged Back Axle.

The back axle is of a particularly sturdy form of construction ; it embodies the bridge forging which is nowadays finding considerable favour for the live axles of heavy industrial models. Illustrative of modern repetitionary methods is the picture reproduction of one of these axle forgings housed in its massive jig ready for machining.

This C.O.-type of chassis, embodying as it does the whole of the very valuable experience of Sidrev Straker and Squire, Ltd., bids fair adequately to meet the demands of the growing body of users who find that they can economically employ machines of a carrying capacity of about three tons.

Works Extensions.

The Fishponds works has recently been extended by the erection of a number of new machine-shop bays. Although difficult to photograph, we were able to secure a picture,

during our recent visit to Bristol. which gives some idea of the extensions, and this has been used in the heading to the present article. There is still much available ground in the vicinity where further extensions may take place as soon as necessary. The works has its own electric sub. station, and three-phase current at 6000 volts, transformed down to 360, is used. At present a part of the works is still power driven by Crossley gas engines but we understand that it is cotitemplated soon to dispense with all other aid than electric power from the mains.

Some of the Machines.

We may conclude this present notice, after inviting our readers once more carefully to examine the photographs which are reproduced herewith, by recording our impression that the machine-tool equipment, much of it of quite recent purchase, is most fully adequate for the production of high-grade chassis and compares favourably with other competitive factories. We noticed modern Herbert, Lodge and Shipley, Ward, and Dean Smith and Grace capstans, several fine Asquith radials, a Reinecker bevel planer, and Brown and Sharp and Fellows gear cutters, modern grinders, and one of the recentlyintroduced machine broaches as well as an interesting spline-cutting machine of the company's own design and manufacture. An interesting dynamic rotary-balancing machine for crankshafts is installed. as well as a simple American type of static balancing shaft for the same purpose. Connecting rods are proved, as to accuracy of machining. -by an Avery weigher, a. device which was recently illustrated in these columns. The engine-testing shop is quite a modern building and has accommodation for the simultaneous testing of 14 engines with fan dynamometers : a Froud hydraulic brake is also installed. The view room is well equipped with the customary outfit of precision gauges ; we also noticed a hardness tester.

The Small Things that Matter.

One of the principal points upon which Mr. Andrew, the recentlyappointed works manager at Fishponds—a gentleman with many years of experience in regard to the manufacture of motor-vehiclesinsists, is the necessity strenuously to endeavour to render all components of the same pattern identical in performance.

All those who are engaged in repetitionary production know the exceptional difficulty of ensuring such absolute similarity. Engines, in particular, made and assembled by identical methods, and perhaps by the same hands, will perform, on the test bench and on the road. with astonishing variation. It is, of course, impossible entirely to eliminate the personal element, but progressive works superintendents, and Mr. Andrew is obviously such an one, are taking more and more scrupulous pains to remove discrepancies which have hitherto often been entirely disregarded. Accurate weighing and balancing of more or less unimportant parts, unremitting care in respect of gauging and inspection, together with the adoption of a very high standard for rejections, all tell their tale cumulatively. The latest Straker industrial models are excellent evidence of this care for intrinsic details and of the effect such procedure has on the complete machine. We should be inclined to prophesy, if asked, that the range of C.O. machines now going through the Bristol shops will show the minimum of variation in performance, one from the other.


People: Dean Smith, Andrew
Locations: London, Bristol

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