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Alf

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Up the proverbial creek
This was posted to another forum, and comprises an auction I never wanted to live to see. http://www.fairfieldauctions.co.uk/irwin/. Record Tools will, at last, cease to exist in all but name after 70 odd years. If you include the heritage of Sheffield toolmaking Record inherited, it's nearer 200 years. Heaven knows it was embarassing enough to see some of the junk they were willing to put "Record" and "Made in England" on, but at least there was always the chance of a turnaround in their attitude. Not any more. Three cheers for "Made in China/Taiwan" courtesy of "Record of Sheffield" :(

Sorry, I just find it very depressing and had to vent my sorrow a little. :cry:

Cheers, Alf
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Alf

It's perhaps worth clarifying that this does not affect RECORD POWER, "which will continue to develop and sell premium quality and industrial woodworking machinery, tooling and accessories under the well established and well known brands of Record Power and Startrite."

This was the press release at the time of the name change last May. "As part of a global branding strategy which will help end users identify the many market leading tools they manufacture (previously under a wide range of brand names) as coming from a reliable stable of high quality, professional hand tools and power tool accessories, RECORD TOOLS has changed its name to IRWIN INDUSTRIAL TOOLS Ltd and the products are to be sold under the umbrella brand of IRWIN."

Cheers
Neil
 
A

Anonymous

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I served my engineeering apprenticeship using Record tools all those years ago :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:
 

Alf

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Neil,

Yep, you're right. Worth clarifying. Record Power went to pot years ago when they started selling Maxis which are, of course, French :x :lol:

Cheers, Alf

Off to find the most recent Record catalogue to preserve for posterity.
 

Chris Knight

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Really makes you wonder where it will stop. I guess it won't as long as we have money to pay what the Chinese will ask for their products. I see nothing short of major global catastrophe that will, any time in the next 50 years stop or even slow the growth of the Chinese industrialised economy and the consequent loss of manufacturing capacity elsewhere in the world.

This country already has only some 3 million people employed in the manufacturing sector. To those who say we are a "service economy" I say Bosh and Fiddlesticks! For a start we hardly know what service is anymore - just visit a hotel in Asia for a lesson - and second we cannot make a living out of selling call-centre services or whatever to each other. In any case, most of those jobs plus the rest of IT jobs will disappear to India or China within the next 5 years.
 
A

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I find it interesting that recently, I found out, that "the BORG"/screwfix etc go to the likes of Bosch/Black&Decker etc and specify what price they are willing to pay for products in their store, and that Bosch/Black and Decker etc go to China and specify a price they are willing to pay, and a Chinese manufacturer then offers them a sander/jigsaw/drill etc which corresponds to that price. Clearly in the long run, as the emphasis is on price, not quality, to eek out some extra profit you have to drive the cost of manufacturing down futher, so you get more and more into a cycle of poor quality cheap tools. I hear the Freud blades you see in Screwfix are like this, Screwfix has specified to Freud a price, and they are having them made dirt cheap in China to hit that requirement, so that Screwfix makes it's big mark-up. I'm not sure if I believe the Freud story myself, but if it is true, it's a worrying trend. I expect it with some brands, but not the likes of Freud.

BB

"BORG = Big Orange Retail Giant, e.g. Homebase, B&Q etc, as in the BORG, the 'collective' in Star Trek. We must all be assimilated :shock:
 

woodshavings

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I think the situation is extremely serious. All of our core skills and intellectual "know how" is moving to the China/India regions and they are steadily improving their own design and manufacturing ability.

The tool industry is a good example. Some of us criticise the quality of the China manufactured products that we see in the UK/USA but just look at the rate of improvement. A few years ago they were a joke but now some of the products are serious contenders. As the major Western manufacturers outsource to China, they also export their required quality and design standards. This spreads to the indigenous industry that improves its quality on the back of the Western technology that has been transferred. At the same time, their universities are training very bright students in the fundamental technologies such that they can assimilate and further develop the industrial base that is being developed. Just compare the number of technology and research graduates in Asia to those in UK and increasingly USA , where the majority are in Law, Finance and the Arts.

Improvements in Metallurgy technology from China will eventually feed through to their tool industries and will certainly equal that of the US.

The same has happened in the micro electronics industry where originally manufacturing was outsourced to Asia, but now also fundamental design, to a point it is now challenging the US.

The IT industry is particularly vulnerable since it is primarily a labour intensive and intellectual activity. At the moment, India is the main centre of this - although their initial efforts were a bit shakey, they are quickly learning project management skills and their ability to apply them in software development.

Sorry about the rant, but it is a subject I feel very strongly about. I just cannot understand why our politicians cannot see this.

Rant mode off !!!
 

andrewm

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Probably the biggest culprit in all of his is the Great British public. We want cheap tools and will usually buy something that is cheap and will do the job over something that is more expensive and will last a lifetime. It may be a false economy for a lot of us in this forum but for the man-in-the-street who wants to plane the bottom of a door a 6 quid plane will do it just as well as a Lie-Neilson #5.

So, the manufacturers have a choice of how to meet this need:

1) pay UK workers the same as the Chinese get paid and I can?t see the unions taking that laying down.

2) automate to such an extent that two people can manage an entire plane production line. Very expensive and does nothing for employment in manufacturing industry in any case.

3) build or import tools from places where they can be made cheaper because of lower labour costs.

So, not difficult to see how we got where we are. Protectionism won?t help. If we put whopping great tariffs on imported tools then we just end up paying more than everyone else. We all only have so much cash to spend so something will have to give. Probably another part of British industry.

Of course, in the long term the Chinese workers are going to want all the luxury goods that we have, they are going to want new televisions, DVDs and cars and foreign holidays. They will want 37 hour weeks and four weeks annual leave and everything else that we have come to expect - and the cost of production will rise. Look what has happened to Japan and Korea. Then production will move to somewhere cheaper.

Meanwhile the school-leavers in the UK who in the past would have gone to work in the factories are off to university and on to supposedly better paying jobs. There seems to be a view that the service sector is just shunting money around and not generating any but look at the foreign income this country gets from banking / insurance / tourism. And soon there will be 1 billion Chinese peasants with enough spare cash to want to use these services. Should we really be denying the third world the standard of living to which they aspire just to maintain our manufacturing jobs?

Now back to woodworking.

Andrew
 

Midnight

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There's still some ambiguety in the US over whether or not Record / Irwin chisels for sale there, badged as Made in England are actually the kosher item. Anyone able to shed some light?? I was under the impression that with the auction of their CNC machines, that was it, they were closing. However, their web site still makes mention of training days based in Sheffield... Is it fact that they've relocated their foundry to India??
 

Vormulac

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In a hundred years I expect there'll be irate Eastern management bods bemoaning this very subject. "How can we compete? Manufacturing is shifting from us to third world countries like Blairland and America - we can't compete with the costs the peasant workforce can do the job for. They're getting better at it too..."

Perhaps that was Battlefield Earth was really about; a small group of cavemen in the midlands will unearth a cave filled with astonishing objects mystically marked with the runes 'Record' and the smarter ones will start to wonder...


Sorry, I'm in one of those moods this morning. :wink:
 

Bean

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Its very sad to see yet another Manufacturer going to china. It is getting very comman to move casting business to india, the company I work for has been in the process of doing this for the last year.

I have heard that the honymoon period for china may soon be over as there has been a lot of unrest in the toy factories where people work 14-16 hour days 7 days a week for typically £30 per month. Strikes and a near riot have been reported. But even if Record comes back it will not be the same, the forign factories copy very well but do not always understand why a feature may be important, the technology is there as is the brain power, the important thing missing is the product knowledge and history.


Bean
 

frank

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sorry lads BUT i can remember when ,its them japs fault, work for a bowl of rice ect . look around your homes look in your cars. British made cars (made to rust within 5 years or less, you ran the engine in for 1000 miles at forty mph.tvs and w/goods made to last ?, the man came out to repair them thats why )now you drool about chisels and other things made in the far east . just remember your fore fathers where in the same boat long hours low pay bad working conditions .and some . saying hard work never killed no one .
i for one like this better style of living now .i can buy tools that i can afford
that i would never have been able to afford .so this world goes round and what goes around comes around , its called life .

as i said at the start SORRY rant over
 

Midnight

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hmmmmmmmm.... confusion reigns supreme...

thanks for the link Alf.... and I'll forgive the rants too.... what the heck...I'm feelin generous ;P~

call me hard ass'd but to be honest, I canna say I shed any tears over the move; 3 times I bought their gear thinking I was gettng the best there was, 3 times I got burned.. lack of quality is always an internal prob; to me it's a sign that a company doesn't give a hoot about customer satisfaction.. so long as they get their beans to count..
 

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