Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Gav106, Apr 10, 2011.
Well messed that post up somehow, it's a response to Tom's post
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I recall an extremely expensive (6 figures I suspect) error in my IT career (not involving me) in which I strongly suspect the technical people at both client and contractor were very careful not to inquire too closely into whose fault it was in case it turned out to be them. Much safer to have your line manager say, "well, its one of those things that's really hard to track down. I have full confidence in my people , but there's nothing that would stand up in a law suit". Fortunately the real expense was not a direct result of the error, but because of a third party being deliberately unco-operative but within their legal rights.
I worked in the NHS and distinctly recall an eight figure error (not unadjacent to £27million) .... but that was two Health Authorities west of where I was (nuffin' to do wiv me guv) and over a quarter of a century ago now ... and the offending contract was pushed through by [drum roll] the Dept of Health!
Not sure if this is directed at me or the Patriot group but I'm not after any favours.
Non-conformant/non-compliant product in my experience is completely clear-cut! The onus is on the manufacturer to deliver a conformant/compliant product. Surely that is enshrined in basic consumer law regardless of the state of the industry in question? I just don't understand how anyone can leap to the defence of unsatisfactory product.
That said huochemi upthread said "The situation here suggests insufficient oversight" and there is certainly an argument to be made for that.
Ultimately, agree or not, the decision has been made. I've said my piece now and will await further developments with keen interest.
When this is all over, I'll be the one standing next to the big red 4-6-0 jumping up and down with glee!
In engineering requirements are equally important as execution and oversight.
Clearly defined requirements, competent execution and informed quality control is how you deliver conforming components.
Poor requirements, execution or oversight or a combination thereof will 99% of the time deliver non conforming product.
In engineering without all your ducks in a row, the odds of foxtrotting it up are stacked firmly against you.
With a new build steam locomotive there is a universe of opportunity for errors.
Its refreshing to see openness and transparency and speaks volumes of the characters heading up the project.
The blame game is an easy game to play, but in engineering its often a zero sum game.
What's important is to accept the errors in the light of day and move swiftly and decisively on, which is exactly what the Patriot group are doing which is IMHO the best possible approach.
Thanks to all the above who have stated pretty much exactly what I would have said ref engineering contracts had I not been better occupied at the time
The comment was not directed at you personally, but was meant to illustrate the need for all parties involved in any disagreement to act in a professional manner.
If a finished product is compliant/conformant with the specification/drawings on which the associated contract documentation was based, then the manufacturer has no liability for deficiencies arising from information contained in that specification which is subsequently found to incorrect. The onus is on the person placing the contract to ensure that the information they supply to the manufacturer/contractor is fit for pupose. The manufacturer/contractor obviously has a moral duty to point out any glaring errors they may spot within the contract documents.
Thank you ever so much for the lecture(s) on engineering. I'll have to go get a refund on the ole BEng. My own experience in engineering is wholly different. Timescales can and do shift right but non-compliance is a complete no-no, no exceptions (if you like your job). I don't doubt what you've said is correct in some instances so I will chalk it up to significant contractual differences.
Obviously if the spec is wrong your project is doomed from the get-go.
Of course but I see no indication that this is the case here.I have made the assumption that the spec was correct, others would appear to have made the opposite assumption. Time will tell.
As a bit of an aside, W. Williams, forgive the total failure of imagination on my part but can you explain what you mean by weather effecting conformance? Do you mean bad weather causing supply chain delays or something else as all of the firms I've worked for have been in (mostly) weather-proof buildings. Absolutely nothing I have worked on would be forgiving in the rain mid-build!
I think ultimately saying "engineering is.." is quite dangerous as engineering is quite a diverse beast! ...doh!
You may be operating under a misapprehension. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 for instance only applies to a "consumer", a consumer being defined therein as "an individual acting for purposes that are wholly or mainly outside that individual’s trade, business, craft or profession." see- www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/part/1/chapter/1
^ You are almost certainly correct in that instance but I maintain that there are still statutory protections in place to be exercised if necessary. Transactional rights for lack of a specific name. Your point is semantics.
I think your point bold is well made, as it is a very diverse field.
For this particular type of engineering, designing and making big/ish bits of metal with lots of features and tolerances, I feel the above is an appropriate position.
The contract and requirements are key, and to be frank I wouldn't be accepting even one of the defects highlighted above if it were my job, and there in lies the politics. Others may act differently. Communication is always key.
Re the weather, Aberdeen ambient at minus 10 and the machine bed at plus 40 with tolerances of 0.003" its little wonder inspection can be interesting when 5 tonne lumps flip between indoor and outdoor a few times per week.
Thank you W. Williams! I understand a lot better now. It appeared to this old configuration control engineer that people were wearing the prospects of defects like some kind of badge of honour! I'm glad that's not the case.
Re Aberdeen. Ahh that'll do it! I have no experience of that kind of weather. The best I can do was a truly nasty windchill on North Weald airfield. Sheltered life!
So although the L.M.S. patriot group 3 monthly report was written in jan going into febuary 2019 nearly 3 months from then dare i ask anyone on nat pres have statfold barn engineering made the new bronze bearing halves yet?
That, to me, is the nub of the matter. It is possible to be transparent about problems without publicly making accusations, which is dangerous territory.
If I were the Patriot group, I have have issued a statement something along the lines of:
"Unfortunately, a dispute has arisen between the project and Llangollen engineering regarding certain elements of the contract works they have undertaken. We consider that certain elements of the work do not meet our standards and will therefore require rectification or replacement. We are currently engaged in discussions with LE about how best to resolve these issues. Due to the commercially sensitive nature of these discussions, we regret that we are unable to comment further at this time. We thank the enthusiast community for their continued support and understanding...", etc.
I would then supply more detailed information about the issues, on a confidential basis, to members of the project. Obviously one can't avoid the risk that individuals may leak details, but at least the project's leaders can't be held responsible for that.
I would only announce details of any "recovery" of costs AFTER that has actually happened.
I appreciate that some may then jump to the conclusion that the project is to blame for the problems, which might cause some loss of confidence. But personally, I would have far more confidence in project leaders who approached the situation in this manner, because they would demonstrate that they understand the basic standards of professional conduct and courtesy on which any successful business depends. Watching public displays of mudslinging - even when the allegations being made turn out to be true - looks too much like playground tit-for-tat, and can only serve to discredit the preservation movement. I tried to make precisely this point when the Teifi Valley debacle blew up some years ago.
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Below are two pictures of the frames of the Patriot taken yesterday. They show that fact we've spent much time getting things right and proper. All positives. The way forward and positive is visable now. More importantly that were making good progress. There are many parts away being worked on and many things being made new. Here the valve liners and guides are being lined up using some high tech gear. Other matters which have been discussed here are being sorted positively.
So if as Gavin says you come to the open day across the way there is good things to see in the Heritage Centre including the Patriot , miniature and model railways to see.
Thank You for the update Nigel. It's good to know and see that forward progress is still being maintained, hopefully once fully back on track, progress should pick up the pace.
Super - Hi- Tec gear ? does it have laser beams ? please go into lengthy and vivid detail...
Quote are all the 6 setsof driving wheels still under the frames or have they been sent off for the axlebox bearings to be repaired nigel its just that i cant see the side angle shots of 45551 properly in the previous pics.
I will try to make it as simple as posible.
The aim of the equipment is find out if everything is in alignment. Traditionaly it is was done by stretching wires and then making comparisons with deviders. The more modern way is optical sighting. Imagine a rifle telescopic sight carful mounted to the centre line of the cylinder or valve bore. The cross hairs of the sight can then be targeted on rules or other targets. These can be read to give you the desired correction to get everything in line and square.
The sight that has been used on the Patriot is high tech because it has a digital camera in the sight which is viewable on the lap top.
It is true that the Center drivers are out for work. I will not be specific on such work which is published in other places. What I will say is that it's all a co-ordinated plan of work to correct and check that all is done right and properly in continuing the build to a high standard. Look forward and up. Fear not that we have taken somethings apart, its necessary to do our work, it will go together again bigger and better. The past is the past. The future is exciting and worth looking forward to.
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