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Note: This is a sub-section of 1947 Institution of Mechanical Engineers
At a joint meeting of the Marine Engineering and Internal Combustion Engineering Sub-Committee of the Board of Invention and Research held on 29th November 1915, a resolution was accepted to the effect that it was considered essential, in the national interest, to establish an experimental station, for research in naval engineering, under the direction of the Admiralty. This resolution led to the formation of the Admiralty Engineering Laboratory on 8th January 1917.
The preliminary work of selecting and housing the staff was carried out by the Internal Combustion Engineering Sub-Committee (Sir Dugald Clerk, Dr. F. W. Lanchester, Mr. R. Doxford, Professor Dalby, Mr. H. R. Ricardo, and Mr. A. E. L. Chorlton), assisted by Engineer Commander C. J. Hawkes. Of these eminent engineers, all of whom were members of the Institution, two were elected President and one an Honorary Life Member.
The Laboratory, originally named "The Royal Naval Laboratory" (this was altered to its present title in the earliest days), was inaugurated at the City and Guilds Engineering College, South Kensington, with Sir Dugald Clerk as Director and Engineer Commander C. J. Hawkes (now Professor Hawkes) as Superintendent.
In 1920 the Laboratory was transferred from South Kensington to its present site at West Drayton, taking over the Sonic Works where Constantinescu had carried out experiments on wave transmission systems (cf. interrupter gear for machine guns). Sir Dugald Clerk resigned his position as director just before the time of the transfer, and the administration of the establishment has since been carried out by the Superintendent.
The Electrical Engineering Department of the Laboratory, which came into being in 1919 to carry out experimental work on all kinds of electrical machinery and equipment, was allotted a part of the works in 1920. As far as technical work is concerned the Electrical Department is a separate entity from the Mechanical Department and is under the direction of the director of Electrical Engineering.
Early in 1945 a small Gun Mounting Department was started at the Laboratory to carry out experimental and testing work on gun mounting power systems. The technical work of this department is under the direction of the Director of Naval Ordnance; administrative authority is exercised by the Superintendent—as for the Electrical Department.
The main task of the Mechanical Engineering Department of the Laboratory, under the Engineer in Chief of the Navy, has been design and development work on internal combustion engines for naval purposes, and particularly on submarine engines.
A regular feature of the work of the Laboratory is the testing of small high-speed internal combustion engines suitable for naval service, in accordance with a type test instituted by the Admiralty in 1936, to which any engine conforming to the type could be subjected, on application by the makers and approval by the Admiralty.
Metallurgical and Physical Sections have been formed as necessary adjuncts. The Metallurgical Section was instituted early in the history of the Laboratory and is equipped for carrying out normal chemical analysis of alloys, mechanical testing, and some tests on fuels and lubricants. The Physical Section was formed in 1937 to deal with the design and development of electronic instruments, stress determinations, recording of vibrations, fuel line pressures, etc., and other work of a similar nature.
The present establishment has grown piecemeal from small beginnings, and is now inadequate for the work to be done. Efforts are being made to find a suitable site on which a Laboratory can be built to meet modern requirements.
The commercial activities of The Associated Equipment Company, Ltd., date back to 1906 when the very early type fleets of Vanguard, Union Jack, Arrow, and L.M.O.C. buses were operating in London and its close suburbs. The organization was registered as a limited company in July 1912. In 1906 the company was engaged in repair and maintenance work on London's early type buses, but later, when those heterogeneous fleets were taken over by The London General Omnibus Company, the company continued with the maintenance work for the larger concern. The factory was then located at Walthamstow, Essex.
In 1910 an experimental type double-deck bus chassis known as the "X" type was built, and later in the same year the first "B" type bus was produced. This "B" type thirty-four seater was the most advanced type of public service bus in those days, and in all a fleet of over 3,000 was built. As more advanced types were designed by the company in collaboration with The London General Omnibus Company, fleets of the well-known "K", "S", and "NS" types were produced. The first of these went into operation in August 1919, December 1920, and May 1923 respectively.
During the 1914-18 war the A.E.C., as the company had by then become known, concentrated mainly on the production of a standardized 3-4-ton general service lorry for war purposes, and in all some 10,000 were built for the three Services. This figure amounted to 40 per cent of all makes supplied.
The factory with its heavier commitments of work expanded greatly, and new and larger premises had to be considered. Therefore, it was decided to erect a new and more up-to-date plant at Southall, Middlesex. A move was made to the new factory in 1926-7. The Southall factory, consisting mainly of one-story buildings, covers some 14 acres, and stands in a site of 65 acres.
The factory is in many respects ideally situated, standing as it does in open ground. This open country atmosphere is in part due to the adjacence of the A.E.C. Athletic and Social Club sports ground. The factory, which is located alongside the Great Western Railway main line, a branch line from which runs into the factory yard to the Goods Inwards Department, is one of the most modern of British engineering plants.
The company's history is one of rapid, progressive, and efficient development and its experimental department, machine shops, tool room, testing plant, etc., house the most modem and advanced types of machine tools in use to-day, some of them designed and produced by A.E.C. itself.
During the 1939-45 war, as in the 1914-18 upheaval, the factory was fully engaged on the production of vehicles and engines for the war effort and early in the conflict became a Government controlled establishment.
Of some 13,000 vehicles of various types designed and built, the most popular and well known was the K.E.C. four-wheel drive Matador medium artillery tractor. More than 8,600 of this type alone were completed and delivered. Additionally, large quantities of A.E.C. oil engines were supplied for tanks, special dockside mobile cranes, pumping sets, stand-by power generating sets, and Diesel-electric equipment for the "Whale" pier-heads in connexion with the "Mulberry" harbour scheme. Most of the development work was carried out on the various forms of "Flail" minesweeping tanks, to the point of finalizing design and prototype for production elsewhere. Also much important research and development work was contributed in conjunction with the petroleum warfare board on various types of flame throwers.
Although primarily an omnibus manufacturing company, A.E.C. products at the present time cover a varied and wide range of vehicles and engines. These embrace single- and double-deck buses, motor coaches, trolley bus components, and units for assembly and completion by British United Traction, Ltd., heavy-duty -lorries of all types, oil-engined rail-car chassis, marine oil engines, both for propulsion and for ships' auxiliaries, and industrial and stationary oil engines.
In singling out only two of the firm's products for special comment, the A.E.C. Regent Mark III double-deck bus chassis and the A.E.C. Regal Mark III single-deck bus or coach chassis should be listed.
The former has a seating accommodation for fifty-six passengers, and is the most advanced type of public service passenger vehicle to-day. It is fitted with a high-powered 9.6 litre, six-cylinder, direct-injection oil engine, rubber-mounted, and has fluid transmission, compressed air braking, and centre point steering. The chassis can be supplied for bodies either 7 ft. 6 in. or 8 ft. wide.
The details of the Regal Mark III single-deck bus or coach chassis follow mainly that of the Regent, and the vehicle can be supplied with either right- or left-hand steering for overseas service.
At present the total personnel of the company numbers 4,842, and they are employed under excellent working conditions. The workshops are spacious, airy, and well heated during cold weather. Throughout the factory a system of air hoists for the lifting of heavy loads is installed. There is an excellent canteen, a recreation hall with concert and theatre stage, and a well stocked sports pavilion for indoor amusements of almost every kind.
It has always been the company's policy to attract the right type of personnel for every job so as to avoid the "square peg in a round hole" evil. This has become specially important during the transition period following the termination of hostilities. To this end, and to give adequate instruction to young persons who, later, will be entering the factory, A.E.C. some time ago established, and equipped with modern machine tools, a training school under the control of a competent instructor who, besides training lads for their work later in life, also has their physical and moral development constantly under review.
The main selling and service headquarters are stationed at the Southall factory, and additionally to this there are extensive A.E.C. branch organizations and distributors established throughout the British Isles, and in most countries abroad.
Founded in 1904, by Charles A. Vandervell, for the manufacture of storage batteries for road vehicle lighting, and to replace the paraffin and acetylene lamps then in use, the company early commenced production of dynamos for battery charging, and electric starters. These were quickly followed by a complete range of associated electrical equipment, and from small beginnings the firm has developed to occupy a leading position in the industry.
In 1932 the rapid development of the compression-ignition engine for use in vehicles created a demand for British-made fuel injection equipment, and in consequence the manufacture was commenced and has developed into the most extensive of its kind in the country. The Acton works and offices cover some 9 acres, and employ some 3,500 persons on day and night shifts. An additional factory, to be devoted entirely to the manufacture of fuel injection equipment, is now being laid out at Rochester.
The laboratories, experimental workshops, and kindred buildings are well equipped with a wide range of the most up-to-date apparatus, in addition to which an entirely new research section is nearing completion.
Fuel injection equipment includes pumps for single- and multi-cylinder units, of capacities suitable for engines of up to 500 h.p. per cylinder, and arranged as complete self-contained units, or for flange mounting on engines, for operation from the engines' own cam gear. Fuel injectors of various sizes, for use with the range of injection pumps, and of different designs to suit the engine builders' particular combustion chambers, are manufactured—including single- and multi-hole types, pintle, delay, and long-stem types. Fuel oil filters, using elements of felt, fabric, or gauze, and in sizes according to the rate of flow required, are also produced, in addition to fuel-injection pump governors of the centrifugal, pneumatic, and hydraulic types, for fitting direct to the pumps.
Many production operations are of a high-precision character, such parts as fuel injection pumps and injector nozzles being made to very close limits, and lapping being employed to give the final finish in a number of operations.
The main items in production in the electrical section include dynamos from 41 to 13 inches in diameter, with outputs up to 2.8 kW., at from 6 to 30 volts; engine starters from 4-1 to 7 inches in diameter, 12 to 24 volts, and developing from 1 to 18 h.p., and switch and control gear of a variety of designs to suit many types of vehicles and engines.
The works are devoted mainly to the production of copper and asbestos gaskets used in the automobile trade, and all other types of washers that are fitted to the internal combustion engine.
There is quite an elaborate tool room, and it will be appreciated that, to produce copper and asbestos gaskets at an economical figure, press tools must be used.
Agglomerated cork sheet is also manufactured; this in turn is cut up into washers.
The de Havilland Engine Company, Ltd., was formed from the Engine Division of The de Havilland Aircraft Company, Ltd., in February 1944. The Chairman and Technical Director is Major Frank B. Halford, who, with a team, of designers and engineers, which has remained largely unchanged for twenty years, has designed all de Havilland aero-engines since the first Gipsy I four-cylinder light engine (of 130 h.p.) was put into production in 1927.
The headquarters of the company is now at the Stonegrove factory, where all production of gas turbines is undertaken. Other factories are at Watford, where Gipsy piston engines are manufactured, and at Stag Lane, Edgware, where the original works of the parent company are now devoted solely to the development and experimental sides of the Engineering Division of the Engine Company. Principal test beds and other experimental equipment, and the test flight, are at Hatfield aerodrome, the central establishment of the de Havilland enterprise.
The jet engine currently in full production at Stonegrove is the Goblin, the engine which in 1945 was the first turbine to pass the official 100-hour type test for aircraft propulsion. This engine now powers the Vampire aircraft, which has been adopted by the R.A.F. and the Swiss, Swedish, and Canadian Air Forces. The first successful jet engine to be produced by the aircraft industry, the Goblin differs from the basic Whittle design primarily in the adoption of a single-sided impeller for the compressor. This feature offers all-round advantages in design of which the most important are the full utilization of the ram-effect of the air in flight, rigidity, and a comparatively slow speed of rotation for a given power output. This engine is rated at 3;000 lb. static thrust, and later marks are giving considerably higher output. The larger Ghost engine, of 5,000 lb. static thrust, embodies the same design features, and, suited for both military and civil application, is in an advanced state of development. It will undergo intensive flight testing during the summer.
The piston engines now in production range from the Gipsy Major 10 of 145 h.p., directly descended from the principal training engine of the 1939-45 war (of which over 10,000 were built during those six years), through five intermediate models to the Gipsy Queen 70 geared and supercharged six-in-line engine of 335 h.p.—power unit of several post-war light transport aircraft.
The research organization of the company includes up-to-date test beds for piston and jet engines, metallurgical and metrology laboratories, and an advanced vibration-investigation department whose services are available to industry at large.
The E.M.I. (Electrical and Musical Industries) plant at Hayes, with a total site area of 150 acres, covers a floor area of 2,000,000 sq. ft., and at peak production employs between 14,000 and 15,000 workpeople. The works has its own generating station, capable of producing 8,000 kW., its own railway system and canal sidings, fire brigades, medical services, and canteens. A high proportion of the labour employed is recruited locally.
Production is mainly concerned with television, radio, gramophones, gramophone records, and electric household appliances, but the work of the Research and Development Laboratories now covers a much wider range. The E.M.I. organization is deeply interested in the development of electronic, photo-chemical, and chemical processes, some of which have wide industrial applications.
There are departments entirely devoted to the mass-production of specialized glass products such as radio transmission valves, cathode ray tubes, and other articles demanding, during their manufacture, skilful technique in vacuum physics.
The organization has developed its own equipment for all finishing processes, including the manufacture of special lacquers and paints for particular scientific purposes.
Among the products for which the firm is responsible on the electrical side are (in addition to radio and television equipment of all kinds) high-frequency heating apparatus for industrial purposes, electric motors, and a comprehensive range of radio and electrical accessories.
During the 1939-45 war much of Britain's radar gear was produced in the Hayes factories.
One of the outstanding features of E.M.I. factories (and one of value during the war) is their ability to produce highly complicated electrical equipment on a mass-production scale. This has been possible through the introduction of ingenious manufacturing processes, and by the systematic use of intricate testing gear designed entirely in the company's own laboratories.
The factories are well equipped to handle heavy engineering precision machine work. Large forgings can be machined to extremely fine limits. In the war years, the heavy machine shops at Hayes produced thousands of anti-aircraft guns.
Through their experience of manufacture in various parts of the world, these factories are well equipped for the production of gear suitable for unusual atmospheric conditions. For example, much of the radar and communication equipment produced by the firm during the war was specially designed to withstand tropical climatic conditions.
The considerable woodwork departments produce radio and television cabinets. During the war these shops concentrated upon the production of great quantities of air frames and glider assemblies.
E.M.I. Factories, Ltd., have entered into the rebuilding of British trade with enthusiasm and optimism, believing they have the best-equipped light-electrical research and manufacturing plant in the world.
At Dagenham to-day, over 600 acres, once largely waste land, form the Ford Company's estate, and, by one of the largest piling feats ever undertaken, nearly 100 acres have been converted into a perfect factory site—level and firm as rock.
The factory's great power house produces enough current to provide light, heat, and power for a town of 180,000 inhabitants. Installed in the power house are two giant 30,000 kW. turbines, to cool which 30,000 gallons of water are drawn from the Thames every minute.
In the boiler house, apart from the low-pressure boilers, there are two evaporating steam at a pressure of 1,200 lb. per sq. in. %These are the only industrial boilers in this country designed to work at this pressure, and each produces steam at the rate of 205,000 lb. per hr.
The most interesting sections of the factory are those in which vast quantities of white-hot metal are handled. Metal, from which alloy steel components are cast, is prepared by delivering molten iron into a 15-ton furnace where steel and alloys are added by a steel chute at the top of the furnace. A bath containing about 45,000 pounds of molten metal is maintained at the correct temperature and specification.
Dwarfing everything else on the estate is the very large building comprising the engineering shops. The floor of this building is a 32-acre slab of concrete, and the roof is constructed of 1,150,000 sq. ft. of metal and 685,000 sq. ft. of glass. It is possible to walk for 5 miles in the gutters without passing the same spot twice.
The ordinary man, after spending a day in this concourse of engineering, comes away with two outstanding impressions - one of masterly organization, and the other of amazing machines. Practically all the carrying, whether of raw materials or of finished products, is performed by electrically driven conveyors. The worker does not have to leave his machine to fetch fresh supplies of materials—everything he needs is brought to him automatically. Even metal filings from the machines are carried away on special conveyors.
The same economy of time and effort is evident everywhere. The windows, for instance, all open by electricity. Up in the broad expanse of roof there are no less than seven miles of opening windows, and, by the pressing of a button at floor level, eight tons of glass and steel frame can be raised at once.
Extraordinary attention has been paid to details that will promote quick and accurate work, and the health and comfort of the worker. For instance, when it was proved that a wood floor provided the safest and most comfortable foothold in engineering shops, 9,000,000 wood blocks were laid in the works. Daylight is a great asset in a factory; it means speed, accuracy, safety, and health. Hence the Dagenham works has one of the greatest glass roofs in the world.
The Trade School for boys is a section of the works, equipped as a miniature factory, with machine tools and other equipment similar to that utilized in ordinary production. Here, boys of school-leaving age and upward receive practical instruction in the various phases of production.
The boys' general education is also cared for. In the classrooms a staff of instructors covers all subjects which figure in the ordinary school curriculum.
All the boys at this training school receive wages, graduated according to age and efficiency. This enables the right type of boy to enjoy the advantages of comprehensive technical training, irrespective of his circumstances, for it has been found that many youths drift into unpromising occupations because it is imperative that they should begin earning so soon as they reach the ordinary school-leaving age.
This school does not contribute to production, but trains by making sectioned chassis, etc., for dealers to exhibit in their showrooms. Nor are the boys bound to take work in the Ford organization when they have completed the course, although they almost invariably do choose to remain with the company.
The school has two main objects, one of which is to give the boys a training which will help them to become the efficient workers of to-morrow. A second and, perhaps, still more important purpose of the school is to build the boys' character. The instructors aim to send them out, into the work-a-day world, with faith in themselves, and with a rational understanding of the importance of both work and leisure.
In brief, the Ford organization thinks it wise to devote a part of its great resources to the moulding of good citizens.
The Gas Light and Coke Company is the largest gas undertaking in the world and operates thirteen gas-making stations, interconnected in a widespread gas grid, serving a population of 5,000,000 in an area of 546 square miles.
Fulham Gas Works is one of the largest of the stations and has a daily gas-making capacity of about 30,000,000 cu. ft.
The works carbonizes daily up to 1,500 tons of coal, sea-borne from Durham, in colliers which are unloaded on the Company's wharf. The gas is made in two horizontal retort houses, two vertical retort houses, and five sets of carburetted water-gas plant. Coke produced in the retort houses is conveyed to coke plants, where it is graded into four sizes and where one grade for boiler nuts is freed from shale by a pneumatic separation process.
The purification plant includes condensing plant, electrostatic tar eliminator, ammonia washers, and iron-oxide purifiers for the removal of hydrogen sulphide. The gas may also be de-benzolized by a benzole plant embracing vacuum distillation and comprehensive heat recovery.
Gas is stored in three column-guided and two spirally-guided holders, and partial drying of the gas is arranged in a plant at the outlet of the holders, to avoid the deposition of moisture in the colder mains and services in'the area of supply.
Gas pumping is one of the heaviest power loads, and not only is gas pumped from the retort houses and through the purification system, but large volumes of gas are also taken in from the company's gas grid and boosted back into the grid.
Steam is generated in waste-heat boilers attached to gas-making plant, and is augmented by steam raised from coke breeze in chain-grate stoker boilers. Lancashire boilers have also been converted to burn tar derived from the carburetted water-gas plant.
The main consumers of the high-pressure steam are the gas pumping plant and the power house, where a.c. and d.c. generating capacity of over 3,000 kW. is available.
The laboratories were constructed in 1922 as a centre for the majority of the research and development work for the company's various factories. They have been extended many times, and there is now also an extension laboratory in a large building two miles away, and another section is situated at the company's steam turbine works at Erith (Messrs. Fraser and Chalmers' Engineering Works), where research on such large plant can be more conveniently carried out. The floor area of the main laboratories at Wembley is over 160,000 sq. ft., and the staff numbers about 1,000.
The laboratories have departments undertaking research on electric lamps, valves, illumination, turbines, metallurgy, glass, ceramics, industrial and domestic heating, radio, and many other subjects, and there is a mechanical engineering department which, besides undertaking development work of an engineering nature, provides engineering service for all the other research groups.
The work on radio transmitting and receiving valves and other thermionic devices comprises not only investigations into electronic physics, but the development of machines and processes for the manipulation of glass, fabrication of articles of composite glass and metal construction, and the manufacture of intricate metal components.
Metallurgical studies include problems concerned with steam and gas turbines, electric furnaces, creep phenomena, heat treatment of steel parts, and preparation of special metals and alloys. One of these developments is a special heavy alloy, one and a half times as heavy as lead, for use for balance weights, X-ray protection, and contacts of electric switchgear.
Work on ceramics and glass includes the production of refractory insulators for radio valves, problems concerning refractory blocks for construction of tank furnaces for molten glass, and the manufacture of special glasses, highly resistant to heat and chemical attack, for manufacture of some of the latest types of discharge lamps.
Research in the field of illumination comprises the development of fluorescent materials and their application in the latest types of discharge lamps, and the control of the light from these and other light sources by design of fittings to give the desired distribution of illumination.
Work on various aspects of heating includes developments on industrial furnaces, for heat treatment, the use of special furnace atmospheres, applications of high frequency heating for hardening of steel components and for drying of dielectric materials, problems concerning space heating, and development of domestic heating and cooking apparatus.
Research on turbines is carried out mainly at the extension laboratory and at the Erith works, and includes aerodynamic studies of nozzles and blading by means of wind tunnels, problems of vibration and balancing, stress determination, and stabilization of large shafts subjected to repeated heat cycles.
Lamp and Glass Works. The Wembley lamp and metals factories represent one of the largest mass producing units in the Osram—G.E.C. group. This modern unit comprises three floors each 1,000 feet long by 80 feet wide, of which the top floor is wholly devoted to production, the middle floor to storage of finished goods, and the ground floor for the preparation of components and the accommodation of the general servicing and maintenance departments.
The metals factory produces supplies of tungsten, molybdenum, lead-in wires, and many other variations of the rare metals used in the production of incandescent electric lamps, radio valves, and cathode ray tubes.
The lamp factories produce every conceivable type of tungsten filament design - from the flashlamp used in the hand torches - up to the 10 kW. design used in lighthouse equipment.
The supporting technical, engineering, planning, and distribution departments are also housed in this block of buildings, to enable efficient control and service to be given to the complicated manufacturing techniques.
The Wembley glass works is responsible for the production of glass bulbs and glass tubing used in the manufacture of lamps and radio valves. There are four automatic machines blowing bulbs from two tank furnaces, and five automatic machines for drawing glass tubing. Since all these machines are specially designed for their particular purpose and are unique in their way, they are of special interest to engineers.
This firm was founded in 1759 by Arthur Guinness at the St. James's Gate Brewery in Dublin, and the control has descended in a direct line from father to son ever since. The undertaking was converted, by the first Lord Iveagh, into a limited liability company in 1886.
By 1914 the firm had become the largest brewery in the world, even though it brewed no beer other than stout.
The following figures will give some indication of size of the firm's operations: maximum year's sales, 115,442,340 gal.; maximum day's sales, 632,164 gal.; maximum amount of Government duties and taxes paid in one year, k31,300,000.
So much of the output was consumed in England that it became evident shortly before the 1914-18 war that it would be economical to build a brewery in England to save time in transit and freight costs, and a site was purchased at Trafford Park on the Manchester Ship Canal. Building had just started when the outbreak of the war necessitated a complete stoppage of work. After the war, for many reasons—building costs amongst others —it was not thought advisable to proceed with the project. When the question of an English branch brewery was again considered, there had been a shift in the centre of gravity of the trade, and it was decided to build the brewery in London. The site of about 130 acres at Park Royal was purchased in 1933; work was begun in the same year and brewing started in February 1936.
During the 1939-45 war the brewery was continually worked at an overload of nearly 100 per cent.
The consulting engineers were Sir Alexander Gibb and Partners, with Sir Giles Gilbert Scott as architect. The buildings are all of steel girder construction, faced with brick.
The malt store has bucket elevators which carry the malt from the point of entry to various screening, separating, and weighing machines, and thence to large reinforced concrete bins which contain up to 2,000 barrels of malt each. When required for use, the malt is transferred by means of a belt conveyor to the brew-house, where the malt is again weighed before being ground in roller mills. After grinding, the malt is mixed with water at the desired temperature, and run into the mash tuns, where the starch in the malt is converted partly into sugar and partly into those substances which form the body and give a full taste to the stout.
The liquor is drawn off through the slotted plates of the false bottom of the mashing tun and pumped to large copper kettles ("coppers"). The remainder of the malt left in the mash tun is used for cattle food. At this stage the hops are added to the wort, or sweet liquor, in the coppers, and the two are boiled together for a certain length of time in order to extract the well-known "bitter" flavour and preservative qualities from the hops. The remainder of the hops left after boiling are dried and sold for cattle food and manurial purposes. After leaving the coppers the wort is pumped over to the storehouse.
Here the wort runs through "paraflow" refrigerators which bring the temperature down to about 60 deg. F. The required quantity of yeast is now added to the wort on its way to the fermenting vessels or tuns, where it remains for about three days. During fermentation most of the sugar formed from the malt during mashing is broken up by the action of the yeast, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide. After fermentation the beer is pumped up to vessels called skimmers. In these, the yeast, which during fermentation has reproduced itself many times in amount, rises to the surface and is skimmed off into a trough. Part of this yeast is kept for future brewing, and the remainder is dried and sold as cattle food.
The annexe to the storehouse contains the refrigerating machinery, which consists of carbon dioxide compressors of the vertical, single-acting, high-speed type, direct-coupled to electric motors.
The water cooling plant comprises two machines of a capacity of 2,000,000 B.Th.U. per hour, and three machines of a capacity of 1,000,000 B.Th.U. per hour, the temperature range of the water being from 45 to 65 deg. F. The brine cooling plant comprises three machines of a capacity of 250,000 B.Th.U. per hour, the brine temperature range being 20 to 30 deg. F.
After leaving the storehouse the beer passes to the vat house, where it is collected in storage vats and stored for a varying period. At this point the brewing process is practically complete: all that remains to be done is to clarify the stout, which is done in yet another set of vats called racking vats, after which it is run to the racking shed, where it is put into casks and sent into trade.
The power station produces all the electricity and steam required by the brewery. The system of supply is three-wire direct current at a normal voltage of 420 between the outer conductors. The turbine house contains two 500 kW. and one 250 kW. geared back-pressure, steam-turbine driven generators. The back-pressure turbines receive the steam at a pressure of 185 lb. per sq. in. gauge from the boiler house and exhaust it to the process steam mains at a pressure of 30 lb. per sq. in. gauge. There is also one 250 kW. geared condensing turbine-driven generator which is used for condensing surplus back-pressure steam. The boiler house contains four water-tube boilers with chain-grate stokers each capable of evaporating economically 30,000 lb. of water per hour at a pressure of 185 lb. per sq. in. gauge. The boilers are fitted with Greene's economizers and induced draught fans.
Superheaters and forced-draught fans are now being fitted. To meet the shortage of solid fuel, six more oil-fired water-tube boilers have been working since December 1946—capable of evaporating 5,000 lb. per hr. each.
These works are devoted essentially to the production of highclass paints for decorative and for specialized industrial use, including transport finishes.
Manufacture in the main paint shop is based on the following sequence: (1) edge-runner, (2) roller mill, of which a variety of types is employed, (3) mixer, and (4) refining mill. The shop is designed to facilitate a steady flow of medium-size batches in a wide variety of colours.
Ball mill production of both large and small batches is well illustrated in a second paint shop; and other departments produce water paints of various types, especially emulsion paints, cellulose lacquers, and the most modern synthetic enamels.
The laboratories, recently rebuilt after bomb damage in 1944, show very clearly the impact of science on the paint industry, and the lengths to which it is necessary to go to ensure suitability of the products for specific purposes. In addition to this factory, the laboratories are responsible for development and testing oi paint media and varnishes, including insulating varnishes, produced at the Merton factory.
A very clear system of identification, necessitated by the wide range of materials employed, is an important feature of the factory organization.
The works of J. and E. Hall, Ltd., at Dartford, employ-including staffs at various depots—upwards of 3,000 people, occupy 18 acres of ground, of which 11 acres are under roof, and are engaged almost exclusively on two distinct lines of manufacture. Of these the largest is the construction of refrigerating plant for both land and marine applications, but a large and steadily growing volume of business is done in the manufacture of lifts of all types, for both passengers and goods, and the manufacture of escalators.
The firm was established in 1785 by John Hall, a millwright who in 1784 came to Dartford from Laverstoke, in Hampshire, seeking employment. In this he was so successful that a year later he set up in business in Dartford as a blacksmith on his own account. On his death, in 1836, his business was carried on by his sons, John and Edward. The latter, who was the last of the Hall family to be connected with the firm, died in 1877.
Early in the nineteenth century John Hall became famous for his steam engines and boilers, which he supplied to mill owners in this country and also in France, Germany, Russia, Spain, India, China, and other parts of the world.
In 1800 John Hall was associated with Bryan Donkin, his brother-in-law, in the development of the first continuous papermaking machine, and he also did pioneer work later in marine engineering. He designed and built the engines for the S.S. Batavia for the Steam Navigation Company. In 1835 he built, to the designs of Francis Humphrys, the first trunk engine ever made—fitted in the paddle steamer Dartford—and in 1836 a pair of 60-inch beam engines for the S.S. Wilberforce.
Richard Trevithick, the great mechanical genius, was engaged with John Hall for some time prior to his death, at Dartford in 1833, experimenting with steam boilers at pressures up to 150 lb. per sq. in., and also designing and making steam turbines of a primitive type, and a vertical reciprocating engine combined with a pump, for the propulsion of ships by a water jet.
Between 1836 and 1875 a great variety of mechanical engineering work was undertaken at Dartford Ironworks, including machinery for making gunpowder and paper, for calico printing, and for zinc rolling, also rolling mills for the Royal Mint, printing machines for The Times and other papers, etc., but the building of beam engines, of which over 350 were made with their boilers, known as "elephant" boilers, constituted the main line of manufacture. Another activity of great importance was the casting of guns. In this connexion a photograph of great interest came into the firm's possession a few years ago. It shows a large number of guns lying at Trophy Point, West Point Military Academy, U.S.A., which were captured by the Americans in the Mexican War. These guns were all cast by John Hall at Dartford.
The year 1878 marked a turning point in the firm's history, when the Giffard cold air machine was brought to Dartford from Paris, where it had been exhibited at the International Exhibition in 1877. A few years later J. and E. Hall were building cold air machines of a different and greatly improved type and supplying them in considerable numbers for marine and other purposes in the earliest days of the frozen meat trade.
In 1888 J. and E. Hall introduced the carbon dioxide refrigerating machine, which rapidly displaced the cold air machine. It became, and still remains, the standard type for use on shipboard. This development resulted in the attainment of a lead in refrigeration which is still maintained. An analysis of Lloyd's Register shows that in 1939 at the outbreak of war 83,600,000 cu. ft., amounting to 62 per cent of the whole world's refrigerated cargo-carrying capacity—including vessels of every nationality— was cooled by refrigerating machinery designed, constructed, and installed by J. and E. Hall, Ltd.
In refrigeration on land the firm's record is equally impressive.
Equipment of their manufacture is giving reliable and efficient service to thousands of satisfied users in every quarter of the globe. Some of these installations are the largest in the world of their respective types: among them the plant supplied to The Grimsby Ice Company, Ltd., with an output of over 1,000 tons of ice per day; the huge fruit precooling plant at Cape Town; and the largest air-conditioning plant in the world which makes sustained work possible at the deepest levels, 6,000 feet below ground, in an African goldmine.
In 1928 the Hallmark automatic refrigerating machine was introduced for small commercial installations and many thousands of these are in use all over the world, on land, and in vessels of both the Royal and Merchant Navies.
Foreseeing disadvantages in being limited to a single line of manufacture, J. and E. Hall, Ltd., in 1906, began manufacturing Hallford heavy commercial motor vehicles. Owing partly to the depressed state of the market after the war of 1914-18 and the shops being required for other urgent work, manufacture of these vehicles ceased in 1926.
As an alternative line, the building of lifts was taken up by purchasing a controlling interest in Medway's Safety Lift Company, Ltd., which was eventually absorbed by the firm, and to-day both the manufacture and the sale of lifts are carried out in a department of J. and E. Hall, Ltd., and under their name. The manufacture of escalators was begun in 1931, and many successful installations are now at work, particularly in depart-. meat stores, among which may be mentioned specially the installation of twelve escalators at Harrods, Ltd.
During the 1939-45 war, the firm was in the fortunate position of experiencing a large demand for refrigerating plants of many kinds for numerous purposes of such importance that they were given the highest priority. The production of weapons and direct munitions of war was, therefore, limited to a comparatively small, but by no means negligible, amount. Important contracts were, however, successfully undertaken, among others, for mountings and sights for 4-inch naval guns, mountings and sights for twin 4-inch quick-firing guns, shell hoists, mine casings and sinkers, depth charge pistols, paravanes, smoke bombs, etc.
In addition, the firm played a prominent part in the design and construction of the equipment required for the production of penicillin, and the mobile refrigerating plants for the overland transport of meat and other perishable foodstuffs for the campaign in the Far East. They were also among those concerned with the early development of "Pluto" and "Fido". During the war a great deal of experimental investigation was carried out, in a special low-temperature chamber erected in the works, on the effect of temperatures down to 50 deg. or 60 deg. F. below zero on instruments such as predictors and equipment of many kinds - for use in aeroplanes at high altitudes, and in Russia during the winter. The firm's work in providing the refrigerating plant required for the removal of the heat generated by the 4,000 h.p. fan in the wind tunnel at the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough also merits special mention.
The Silvertown works date back to 1852. The first manufactures were waterproof clothing and belting, soon extending to general rubber goods and ebonite. Submarine cables followed and the company laid its first Atlantic cable during 1867-8 from Havana to Key West. Two of the fleet of five cable ships, the Dacia built in 1869 and the Buccaneer built in 1885, were sunk in the 1914-18 war. The C.S. Silvertown built in 1876 was the second largest ship afloat at that time. She served at Gallipoli. During the 1939-45 war the factory was extensively damaged by enemy action on several occasions. Partly to compensate the factory losses, three works were taken over and still operate: one in Manchester for the manufacture of ebonite products, one in north-west London for the production of hydraulic brake controls and gun-firing mechanisms and controls, and one in Romford to produce ebonite stems for smoking pipes. Operations in the Silvertown factory are in three main categories: preparing, making, and engineering and services.
Rubber is received in bales and is first cleaned on the outside, then being warmed in hot rooms until soft enough to be cut into pieces by means of a hydraulic press knife. It is then heat treated and masticated in 100 h.p. twin-roller machines to the correct working plasticity. Much of the rubber used during the war was native rubber, so dirty as to need special treatment, the chief machine being a 100 h.p. "Hollander" which tears the rubber to small clean bits under water. These are vacuum dried and masticated.
The rubber after mastication goes to the store where it meets the various ingredients which are mixed with it, and which vary according to the type of manufactured rubber it is desired to produce. The various powders are in silos filled from the floor above, while oils are drawn from tanks, also on the floor above. A roller conveyor is let into the floor of the weighing section, and a travelling weigher weighs the powders into the batch container on the conveyor. The complete batch, generally about 250 lb., then goes to the mixers.
The mixers are machines similar to the masticators, but arranged in pairs side by side, driven by one 200 h.p. motor, with a double helical reduction gear. The rolls have a friction speed ratio and are water cooled. Through all its stages rubber is subject to process control by the laboratory staff, who test at frequent intervals.
The last of the preparatory stages is either calendering or extruding. The calenders are arranged on one side of the room, at right-angles to the lines of warmers on the opposite side of the shop, leaving a broad gangway down the centre for trucking away the products. Each calender is driven by a Ward-Leonard set with Allen West control gear giving a speed range of from full speed down to about 5 per cent, push-button operated. The three-bowl calenders require 100 h.p. to drive them, while the large four-bowl calender requires 125 h.p. Each line of three warmers requires 250 h.p. The calenders run the material in sheet form, which is picked up into a wrapper cloth on rollers in which it is supplied to the manufacturing departments. In the case of the fabrics, which have first to be thoroughly dried, this is done by running through a cell dryer immediately before calendering.
In the roller covering shops the volume of production is in newsprint inking rolls, and heavy press rolls for paper making. The covering of all rollers is built up from calendered sheet; when built up to the required sizes, the rolls are cured in jacketed water cures under a pressure of 200 lb. per sq. in. at a temperature of approximately 280 deg. F. As the temperature rises the water expands up into an expansion chamber, and pressure is maintained on it by means of an air compressor. After curing, the rolls are ground to size either in Churchill grinders or, in the case of the very large rolls, in specially adapted gun turning lathes. The large roller shop is equipped with two 12+ton electric cranes and can handle rolls up to 25 tons in weight, 30 feet long, and 3 feet in diameter.
In the ebonite sections, submarine battery containers, traction battery boxes, acid piping and fittings, centrifugal and plunger pumps, spinning pots for artificial silk, and a number of miscellaneous articles are made. The machining section is similar, in type of plant, to the usual engineering machine shop. The general mechanical rubber section produces a considerable range of washers cut in lathes adapted for the job, and also gaskets of one form or another, from minute articles up to lock gate joints. The buoy shop specializes in rubber buoys for use at seaplane bases. The buoys are built from calendered sheet, moulded, cured in the mould with pressure inside, painted a brilliant red, and sometimes fitted with rubber-covered wire ropes for mooring. The moulds for these buoys weigh up to 6 tons and are handled by an overhead travelling crane. In this department are also made rubber electricians' gloves, rubber bags for shoe making, rubber bags for shaping felt hats, squash balls, etc.
Another section of the works is the preparation of gutta percha, a material with characteristics similar to those of rubber, with the exception of elasticity. It is used for the covers of golf balls, for various acid-resisting requirements, surgical tissue, and in anti-static form for vessels used in the manufacture of explosives. The next department is principally engaged on the manufacture of aeroplane tyres varying in size from the small tail wheels of fighter aircraft to the biggest bomber tyres, which each weigh 3 cwt. It is usually astonishing to visitors that a tubular looking thing built up on a collapsible drum can be turned into a bomber tyre. They are, however, shaped up by means of inserting an air bag into the tyre and inflating it to 50 lb. per sq. in. These tyres are cured in steel moulds in vertical steam vessels. The large tyre moulds are handled by 6-ton electric runner blocks, while the medium and small ones are handled on a roundabout roller conveyor and electric runner blocks.
In a second ebonite department, the manufacture of composition and ebonite battery boxes, lids, plugs, separators, pipe stems, sheet and rod, and sundry other lines is carried on. The composition section consists of pitch melting and blending tanks, mixers, and specially designed presses. The heat for the pitch handling section is obtained from the "Merilene" system, which circulates hot oil in the jackets of the pitch pipes and through coils in the various pitch tanks and mixer jackets. The pitch and fibre are weighed into the mixers, which are of the beater type, and served by a pan conveyor which takes the mixed batches from the mixers to the presses, and the moulded boxes from the presses, upstairs to the examination, testing, and delivery sections.
Production in the belting shop is confined to conveyor and transmission belting, rubber flooring, and escalator hand-railing. Conveyor belting is made by doubling frictioned cotton duck to the requisite number of plies, covering the outside with rubber, and curing in 600-foot runs in a multi-ram press 30 feet long. The press for flooring is also 30 feet long by 7 ft. 6 in. wide and capable of exerting a pressure of 9,000 tons.
The engineering and services section of the works comprises boiler houses, power generating plant, high-pressure hot water plant, high-temperature oil heating plant, high- and low-pressure hydraulic plant, compressed air plant, maintenance repair shops for plant, services, woodwork and tin-smithing, electrical, heavy lifting and transport sections, and a large section for making appliances and moulds for the manufacturing shops.
Equipment. There are three "Yarrow" water-tube boilers (two on load at one time), each with a steam evaporating capacity of 40,000-45,000 lb. per hr., at a working pressure of 350 lb. per sq. in. and superheat temperature of 650-700 deg. F. They were originally equipped with chain-grate stokers and induced draught, but are now being converted to "Louvre" balanced-draught stokers with automatic control gear.
750 kW. turbo-generators generate 220-volt d.c. by means of two back-pressure turbines (passing out steam to process at 95 lb. per sq. in.), one condensing turbine, and one pass-out turbine. There is also one bank of Hewittic mercury rectifiers of 400 kW. capacity, converting West Ham supply.
A high-temperature hot water system at 380 deg. F. and 200 lb. per sq. in. is installed, as well as a boiler giving steam at the rate of 12,000 lb. per hr. at 200 lb. per sq. in. with induced draught. Hodgkinson stokers are utilized for week-end heating, etc.
A high-temperature oil heating system with oil at a temperature of 480 deg. F. is also incorporated.
The two high-pressure hydraulic pumps are steam and electrically driven respectively, each with a capacity of 3,000 gal. per hr. at 1,600 lb. per sq. in. The low-pressure hydraulic centrifugal pump has a capacity of 30,000 gal. per hr. at 250 lb. per sq. in. There are three air compressors and receivers with a pressure of 80 lb. per sq. in., and a high-pressure hot water unit working at 300 lb. per sq. in. pressure and 360 deg. F. temperature. The shops comprise heavy maintenance bay, mould-making shop and tool room, pipe-fitters bay, tinsmiths and carpenters bay, heavy lifting and building maintenance gang, electricians, and engineers stores. A large drawing office is maintained for plant layout and design, and a section for design of moulds and appliances.
The Intertype Company manufactures typesetting machines and type letter matrices. These machines produce lines of type for almost every class of printed matter: newspapers, magazines, textbooks, dictionaries, business stationery, novels, school books, advertisements, etc. The Intertype machines are not printing machines - they set the type for the printing presses.
The birthplace of all typesetting machines, including the Modern Intertype, was America.
The first completed Intertype was demonstrated in 1912 and the first tool-made model installed in the New York Journal of Commerce in March of the following year.
In 1921 Intertype registered its own company in England, and in 1932 moved from London to its Slough factory.
The Intertype is a typesetting system which sets type at the speed of from 6,000 to 10,000 letters an hour—six to ten times faster than typesetting by hand.
An operator sits very comfortably and with no apparent hurry tapping the key-buttons on the keyboard of the machine. He appears to be doing little, yet the machine, like a robot operator, is busily working at the operator's pace.
He is actually setting type matrices. It can be seen where the type matrices are stored on the machine, how they line up into words ready to be cast into one-piece lines of type, how the type lines are made in equal or varying lengths, and how the hot liquid metal is forced into the type casting mould to produce the lines of new type.
The method of sorting out the matrices and distributing each one back into its correct place into the type storehouses—known as magazines—is an ingenious engineering achievement.
Type matrices can be seen being made, starting from the original drawing approximately 60 times larger than the finished type is to be, and also the cutting of brass pattern plates and steel punches, as well as examining the many operations which combine to produce these matrices.
Other items are the tool stores, the manufacture of the magazines, and the methods of arranging the type matrices inside the magazines.
In the assembly departments the machines can be seen being built up from the bare framework to the complete machine ready for the testing floor.
The firm specializes in deep-drawn pressed-steel work, wheels, brake drums, brake shoes, and other automobile and truck parts.
Steel supplies by road and rail are unloaded by two 10-ton travelling cranes into the steel stores at the end of the press shop, which consists of two bays each 80 feet wide and 350 feet long containing several lines of 600to 1,000-ton mechanical presses and other smaller presses.
Material at the steel stores is loaded into baskets or crates, and lowered by an air hoist into the extended arms of a rocker mechanism which oscillates the load in the hot sulphuric acid pickling solution contained in brick-lined vats. After a period of washing and neutralizing in the same manner, the material is rested for a few hours, and then lifted to the press for the first operation. Pickling brittleness in deep-drawing steel requires attention only occasionally on some of the deeper drawn components when an insufficient margin of safety exists in the physical properties. In such cases the material is slightly improved by heat treatment at low temperature through a roller-hearth oil-fired furnace situated in the press shop.
This roller-hearth furnace can be used as an alternative to a gas-fired furnace, to feed disks for truck wheel disk manufacture to a rolling mill which increases the diameter of the disks by rolling them to a tapered section. The same furnace is used for inter-stage normalizing of some of the deep-drawn pressings or other suitable parts requiring heat treatment.
Brake shoes and similar parts are press-formed or coiled on a rolling machine to the required semi-circular shape and finished parts are washed in hot alkaline spray washing machines—the parts being of sufficient weight to carry enough heat from the liquid to enable them to dry themselves. Trichlorethylene degreasing machines are also employed for parts of complicated shape where freedom from grease is required on inaccessible surfaces.
One section of the lower floor space of the press shop is laid out for the finishing operations and testing of oil sumps, and another section for heat treatment and cadmium or zinc plating of brake shoes and other small parts. Overhead, a balcony supports transformers for the plating equipment, a storage tank for reclaimed water, and press tools which are not in use. Partly finished components are carried from the press shop to the various other departments of the factory by petrol-driven trucks. The wheel department is fed by an overhead conveyor which also carries the wheels through an alkaline spray washing machine and a dip-bonderizing plant through which the wheels are passed and delivered for inspection. Then is applied the first of three coats of paint which are stoved by steam-heated, oil- or gas-fired convection ovens.
The paint department, and departments engaged on the manufacture of wheels, hubs and drums, brakes, tools, etc., occupy four bays each 80 feet by 400 feet long. The floor area of 184,000 sq. ft. is piled with 22 ft. 6 in. piles and is paved with wooden blocks. Heat losses from the building are replaced by forced circulation of air through steam heaters suspended about 10 feet above floor level.
The firm of George Kent, Ltd., was founded in London in 1838, and for approximately the first fifty years its main activities lay in the field of appliances for domestic economy. In 1883 the firm entered the water-meter business and it has specialized in the development and manufacture of water meters of all kinds continuously since that date. In 1908 works were opened at Luton and these premises, now extended to the limit of available space, cover more than 7 acres and comprise the main works and offices of the company.
Other types of meters and industrial instruments were added to the range of products from time to time—for example, steam and air meters around 1909, apparatus for automatic boiler control in 1932, recording and controlling potentiometric pyrometers in 1936, carbon-dioxide recorders in 1938, and so on, to the present wide range covering the whole field known as industrial metering and instrumentation. One of the buildings houses a complete plant, for the production of steering gears for motor vehicles, comprising many specialized machines, though the complete sequence has been split up and part of this work is now carried out at a new branch factory at Resolven in South Wales. The Resolven factory is also used to supplement the output of components for mechanical water meters.
The Luton factory comprises a modernized general machine shop containing some 270 machines for the manufacture of instrument components, a separate machine bay for mass production of mechanical meter parts, a large tool room, a nonferrous foundry and pattern shop, a fabrication shop (for the construction of instrument panels) with spray paint shops attached, heat treatment shop, assembly shops and test and calibration departments (for differential pressure meters, mechanical water meters, mechanical oil meters, steam and air meters, and electrical instruments), a laboratory with glass blowing section, and newly laid out stores and inspection bays. Considerable additions and improvements to works plant have been carried out during the last few years, and these include a new producer gas plant to supply gas to the hardening shop and for general use, a new compressor house, and a centralized boiler plant for factory heating.
Power is derived from the mains and the great majority of machines have individual motors. The firm's present output includes flow meters of various types for water, steam, air, gas, oil, petrol, and other fluids; instruments for the measurement or control of flow, pressure, temperature, and liquid level; carbon-dioxide recorders; pH recorders; conductivity recorders; electrical and hydraulic systems of automatic boiler control, and complete instrument panel installations.
The company first commenced manufacturing at Harrow in 1891, and subsequently acquired approximately 55 acres of land, of which 34 acres were gradually covered with manufacturing buildings and 21 acres reserved as a sports ground. The company normally employs at Harrow approximately 4,750 persons, of whom 58 per cent are men and 42 per cent women.
The products are sensitized photographic materials, that is, films, papers, plates, and photographic apparatus, together with chemicals in the form of powders and solutions. The very nature of the industry necessitates the utmost cleanliness in and around the factory.
Owing to the fact that the photographic industry is highly specialized, great care is taken in selecting and training employees through apprenticeship and trainee schemes.
Management has always done everything possible for the health, comfort, and well-being of its employees, as instanced by its well organized Industrial Relations Department, medical service, and amenities for indoor and outdoor recreation.
Prior to the 1914-18 war, photography was regarded more or less as a luxury industry, for the use of the professional and amateur photographer. The advances made in the various sciences and arts have meant that photographic apparatus and processes are essential for modern development.
During the 1939-45 war the advances made in astronomy, air reconnaissance, radar, and the analysis of factors concerning mechanical stress and speed, would not have been possible without the aid of photography.
To this must be added the enormous amount of photographic material absorbed by the motion picture industry, for the purpose of entertainment, propaganda, and training; X-ray photography for medical and industrial purposes, and "Microfile" and "Photostat" for commercial use.
Further developments in the near future will include many new products in the field of colour photography, which will, to a large extent, revolutionize present technique in the field of graphic arts; that is, the production of colour pictures for posters and advertising matter for magazines.
The company has always led the way in the field of fundamental research, and during the war years the Research Department worked in the closest co-operation with the Department of Industrial and Scientific Research.
Power Plant. It will be appreciated that the photographic industry involves processes which have to be run on a shift basis, many of the processes being normally carried on continuously.
In addition to the electrical power required to drive some 3,250 motors, large quantities of process steam and refrigeration are required. The annual coal consumption amounts to some 20,000 tons.
Steam is generated in a range of water-tube boilers having a total evaporating capacity of 115,000 lb. per hr. Electrical power is generated by means of two 1,500 kW. turbo-generators, steam being passed out at 20 lb. per sq. in for process work. In addition there are two reciprocating generating units having a total capacity of 800 kW. The amount of electricity generated is approximately 12,500,000 units per annum.
Practically all the buildings where emulsion making and sensitizing film, paper, and glass making are carried on, are completely air-conditioned and controlled within very close limits, and for this purpose a large amount of refrigeration is required. This refrigeration is produced by seven ammonia compressors installed in the power house, having a total capacity of 600 tons of refrigeration per 24 hours.
Engineering Shops. The company is equipped with first-class machine and fitting shops as well as departments for sheet metal works, pipe work, and plastics. Much of the special equipment required in the processes is designed and made in the firm's own workshops.
Many of the more recent buildings were designed and erected by the company's own staff, which necessitates well-equipped carpentry shops and builders' yard.
Social Centre. Reference was made above to social amenities, and in 1938 the company completed the construction and equipment of a new social centre which comprises canteens for 1,500 people and a large social hall (seating 1,000 people) with well-equipped stage. This hall can also be used for dancing. In addition there are a smaller hall for lectures, and bars, lounges, library, billiard rooms, and a suite of studios and darkrooms for members of the staff who are interested in amateur photography.
The 20-acre sports field, which before the war provided facilities for football, cricket, tennis, bowls, baseball, etc., was very largely ploughed up during the war years and produced over 100 tons of vegetables for use in our canteens and staff dining rooms.
Parent Company and other Subsidiaries. Kodak, Ltd., Harrow, is a subsidiary of the Eastman Kodak Company of Rochester, New York. In addition to Harrow, the parent company is responsible for the Tennessee Eastman Corporation which provides the raw cellulose acetate for the production of acetate film base, together with cellulose esters, acetate and rayon yarn and staple fibre, plastics, and dyestuffs. Another related industry is the Distillation Products Incorporated, manufacturing vitamins and many other chemical products by modern high-vacuum technique. There are also Kodak plants in Canada, Australia, France, and Germany, and processing stations in almost every country in the world.
During the 1939-45 war, the Eastman Kodak organization was responsible to the American Government for the construction and operation of one of the plants at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, concerned with the manufacture of materials used in atomic energy, the R.D.X. High Explosive Plant in Tennessee Valley, and also for the production of the proximity fuse at Rochester, together with a large amount of optical equipment used by the Services and for research purposes.
The company was founded approximately sixty years ago, near to the present site of the headquarters works at Leyland, Lancashire. To-day it is the largest manufacturer of heavy-duty transport vehicles in the Commonwealth.
The original business was the manufacture of motor lawnmowers, but Henry Spurrier, one of the founders of the company, was quick to see the possibilities of the development of road transport. To this end the firm developed the steam lorry, and many successful designs were evolved, resulting in the award of first prize to a vehicle running in the Crew Trials of 1897.
From that time rapid development took place, particularly in regard to the design of boilers and the introduction of the resilient tyre.
Simultaneously with these developments, concentrated thought was given to the introduction of the internal combustion engine, so that, about 1906, the company was producing a 3-ton, petrol-driven, internal-combustion engined vehicle with a conventional gearbox and chain drive to the rear axle.
At all times the company has sponsored research into and development of vehicle and unit design. It first introduced the real passenger type vehicle in the form of the "Lion" in 1925. It also introduced the offset pot rear axle on passenger chassis, enabling a double-decker of really low overall height, known as the "Titan", to be produced.
Early work on the compression-ignition engine was begun by the company about the year 1929, resulting in an engine of 8.6 litres capacity being produced in 1933, of which many thousands were built and are operating in all parts of the world. It is interesting to note that this particular design of engine remained virtually unchanged from its introduction, and even now, though it has been superseded by the 600 cu. in. engine, it is still being made in small quantities as an obsolescent model.
The company was responsible for the introduction of the hydraulic three-stage torque converter into the country about the year 1933, and its Research Department is still actively engaged with many of the problems appertaining to transmissions, particularly of the hydro-kinetic torque converter type, as well as the conventional geared transmission popularly known as synchromesh.
Prior to the 1939-45 war, activities consisted of the manufacture of a complete range of vehicles for home and export: in the goods field these had carrying capacities from in and included tons up to 15 tons, included many special forms of vehicle for use countries abroad. Many railcars and units, marine engines, fire engines (including high-lift turbine pumps) and up to 150-foot telescopic escapes have been produced. In the passenger field, there was a complete range of vehicles from the twenty-seater class up to and including seventy-seat vehicles, again with many experimental models, such as rear-engined and underfloor-engined buses.
During the period of the 1939-45 war, the company's entire resources were devoted to the manufacture of war material, including military load-carrying vehicles, incendiary bombs, high-explosive bombs, many units for armoured fighting vehicles (tanks), and finally the tanks themselves. Finally, the company became designer and parent producer of the famous "Comet" tank which went into action at the crossing of the Rhine. Now once more the company's products are limited to heavy-duty goods and passenger vehicles.
Part of the branch works at Kingston is engaged in the manufacture of transmission units for use in headquarters vehicles; here will be seen the layout of a modern transmission plant in the course of development.
One section of the shop is given up to the manufacture and assembly of trolleybuses under the aegis of an affiliated company known as British United Traction, Ltd., representing the interests of Leyland Motors and the Associated Equipment Company in this type of vehicle.
The remaining section of the works is devoted to the main service depot for the South of England.
In order to give some conception of the range of products handled by the company, an exhibition of vehicles together with sectional units will be staged at the works during the visit. Excellent recreational facilities are provided for the workpeople.
Lines Brothers, Ltd., was registered as a private company in May 1919.
The company moved to Merton in July 1925, when the first building was erected on the present site. Additional buildings have been added at intervals since, and in 1936 the present "South Factory" was purchased from the Ever-Ready Company. The present site covers about 25 acres and buildings erected thereon cover approximately 750,000 sq. ft. In addition, the company owns subsidiary companies which have factories at Birmingham, Merthyr Tydfil, Belfast, and Chichester. The company has also a factory in New Zealand operating under the name of Lines Brothers (New Zealand), Ltd., and has just acquired a factory in Montreal - 140,000 sq. ft. - which will operate in the name of Lines Brothers (Canada), Ltd.
The factory in London is devoted largely to the manufacture of wheel toys, full-sized baby carriages, clock-work toys, and wooden toys. There are also separate companies on the Merton premises manufacturing soft toys and dolls (Pedigree Soft Toys, Ltd.) and scale model aircraft, petrol engines, plastic toys, etc. (International Model Aircraft, Ltd.).
At Merton there are installed over 500 power presses and 1,000 hand presses and the factory is fully equipped with conveyorized stove enamelling ovens, conveyorized nickel and chrome plating plants, die casting plant, and a very large quantity of other plant and machinery.
The main raw materials used are timber and metal, and there is a fully equipped saw mill, tool room, and several press shops. In addition, many raw materials (such as paint, rubber, textiles) play a large part in the manufacture of the company's products. The company manufactures a large proportion of its own paint, makes its own wheels and does a considerable amount of injection moulding and synthetic work. The pre-war consumption of steel was approximately 12,000 tons per year, and this figure is increasing.
In addition to the factories mentioned above, the company has a controlling interest in Hamley Brothers, Ltd., the world-famous toy shop in Regent Street, and has an experimental station at Oakley, Buckinghamshire, where it manufactures prototypes of special guiders for the Ministry of Supply.
Central Overhaul Works, Acton. Prior to 1922 the Railways of the Underground Group had consisted of several separate lines, each of which had been responsible for the overhaul of their own stock. It was decided that a comprehensive system of overhaul, carried out on a mileage basis at a central overhaul works, would introduce economies by the use of standard production methods. Acton Works was constructed in that year for this purpose. A reorganization of the works on a fully progressive system took place in 1926. After the formation of the London Passenger Transport Board in 1933, the rolling stock previously belonging to the Metropolitan Railway also began to pass through the works.
The total number of cars requiring attention at the works has increased from time to time as extensions have been made to the railway system, and by the inclusion of the Metropolitan Railway. A new works programme begun in 1935 comprised further extensions to the Board's railway system. A scheme of enlargement of Acton Works was therefore planned to deal with the intended increase in rolling stock. The outbreak of war, before the completion of the scheme, has prevented as yet the implementation of the full plan, which was to provide ultimately for the overhaul of a fleet of 5,000 cars.
Provision was made for new machine shops, paint shop, motor repair shop, seat trimming, and cleaning shop. These shops, completed before the outbreak of the 1939-45 war, are laid out on modern lines, and are equipped with the most up-to-date plant.
It is intended that the present paint shop will ultimately be used to provide the necessary extension space for the car body shop.
The building for the new paint shop, which was completed before the war, •is at the present time being used for the rehabilitation of rolling stock which was rendered surplus to requirements owing to the suspension of the programme of extensions at the outbreak of war. This stock had of necessity to be stored in the open during the period of the war. During the war years this new paint shop was used for the overhaul of tanks.
A new millwrights shop has recently been provided in a building no longer required for its original purpose. In this same building it is intended shortly to start an experimental and development section. The provision of the new machine shop and the new millwrights area has made available space for laying out a new truck shop and the wheel area, but owing to delay and difficulties in obtaining the necessary plant this has not yet been completed.
Acton Works is designed principally for the overhaul of cars on a continuous movement system. In addition, heavy repairs, modification work, and repair of component parts on a large scale are also carried out. At the present time the staff inclusive of supervisory grades totals approximately 1,750. The greater proportion of this number is engaged on overhaul work.
The period between overhauls has been gradually increased from 65,000 miles in 1922 to 110,000 in 1933 and 180,000 in 1945.
The maximum mileage at the present time has been set at 200,000 car miles or a time period of four years, whichever should be attained first. The mileage figure was raised from 150,000 just before the outbreak of war. During the war period so many confusing issues arose that it has not yet been possible to determine with certainty whether the increased overhaul mileage is economically desirable.
Rolling stock of the various types is transferred from the running depots to Acton, as it becomes due for overhaul, and is accepted into the works in such order as will ensure a fair distribution of work between sections. The sequence of admission to the works is a most important matter as the various types of vehicles differ widely as to the amount of work which they will demand in individual sections of the works.
The works are divided into nine main sections at the present time, i.e. trimming shop, lifting shop, truck shop, car body shop, paint shop, motor shop, wood and heavy repair shop, machine shop and tool room, and the plant or millwrights shop.
The total covered area before the 1935 extensions were undertaken was 207,000 sq. ft. The floor space has now been increased to 405,000 sq. ft.
Each shop is as far as possible self-contained, the principle of bringing the machines and tools to the job rather than the job to the tools being carried out as far as practicable.
The car's journey through the works commences at the trimming shop, where the upholstery is removed, then to the lifting shop, where the body and bogies part company. The bogies pass straight into the truck shop, after the traction motors have been removed and sent to the motor shop, while the car body is moved into the car body shop. The car body, after attention there, passes to the paint shop and then returns to the lifting shop, where it is removed from the "accommodation" bogies on which it has travelled through the car body and paint shops and is replaced on its own bogies which have meantime undergone overhaul in the truck shop and have been refitted with overhauled traction motors.
Finally the completed car passes to the trimming shop, where the upholstery is replaced ready for service. Car bodies which require repairs of an unusually heavy nature are dealt with, either before or after passage through the car body shop, in the heavy repair shop, where they can be held in a stationary position for the time necessary to effect the extra repairs without impeding the normal flow of the cars through the works.
A car for normal overhaul can be put through the whole works in approximately ten working days of which three are spent in the paint shop.
Continuous movement through the works is effected by means of electrically operated conveyors in the truck and car body shops and by haulage chains in the other sections.
The whole works provide what is probably the best laid out and most fully equipped repair shop in existence for the maintenance of electric traction rolling stock.
Omnibus and Coach Overhaul Depot, Chiswick. At these works is carried out the overhauling and reconditioning of vehicles and units for the bus and coach fleets of the London Passenger Transport Board's road services, a fleet amounting in all to 7,000 service vehicles.
The works was built in 1921 in order to centralize the overhauling of the bus fleet of the then London General Omnibus Company which had previously been carried out at various separate depots.
Chiswick Works stands on a site of 31 acres, the buildings, offices, etc., covering a total of 15 acres. In addition to the main works there is a laboratory equipped with all necessary apparatus for examination of fuel, oil, and other materials used, an experimental department for carrying out technical investigations into engineering design and the efficient functioning of the vehicles, and a large drawing office dealing mainly with bodywork design. There is also a plant department, comprising mechanical and electrical shops, for the maintenance of the plant both at Chiswick Works and at the eighty-two running garages belonging to the department.
Chiswick Works employs in all a staff of approximately 4,000.
Adjacent to the works is the Board's training school with offices, classrooms, and a driving instruction ground, for the training of drivers and conductors.
Chiswick Works were protagonists of the unit exchange system for vehicle maintenance and the application of reconditioning methods to worn parts on a large scale as a means of effecting economies in maintenance.
The main works is divided into two principal parts, the body factory and the engineering factory.
The first operation on a vehicle received for overhaul is to lift the body from the chassis and place it on a low four-wheeled truck, on which it passes into the body factory for repair.
The first stage of body repair consists of inspecting the body, listing the work to be done on a work schedule, and stripping from the body any parts requiring attention or which it is necessary to remove to provide access to other parts. It is then moved forward to the next stage, where repairs to the structural framework are carried out, any necessary replacement of structural parts being made. This work having been done and satisfactorily passed inspection, the body goes to the next stage, where panels, windows, etc., are replaced; on completion of this work it is moved into the paint shop, where it is completely repainted inside and out. Painting on the vehicle is by hand brushing, but new parts and parts removed from the vehicle are painted by a stove enamelling process wherever possible in order to ensure a more durable finish.
At the next stage the body is mounted on to a newly overhauled chassis and thence the vehicle passes to the finishing line where minor trimmings are fixed and seats put in.
Attached to the body factory is a section which covers the complete manufacture and repair of all sheet metal parts required for body maintenance, and also a wood mill for the manufacture of all timber parts. Besides these there is a trimmers shop to handle the manufacture and repair of seats and cushions, and a special shop to deal with the manufacture of boards and blinds used to indicate the destination of the vehicles.
While the body is undergoing repair, the chassis has gone into the engineering factory. Here, after a thorough wash, the frame is stripped of its units and passed to conveyor lines on which any necessary repairs to the frame itself are carried out. At the end of this operation, the frame is taken to a moving platform on which the chassis is rebuilt using previously overhauled units— which are not normally the original units fitted to it. The completed chassis then receives a road test on a test track in the works. This track is over half a mile in circuit, including a test dip having a gradient of 1 in 14 down and 1 in 10 up.
A particular point to be noted is that the engine and gearbox are units which are not removed from the chassis in the course of chassis overhaul. This is because their life cannot be made to synchronize with the life of the vehicle between overhauls, so that on account of the comparatively high cost of overhauling these units premature removal is considered to be uneconomic. In addition to units taken from overhaul vehicles, units are changed at garages as and when necessary, and these are sent in to Chiswick for overhaul. The most important of them are engine, clutch or fluid flywheel, gearbox, and differential, but there are also a small number of other main units which fail prematurely, and a considerable quantity of smaller parts which the garages change in the course of normal maintenance.
On receipt at Chiswick all these items are stripped down to their component parts and sent to a special department of the works for cleaning, after which they are inspected to predetermined standards of wear allowance and segregated into those fit for further service as they are, those which will require reconditioning, and those completely unserviceable, the last being sent for salvage as scrap.
Parts requiring reconditioning are dealt with in various specialist shops in the factory. Apart from machining to different standards of size, parts are reconditioned by arc welding, oxyacetylene welding—both on cold parts and on parts preheated in the muffle, by which latter process extensive repairs to large parts made of aluminium, magnesium, and cast iron are regularly carried out—electro-deposition of nickel and chromium, and metal spraying.
The reconditioned parts, together with those found to be serviceable, then go forward to the various assembly sections together with supplies of new parts, to cover the quantities scrapped as completely unserviceable. Here the parts are assembled again into fully serviceable rebuilt units in exactly the same manner as newly manufactured units. After test and inspection these rebuilt units are passed either to the chassis assembly conveyor or to the unit store for despatch to the various garages.
There is an exhibition of vehicles showing the various stages of the development of the bus from 1829 to the present time.
General. The construction of the Battersea Power Station commenced in 1929, and first supplies were given from the Station in 1933. It was the second main base-load power station (Deptford West being the first) built by the London Power Company in conformity with the purpose for which the Company was formed, namely to replace the larger number of comparatively small and old power stations by a few large and efficient ones.
The station is built on a 15-acre site bounded on the north by the river Thames, and the general axis of the station is north to south at right-angles to the river, the station being built in two halves, the first or "A" station being on the west side, and the second or "B" station on the east.
The "A" station was completed in 1935, and the first third of the "B" station in 1945, and the second third of the "B" station is at present under construction.
The centre line of the station comprises the common boiler control aisle with the "A" station boilers on the west side, and the "B" station boilers on the east. The "A" station turbine house is parallel to and immediately to the west of the boiler house, and the switch house is similarly parallel to and immediately to the west of the turbine house. The "B" station is arranged on similar lines in opposite hand on the east side of the common boiler control aisle.
The "A" station is designed for high pressure and temperature steam conditions-570-625 lb. per sq. in., 850-875 deg. F., and the "B" station for extra high-pressure steam conditions-1,350-1,420 lb. per sq. in. and 950-965 deg. F.
"A" Station. The boiler plant in the "A" station comprises a row of nine boilers the first six of which have a normal rating of 250,000 lb. per hr. and a maximum rating of 312,000 lb. per hr., and the last three are of slightly larger size, having a normal rating of 300,000 lb. per hr. and a maximum rating of 375,000 lb. per hr., steam being generated at 625 lb. per sq. in. and 875 deg. F. from feed water at 340 deg. F.
The boilers are fired with retort stokers, and have very large and completely water-cooled combustion chambers together with superheaters, economizers, and air heaters. The first six boilers are provided with bare tube economizers and tubular air heaters, whereas the last three boilers have gilled tube economizers and regenerative air heaters.
The fan plant in the case of the first six boilers comprises four forced- and four induced-draught fans per boiler unit, driven through variable-speed hydraulic couplings, but in the last three units there are two forced- and two induced-draught fans per boiler, these being of the vane control type driven by two-speed motors.
The ashes, after passing through grinders in the ash pit, are discharged to an hydraulic ash-sluicing plant.
The turbine plant in the "A" station comprises three main units, the first two being rated at 69,000 kW. each and the third at 105,000 kW., and these units are arranged in line, with their axes parallel to the axis of the turbine room.
The turbines are of the three-cylinder type, with double-flow, low-pressure cylinders, and it is of interest to remark that the 105,000 kW. set is the largest unit in this country, or in the British Empire; indeed, it is the largest unit outside the United States of America. The turbines run at a speed of 1,500 r.p.m. in all cases.
The plants are designed for steam at 570 lb. per sq. in. and 850 deg. F. at .the turbine stop valve, and the exhaust steam is discharged to twin condensing plants designed to give a vacuum of 29.1 inches with circulating water at an inlet temperature of 55 deg. F.
The turbines are arranged for multistage feed heating on a closed feed system, there being two low-pressure and three high-pressure heaters (on the discharge of the boiler feed pumps), giving a final feed water temperature of 340 deg. F. at the normal economic rating. Integral bled steam evaporators are also incorporated in the feed heating system on each turbine to produce the necessary make-up water.
Two 100 per cent capacity boiler feed pumps are provided on each turbine unit, one being motor driven and the other steam driven. The circulating water for the main condensers is handled by two main pumps for each set, the six pumps being arranged in a pump house at the north end of the turbine room, and having a total capacity of 13,000,000 gal. per hr.
The main alternators on the first two sets are rated at 64,000 kW., and on the third set 100,000 kW., and they generate 3-phase, 50-cycle supplies at 11,000 volts and 0.8 and 0.9 power factor respectively. On each main shaft there is in addition a 5,000 kW. house alternator which generates at 3,300 volts. The alternators are provided with closed air-cooling systems.
The switch house includes the main 66,000-volt switchgear, the 3,300 house service gear, the main control room, the transformer cubicles, and the administrative offices. Electrical supplies are given from the station at 22,000 volts and 66,000 volts for the London Power Company's own interconnected system and at 66,000 volts for the Central Electricity Board.
"B" Station. The "B" station, the first two boilers of which are at present in service, comprises units designed for a normal evaporative rating of 440,000 lb. per hr. and a maximum continuous rating of 550,000 lb. per hr. and they generate steam at 1,420 lb. per sq. in. and 965 deg. F. from feed water at 400 deg. F.
They are fired by retort stokers with an addition (up to 20 per cent) of pulverized-fuel firing boost. The superheaters are of the horizontal-tube type built in two main sections, there being spray type attemperation between the primary and secondary sections, for steam temperature control. Gas by-pass dampers are also provided for further steam temperature control.
The economizers are of the bare tube type, the air heaters (two per boiler) of the regenerative type, and the fans (two forced draught and two induced draught per boiler) of the two-speed, vane-control type.
The three further boilers at present under construction will have a normal evaporative rating of 340,000 lb. per hr. and a maximum continuous rating of 425,000 lb. per hr., the terminal conditions being the same as for the two previous boilers, but in this case the units will be fired by pulverized fuel and will have very large radiant water-wall combustion chambers. These units will be provided with electrostatic precipitators.
The first turbine unit, which is at present in commission, comprises 100,000 kW. cross-compound unit made up of 16,000 kW. extra-high-pressure primary set, and 84,000 kW. secondary set, and is designed for an initial steam pressure at 1,350 lb. per sq. in. and 950 deg. F. at the turbine stop valve, and is provided with closed feed heating plant for a final feed water temperature of 400 deg. F.
The feed heating plant comprises two low-pressure stages, of which one is a de-aerator, and four extra-high-pressure feed heaters on the discharge side of the boiler feed pumps. The secondary set discharges its exhaust steam into a condensing plant designed to maintain a vacuum at normal evaporative rating of 29.1 inches mercury, with circulating water at an inlet temperature of 55 deg. F. The circulating water is provided by two vertical spindle pumps arranged adjacent to the set.
There is a total of five boiler feed pumps provided for the set, four of which are motor driven and one turbine driven. The motor-driven units comprise a high-pressure and an extra-high-pressure unit operated in series, whereas the turbine-driven pump is a two-speed-driven unit designed for operation under high-pressure conditions on low speed, and extra-high-pressure conditions on high speed. The reason for the somewhat elaborate arrangement is that the 84,000 kW. set can, if required, be operated directly from the high-pressure boilers in the "A" station, if the extra-high-pressure boilers or primary set are out of commission.
The 16,000 kW. main alternator on the primary set, and 78,000 kW. main alternator on the secondary set, generate 3-phase, 50-cycle current at 11,000 volts. On the shaft of the secondary set there is a direct-connected 6,000 kW. house alternator which generates at 3,300 volts.
The further turbo-alternator plant, which is at present under construction, will comprise 60,000 kW. set running at 3,000 r.p.m. with hydrogen-cooled alternator, and will operate under the same terminal conditions as the previous machine.
There will be no house-service alternator on this main set, but an independent 6,000 kW. condensing turbine-driven set is being installed with this unit.
Two 1,350 kW. back-pressure, house-service sets are also under construction, and the exhaust from these sets will be used in heat exchangers to provide a heating supply to the Pimlico Housing Estate of the Westminster City Council, which is situated opposite the Power Station on the other side of the river.
The switchgear and transformers for the "B" station are arranged on the east side of the turbine room.
Future Extensions. When the turbine and boiler plant, at present under construction, is completed in the "B" station, space will still remain for the installation of a further turbo-alternator plant and three boilers up to a capacity of about 100,000 kW., which would bring the total capacity of the completed station to over 500,000 kW.
Gas Washing Plant. One of the more interesting features of the Battersea Power Station is the elaborate arrangements which are provided for the treatment of the flue gases discharged from the boilers. In view of the fact that this station is sited near a residential area and various ancient monuments, heavy restrictions were imposed in respect of the discharge of gases (from the boilers) which had to have the minimum content of sulphur, grits, or other deleterious matter.
The treatment of such a large volume of gases as would arise from the Battersea boilers had never previously been dealt with on a commercial scale, and for this purpose the Power Company first built a "pilot" plant at one of their other smaller stations, and from the elaborate experiments and tests carried out thereon the present flue-gas washing plant at the Battersea Power Station was designed.
The process consists in passing the gases through scrubbers containing catalytic elements, and of spraying them with water and alkaline solutions, and such success has attended the operation of this plant, that an average elimination of 90 per cent of original sulphur in the coal has been consistently obtained.
This, however, has only been achieved as a result of heavy capital and running charges, as there is much additional ancillary plant which has to be provided. For example, the wash water used is drawn from the river Thames, but the river authorities imposed stringent regulations as to the quality of the wash water returned to the river, and to meet these conditions elaborate filter plants and associated sludge plants, etc., have had to be provided.
It will be noticed that the plumes from the tops of the chimneys of the Power Station are white, as distinct from the more familiar grey or hazy discharges from other power stations, and this is explained by the fact that these plumes are largely composed of water vapour resulting from the flue-gas washing process, this vapour being gradually absorbed in the surrounding atmosphere towards the end of the plume.
Thermal Efficiency. In the matter of efficiency, it is interesting to record that in the twelve-year period 1934-45 the Battersea Power Station has taken first place in the Electricity Commissioner's Returns for no less that nine of these years, the highest figure being for the year 1936, when the overall thermal efficiency on units generated was 29.14 per cent.
The new extra-high-pressure plant in the "B" station is calculated to give a thermal efficiency of some 10-11 per cent greater than that of the original high-pressure plant in the "A" station.
In the twelve-year period 1934-45 a total of 13,282,035,310 units were generated at the station.
Coal Handling Plant. The London Power Company owns twelve steamers of varying sizes, capable of carrying 2,200-4,500 tons of coal per vessel, and these steamers ply between the coaling ports of the North-East coast and Wales, and the Battersea and Deptford Power Stations of the company.
They are unloaded at the jetty, whence the coal can be discharged either direct to bunkers above the boilers, if required, or to the 70,000 tons coal store in front of the station. The coal handling plant is also designed to recover coal from this store and deliver it to the boiler bunkers.
The plant was constructed to the designs of the Engineer-inChief, Sir Leonard Pearce, C.B.E., D.Sc., and the architectural features were to the designs of Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, 0.M., R.A.
Mars, Ltd., Slough, was founded in 1932, and continually expanded up to the outbreak of war. During the war, many hundreds of millions of "Mars" bars were despatched all over the world to N.A.A.F.I. canteens, despite requisitioning of nearly half the company's premises and curtailment of supplies. Output at present is limited only by the supplies of raw materials now allocated by the Ministry of Food.
The factory is situated in the Slough Trading Estate in Buckinghamshire, about three miles from Eton and Windsor. The first thing to be noted is the extremely high degree of cleanliness and hygiene existing everywhere. The whole factory is air-conditioned, and it has its own laundry, providing a daily service of clean overalls to every employee.
Incoming materials are all subjected to careful inspection and test in the laboratory, so as to ensure the maximum possible quality in the product. Milk, chocolate, sugar, glucose, white of egg, malt, and cocoa butter form the chief ingredients. The factory is laid out so that materials, once started on their manufacturing route, flow continually through the production processes until they leave the despatch department on their way to the retailers' shops.
Most of the plant consists of standard machines used by the confectionery industry. A number of types of chain conveyors and hoists are used throughout the factory. Representative examples of cookers, mixers, enrobers, box stitching machines, and packing machines are used.
A cross-section of a "Mars" bar shows that it consists of a whipped malted centre overlaid by a layer of creamy caramel, the whole being enrobed in milk chocolate. The bar is wrapped and packed into cartons. The cartons are X-rayed as a final check on quality, and packed into fibre board containers ready for despatch.
The factory is equipped with a "Music While You Work" installation. Employees choose their own radio programme, and can also bring in their own gramophone records if they wish.
The Hampton works, which are the largest operated by the Board, consist of river intakes, storage reservoirs, primary filters, secondary filters, chemical treatment plants, turbine-driven, centrifugal, high-lift pumping plant, water-tube boiler plant, coal- and ash-handling apparatus, and low-lift pumping plant, together with workshops and stores, and also a number of engines and boilers now out of commission.
In the balancing reservoir, which is divided into two equal parts, a screen is fitted at each inlet for the removal of aquatic organisms. Flow into the tank through the screen can be interrupted for cleaning of the screen by breaking two syphons. The function of the balancing reservoir is to allow a constant filtration rate despite variations in the pumping rate. The rise and fall in the water level is made to coincide with the minima and maxima pumping demands.
In the main building there are eight impulse-type steam turbines driving, through gearing, centrifugal pumps and generators. One water turbine drives a centrifugal pump or a generator, and an electric motor also drives centrifugal pumps. The total pumping capacity is 203,000,000 gallons per day of filtered and 86,000,000 gallons of unfiltered water. There are eight water-tube boilers of the four-drum type, with mechanical stokers. The working pressure is 325 lb. per sq. in. and the working temperature is 650 deg. F. (220 deg. F. superheat). Coal is handled by belt conveyors and a bucket elevator. Ash and soot are conveyed from the flues and furnaces by water pumped from a swirl pit, by two electrically-driven pumps, to overhead ash bunkers.
Water gravitates from the primary to the slow sand beds whence, after the addition of sterilizing chemical agents, it is pumped by electrically-driven, low-lift pumps to a covered reservoir of 11,300,000 gallons capacity, which balances hourly variations in supply, and also provides adequate contact period for sterilization before the water is pumped into service by the high-lift plant. The low-lift pumps and balancing reservoir are not yet in commission, and the secondary filtrate passes direct to the suction of the high-lift pumps, being chemically treated on its way.
In the old works, the six main engine houses contain two compound rotative beam engines (1882), two vertical compound engines (1885), four vertical triple-expansion engines (1900), and three Diesel engines (two in 1922, one in 1933).
The filtered water from these works is mainly delivered into the area north of the Thames between Sunbury and Acton, and into a large part of the area south of the Thames between Kingston and Woolwich. Either unfiltered or primarily filtered water is delivered to works at Kew Bridge and Barnes for slow sand filtration there. The final filtrate is used to supply the areas from Brentford to Regent's Park.
The Walton works consist of a river intake, storage reservoirs, primary filters, secondary filters, chemical treatment plant, triple-expansion and turbine-driven centrifugal raw and filtered water units, water-tube boiler plant, coal- and ash-handling apparatus, workshops, and stores.
Chemical treatment is by ammonium sulphate and chlorine gas.
The pumping plant consists of four triple-expansion steam engines, directly coupled to centrifugal pumps, one steam turbine driving a d.c. generator through gearing, and two centrifugal pumps through automatic magnetic couplings. Two centrifugal pumps with electric motors are driven by purchased current.
The boiler plant consists of eighteen water-tube boilers with chain-grate stokers under natural draught.
Coal is handled from barges, by a crane discharging into a hopper which, in turn, feeds skips passing over a weighing bar on to a rope transporter. This conveys the skips from the wharf to overhead coal bunkers. Ash is discharged into trucks running on rails in a subway below the boiler house floor, and raised to ground level by an electrically-driven lift.
The filtered water from these works is pumped into a 48-inch main delivering to Brixton works, into the distribution system at Clapham Common, and into Honor Oak Reservoir.
The works at Kew Bridge were begun in 1835 by the Grand Junction Waterworks Company, who constructed a subsidence reservoir and purchased from the Regent's Canal Company two Cornish pumping engines. These engines were removed from works at Grosvenor Road, Chelsea (where they had been installed in 1820 by Messrs. Boulton and Watt) and were re-erected at Kew Bridge, after their pump work had been altered to suit the new conditions. They were used to pump water from the subsidence reservoir, through a 30-inch main into supply, and were known to the Board as the East and West Cornish engines. The West Cornish remains, but the East Cornish, which had suffered many alterations from its original design, has now been broken up.
As a result of the passing of the Metropolis Water Act in 1852, all Thames water had to be drawn from the non-tidal reaches of the river above Teddington and had subsequently to be filtered.
Accordingly the Grand Junction Waterworks Company constructed filters at Kew Bridge and intake works and pumping plant at Hampton, whence they pumped water for filtration at Kew.
As the demands of consumers increased, more Cornish engines were laid down at Kew. These engines are to-day among the finest remaining examples of the Cornish engine era, the 90-inch being the oldest true Cornish engine remaining in London. The steam plant consists of Maudslay, 100-inch, 90-inch, West Cornish, and Bull engines as well as six Lancashire boilers.
The oil-engine plant is made up of four three-cylinder solid-injection Otto-cycle oil engines driving two-stage centrifugal pumps. The rope drives are now being converted to gearing. Each unit can deliver 4,000,000 gallons per day against a head of 150 feet to Kew town zone, or can boost water to Finsbury Park.
In 1944 six electrically-driven units were installed to take over most of the output of the works. Three-phase energy is bought from the grid, and transformed at Kew works from 6,600 to, 400 volts.
This company was established in 1808, at Soho, London, and moved to the present situation at Acton in 1902. From the original area of 34 acres, expansion has subsequently increased the occupied area to its present size of 8 acres. This area is laid out for, and fully occupied on, development work. Production capacity is provided in a large, modern factory at East Lancashire Road, Liverpool.
One of the earliest British pioneers in the development of the petrol engine, the company built up that reputation for excellence of design and workmanship which established the name Napier as one of renown in the motor car world. Marine engines were also developed and attained considerable success in cruising launches and high-speed boats. The first motor torpedo boat to be built, the "Yarrow Napier" in 1906, had Napier engines installed.
From 1914 to 1918 staff cars, ambulances, lorries, aeroplanes.
and aero-engines were manufactured in quantity. It was during this period that the Napier Lion aero-engine was developed, thus marking the entry of Napiers into the aircraft industry. The Napier Lion, in its day, became famous as the world's most reliable aero-engine. Unsupercharged, and with a capacity of 24 litres, its initial power output was 450 h.p., or 18.75 h.p. per litre. It was developed, by supercharging, to a maximum of 1,320 h.p., or 54 h.p. per litre, in 1929 for the Schneider International Trophy contest. The engine was successful in winning this much coveted trophy on two occasions, in 1922 and in 1927. These notable victories form only part of a long list of records and successes, in the air, on land and water, accredited to the engine.
During the 1939-45 war the Napier Sabre was produced in large quantities at both Acton and Liverpool factories. It was used as the standard power unit of the Typhoon and Tempest, Britain's formidable war-time fighter aeroplanes which achieved enviable records as rocket-carriers and destroyers of flying bombs.
The Sabre, with a cylinder capacity of 36 litres, was designed and produced as the first 2,000 h.p. aero-engine, and passed the Air Ministry type test in 1940 at 2,050 h.p. By development this output was raised to 3,050 h.p., at which figure the Series VII engine passed its type test in 1946. The factors of 0.83 lb. per b.h.p. and 84 b.h.p. per litre obtained in this latest performance have not been reached by any other reciprocating engine in the world.
With this background of thirty years' experience in the development and production of aero-engines, the Napier organization is fully equipped and concerned to maintain its position in the front rank of the world's aeronautical engineering concerns in the development and production of the new propulsion unit, the gas turbine engine.
The present organization covers all the requirements of a modern precision engineering works, including design and drawing offices, laboratory with X-ray and micro-photograph equipment, material control, research and development departments, machine and fitting shops all equipped with up-to-date plant.
Rigid control of the high standard of Napier products is maintained by a well-equipped tool inspection department for checking the output of the large tool room. A modern standards room equipped with latest measuring equipment and projection apparatus is attached to this section. Some examples of special purpose equipment, designed and manufactured by Napiers, were exhibited at the Institution's Conference on "Surface Finish" in March 1945.
Production engine testing is carried out in special cabins on Heenan and Froude water-brakes. A development testing station at Park Royal consists of buildings housing the most modern equipment for development and research purposes. Full-scale engine work is carried out on 3,000 h.p. regenerative-dynamometer test beds. In this system the power developed by engines, when On test, is not wasted, but is converted into electric power and fed into the mains for use by industrial consumers. Other noteworthy sections of this station are test houses for superchargers and compressors, and a wind-tunnel with a maximum air speed exceeding 600 m.p.h.
The National Physical Laboratory at Teddington was founded in 1900 in an old Royal Residence, Bushy House. It has grown steadily throughout its forty-six years of existence, and now comprises sixteen large, and a number of small, buildings on a site of 60 acres. Until 1918 it was under the control of the Royal Society, and, although since that date the Laboratory has been part of the then constituted Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, the Society still continues to advise on the scientific aspect of the work and is represented on the Laboratory's Executive Committee. The President of the Royal Society is, ex-officio, Chairman of the General Board of the Laboratory. The Institution of Mechanical Engineers nominates two of its members to serve on the General Board from which the members of the Executive Committee are appointed.
The purposes for which the Laboratory was founded, and which it continues to fulfil, were to carry out research, including especially research required for the accurate determination of physical constants, to establish and maintain precise standards of measurement, and to make tests of instruments and materials.
It also undertakes investigations of special problems on behalf of Government Departments, for Research Associations representing various industries, and for technical institutions, industrial firms, and others.
The National Physical Laboratory at present comprises the following ten divisions: Aerodynamics, Electricity, Engineering, Light, Mathematics, Metallurgy, Metrology, Physics, Radio, and Ship; the names of the divisions indicate the very wide range of its scientific activities.
With very few exceptions, tests of all classes of measuring instruments are undertaken. The special investigations made for firms and other bodies are of a varied character; the Laboratory is always ready to give careful consideration to any problems or difficulties which may be submitted to it, and to undertake experiments when it is thought that, with the facilities at its disposal, a solution may be found. The experimental work required in researches and investigations for industry is normally carried out at the Laboratory, but in appropriate cases members of the staff attend at manufacturers' works to survey the problem and to carry out the investigation under the conditions obtaining in industry.
A charge is made to cover the cost of any tests or experiments which are necessary to solve a problem submitted to the Laboratory. It sometimes happens, however, that the information required is already available, and in such cases it is possible to render assistance without cost to the inquirer. Free consultation and advice is always available at the Laboratory on any problem which lies within its field.
Messrs. G. D. Peters, of Windsor Works, Slough, Buckinghamshire, had its origin in 1874, when a Mr. Pope purchased two acres of land along the side of Slough station, and there erected a foundry and machine and fitting shops. This establishment was known as the Gotha Works, and the firm W. Pope and Sons. The firm's main products are associated with railways and transport and cover such products as vacuum brake equipment, air brake equipment, electro-pneumatic door operating gear, car and bus washing plants, electrode manufacture, and seating for public service vehicles, together with a host of detailed fitments peculiar to railway engineering. Recently the manufacture of cigarette-making machines has been started.
The works cover some 14 acres and employ approximately 800 hands. Production is broken down into the following departments:—
The firm is capable of producing a wide selection of engineering products and, with the exception of the electrode manufacture, goods are not mass produced.
This company was founded in 1903, and immediately began the development of the patents of Casper Wuest Kunz, a Swiss engineer, for the production of double helical gears generated from solid blanks. The Wuest system employs two multi-thread hobs simultaneously cutting on opposite sides of the blank, each hob generating one helix and producing staggered double helical gears. This system proved very successful and is still in operation for large mill and similar gears.
The company actually pioneered the adoption of double helical gears in this country, and in pursuance of this policy also developed and built their own gear-cutting machinery for this purpose.
In 1912 they produced a double helical gear shaping-machine using pinion form cutters, and cut the first continuous-tooth double helical gear in which the two helices join at the centre in a sharp apex. Visitors will, therefore, see large double-headed hobbing machines producing staggered helical gears; single-head hobbing machines cutting turbine and other high-speed gears and general industrial gears; gear shaping-machines producing double helical gears with continuous teeth—all in various sizes, up to the largest machines of their type in this country.
An interesting survival is the end milling of gears, and as this company retains three such machines, some of these will be in operation. Such machines are used for cutting double and triple helical, also special form gears, and the end-milling process represents the earliest method of producing such gears from solid blanks. The method, being non-generating and rather slow, gave place to the methods referred to above.
It is hoped that a gear shaving machine, at present under construction in the shops, will be completed and in operation. This machine works on an original principle in which a pinion-type cutter reciprocates across the gear face and simultaneously slowly rotates in mesh with the gear which it is shaving.
Large machine tools of suitable capacities to deal with the gear blanks and gear cases will be in operation.
In the tool room, machines of special design necessary to obtain the precision required in the production of the gear cutting tools will be seen.
Gear-testing instruments will be on view and the methods adopted will be demonstrated by the inspection staff.
In the erection shop will be seen gear units in varying stages of construction. These range from the smallest sizes used for industrial purposes, medium sizes for such drives as continuous, sectional, paper machines, and oil-well pumping sets, and large sizes for rolling-mill and steam-turbine drives.
The machine tool fitting shop will contain partially erected machines for both the gear bobbing and shaping processes.
The Royal Aircraft Establishment traces its history from His Majesty's Balloon Factory, which later became the Royal Aircraft Factory, and in the 1914-18 war was responsible for the design and construction of many of the aircraft and aircraft engines of that period—notably the S.E.5 and R.A.F.4A. In 1918, when the Royal Air Force was created, the factory became the Royal Aircraft Establishment, and in the course of the last thirty years it has built up a strong position as a centre of independent research.
Its work falls into two groups. First, it acts as a general adviser, to the Industry and the Services, on aircraft and aircraft engine problems. It has large teams engaged on theoretical and experimental work, both in the laboratories and in flight. Aerodynamics, power plants, aircraft structures, and materials are some of the main fields covered. Basic investigations are backed by continuous study of troubles—failures and accidents—which leads to a better understanding of what is happening under operating conditions and so to sounder design and manufacturing technique.
Secondly, from its continuous study of the flying Services' requirements, the Royal Aircraft Establishment is in a position to devise and design essential equipment—automatic pilots, navigational instruments, oxygen equipment, cameras, bombs, bombsights and bomb release gear, gunsights, electrical power supply and equipment, radio communications equipment, etc.
The Services co-operate to the full by giving the Establishment's staff free and first-hand access to all their experience, and field teams are sent out to deal with the teething troubles of new devices.
It can fairly claim to have gained the confidence of the many industries which are concerned with the design and development .-of aircraft and its equipment.
The introduction, at the end of the eighteenth century, of steam-driven minting machinery, to replace the old hand- and horse-operated machines, necessitated the transfer of the Mint, from the Tower of London, to the new site on Tower Hill in 1810. The new buildings were designed by Sir Robert Smirke. Of the 700 operatives employed to-day, the greater part are engaged in making imperial and colonial coins, and foreign coins for certain countries which do not possess a Mint of their own. Australia, Canada, India, and South Africa all strike their own coinage. A small number of operatives are employed in making seals, medals, and some stamp printing plates. No refining of metals is undertaken, and the non-ferrous metals required are purchased in the form of ingots.
The production processes consist of melting, rolling, cutting coinage blanks, annealing, blanching, and finally striking in coining presses.
The foundry has thirty-four gas-fired crucible type melting furnaces varying from 1 to 3 cwt. capacity. Sixteen of the 3-cwt. furnaces are installed in one building, and this is equipped with a 10-cwt. gantry electric crane, mechanical stirring and pouring devices, and power shears. The cast bars are cold rolled into strip in a series of small rolling mills, the largest having 15-inch diameter rolls driven by an electric motor of 140 h.p. The rolled strip is annealed in Bates and Peard gas-fired furnaces, which are water sealed to prevent the surface of the strip being oxidized.
Coinage blanks are cut from strip in multiple punch blanking presses, and the coins are struck in toggle type coining presses capable of exerting a pressure on the coining dies of 100 tons per sq. in. The normal output of the factory is 400,000,000 coins per annum.
Die production is of particular interest: a nickel electrotype copy of the artist's low-relief plaster cast, usually some 10 inches in diameter, is first made and from this a copy of the requisite size is mechanically engraved by a special reducing machine.
There is a well-equipped machine shop for the repair and maintenance of the plant, and also for the manufacture of some special items of coinage machinery which cannot be purchased.
The Mint museum contains impressions of the Great Seals of England from the time of Offa, King of the Mercians, and also representative specimens of many coins and medals.
In 1911 - a year after the company was incorporated - the first factory was erected on what was then open country on the outskirts of Luton. Considerable extensions were found necessary during the 1914-18 war. In 1928, and again in 1930-1, further substantial additions were made, and the factory now covers a quarter of a million square feet of ground and is about a quarter of a mile long. All available space on the original site having been occupied, an additional site, situated about 21 miles from the main factory, was obtained, and here further extensive buildings are in course of erection. There were 150 employees in 1911; to-day up to 4,000 are on the pay roll.
Apart from the actual growth in size of the plant, improvements in methods of production are continuously being made, and every modern device for raising the general efficiency, lowering the cost of manufacture, and promoting the welfare of employees has been installed.
Products. To begin with, only the now well-known double-row, self-aligning ball bearing was produced, but, to meet the demand from all branches of engineering, the manufacture of other types soon had to be taken up. The main output now consists of bearing types based on the four chief geometrical forms of rolling elements, namely, the sphere, cylinder, conic frustum, and spheroid. All bearing types are produced in a wide range of series and sizes. In addition to bearings, many auxiliary products are in the production programme, including axleboxes for railway vehicles, bearing housings for rolling mills and other heavy machines, power transmission accessories, tension pulleys and spindle inserts for textile machines, etc.
Materials. The chief raw material used for rings and rolling elements is in the form of bars, tubes, billets, and wire, the rough dimensions being carefully controlled to minimize machining. The steel used shows a particularly low sulphur and phosphorus content, and its essential constituents, carbon and chromium, vary somewhat according to the size of the bearing. After machining to the required form, the components are through-hardened, an operation carried out in special gas-fired furnaces, under the supervision of the works laboratory, at temperatures ranging from 740 to 860 deg. C., according to size and shape of the part.
Each batch of material is subjected to dimensional and metallurgical tests which include chemical analysis, micrographic examination, and tests of the physical properties.
Rings. The layout of the works follows closely on the natural divisions of the product and each section is linked up with the inspection departments.
In general, small and medium size rings are formed from bar in four-spindle automatics, and large rings turned from tube in single-spindle automatics. Machining not suited for the automatics is done on light, quick-acting capstan lathes.
Hardening follows, after which the rings are sand-blasted to remove scale; they then have their flat surfaces ground in automatic surface-grinding machines. Outside diameters are then ground, centreless grinding being adopted as far as possible.
The next operation is bore-grinding in high-speed machines in which the wheel is automatically trimmed between the rough and finish grind. When the correct diameter is reached, grinding automatically stops.
Finally, the ball or roller tracks are ground in machines specially designed and perfected by SKF. This final grinding operation leaves the rings ready for assembly with ball or rollers and cages.
Balls and Rollers. Cold heading from wire is the first operation for steel balls, except the larger sizes. After forming, the balls are rough ground to remove the fin formed in pressing to shape. They are then hardened in automatic furnaces, from which they pass to precision grinding machines. This operation continues until the balls are true spheres of the exact size required, after which they are rotated in wooden tumbling barrels with leather cuttings, thus acquiring their characteristic high polish.
Roller manufacture is on similar lines, except that the diameters are ground in centreless grinding machines, and the ends in specially designed end-grinding machines.
Grading of the balls and rollers involves a thorough individual scrutiny for the detection of external blemishes, and mechanical inspection for roundness and size.
Assembly. Assembly of the various components to form complete bearings is performed in rooms specially constructed and ventilated to ensure a dust-free atmosphere. Mechanical aids facilitate insertion of the rolling elements and the cage rivets, thus avoiding unnecessary handling.
Final Inspection. In the course of manufacture, all components are inspected and their dimensions checked after every operation, there being some sixty to seventy checking operations on every bearing, carefully and systematically carried out with the aid of gauging instruments, some of which have been specially designed and perfected. In spite of continuous rigid inspection during manufacture, each bearing has to pass a final inspection for dimensional and running accuracy before application of preservative, and packing.
The Slough Trading Estate is situated about 22 miles from central London, on the outskirts of Slough. It occupies an area of about 640 acres, is bisected and directly linked by the Great Western Railway, and adjoins the national trunk road from London to Bristol.
Originally developed by the State during the 1914-18 war, the site was acquired by Slough Estates, Ltd., who have developed it as an industrial estate to serve London, the largest market in the country.
Over 220 firms are now established, employing about 25,000 people. When the Estate was started the population of Slough was only about 18,000, and it is now a borough with a population of over 75,000, due to the unique facilities offered to manufacturers.
The company's policy is renting factories which are built in advance and are available ready "to walk into", in sizes ranging from what is known as a "bijou" - a small factory of 1,500 sq. ft. complete with all services - to large buildings of 100,000 sq. ft. and upwards.
The information required by the factory applicant is available from one source on the spot, on such diverse subjects as gas, water, electricity, rating, sewage disposal, transport, and labour, etc., and after occupation the tenant has available the advice of engineering, surveying, and other technical departments, together with the services of foundries, woodworkers, pattern makers, packing case and carton makers, printers, electrical, steam, gas and water engineers, etc.
The quality of the water supply has proved to be a boon to many of the manufactures owing to the softness, the permanent hardness being nil. Another unique service in many cases is the supply of steam for process and heating purposes.
Efficient arrangements exist for transport. There is a large network of railway facilities over the Estate connected with the Great Western Railway, which gives a well-organized and rapid service to all parts of the country.
The Slough Trading Estate's manufacturers offer a great variety of goods from light alloys to jam, and its trades cover toilet preparations, upholstery, composing machines, cabinet making, cables, confectionery, gaskets, clothing, etc., to name only a few.
Other facilities on the Estate include five Banks, Post Office, Central Restaurant, private passenger station for trains to Paddington, a Government labour training centre, and a group of buildings comprising the Slough Social Centre.
The latter, founded by the Chairman of Slough Estates, Ltd., Mr. A. Noel Mobbs, O.B.E., and organized under the aegis of Buckinghamshire County Council, the owners of the Estate, and the manufacturers, provides, at prices within the capacity of the local wage earners, amenities - physical, recreative, and educative - a canteen, a nursery school for children from two to five years old, an infant welfare department, gymnasia, dance halls, badminton and billiard rooms, tennis courts, libraries, evening continuation classes, a large indoor heated swimming pool with folding exits to a lido, and a blood transfusion service.
It will be seen, therefore, that not only have the needs of the manufacturers been studied, but also those of their employees.
Brighton Works, which is situated just north-east of Brighton Station, covers approximately nine acres, of which seven are covered by shops and offices.
The boiler shop has two bays. The west bay is served by one 30-ton and one 20-ton overhead travelling crane, while the east bay is served by one 12-ton and one 20-ton overhead travelling crane. Installed in the roof of the high cross bay at the south end of the shop is a 30-ton overhead travelling crane used for lifting boilers which require riveting on the 90-ton hydraulic riveter fitted with a self-contained pump.
Other machines in this shop include a combined shearing and punching machine, a 250-ton plate flanging press served by a creosote-pitch fired furnace, a battery of radial drilling machines, together with a plate edge planer, plate rolls, and "Hicycle" plant for drilling and tapping fireboxes.
At present this shop is mainly employed on the construction of new boilers for the "West Country" class engines, and is laid out on a progressive scheme. An X-ray plant is installed for examination of welding, which process is being extensively employed in the boiler construction on hand.
Boiler repairs are also carried out in this shop, as necessary, to meet the requirements of the Southern Railway fleet.
The erecting shop is divided into two bays, the west bay being served by a 35-ton and a 25-ton overhead travelling crane. The 25-ton crane will shortly be replaced by a new 40-ton crane. The east bay is served by two 35-ton overhead travelling cranes. At the present time a number of War Department "Austerity" locomotives are being reconditioned for use on S.R. and L.N.E.R. Other engine repairs are also undertaken, but the bulk of the work is the building of new "West Country" class locomotives, all of which have, up to the present, been built at Brighton.
The new engine building mainly concentrated in the east bay is carried out on a progressive scheme. The frame plates are laid down at the south end of the shop, and are moved up the shop in stages until they are put on the valve-setting pit. Two sets of motorized valve-setting rolls have been installed in the east bay; the corresponding pits have been equipped with fluorescent lighting.
The south end of the west bay is equipped with two wheel lathes, a crank-axle lathe, and a frame plate slotting machine fitted with a bogie cradle radial drilling machine.
The tool room is equipped with centre lathes, a universal milling machine, and a battery of tool and cutter grinding machines to enable the necessary jigs, gauges, boiler stay taps, etc., to be produced.
The machine shop is divided into four bays. The first contains capstan and centre lathes; the second, slotting, milling, and drilling machines; the third, shapers, centre lathes, horizontal boring machines, and planing machines; and the last bay, further capstan and turret lathes. The horizontal boring machines and large planer are served by a 3-ton overhead travelling hoist. The majority of the machines in this shop are fitted with independent motor drives.
The fitting shop is laid out to deal with the repairs to axleboxes, motion parts, boiler mountings, and other details.
The coppersmith and pipe-fitting shops are equipped with forges, large and small tube-bending plants, and pipe-screwing machines to deal with bending and fitting of copper and steel pipes.
The light plating shop is served by a 10-ton overhead travelling crane, and there is also a plate-splitting machine and an oxy-coal gas profiling machine. This shop is used for the building of smokeboxes and boiler clothing for the "West Country" locomotives.
A small welding shop has been created to deal with a number of welded details other than boilers, and a small brass foundry has been opened.
The supply of compressed air for the numerous pneumatic portable drilling, riveting, and chipping hammers is provided by three air compressors having a combined air delivery of approximately 1,200 cu. ft. per min.
The hydraulic plant is served by a three-throw pump, and water is supplied to the 250-ton plate flanging press, and a 20-ton press, at a pressure of 1,500 lb. per sq. in.
The alternating current supply to Brighton Works from the Brighton Corporation Electricity Works is at 11,000 volts (3phase, 50-cycles) and is reduced by transformers to 440 volts (3-phase, 50-cycles) for power, and 250 volts (3-phase, 50-cycles) for lighting.
A small supply of direct current at 230 volts is used for some •of the older machines and cranes.
The firm is an interesting example of a general engineering business which, from small beginnings in the early years of the last century, has grown into an establishment employing some 3,200 workpeople and staff. Although in the course of this development there have been many changes in the nature of the firm's products, the requirements of the shipbuilding and railway industries have formed a link in the firm's activities, past and present. To these two, the aircraft industry has now been added.
There are two principal works: that at Deptford - the birthplace of the firm - is concerned with electrical and general engineering products; the Charlton works, dating from 1916, concentrate on non-ferrous foundry products.
Deptford. The present works date from 1882, in which year a move was made from the firm's original premises in Deptford High Street. The works, now occupying a site of seven acres, were for a time confined between two sections of what is now the Southern Railway. In 1906 the firm acquired land on the far side of the railway and buildings were erected on this additional site between 1906 and 1927, when a modern four-story reinforced concrete building was built to accommodate the growing electrical side of the firm's business.
Apart from the manufacture of variable-speed gears, special machinery, and a diversity of general engineering products, activities at Deptford are mainly centred on specialities for the railway and shipbuilding industries. In 1895 the firm produced its first equipments for lighting railway carriages by electricity. An axle-driven generator, relying on belt slip for regulation, was used in conjunction with a battery, divided into two, one half of which fed the lights whilst the other half was being charged. A further electro-mechanical device was used for reversing the two halves of the battery every time the train stopped. This original scheme (known as Stone's Double Battery Equipment) was adopted by railways all over the world, and, although not very efficient by modern standards, was extremely simple and reliable, and is still in operation on certain railways to-day. Since that time the systems used for train lighting have been consistently developed and improved, until to-day equipments are manufactured embodying both independent generator and lamp voltage regulators working in conjunction with variable speed generators. These regulators are of the carbon-pile type and, whilst originally introduced to meet the specific requirements of the firm's train lighting systems, have been developed extensively during the last ten years, and a very wide range is now manufactured and supplied, not only to the railways, but also to all the Services and for almost all industrial purposes.
Amongst other interesting equipment manufactured for railways are locomotive headlight and cab-lighting equipments, in this instance the electricity being provided by small steam-driven turbo-alternators, and feed water heaters. Since 1934 the firm has been engaged in the design and manufacture of pressure-ventilation and air-conditioning equipment for railway coaches. The air-conditioning of the train in which the Royal Family recently toured South Africa was a responsibility of the firm.
Watertight doors for passenger ships, and designed for hydraulic, electric, and pneumatic operation, represent one of the principal shipbuilding requirements supplied by these works. Ships' sewage disposal equipment is another speciality. The components of a new type of controllable pitch propeller represent a fresh production activity.
The non-ferrous rivet and nail making department, now associated principally with the aircraft industry, is a development of the firm's century-old business in the manufacture ot copper nails for ships.
In addition to light and heavy machine shops and fitting shops, electrical fitting and assembly, armature and coil winding, blacksmiths, brass, and coppersmiths shops, the Deptford works include a well-equipped tool room and standards room for the checking of gauges, as well as the usual maintenance section. It also includes a metallurgical department, and separate electrical development shops in which prototype equipment is made and tested before being laid out for quantity production.
Charlton. The founding of non-ferrous metals, with which the firm has been associated from its inception, now embraces the aluminium and magnesium light alloy group, in addition to the bronzes and white-metals representing the firm's traditional business.
Bronze propeller manufacture, commenced at Deptford in 1884 and transferred to Charlton in 1916, has developed into the biggest business of its kind in Europe—possibly in the world. Founding, machining, and finishing are carried out in adjoining departments. Many of the largest propellers now in use—such as those for the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth—were produced, to the firm's designs, in these works.
The present light alloy foundry was built in 1942, primarily to meet the then rapidly expanding programme of the Ministry of Aircraft Production. It is in part mechanized, and the layout and equipment incorporate all possible aids to production. During the war years the mechanized section was operated; female labour predominated. The ventilation system, incorporating a number of distinctive features, has proved highly successful and attracted much attention. An illustrated description of this foundry appeared in Mechanical Handling and in The Engineer in 1945*.
Other activities at Charlton include brass and bronze founding, by both hand and machine moulding; centrifugal casting; gravity die casting of aluminium and magnesium alloys, brass, and bronzes; white-metal production; die making, and pattern making.
The metallurgical laboratories are comprehensive and modern. They include departments for radiological examination and spectrographic analysis, as well as chemical, physical, metallurgical, and mechanical testing. The radiological department houses seven X-ray units—three for radiography and four suitable for radiography and screening; equipment for crack detection by the fluorescent method; and gamma-ray equipment for the inspection of dense materials.
The Charlton works as a whole cover an area of 15 acres.
The history of Vauxhall Motors, Ltd., goes back to 1857, when Mr. Alexander Wilson, a Scottish engineer, founded a small business for the manufacture of marine engines in South-West London. He called the firm "Alexander Wilson, Vauxhall Ironworks".
The first petrol engine made by this firm was completed in 1896—a small single-cylinder engine with two opposed pistons. It was tested in a river launch and gave sufficiently good results to justify further experimental work. In 1903 the first Vauxhall car was made, driven by a simple 5 h.p. single-cylinder engine and fitted with tiller steering.
In 1905 the first building was erected on the present site at Luton. Two years later the existing company was formed under the title of Vauxhall Motors, Ltd.
Early Vauxhall models gained many awards on race tracks and in trials; in 1910 a Vauxhall was the first 20 h.p. car in the world to attain a speed of 100 m.p.h. The "Prince Henry" and the "30/98" were among other outstanding models of the period up to 1925.
In 1926 a change was made to volume production methods; a new range of cars was designed, and in 1930 the first Bedford truck came off the line. Also in 1930, the Vauxhall "Cadet" made its appearance; its price was under £300, and it represented a complete departure from the very expensive models with which the name had so long been associated. At this period—actually in 1932—Vauxhall were the British pioneers, as far as low-priced cars were concerned, in the synchromesh type of gear change. The year 1933 saw the introduction of the "Light Six" - forerunner of the present-day Vauxhall "14", and in 1934 independent front suspension was introduced. Expansion continued, until, at the outbreak of war, production was at the rate of 80,000-90,000 cars and trucks per annum.
Production of private cars virtually ceased during the war years. The factory concentrated on the manufacture of military vehicles, and nearly 250,000 Bedford trucks were produced. The 38-ton Churchill tank was another Vauxhall war-time product. It was designed and in production in exactly one year. The firm also acted as parent to ten other factories which produced Churchill tanks, controlling throughout the supply of materials in addition to all engineering design and development work.
To-day, the Vauxhall factory has a floor area of 61 acres, with a total estate area of 130 acres. There are over 11,000 employees. A 5-day, 42k-hour guaranteed week is operated and every employee has two weeks' holiday with full pay. A system of profit sharing has been in operation for eleven years, and a pension scheme has recently been introduced.
Last year, sales in both home and export fields totalled 53,586 vehicles, of which 19,722 were cars and 33,864 were commercial vehicles. Of this total of 53,586, 22,867 went to export or 42.7 per cent of deliveries. It is estimated that the present capacity of the factory is again in the neighbourhood of the immediate pre-war figures of 80,000-90,000 vehicles per year. Shortage of steel and other factors limit expectations of volume to some 60,000 units in 1947.
In the gear shop, the gears enter in the form of blanks and, after being turned, drilled, broached, and cut, are heat-treated before final inspection. They then pass on to the gearbox assembly line.
In the engine machine shop the cylinder block - which is received as a casting - undergoes boring, drilling, tapping, milling, reaming, and honing operations. There is also an interesting plating plant for tinning Bedford pistons. The process of degreasing, washing, and cleaning the pistons is entirely automatic, the work being eventually oven-dried ready for the final machining operations.
The engine assembly shop has several sub-assembly lines feeding the main assembly line. There are two main points of interest; first, the assembly, in a special jig, of the crankshaft, fly-wheel, and clutch, and second, the bedding of these parts in the cylinder block before it traverses the conveyor line to receive a running test of one hour's duration.
On the commercial vehicle line the Bedford chassis frames are riveted by the cold-squeeze process.
In the press shop there are fifty-four large presses up to 1,000 tons capacity, twenty-four medium, and sixty smaller ones.
Several interesting processes can be seen in the passenger body line. All Vauxhall cars are built with an integral chassis and body; there is no separate chassis frame. The line starts with the flash welder which, in a single operation, welds the two body side panels to the rear panel. The next stage is the welding in an assembly jig of this back and roof assembly to the underbody and body front-end assemblies. (Owing to fuel regulations certain of these welding operations are now carried out only at night, but the processes are clearly apparent.) The body then passes through the paint, polish, and trim sections before being lowered through the "body drop" on to the final assembly line. Here are waiting the engine, mounted on a short sub-frame carrying the independent front suspension units, and, at a little distance, the rear-axle and road-spring assembly. The final stages have now been reached, and in less than 45 minutes the completed motor car will be driven off the line.