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Elphine, supported by a group of enthusiastic investors, set out to build a batch of 1/8th scale replicas of a 1920s steam train – the GWR 4575 class ‘Prairie’. These types of trains would have been a common sight on British railway lines a hundred years ago scurrying around hauling passenger and goods the length and breadth of the country. The scale locos are approximately 1.6m long, weigh in at around ¾ ton and are built and operate in exactly the same way as the originals. Painstaking research has reformed the original drawing set for the locomotive and the replicas follow these for their 1,000 parts and 10,000 fasteners.
Technifast’s manufacturing division is dedicated to producing small and complex turned parts for many industries, and were pleased to have the opportunity to be a part of this unique and exciting project. The production and manufacture of all the precision turned parts was undertaken by Technifast, including the shafts, pins and several complex multi-operational components, including a series of handrail pillars for the locomotive.
David Griffiths of Elphine explained why he decided Technifast were the perfect partner for this project. “I was looking for a low effort engagement with a supplier, Elphine is a tiny company with just a few staff we need someone who is easy and quick to work with. With Technifast, everything is just that, straightforward and speedy. Quotes come back straight away and there are never any mistakes, queries about missing dimensions are handled with minimal effort, and invoicing ties up exactly with our RFQs.”
“Everything is just plain easy and we don’t have the time or effort to sort out a myriad of little problems each day. They are quick too and consistently quick so everything is predictable,” continued David.
“Cost is of course important and to ensure we were receiving value for money I have benchmarked Technifast’s prices for different parts against 5 different suppliers including two based in Asia and for the volumes we order (100 offs) they have been excellent. Also the pricing is consistent, so in a batch there aren’t odd parts with widely different prices that cause you the effort of splitting up an order across multiple suppliers, getting more quotes – all hassle that you just don’t need.”
David concluded: “Quality is vital. Not just because of its effect on the finished product but because of the time it takes to correct issues. I have ordered over 100 parts, including tricky, tiny multi-operation parts and have yet to have an inspection failure”.