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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 11 (June 1, 1930)

Significance of Labour-aiding Devices

Significance of Labour-aiding Devices.

In concluding the review of machinery factors, it would be incomplete if one omitted to mention the degree to which mechanical aids have been utilised. The layout of the shops indicates an appreciation of the advantages of machinery. Old, obsolete machinery passed away with the demolition of the Newmarket shops. Wherever machines can do the work these have been installed, so that production is now increasing while time schedules indicate a decreasing time-span on the job. But that is not all. Considerable thought has been given to economy of time and effort in small details. As a result, there are labour saving devices in all the shops. As an instance, the riveters use a small holder, adjustable, by means of a lever, to changing working conditions. This page 40 holder fits over the head of the rivet and maintains it securely in place until the operation is complete. The idea originated in the works and has been adopted in all the shops. The efficiency of this tool, as against the hammer of former days, cannot be denied. Then there is a simple machine used for lifting the carriage off the bogies. This “lifting” machine is a strange agglomeration of parts. The standards are part of an obsolete machine, while worms, motor-cycle chains and similar pieces make a complete whole, simple in mechanical construction, besides requiring little power for manipulation. In the painting shop an adjustable ladder is hourly in use. It is designed to fit any car, giving, at the same time, a grade suitable for men whose hands are full. It was admitted that considerable thought as to grade and stability were involved in its manufacture, but, when the time and effort saved in the aggregate were reckoned up, the return must run into millions per cent., or, conversely, “overhead,” the bugbear of many concerns, was proportionately lowered.