Systems of quality control within general engineering practice are very much a twentieth-century development, gaining impetus in the second world war, yet only developing and coming into universal use recently. Pressure for improved quality and reliability appeared in the early years of the railways when locomotives were bought from contractors such as Robert Stephenson & Co., the Vulcan Foundry and Nasmyth, Gaskell & Co. The GWR and GJR (Grand Junction Rly) had similar experiences almost simultaneously: varieties of locomotives from different builders had high failure rates, particularly with crankshafts. These problems led to locomotive design and construction facilities being set up within the railways’ own organisations at Crewe and Swindon. At Swindon Gooch produced lithographed detailed drawings, specifications and iron templates to send to contractors who built locomotives or supplied castings, forgings and other major components.
KeywordsFatigue Welding Steam Drilling Defend
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