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  #21  
Old 05-04-2017, 11:13 AM
foresthillbilly foresthillbilly is offline
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foresthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy diet
The Monday after every race, the factory staff were briefed on what happened in the previous day's race. We all go into the plush canteen area, where Ron Dennis and perhaps aided by an engineer/designer give a summary of the race, then a Q&A session with the workers.
Everyone piles into the coffee and croissants to take to the tables, and the place is rammed.
Ron spoke for around half an hour, in quite precise detail about the problems they had with the cars in the race, but applauded everyone's contribution. The croissants and coffee were excellent.
Ron has a couple of philosophies that he seems to always hold onto
1. Always strive for perfection/to be the best
2. Make the working environment so good, that the workers won't want to go home.
and so after the Q & A, we walk out into the factory,...where I am detailed to the carbon fibre workshop
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  #22  
Old 09-04-2017, 01:06 PM
foresthillbilly foresthillbilly is offline
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foresthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy diet
And so I am working in the carbon fibre section where moulds are supplied for things like exterior bodywork,, brake cowlings and of course the monocoque, which is completed in many sections before being 'glued' together.

You only remember the Fck-Ups
There's work benches for the 5 workers, rolls and rolls of carbon fibre and two big ovens where the curing is done.
My first task is to remove some carbon fibre from their moulds (having been cured), chuck the moulds and then trim the carbon fibre.

BUT, I've never seen carbon fibre before. I know carbon fibre is very strong, so out of the two elements I am given, the sturdy thick black material must be carbon fibre, and the flimsy flexible stuff must be the mould,...right ? wrong.

My mentor recovers the carbon fibre sections from the bin,...and I don't make any more fck-ups at McLaren again.

Mid-morning , and the 3 litre V10 engine for next season is fire-up in the factory. Immediately it is given a real thrashing for up to half an hour, whilst the engineers check telemetry.

I am told the engines arrived late last Friday evening, and the team were so keen to check them over, they wheeled them into the outdoor car park for 'testing'
(McLaren's factory although in an Industrial Estate, was also right next door to a residential estate)
I think it was around 10pm when the police arrived to curtail further testing. McLaren subsequently had to undertake a PR exercise with local residents, who they were anxious not to upset
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  #23  
Old 09-04-2017, 04:21 PM
foresthillbilly foresthillbilly is offline
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foresthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy diet
and so I continue in the carbon fibre department for the rest of the week. It is brain-numbingly boring for me. The experience made better by the fine surroundings and enthusiastic workers.

I think the idea of putting people in the carbon fibre area was to ascertain their skills. Some poorly qualified people were employed if they could show endeavour, transferable skills and a willingness for 'the cause'. Once employed by McLaren there were possibilities for development/progression of your career into other departments, if you have the determination and the skill-set.

Carbon fibre people worked on developments to this years car, replacing components after crashes and also producing components for the next season's car.

Wasn't really my sort of thing. A bit 'low-brow' for me
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  #24  
Old 09-04-2017, 04:46 PM
foresthillbilly foresthillbilly is offline
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foresthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy diet
And so the next week, I am transferred to the machine shop. Wahay !

But I am used to manual lathes, millers and vertical drills. What I see is light-years from what I've studied at college.
Instead of working to drawings and doing my own machining, these computer-controlled machines are CNC-type (google it), where the designers transmit their plans direct to the engineers machine.
The Engineer has to set-up the work and machine, but essentially after the 'start' button is pressed , you can go for lunch and return a couple of hours later to the finished item. Most workers always kept a check on their machines, even if it was only every 30 minutes.

You only remember the fck-ups, Pt 2

And so the most intricate machining was done on the gearbox casing, where the rear suspension and engine was attached to . The casing was made of magnesium alloy and had to have around 100 machining actions completed on it to attach the additional components.
And so this machinist had set his gearbox up, set the tooling,...and pressed 'start'.

In the second hour of his lunch break the fire alarms goes of. His CNC machine has run out of cutting coolant, and the magnesium alloy has caught fire. The factory is full of smoke.
In a panic the engineer runs from the canteen, dons asbestos gloves, shut the CNC machine down and removes the gearbox casing, (and in spite of the dazzling fire) throws the casing through the factory window, and into the rear car park.

Makes my carbon fibre exploit look a bit pitiful

Last edited by foresthillbilly; 09-04-2017 at 05:20 PM.
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  #25  
Old 09-04-2017, 05:30 PM
foresthillbilly foresthillbilly is offline
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foresthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy diet
Fabrication

One thing that struck me was that none of the workers did any cleaning to their work areas. As soon as they had finished a piece of work , the cleaners moved in and made the area immaculate. That is efficiency.

Previously, I had only done arc welding and oxy-acetylene welding. MIG welding (metal inert gas) was only a few years old to the wider public. That is where the weld is shielded by gas during welding to prevent premature corrosion.

And so I get to try TIG welding (tungsten inert gas). really tricky, but I master it and make a few items to take home as souvenirs.

The machines they had were awesome. Some bending stuff for making exhaust pipes and wheel uprights (the things the stub axles and brake disks are bolted to). I've still got a wheel upright somewhere,...

I worked in the paintshop, but was exciting as ,...

However, I was riding motorbikes around this time (Honda CB750), and the paint team offered to paint my crash helmet in Senna/Prost colours, or whatever I wanted.

Also the black paint used on wishbones etc was exceptionally thin. and this was so that if they x-rayed components to look for fractures, the paint wouldn't obscure the vision

Last edited by foresthillbilly; 10-04-2017 at 05:54 AM.
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  #26  
Old 09-04-2017, 05:44 PM
foresthillbilly foresthillbilly is offline
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foresthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy diet
inspection department

and so I work with Vic for a few days.
All fabricated items/machined items, are sent to the inspection department, where things are measured for tolerances with chronometers, by hand.

All details are recorded: supplier of material, worker who produced the item, etc, etc.

All superfluous nuts and bolts are supplied by the aviation/aerospace industries.

Very tedious work.

Not for me
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  #27  
Old 11-04-2017, 04:40 PM
foresthillbilly foresthillbilly is offline
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foresthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy diet
And so my final day is spent with the race team, as they offload the cars from the lorry transporters and wheel into the factory for dismantling.
As Honda are the engine suppliers their technicians deal with everything in the main engine block. However , McLaren supply and fit ancillary stuff, like fuel tank, exhaust pipes, radiators (oil and water) and turbo intercoolers.

Am pleased to finally get to work with the finished product, and that McLaren have deemed me worthy to do so. straight forward stuff really, not much different from my MK2 Escort.
Everything is stripped off the car and sent for testing, to see if anything is damaged.
Seems a bit trivial, but most of the engineers in the factory had their Snap-on tool boxes plastered with 'staff only' stickers and memorabilia, a lot of it signed by Senna and Prost.
I might have the odd one hidden somewhere.

Also the bonus scheme at the time was workers were given 100 per championship point the team earned after a race.. I don't recall the points total that season (google it), except to say McLaren won 15 out of 16 races, so a lot of people got a bumper wage packet that season.

Also McLaren staff got free clothing. Trainers, trousers, T-shirts and big bomber jackets for outdoors.

As I left, the Works Manager said to give them a call when I'd completed by course, and it was likely they could find a place for me.
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  #28  
Old 24-04-2017, 06:38 AM
foresthillbilly foresthillbilly is offline
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foresthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy diet
it was around 1995 when a certain team weren't doing too well.

In order to express his dissatisfaction, a Director got a hi-ab to lift that seasons car onto the landing in-front of the designers offices.

"I want the people responsible to walk past and look at that piece of shlt every morning/evening until they put it right"
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  #29  
Old 28-04-2017, 09:30 AM
foresthillbilly foresthillbilly is offline
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foresthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy diet
My career at McLaren never got started. I was in a heavy duty motorcycle crash a week after my McLaren interview. I spent a month in hospital and over a year recovering at home.
Shortly after I was deemed fit for work (1991), McLaren got in touch. Because of the length of time spent recovering, they couldn't offer me a position as a technician/engineer.

However, they could offer me a position as a driver. No, not with Senna and Berger, but as a van driver, scooting round the country, collecting stuff for the factory.
I told them to go fck themselves, which was a really bad career move. Once you get into a Formula 1 team, you have accomplished the most difficult part. There is plenty of freedom to progress to other departments

My loss
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  #30  
Old 28-04-2017, 09:43 AM
foresthillbilly foresthillbilly is offline
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foresthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy diet
McLaren's new factory

We all make fck-ups , part 345

So McLaren began work on an all-singing/dancing factory in 1999 - opened in 2003. Lots of new furniture was acquired and put into storage in a hangar at Farnborough air field (Hampshire)
To view the link you have to Register or Login

Woking Council were keen not to lose their most famous company, so made endeavours to ensure McLaren got the site they wanted - subject to conditions.
To reduce visual/noise environmental impact, a lot of the main building is underground. Subsequently the foundations come into contact with groundwater, so water pumps continually operate to pump the water away from the building footings.

It even has a test track to run the cars around the site.

After many months in storage at Farnborough, the furniture is ready to be moved to the new site. But the internal factory doors are not big enough for quite a lot of the furniture.
Don't know who's fault it was, or how it was resolved. I think they probably went and had to buy some new furniture that fitted through the doors

It's a shame Ron Dennis had to step aside. He had the right mentality for getting things perfect.

And that's it from me.
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  #31  
Old 28-04-2017, 10:03 AM
bkcbongo bkcbongo is offline
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bkcbongo : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of minebkcbongo : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of minebkcbongo : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of minebkcbongo : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of minebkcbongo : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of minebkcbongo : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of minebkcbongo : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of minebkcbongo : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of minebkcbongo : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of minebkcbongo : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of minebkcbongo : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of mine
Fun read, thanks. Is there an underground test track for development cars? One of the rumours that goes around Woking!

I live nearby and the McLaren centre has an air of Q's labs about it, shielded from view from the roads!
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  #32  
Old 28-04-2017, 10:06 AM
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ob13 : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of mineob13 : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of mineob13 : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of mineob13 : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of mineob13 : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of mineob13 : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of mineob13 : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of mineob13 : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of mineob13 : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of mineob13 : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of mineob13 : if all you've got to do today is find peace of mind, come round, you can take a piece of mine
So what did you do for a living in the end?
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  #33  
Old 28-04-2017, 10:16 AM
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hatter8142 hatter8142 is offline
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hatter8142 Sam the man is herehatter8142 Sam the man is herehatter8142 Sam the man is herehatter8142 Sam the man is herehatter8142 Sam the man is herehatter8142 Sam the man is herehatter8142 Sam the man is herehatter8142 Sam the man is herehatter8142 Sam the man is herehatter8142 Sam the man is herehatter8142 Sam the man is here
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So what did you do for a living in the end?
He became a Professional Bullshitter, he has a history of it on Hol.
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  #34  
Old 28-04-2017, 10:21 AM
foresthillbilly foresthillbilly is offline
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foresthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietforesthillbilly came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy diet
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So what did you do for a living in the end?
I went to University and qualified as an Environment Consultant for developers.

I mentally beat myself up for quite a few years for "what could have been" had I not crashed a motorbike , then declined a job as driver at McLaren.

Mind you, I've lost other potential careers:
Fighter pilot (poor eyesight)
RAF engineer (back injury)
teacher (thankless task)
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