Reply to post: Re: I can't get the sensor to fit

Roscosmos: An assembly error doomed our Soyuz, but we promise it won't happen again

Alan Brown Silver badge

Re: I can't get the sensor to fit

> The Quality Inspector who was supposed to check assembly before me said, "anyone can make a mistake".

Quality Bru^Hitsh workmanship - and why "Made in the UK" became a warning label across the Commonwealth.

In the fields I worked, even in the late 1980s anything which came out of the UK was regarded with deep suspicion - and this was despite Marconi putting out some quite decent kit.

As for cars - I think the lesson might have finally sunk in when GM tried to reintroduce Vauxhall as a brand in New Zealand in the 1990s and only sold about 3 vehicles until they gave up and rebadged them as Opels. (When Japanese cars went to the same import duty as British cars in 1973, British cars went from 40% of the market to 3% in less than 12 months.)

"If the British Air force pilots or Ariane knew how many errors were spotted and fixed at the last moment"

I'd be far more worried about the botches that _didn't get spotted. One of the reasons for the "deep suspicion" mentioned above was the British love of sending pristine demonstrators, but shoddy sales items which broke down a lot and then stiffing the buyer on warranty support. Wining and dining the bosses might win orders for a while, but Ferranti and a few others lost major orders when staff threatened to strike if they had to work on any more substandard kit - it helped that the accountants pointed out that the "more expensive" Japanese or American kit had a total operating cost far lower than the UK version and generally worked first time (and on budget) instead of needing 2 years of tweaking before being ready.

It wasn't just poor workmanship either: Who on earth designs pieces of equipment that are meant to be opened up to be serviced but doesn't have a wiring harness allowing this to happen? You can guarantee that having to desolder 50+ joints to get the device apart and resolder them afterwards is going to shorten its life. It was obvious that in most cases someone had just taken a prototype and not bothered to make it ready for production/service life before firing it down the assembly line and we ended up making our own replacement looms for a lot of kit in these kinds of cases as it was cheaper than the wasted time dealing with the craptacular originals.

"When I was a lad" - people used to lambast us colonials for a "she'll be right" attitude, but it was pretty obvious that it was nothing to the attitudes in British manufacturing (mainly at management level). Britain joining the EU and dumping all its cozy trading arrangements with former colonies was one of the best favours it could have done those colonies in the long term. They've moved on, but it's clear that the Brexit crowd haven't and they're still convinced that Britain rules all, instead of being a minor northern European country with a far greater interest in getting on extremely well with its neighbours than cosying up to the rich kids over the Atlantic who've repeatedly shown that the "special relationship" is only special when it suits them.

(As for Russian stuff: Surprisingly, their high tech works well, their low tech is bullet proof and everything in between tends to be crap)

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