Two-Tier Wage System?

18 Sep

As you can see on this link, the US is looking to reinvigorate its depressed jobs market by allowing the Big 3 car makers to employ new workers for $14.00 per hour, whilst veteran workers earn twice that amount. Even at this rate, employers received 100,000 applications.

Australia has wage issues of its own. The mining boom (with all of its attached wage rise complications) has drawn some of the best talent to work in rural Australia, whilst sapping the balance of the economy of labour. Wages in many fields have risen, although manufacturing jobs have been steadily going by the wayside.

Instead of a rise in unemployment, all we are going to see is a shift in the patterns of employment. Mining is going to be the major beneficiary, yet wages will not shift at all, even after the influx of new miners.

The question still remains, of how someone earning $560.00 per week can afford to look after a family. I am not fully aware of the total cost of living in Michigan but I’m sure that making ends meet would be hard at that income level. Still, beggars can’t be choosers.


Out With The Old, In With The New

14 Sep

Well, All Torque Preston’s trusty old laptop whirred and fizzed its last noises last week, before keeling over and yelling “Enough!!”

Life’s Good, claimed the logo on the front of Ol’ Faithful, but life turned pretty ugly very quickly as we hurriedly hunted down our last backup dongle.  Luckily, it was only from the previous day so there wasn’t too much that needed to be recovered.

  Left – Greg at work on Ol’ Faithful. May he rest in peace.

Crisis management became the catchcry of the day.  We organised for a new desktop to be built (something we had in the pipeline anyway, so we just had to bring it forward), whilst a reserve laptop was rushed into temporary service.  Our new computer arrived this week and it is FANTASTIC!  All of a sudden, our computing power has skyrocketed to today and has made our lives a lot more straightforward.

If there was a moral to this story, I would say that keeping up to date with technology may be expensive, but the cost of not doing so is frightening, especially when something goes wrong.

Q. Why Will Customer Service Always Be King?

8 Sep

A. Unhappy customers tell everyone.

Torque in Gear Drive Design

3 Sep

There is one key issue that many users of power transmission equipment have when detailing their requirements with us; underestimating the torque requirements of a particular drive.

Many is the time a customer will say “it is only going very slowly” without realising that this is how a lot of torque is generated. Most gear drives utilise a four pole electric motor (1400 RPM) on the input and reductions generate torque as a function of their ratio.
When converting motor design power for a particular job into the output torque, the following formula is used: Torque (Nm) = (Motor Power (kW) x 9550) / Speed (RPM of output shaft). As we can see, the denominator is speed, so the slower the unit is going, the less we divide by and the higher the torque value. In American terms, Torque (in lb-ft) = (Motor Power (HP) x 5252) / Speed (RPM).
Very large reductions will require a very large gearbox, usually with an electric motor that looks tiny in comparison and out of place.

Poor Coffee Retailers

29 Aug

Why does every charity, pay TV provider, insurance company (and many, many others) choose to quantify how much their product is by equating it in coffee terms? How many times have we heard that by giving up a coffee a day, we can do something?

If we give up our daily coffee (which I consider an absolute daily must, not a luxury!) the first time, we can only give it up once. I can only give it up once to sponsor a child, get funeral insurance or buy a coffee – oh wait, not that last one.

A daily coffee is obviously a luxury that advertisers think we can do without. Do they dislike the poor coffee farmers the world over, not to mention our dairy farmers? Come to think of it, the cups are made in Australia, too.

Matching Output With Demand

28 Aug

Significant Australian steel manufacturer (and All Torque Transmissions customer), Bluescope, has recently announced 1000 job losses across its Australian manufacturing operations. As usual, the strength of the Australian dollar has made the price of exported product prohibitive.

This news comes fresh on the heels of manufacturing job losses at Heinz, SPC and Ford, where reaching a shutdown decision was made easier by the lack of international demand. All three are also All Torque customers.

Economists the world over sing the praises of an economy that expolits what it is good at, whilst less efficient industries shrivel up and die. In this sense, comparative advantage is a relative term, as Australia enjoys a virtual resource monopoly on much of what it has.

Economists are also quick to point out that consumers value variety and are willing to pay for it. As each Australian manufacturer becomes a ‘former Australian manufacturer’, that variety is being continually and quickly eroded.

Luckily, Australia’s poor mining fraternity lobbied the Australian government for a lesser mining super profits tax, so the sharholders can sleep well at night.