--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "pullmanboss" <pullmanboss@...> wrote:
Tom has it right, at least as far as the model railroad industry is concerned (and who really cares about computers or musical instruments?) Accurail sells, or has sold trucks, couplers, coupler boxes, wheels, and occasionally car floors to other manufacturers on an OEM basis. These are all our standard parts... it's up to the purchaser to determine if they are suitable for his purpose. We've also custom molded trucks with different bolster dimensions foe MDC and CB&T in the past, but strictly speaking, these aren't OEM sales, because we can't take those parts out of our stock; we have to set up the mold with special components made special for just this job, and the purchaser has to take the whole part run... which means all the set-up costs get charged to his run.
Jon Cagle is in the same class as Tom is himself... a resin caster who will do custom work. Tom did a little run of parts for me some years ago, from my patterns, for use in some Soo Line society passenger car kits. But they weren't a standard part in Tom's line.
It's those set-up charges that keep some of the neat recent parts out of the mainstream kits. If a manufacturer needs 8,000 parts, we can easily either ship from stock, or leave the tool in the press an extra day next time we run the part, and those parts will be almost the same cost as we pay to put them in our own kits. To the little guys, that 8,000 part order is a major run, and they think that's what's going to pay for the tool. There is no economy of scale beyond the run we are asking for, and quite frankly, if I have to pay for someone else's tool, I'd rather just build it myself. That way, I know that the same parts will be available in the future.
Which is another reason that OEM doesn't work well with parts from China.