Re: InterMountain HO Scale Two-Bay Hoppers (Re-Release)-now Why Aren't There Production Kits?


SamClarke
 

Hello group,

I'm only going chime in with a few comments.

First, our "primary" products are "couplers". If we depended only on
"freight cars" we would not be in business, freight cars are a "secondary
product" for us more or less a sideline. We offer "kit" forms of some of our
freight cars and kits are more labor intensive than fully assembled RTR
cars. The time it takes to pull, count, and package all the parts and
instructions is more than putting the parts on an assembled car without
instructions.

On some cars it takes 2 to 3 years to do all the tooling for a complete new
freight car this includes different sorts of assembly jigs and such.

One of the biggest issues we have is finding "skilled" labor or even
somebody that actually wants to work. There is a distinct shortage of
skilled labor in this country and even if someone wanted to open a new model
manufacturing operation in the USA they I doubt they could find enough
people to work that would be willing to be trained or develop simple
assembly skills at an affordable labor rate. Actual labor "wages" is a lot
different than what a "labor rate" is.

We have a small group of very skilled people some have been with Kadee for
more than 30 years, that's the kind of skill and experience that can not
easily be replaced. This is my 26th year with Kadee and I'm planning on
retiring "sometime" this year, perhaps I might do some part time work here,
I just don't yet. Golf, fishing, and my art work are waiting.

We don't have a quality control issue, as other manufacturer's might have,
we just step into the back room and take care of it.

Nobody does business like Kadee does so I can't see comparing Kadee with
other manufacturers. This is our 75th year and we plan on being around for a
long time to come.

Now I've said more than I planned on, sorry.

Sam Clarke
R&D / Tech Advisor / Artist
Kadee Quality Products Co.
mail@kadee.com
541-826-3883

-----Original Message-----
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf
Of Gerald Henriksen
Sent: Monday, July 26, 2021 1:48 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] InterMountain HO Scale Two-Bay Hoppers
(Re-Release)-now Why Aren't There Production Kits?

On Sun, 25 Jul 2021 15:20:46 -0700, you wrote:

Charlie Vlk wrote:

If somebody wanted to go through the hassle of setting up a full-blown
factory here in the US, talk to Accurail, Bowser, Con-Cor, Atlas,
Inter-Mountain, or any other of the companies that eventually had to
partially or completely give in to overseas production or assembly.

Or maybe you would want to talk to Kadee instead. C'mon, Charlie.
Don't think customers would be happy to limit themselves to the small number
of models that Kadee has found it profitable to make.

Or take Bowser, who per their recent video still appear to do the tooling
and injection in the US - but spend years tooling up 1 new model.

We want more variety than that, and more complicated models, and that means
China or the next low cost jurisdiction.

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