Tradition versus technology

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Tradition versus technology

DT trip to Morgan and Land Rover

Middle Fifth Design and Technology pupils visited the Morgan and Land Rover manufacturing facilities on Monday 15 May as part of their GCSE course.

Twenty-five pupils accompanied by Head of DT Mr Rose, DT teacher Mr Lowles and Science Technician Miss Lewis observed the vast array of processes, technologies, quality control systems and considered the staff and automation they saw.

The trip began the previous day with indoor go karting at a track in Stourbridge. The fiercely contested races were won by Alf Raynor, with Archie Tamblyn and Alex Foster coming second and third. Tom Peters achieved the fastest lap time. This was a very popular event.

After a night’s stay in Droitwich the group first toured the Morgan production facility. They observed the traditional skills of craftsmen creating handmade aluminium bodies over ash frames, and the birth of these well-known classic cars, of which 75% are exported, from bare chassis to road testing.

The afternoon saw a visit to the Land Rover production facility in Birmingham and specifically the Discovery line, which was quite a contrast with hundreds of robots on the assembly line and the largest aluminium sheet metal fabrication plant in the world, testament to the billions of pounds invested by TATA, and highlighting the need for programmers in the industry.

One building alone was the size of 12 football pitches, and many of the sights they saw were observed in silent awe! One particular highlight was observing the effect on a body panel of a fly getting into one of the sheet metal presses!

Mr Rose said both these manufacturers were a huge inspiration to the pupils.

“Land Rover made 434,311 vehicles last year, only making vehicles to order, while Morgan made just over 1000, and both enjoyed massive demand for their products worldwide,” he said.

Tom Peters said the land Rover factory was excellent as it gave him an insight into engineering.

“The contrast between the two factories was unbelievable,” said Oscar Stewart.