Producing a Mamod model does not happen by magic and takes months of preparation and careful manufacturing. But what does the average Mamod employee do when they clock into the company's premises in Smethwick? Here is a snapshot of what happens in day-to-day at Mamod headquarters.
A typical day starts at 7am when the factory doors are opened and this is the same every working day apart from over weekends, Christmas, New Year and Whitsun. A team of eight staff are permanently based at the Smethwick although not all are contracted to full working hours and it will depend on the workload of that week.
The factory requires various specialist staff to operate the multitude of machinery. Mamod boasts milling machines, drillers, tappers, power presses, hydraulics, spot welders, pop riveters along with a host of other key tools needed for producing its models. With this in mind, the company employs a milling machine operator and valve specialist to ensure they get the very best people working on intricate parts of the model.
Despite Mamod employing specialist professionals, no one person's job role is 100 per cent distinct and all the team will find themselves working together and helping out when they are needed. Having a small group of people has been one of the strengths of Mamod's operation as they all develop a good working knowledge of all aspects of the factory, making for a smooth process.
With only 20 per cent of Mamod's stock being outsourced, the majority of parts are manufactured in house. This allows the company to monitor the quality throughout the process and gives customers the best purchasing price. Only aspects such as plastics work, painting, plating and lasering are carried beyond the walls of Mamod.
As employees prepare the orders for dispatch there are the occasional enthusiast that like to collect their product in person. Those that do are given a grand tour of the factory and given a run through of how the models are put together. This will include demonstrations, especially if they are picking up a brand new product, to show customers how they the company is constantly evolving.
This level of customer service is something that the firm prides itself on and is committed to maintaining a strong relationship between itself and its customer base. Those that are new to the world of steam will also be given a demonstration by one of Mamod's specialist on how to set up and run the model when they take it away.
Before any model can be taken away, it must go through quality control. This is something that current owners of Mamod have working hard to improve since they took over in 1992. Back then the company had a ten per cent rejection rate but, thanks to the hard work of its engineers, this figure has been slashed to 0.5 per cent. Production faults have been identified and improved while investment has also been increased to reduce the risk of rejection.
Following a full day of manufacturing, dispatching deliveries and receiving orders, Mamod closes its door at 4pm and awaits another day of production.