When purchasing any form of product the most that the average buyer will see is the finished article.
While they will appreciate the time and effort that has gone into making it, they will never properly understand the processes that have gone into it. At Mamod, a dedicated team painstakingly puts every piece together to ensure that the steam models which are sold to the consumer are the very best they have to offer.
Since the Terry family took over the company in the early 1990s, Mamod has come on leaps and bounds and remains a popular brand across the UK, and even further afield, to this very day. So who are the people behind the Mamod brand, in the first of our series into the workings of Mamod we start with a key job role – design engineer.
The job of design engineer is a vital one to the way Mamod operates. It forms the basic idea of a new product and then can put the wheels in motion to get a project off the ground. The company has had the same design engineer for over 20 years and despite him originally wanting to a be train driver, he has helped to bring some of the most memorable engines through.
Starting out in engineering in 1992 they held down a position at fellow engineering company Thomas Johnson. At the time they were tasked with checking the tools when they arrived and then to establish a plan of repairing and refurbishment. This ensured that the firm would be able to identify why certain products did not work.
Moving to Mamod in 1996, they originally started in the tool room before moving across the quality control and eventually becoming a design engineer. The role has allowed them to become creative and with the years of experience assessing what does and does not work for certain engines, it was a perfect opportunity to build some new and exciting models.
Under their stewardship, Mamod has produced some innovative models not seen before in the steam world, none more so than the Brunel. This model, which has an upright boiler as opposed to a horizontal, was a first for Mamod and one that the design team was especially proud of.
It was not just a case of being pleasing to the staff but it also resonated with the public and has since become one of Mamod's most popular models. There have been obstacles along the way, such as when working with the Diamond Jubilee locomotive, but with a number of tweaks or sometimes major overhauls the designer has been able to amend any problems that may have occurred.
So what does the future hold in the design side of things more Mamod? Well, the design engineer believes there will be a shift towards new and better high spec engines as well internally fired engines and maybe even electric models.
But what is the best part of a design engineer's day? Quite simply "going home, coming up with an idea and designing it before seeing it go into production".