I typed all this once before but it got lost....so here goes again.
I admire what you are doing at Andover Norton.
Didn't AMC buy Nortons at Bracebridge St, then move it to Woolwich? By all accounts Bracebridge St was straight out of the Victorian era........
I would be the first to point the bone at AMC management, individually and collectively they were bloody awful. Someone who worked at Woolwich told me about the paint and gear thing. In every dark place there may be a little ray of sunshine, maybe these were AMCs little ray!!
Sorry if pressed a few sensitive buttons there Joe.
Couldn't argue about the draftsmen. When I was a lad, to become a trainee draftsman (they were called draughtsmen then) you first had to be a tradesman. I spent some of the last twenty years of my working life showing new draftsmen, freshly qualified with a degree, but not being able to tell a lathe from a mill, how to pictorially describe a part so that it could be made effectively, and where and how to tolerance things. Water off a ducks back though, as they knew everything.
One of the last projects that I had some responsibility for had a specific "proof of concept" stage, to see if the idea worked. Followed by a pause to produce prototype drawings, then a "prototype" stage, then another pause whilst all the drawings, programs etc were updated. Then there was a "pre production" phase, which used basically production drawings, production programs and tools, and made production configuration items, but very slowly, with things being updated as required. Then everything was updated as required, to be honest not much by that stage. Then the button was pressed and off it all went, full rate production. Yes there were sub contract items, yes there were "bought in items"....and yes there were problems, but not very many. Some of our managers one of whom was a lawyer before he started with us (I point that out to demonstrate that he knew little or nothing about engineering), moaned and dripped about the lengthy start up phase, but they were the ones who congratulated themselves when the project was going well. I believe it still is 10 years later.
Even now there are a lot of people in industry who are not aware of the differences between prototypes, development models production models etc
I'm glad that the 3d printer revolution will pass me by. The thought of motorcycles made of 3d printed bits made out of stale porridge leaves me somewhat cool.
Racing, as they used to say, improves the breed. So lets hope that Stuart Garner and Co learn lots from their TT endeavours.
Hopefully the New Norton will follow the path trodden by New Triumph, and become successful.