Re: [7x10minilathe] South Bend's doors are locked.
- Anybody in or near South Bend? There may be a bankruptcy of foreclosure
auction before all is said and done. Maybe even completed or partially
completed lathes. There may be some list members that would be interested
in one of the last SB lathes ever made.
- --- Bob Sunley <rosunley@...> wrote:
> On 31 May 2002, at 23:55, bob@... wrote:http://www.southbendtribune.com/stories/2002/05/31/local.20020531-sbt-MARS-A1-Plant_shut.sto
> Seen on another group
>"I wish I had a nickel for every guy that has told me,
> You may have to reassemble the url.
'My dad or my granddad has got one of your lathes in
his basement or garage,'" Deka said.
There's the problem, their stuff is built too damn
good. ;) Market saturation really sucks, eh? So does
not having a plan to be nimble in the way of
competition. :P At least this one wasn't done in by
a payroll out of balance with company income with
wages averaging $13-$14 an hour. Were they doing
any CNC stuff? Without that there's no surprise
about their troubles. It also looks like they had
too limited of a product line. Lathes and rubber
roll grinders. What else? Finding or even better,
creating a market niche has been a big key to
survival for many "legacy" companies.
For example, Polaroid kept a hammerlock on instant
photography, suing rival Kodak each time they dared
try to sell an instant camera. That fierce protection
blinded the company to the digital photography
revolution and they were late to the party. Now
filed for bankruptcy or "financial restructuring".
Knowing when your historical core business is on the
outs and coming up with new products is how most
companies survive. Only those that produce stuff that
people have and will always need can afford to
ignore the changing wind in the marketplace.
I'll bet that if South Bend put the effort into it
they could build a $300 7x12 lathe far superior
to the Homier, as long as the workforce can keep
it in mind that the health and profitability of their
employer directly affects their having a job or not
and how much of the profit can be afforded for
What if we all contacted the right people at
South Bend and suggested that they look into serving
the hobbyist market with a superior product? Even
at the highest price (Micro-Mark) a lathe that's
truly ready to roll out of the box would have the
upper hand. Modern equipment and a small (heck, they
had that) and efficient workforce could overcome
dirt cheap labor and early 20th century manufacturing
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- Here is a picture taken a few weeks ago of a 53 year old SouthBend
lathe. It is a 16/24" by 12' bed. My Pop used it until about 10 years
ago, but it is still in use. Note. The jobs are important, not
cleaning up the chips!
Here is the URL:
Let the Chips Fly... Varmint Al