Rayburn’s top five most difficult manufacturing jobs

March 22, 2021

In last week’s blog, we looked at the top five ‘strangest’ manufacturing jobs Rayburn has taken on in the past sixty plus years; continuing our top five theme for one more week, we take an in depth look at Rayburn’s most ‘difficult’ jobs.

Singapore Airlines – In 2015, Rayburn was approached by Singapore Airlines and asked to design not only the ‘biggest’ meal table that had ever been installed inside an aircraft, but also the most expensive. The meal table came in at 2 1/2f x 3f in size and was a complicated assembly process, but this is not the reason it is on our list of most difficult jobs; the standard of delivery from Singapore Airlines was so high that our engineers had to wear special gloves when handling every single component, as to not leave even the slightest imperfection and after three rejected orders we finally reached a level of perfection that they were happy with.

The Shaft – In 2013, General Electric were looking for a company to make a replica of one of their rotor turbines to be used as a teaching aid. Rayburn took it on, and succeeded in creating each individual component of the rotor a 10th the size of the original.

Chameleons Chipping Machine – In 1995, Rayburn manufactured an automatic chipping machine that would count out casino chips, the project took over eight years in R and D and a whole plethora of setbacks; but eventually Rayburn premiered the ‘Chameleons Chipping Machine’ at the Amusement Trades Exhibition International (ATEI) in London, were it was a huge success.

The Perfect bend – In 1989, Rayburn was approached by the casino company Bell-Fruit to design a coin tube that was bent in such a way that it was nigh-on impossible for coins to get stuck (which was a design flaw many fruit-machines had at that time) and after a long trial and error period, Rayburn decided to deviate from the brief and think outside the box, and began using glycerol (a pharmaceutical) instead of conventional oil to bend the tubes; because glycerol can withstand a high temperature it gave the engineer enough time to achieve the perfect bend.

It’s Going Backwards! – In 2000, Rayburn took on a project from fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger to design a point of sale wall display in the form of a 3D box Dj decks complete with spinning picture vinyl and red light display; the wiring responsible for turning the vinyl disk was subcontracted from another company and upon its installation in our assembly shop it became immediately evident that the wiring was back to front “Why is it going backwards?” it then took a team of engineers to configure the box in such a way that the wiring was still usable.

Next weeks blog, will feature an interview with Rayburn’s CEO John Griffiths as well as the future of CNC machining.