In the first week of 2018 I was asked to produce a body of work for a Midlands based engineering company, specialising in overhauling diesel engines from commercial vehicles such as trucks and buses. Many people have the idea that precision engineering nowadays only takes place in stark white, clinical facilities with engineers wearing white coats, watching CNC machines at work from their laptops. Whilst that is true for some types of light engineering, in the world of heavy industry, the air hangs thick with the smell of hot metal and oil and the engineers aren’t afraid of plunging their hands deep into the bowls of darkened engines.
The tarnish of oil and silvery swarf isn’t to be confused with inattention. These engineers use their tools, lathes and machines with the upmost care and precision, creating a finely tuned diesel engine which runs more smoothly, efficiently and environmentally friendly than before it entered the workshop.