Monday, January 15, 2018

All Aboard The Micro Engineering Express

By Donna Turner

In 1964, Robert Rands decided to take his love and passion for building model trains to the next level. He saw a business opportunity, and that was what got Rail Craft Products going, which was the original name of the company. While starting small and at first only offering a few different products, the demand of their customers continued to grow, and so they offered more and more different products, and the company was renamed Micro Engineering to be a better reflection of this.

The first product that the Rail Craft company offered to its customers was a very special narrow gauge track that Robert Rands designed himself and was the first ever to manufacture. This was a new prototype that he specifically made to fit the HOn3 trains better than the existing tracks. All this was done so that the model tracks could better represent the real tracks that they are modeled after.

The Code 55 rail was a popular product that this company designed and manufactured. This led to them offering many other types and sizes of track, eventually leading to the highly popular Flex-Trak. It became necessary for the business to change its name since they were offering a more and more diverse range of products.

It is clear that Bob passed his love of model trains on down to his children. Ron Rands, one of his sons, brought his own passion to the company in 1972. In 1981, Richard, another of Bob's sons, also decided to join, but he would later leave in 1997 to pursue other business ventures. Many of the products he developed can still be bought.

In order to create all of the amazing products that this company makes, plenty of specialized equipment is required. This can include everything from injection molding machines, various types of tooling, to CNC milling machines. That is why in order to be able to deliver all of these products and develop new ones, the company moved into a bigger building for their tool and die shop.

Companies that have been around for longer have the advantage of being able to know exactly what their customers want and knowing the best way to deliver quality products that are exactly what their customers want. Having been in business for over 50 years, this company has plenty of experience. With that experience, they bring the same enthusiasm that they've always had.

People build models for all kinds of reasons, but one of the great benefits of partaking in this kind of hobby is that it can cause fine motor skills to improve. This is great for those who tend to be uncoordinated or clumsy and find themselves knocking things over left and right. Designing and setting up these tiny models can also improve handwriting over time.

The fun thing about these model setups is that they don't ever have to be finished. There are all kinds of accessories such as businesses, bridges, and foliage that can make any model railroad highly unique. The possibilities are limited only to the modeler's creativity.

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