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BIG INTERVIEW - Dr Rainer Noch

Stuart Jordan

STUART JORDAN talks to Dr Rainer Noch, Managing Director of Noch GmbH & Co KG.

Rainer Noch

Dr Rainer Noch.

Stuart Jordan: Noch have been in the modelling business for a very long time, founded by your great-grandfather in 1911. What changes to the industry have you observed since you have been working in it?

Rainer Noch: I joined the company in 1994, so I've only been a small part of our long company history. Around ten to fifteen years ago the Laser-Cut technology brought major changes. This technology allows us to produce lower quantity runs without high tooling investment. The latest development, 3D printing technology, will bring an even higher dynamic into the production processes. The major change in the markets has for sure been the possibility to buy online.

SJ: How important is the fact that you are still a family business after all these years?

RN: I think that this is a major advantage as we are able to make decisions fast and be flexible.

SJ: What processes lead to the decision to produce a new product, is it your own personal preference (or that of your staff) or feedback from customers?

RN: Our new products are planned by a team of five people. In this team there are model railroaders as well as business minded guys. In our regular meetings we discuss our own ideas, the ideas of our worldwide partners as well as the ideas from our customers. When a new product is being developed, it is sometimes even difficult to say where the idea came up first.

SJ: Here at Gaugemaster we do our best to promote your products and educate our customers on their uses, how important is the UK market to Noch?

RN: For us it is one of the biggest markets in Europe besides Germany.

Noch Football Pitch

The Noch Football Stadium, the 2016 limited edition model.

SJ: For the Euro 2016 Championship Noch produced a range of football teams in national colours, and the football pitch to go with them. Are there any other plans to produce other sporting figures, perhaps for the 2019 Cricket World Cup? British modellers are crying out for a set of cricketers.

RN: That would be interesting. I personally know nothing about cricket, and I have no clue if there was a market. But I am quite sure that we can find a nice solution if Gaugemaster approached us!

SJ: Which of your products are you most proud of?

RN: Thatís a very difficult question as I am proud on many of our products. I am proud on our technical abilities here in Germany, like the Polyurethane production (used for the layout boards and tunnels - Ed) or the Laser-Cut models. I am proud on our fully automated warehouse. But at the same time I am proud on the handpainting abilities if our colleagues in Vietnam, who produce our miniature figures. I think I am just proud of our team.

Noch Laser Cut

N66504 Bakery Kit. Yes, this is a laser-cut kit, not plastic. Built out of the box with little painting required. With minimal adaptation, this kit could be a medieval era building in Britain.

SJ: What new products do you currently have in development?

RN: I think you will understand that I canít give you an answer on this question, but just today I had a great meeting with one of our external modellers who did two great new models for us, that we will proudly present at the next Nuremberg Toy Fair in February 2018.

SJ: What does 2018 hold for Noch?

RN: We are very positive minded. Our market is quite stable and the model railroaders love to build scenery. Now it is our job to develop the models they are looking for. I am thankful for Gaugemaster's support in finding those product ideas as well as for every single customer who gives us an idea what we should come next. We have more than 2,000 different items in our range and I am sure there are many more to come. Our assortment is only limited by the limitations of our fantasy.

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