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 Juraj, first off thank you for taking time to take part in this exclusive Q&A with NeoBuggy, tell us a little a bit about ‘FX’ ?

FX Engines is a private company located in Europe in Trencin, Slovakia. Owned and operated by the Hudy family, the FX Engine company was established in 2006 to develop, design and manufacture RC car engines. FX engines are pure high competition racing engines for model racing cars. Designed with the purpose of bringing you to the winners circle and engineered with a focus on absolute perfection.

Why the name ‘FX’, what does it mean, where does it come from ?

The name and the idea is linked to the level of specialisation on this project – custom machines, unique processes, specially trained staff and selected materials, and tooling just for this project – all made ‘specially‘ for the engines. The name comes out of this philosophy – at times as if by magic the Special Effects would appear, and in the movies shortened to ‘FX‘, we thought this name suited this new venture perfectly – making special effects – FX.

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How long has this project been in the making ?

I started this engine project, an all new adventure and milestone in my professional carrier, more than 6 years ago and I never expected it would take such a long time before the final engine would be ready for mass production and to get it into the hands of RC car drivers. I was unwilling to release the product until I was completely happy with all the details, the performance, reliability and longevity of the parts, so there was no option but to continue the development until we achieved our goals. During this 6 year process, we changed almost everything, including re-starting from scratch twice.

There were three phases of the project:

1.)          In the first phase of the project we needed to focus not only on the engine design, but also the production processes and required equipment. We knew that in order to assure reliable quality and to meet the very strict tolerances required during production (in many cases as fine as 0.001mm) we would need to use the best equipment available for this specialized production. The main aim was to be fully independent from any subcontractors, and as such, all the machinery for every single part was carefully chosen and installed and, like the rest of the project, we did not make any compromises and installed only the world’s highest quality German, Swiss and Italian machines. Many of the machines were custom designed and modified specifically for engine part production in order to achieve the desired flexibility, efficiency and quality.

2.)          In the second phase all of the technologies were implemented and the first prototypes were produced for testing. In this phase dozens of different materials were tested and analyzed to achieve the desired performance, reliability and life time.

3.)          In the final phase, over the past two years, when all the materials were already chosen, the main focus was on the fine tuning of all details of the engine parts to achieve the highest performance, reliability and easy to adjust.

During these years we updated from standard production processes to all-new processes specifically designed for engine part production. We established special procedures for hand finishing nearly every part, as well as completely new processes for quality inspection and tracking throughout the entire manufacturing and assembly process.

I am finally more than satisfied and we are ready to make this vision a reality and bring the engine to market. The final design and specifications were tested for more than 2 years in all the different track conditions around the world by some of the world’s best RC car racers and as such the reliability and performance were proven to meet our and my own strict requirements for quality and craftsmanship.

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What makes this new engine brand and products different and special from those already on the market?

We are one of the very few true manufacturers in the world who design, develop and manufacture every single part in house. We are not any OEM reseller as the majority of the brands in the market. All-new special-purpose ultra modern and high-tech machinery was installed just for production of engine parts. FX Engines is one of the world’s only companies that has their own pressure die-casting of the crankcase in house. To design and especially to produce an RC car engine has been the most difficult and challenging project I have ever worked on. I have been an RC car designer for more than 40 years and I have brought both our companies, HUDY & XRAY, to the absolute top in their respective fields.  We have achieved this only due to a total dedication to the smallest details and a commitment to never-ending development of continuous improvements.

The wealth of experience gained through HUDY & XRAY’s growth and development is something that I have instilled into the FX Engines company right from the start, from the finest European materials to exceptionally modern production techniques and long term testing to achieve the desired attributes.

Utilizing the knowledge of special materials and special hardening processes I have developed over the decades combined with the state of the art machinery we incorporated specifically for the engine production and the dedicated internal team that has been working on this project for 6 years, specifically trained and skilled in their work procedures using the TQM (Total Quality Management) approach gave me confidence in our people and processes that this product will be exceptional.

The performance of the engine is not only the quality, lifetime, reliability, and fuel consumption but also ensuring the engine is easy to set up and tune. In the final phase of fine tuning it was a real challenge to find a balanced mix of all these features. The priority for me was to design an engine which will be easy to set-up and friendly to use while still maintaining the highest possible performance and reliability.

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What return of investment do you expect?

Honestly I don’t expect the full financial investment in this project will ever return within the current market situation. The entire market has radically changed in the last years. Luckily to produce a high competition engine is extremely difficult and there are only very few companies in the world who are capable of accomplishing this. However with the OEM business practices almost anyone can order his own ‘brand’ engine and sell direct to  the consumer which makes the standard professional distribution network non-competitive in terms of prices and since we plan to use only a professional established distribution network we will be under huge pressure of price wars.

The investment into this project was incredibly high since we bought all-new and the most high-tech machinery. The investment into the development and production of prototypes was significantly higher than expected as I was all the time not completely satisfied and we had to re-work and re-work all the time again and again.

At the end this project was less about the balance sheet,   and more a life time challenge that I did not want to give up. This was definitely the most challenging and expensive project I have ever worked on but in the end the most rewarding one – to find a solution to the problems which took you several years to solve is one of the most satisfying moments in life.

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With that in mind are there any plans to embark on a ‘World Class’ driver signing spree ?

At this time we have no immediate plans to recruit any of the ‘top’ talent. The current market situation and considering we are newcomers to a highly saturated market with price wars there is no room for paid drivers.

Since this project transformed into a passion rather than a pure business we have decided to offer the product through the satisfaction of the customers with quality, reliability and ease of use. This is of course a long term strategy but I am convinced and confident that with the product we have it will be the most effective route.

Tell us about the production process ?

During production, the sizes and tolerances of all important and key parts of each engine are measured and recorded. All of the main parts have serial numbers engraved and all of the important sizes, tolerances and information about the production of the part are recorded and stored.

The surface roughness, finish and treatment on crucial parts such as crankcase, crankshaft, sleeve, piston, pistons inserts, carburetor, sliders, are also extremely important and all are individually measured and recorded.

A birth certificate is issued for every engine where all of the serial numbers of the main parts are recorded and it is possible at any time to trace the roots of every part back through production processes to its absolute beginning including information on which batch of material was used, what manufacturing program was used and by whom and when the part was produced. FX fully stands behind every single part and every single engine produced.

Stay tuned to NeoBuggy for an exclusive

article detailing the FX Engine production process!

 

Links:
Facebook.com/FXengines

twitter.com/FXengines

 

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