|This HO scale model by Tom Zarnock is a great example of the original Sergent Engineering EC couplers. These early couplers can be identified by the horizontal parting line behind the knuckle. That parting line doesn't exists in the newer die cast couplers.|
Sergent Engineering has been providing the world's most accurate model railroad couplers since 1999. Sergent Engineering was the first company to manufacture and sell a "true" scale size HO coupler and remains the only company to offer a "true" scale size HO coupler. The original Model EC coupler was not simply a nifty new way to link model trains together, but was an authentic model based on the prototype. The basic philosophy of providing models of the prototype was and continues to be at the very core of every Sergent Engineering product. Sergent Engineering leads the pack in innovation and prototypical accuracy!
The quality and depth of our product line has changed considerably over time. Initial offerings were in the form of craftsman kits made up of metal castings produced in the basement shop. This production method was used exclusively in the early years and is still used for the S scale products. This production method is not without its drawbacks, and after a few years it was clear that another method better suited to higher volume production was needed.
The EC87 was Sergent Engineering's first product to make use of automated miniature die casting technology. This technology offers tight tolerance castings to be manufactured in volume and also allows complex geometries to be reproduced very repeatedly. These advances made it possible to provide couplers that were no longer craftsman kits, but instead could be referred to as easy-to-assemble kits. In fact, the assembly process was abbreviated so much so that it was finally practical to offer the couplers in an already assembled form!
Another significant improvement introduced with the EC87 was the rust brown finish applied to the couplers. Castings included in previously available craftsman kits had no pre-applied finish. That step was left as an exercise for the modeler. This feature further reduces modeler's task in installing the Sergent Engineering couplers. Sergent Engineering was first to provide metal couplers with a rust brown finish and continues to be the only manufacturer to do so. Next time you have the good fortune to be stopped at a grade crossing, notice the color of the couplers. They are not black!
The introduction of the EN87 narrow shank coupler allowed modelers to improve the authenticity of their models even further. Along with the introduction of this product came even more automation to the manufacturing process. A dedicated machine for post machining of knuckle castings in bulk was brought online at this time. This machine makes the easy-to-assemble kits even easier to assemble and ensures pre-assembled couplers can be manufactured in the higher volumes that come with the broader product line.
Sergent Engineering is a family business. It is run by Frank Sergent, engineering graduate of the University of Tennessee (Go Vols!). The business is run in a conservative manner using sound business practice. These practices have created a solid foundation for the bright future of the company and resulted in steady growth in a market that has been said by some to be declining.