Monday, 12 October 2009

Troubleshooting, Teaching , and so on

I've been quite busy with learning to teach, but I went down to see a plant I upgraded about a year ago last Friday for a "health check".

As it took the operators three-quarters of an hour to even find the O+M manual, it looked as if it hadn't seen much use. The recommended daily checks had been reduced to a quick look through the fence as they went past, and no checks at all on weekends or holidays. They had turned the coagulant dose right down and filled the plant with 32% acid and alkali to save on chemical costs, and unsupervised tanker drivers had been walking on the tray-work. Despite all of this, everything was still basically working.

I'm going to do a bit of lab-work this afternoon to see if they can use a cheaper coagulant than the fancy blend the original plant installers recommended. At £2 a litre, I can see how they want to turn the dose down, even if it does degrade plant performance.

I'm off to Nottingham this morning to see a few examples of good lecturing practice, and if I have time, I'm going to make a start on the anaerobic digestion course I'm doing for Loughborough.

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