WCI Chapter II-A (Preventive Maintenance, Installation Supervision)

5 May

Paint Line (Metal Preparation)

It was during the summer shut down walk through that we (had contractors on the job) realized that the phosphate tank had had it! The tank was sitting under a housing with pipes/nozzles around its walls, monorail passing through it & meters & pumps attached to it, & to top it all it was in the middle (fifth stage) of a nine stage system. It was complicated, trust me I had to worry, phosphate coating (what this stage was doing) is the key to getting a uniform & lasting paint coverage over the parts!

Before you know it I was on the phone with Parker chemical representative, he was my guru, the man had spent his life walking through customers’ operations, making sure they were doing their jobs right! I am not kidding you, the suppliers are the first to get the fingers pointed at, when something goes wrong, he was working hard for Parker chemical! Plus he had been there working for us, since the plant had started. He insisted that I had to replace the tank, & I accepted his advice.

The challenge was that we had to cut off the entire stage (torch it/burn the metal), & weld the new stage in its place, oh yes, we decided to replace the entire stage. I had to locate special welders (welding heavy-duty stainless steel to steel) from another state, & we needed to get the job done with minimum production downtime, if any at all. Of course, because of the size of stage, we need to complete the job on site (limitations of transportation & loading dock sizes). To make a long story short, I had to be at work 4:00 AM till 10:00 PM, for about 2 weeks everyday, but I learned quit a bit about welding & leveling equipment!

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