Trainees can contribute to the organization provided they are given proper guidance and instructions. SR joined a light engineering MNC in the early 70s. After orientation with various departments in the organization SR was assigned specific tasks under the guidance of a senior engineer. The tasks were separate and not overlapping. Even 4 decades ago a Trainee or Trainee engineer had to work and learn on the job.
First, he was assigned a project in the maintenance department. The project was to analyse the maintenance request in short MRs, whether there was any urgency and if the repair job had to be done immediately. The MRs were received by the maintenance department which consisted 80% of ‘A’ category and the rest were under B and C categories. ‘A’ category denoted that the repair had to be carried out immediately, B category within a week and C category within four weeks. The inflow of MRs on an average was five to six a day. The MRs for one year were selected for the purpose of analysis. For these MRs the repairs had already been carried out. It was observed that 80% were marked as ‘A’ category. Rest were marked as B and C category.
On analyzing it was found that only 20% fell under the ‘A’ category repair, thirty per cent B category repairs and 50% under ‘C’ category repairs or replacement. The analysis was placed in front of the top management with the guidance of the senior engineer. The company could have easily saved 60 % on overtime cost on workers and staff. The top management instructed all the departments concerned to mark the categories appropriately for A, B, and C category MRs. This was implemented by all departments and in the subsequent year the overtime cost reduced considerably in maintenance.
A safety project was then assigned to SR to implement various safety measures on cable machinery. In the earlier years there were two or three major accidents and 20 to 30 minor accidents per year. In the major accidents workers had died. SR trainee engineer was given full support and freedom by the management of the organization. He had initially inspected the whole machinery in the factory and noted down some points. He then with permission from the superiors visited the safety department and brought in the safety manager from the labour commissioner’s office. He suggested some more safety measures such as-
1) The guide rollers on the machine had to be properly fixed with guards.
2) The cages of cable machinery carrying wire bobbins and rotating must be fixed with wire mesh guard and fixed properly. This is to protect any bobbin getting loose and flying off which could hit anybody passing near the machine.
3) Where asphalt tank was involved it heated up to 2000C and was exploding in the past. These were to be provided with proper vents so that in the event of pressure building up it could be released through the vents. If the pressure is released then explosion would not take place.
Next task assigned to SR was on preventive maintenance. He had to generate lists for each machine to enable workers to check different parts of the cable machine as per the frequency given in the lists. Preventive maintenance meant preventing a break down in a machine before replacing or repairing the part, when its detected during regular checks ups, that there is some abnormality in the part.
The last and fourth task given was identifying local sources for imported cable machinery spare parts. Earlier they were imported and now they are banned, restricted or imports have become costly. The parts were like shafts, wheels, drive wheels, Rollers, big bearing, castings and many others.
Large size Bearings were not manufactured that time in India as such they had to be imported. Other parts could be developed but the inhibitive factor was the small quantities required. So, only small workshops could be identified, who were capable of manufacturing these parts. For castings where their weight was more, foundries were interested. For other parts suitable workshops could be developed. There was an item called bull block which had to be cast and then ground. SR was able to locate two workshops after a long search and was successful in getting the items with the right dimensions.
SR that way could develop 150 spare parts with 35 indigenous sources. The parts which were more intricate, the workshops did not accept them for manufacturing. Thus proper guidance and freedom of working helped SR in completing his training successfully and finally got absorbed by the company.