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African Petrochemicals July/ Aug Edition 15_4 {2018}

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By establishing the

By establishing the screening centre, we could improve our skills screening process and simultaneously employ people who would increase effectiveness and efficiency on site,” says Madhav. While Babcock has always screened temporary employees, past assessments have largely focused on welders. The new centre ensures that all resources and competency skills are tested, evaluated and independently accessed, from welding, fitting and rigging skills through to quality control and supervisor abilities. The in-depth screening process is both comprehensive and ongoing, not only assessing suitable employee qualifications, but also ascertaining whether qualified candidates can practically perform the job on-site. BABCOCK’S NEW RESOURCE SCREENING CENTRE MAXIMISES EFFICIENCY ON SITE Launched less than a year ago, Babcock’s new resource screening centre is already proving its value in matching skilled labour resources to specific on-site job requirements in the power sector. Over the past 11 months, the centre has significantly contributed to improving efficiencies on site by testing and placing the most suitably qualified and experienced candidates in critical power projects where an effective and efficient work force is a necessity. The first of its kind in South Africa, Babcock’s resource screening centre is located in Vanderbijlpark, in close proximity to the site office where Babcock retains a core crew proficient in managing scheduled shutdowns, as well as any unscheduled maintenance issues that may arise at a power station. General Manager – Business Development, Services and Resources, Dipak Madhav, says the objectives of Babcock’s resource screening centre are to assess whether candidates meet the minimum requirements in performing required job-specific tasks, to ensure that competent resources are placed on site, quality of work is maintained, and that efficiency and productivity is maximised. Within a 12-month cycle Babcock’s core power station teams are typically supplemented by between 2 500 and 3 500 temporary employees to complete the company’s scope of work within tightly scheduled timelines. Such projects are often high risk and on critical path from day one, putting the project teams under immense pressure to complete the project safely and within acceptable repair targets. “The resource screening centre was established in 2017, when Babcock was contracted to overhaul three 600 MW boilers during a half-station shutdown. We required the services of approximately 2 000 temporary employees for the contract and had to ensure that we placed the appropriately skilled resources for the job, particularly A-class welders. Madhav says all suitably qualified applicants begin with numeracy, literacy, skill capabilities and practical tests. This is followed by a Babcock-managed medical test. Applicants who pass both these stages then begin statutory training which includes instruction on working at heights and confined spaces, as well as highlighting an employee’s legal liability. Training concludes with an exam with individuals requiring 80% in order to pass. This highly efficient screening process is completed within three to seven days, depending on skills requirements and training, after which the applicant is considered ready to work. A second stage of screening takes place on site, where an employee’s practical performance is evaluated. Madhav says that over the past 11 months Babcock has screened approximately 5 000 candidates. “The new screening centre helps to better match skills to the project on hand, putting the right person in the job. At the same time, it helps us to better understand the scope of work and identify possible skills gaps,” says Madhav. Candidates that pass the evaluation process are ‘green carded’ and placed within a growing pool of qualified, trained and evaluated workers who can be drawn on for Babcock projects requiring additional skilled labour. This pool of skilled resources includes welders, riggers, pipe fitters, mechanical fitters, supervisors, safety officers and quality control personnel. The ‘green card’ endorsement from Babcock is only valid for one year after which time candidates are required to redo the screening process. Screening tests will also be modified and updated annually in order to maintain quality standards, with adjustments made according to any skills gaps identified during the on-site evaluation process. Madhav says in this way the screening process will continually improve based on past experience. Babcock’s screening centre has the capacity to assess up to 100 candidates a day. The assessors are all experienced specialists in their field, while the screening criteria conforms to local as well as global standards. Contact: Dipak Madhav General Manager – Business Development, Services and Resources Email: 4

ACHIEVE OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE THROUGH LUBRICANT UPGRADES I sit down with Nicolas Georghiou, CEO at Revolution Synthetic Oil, for a Q&A so he can tell us about his exciting and new Ultra-Performance Synthetic Lubricants. Lubricants, which he says, will significantly reduce your cost and need for maintenance. FRONT COVER STORY Q So Nicolas, what can you tell us about your lubricants, what makes them special? A First of all Richard, thank you for this, it’s a real privilege to be associated with this publication. Well, regarding our lubricants there are many reasons for its improved performance when compared to other products mineral or synthetic, one of the reasons is because it is a synthetic oil and the other reason is due to the unique and proprietary additive technology that we incorporate into our formulations. Q Well that is great Nic, can I call you Nic? So tell me, why go this route, why develop such a product? A Q A Q A Haha, you most certainly can. The reason for this is because most lubricants now days simply don’t perform, we are placing progressively higher demands on equipment and at the same trying to become more and more efficient all while cutting costs. Our lubricants can fill all these criteria. How are your lubricants able to do this? Well that is really simple, we reduce your cost of maintenance by reducing your need for maintenance and we do this by replacing something you already buy and use with something of a much higher quality. So why not any synthetic oil? Why Revolution Synthetic Oil? Unlike other lubricants, synthetic or mineral, we don’t make use of generic additive chemistry. Each of our additives has been hand-picked to provide the user with greatly improved performance. To add a further point, if you are going to invest money on purchasing a synthetic oil why not buy the best one available? Q A Q A I take it your products are quite expensive, what sort of return would one expect when using your lubricants? Well Richard, when you look at the whole picture you will see that the conventional lubricant, mineral or synthetic, is the expensive one. Our lubricants in fact have the lowest cost of ownership when compared to other similar products. Really, how so? This is also quite simple, when one starts to add up the costs of a poor lubricant they will quickly see what the real cost of their lubricants are… did you know that a staggering 53% of all bearing failures are related to inadequate or contaminated lubricants? Not many people know that. One would also need to consider production losses, labour for equipment repair, etc, etc but to answer your previous question, you could expect savings of 30% on maintenance costs and 3% on energy costs alone. Then there are of course other benefits further down the line as a result, like reduced safety incident due to machine repair for example. Q Those are really bold claims, give us some success stories, some real examples? A Well it will be difficult without mentioning any names but I will try, we mostly focus our attention on the petrochemical industry where there are harsh and extreme environments, one example I can give relates to a Pump, where the bearings were operating at 83°C, the engineering team at the time had to do something and there were two options available, undertake expensive and elaborate modifications to improve cooling to the pump or go with our recommendation which was to upgrade the lubricant to one of our flagship products “Revosyn XP”, it’s quite obvious which solution they would go for. In short, simply upgrading the lubricant to our product reduced bearing temperatures by 8°C from 83°C to 75°C, which was more or less what they were expecting to gain by going with the other option, the expensive modification. Q That’s impressive Nic, so where can people use your products, in what sort of equipment? A Our products can be used in almost all rotating equipment from pumps, turbines, compressors, gears and even air tools. Q And lastly, where can people buy your products? A Nicolas Georghiou, CEO at Revolution Synthetic Oil. We have an extensive partner network which covers most if not all of South Africa. If prospective customers could just call our office on 011 024 6434 or email us at we will be glad to point them in the right direction. 5


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