Pros: always learning
Cons: poor air quality
•a typical day at work:
After communicating with the operator whom I relieve, then greeting my fellow workers, locating my check sheets then I begin my rounds. Checking pump, compressors, boiler sight glass, cleaning tips of oil guns, feeling the pulse of the boilers, regenerate water softeners, collect condensate samples, run water tests in lab, and finally be prepared for taking direction from control room operator if any mill upset arises. After rounds, many conversations with long time operators who share their wisdom of the mills different processes such as, how the SO2 scrubbers work in the flue gas, and how the chemical evaporators work which are large heat exchangers etc.
•what you learned
Responsibility’s for operation of Power and Recovery plant. Safe shutdown, start up and hydro squeezes on the boilers. Tracing steam lines and water lines from headers to generators and pumps to vessels. Preventative maintenance is the key for field operator by getting to know how the pumps, compressors and generators sound and feel. Following safety procedures by wearing the right gas and dust cartridges, face shields, ear, head and foot protection plus know mill emergency response and mill evacuation.
Management was extremely helpful, knowledgeable and encouraging. They explained the mill evacuation, involved me in safety meetings, asked me how my training was progressing etc.
My co-workers are amazing. They non-stop explain their routines to me so I can learn the mill process, identifying the pumps, compressors, the flows, complete lock outs, read tell – more... tail signs, follow start up and showdown procedures and accomplish preventative maintenance of the mill.
•the hardest part of the job
I didn’t find any part hard just challenging which I enjoy such as remembering the names of all 20 pumps and knowing where all the water lines run to and from which boiler or which steam line flows to what process etc.
•the most enjoyable part of the job
I really enjoyed completing my sketch drawings of water lines and steam lines from pumps to vessels and from the boiler economizer to the header, to the generator and then to the mill process. – less