Jun 11, 2009

Heavy Metal :o)

As you may be able to tell from my posting and commenting patterns, I am working some crazy hours.

My schedule has me working a shift rotation, where you do three weeks of days, three weeks of nights, and so on... When we are working, it is a twelve hour shift, plus turnover time, but we also get 2-6 day gaps. Not the best schedule, but the sliver of silver lining is that when I get off for the day, I am done. No outstanding work hanging over my head (quick, duck :o), and when I am home, no pile or work looming over my shoulder.

The picture above shows the main generator, with the internals removed and sent offsite to be repaired. You can see all the scaffold in the background, we basically took the low pressure turbine all the way down to base concrete, and are re-machining and reassembling now. You can see the scale of the metal pieces, all large castings that need lots of weld repair. For such a large machine, it is amazing that the tolerances are 1/1000 of an inch. Now, we use lasers for alignment and measurements [thinking evil sea bass here :o)], and it makes me wonder how it was done in the olden days.

As we say, we are in a marathon, not a sprint, and we have months to go before we spin again. I go up on the turbine deck when I can, but this picture to the right is where I spend my time now. This is the the Outage Control Center, where I am the Shift Outage Manager when I am there, (head [enter your own epithet here] in charge), responsible for driving work and removing the proverbial roadblocks. It is kind of like the Maytag Repairman, mostly quiet, there for when a crisis rears its ugly head, and then there is a flurry of activity before I pull my head back into my shell.

Hope your week is going well, I am in the middle of my weekend, and my workweek resumes Saturday night.


  1. Hi Ken,
    All I can say about your new schedule is: Yuck. I hope you're able to get plenty of rest in between shifts!

  2. The size of that turbine is amazing to me. It's HUGE!

  3. I am with Beth. I find your workplace pictures fascinating.

  4. 1/1000th OF AN INCH!!! That's unimaginable to me!!! ESPECIALLY, from a machine THAT big!!! WOW!! Thanks for the tour Ken, kids always like to know where mommy and daddy are when they aren't home... LOL!!


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