Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Evolution of Automatic Gauge Control philosophy for flat rolling

During the course of my working in MECON - world of automatic gauge control changed from Mechanical Screw Down Control to Hydraulic AGC. I had written a paper "Evolution of AGC Control Philosophy" and now have uploaded to my web page "https://meconian.com" a link to the same is given below. This may not interest all, but hope will be of interest to my colleagues and friends in Indian Rolling Mill industry. 

Evolution of Automatic Gauge Control philosophy for flat rolling, By Amitabh Sinha

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Some photographs of my work places

I am a very irregular blogger..sorry for that. Now I realize how much efforts Journos put in  to keep us busy whole day or else we get same story time and again the whole day !

In this post I like to enclose some photographs of my work places only.. Bhilai, Chandigarh, Sriharokota, Milan, Kulalumpur, Sun City (RSA), Lille, Niagara, Rhine Cruise, Paris, Paris-Swiss train, St Etienne, Bokaro-HSM

Saturday, November 8, 2014

My official visits abroad Part-1..Germany -1983

Sorry for late delivery of my blog - after almost 3 years. Got busy with our project at Bhilai.
During MECON days going abroad was a privilege every one looked forward to. Being part of Rolling Mill supply group it was assumed one will go to US due to our collaboration with Pittsburgh based Wean United - now Danieli United. Many of our seniors had been to US from 6 months to 2 years and we looked towards them with awe. Apart from official visits we (with my wife) went to visit US (East &West coast) twice- 2007 &2010 and took a Europe tour to 5 countries (Germany, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Swiss) -2013.
I had my share of official foreign visits as well. Rather I had 2 long postings 3 months to SMS, Dusseldorf -Germany and 6 months to ISCOR, Pretoria - South Africa. I got several opportunities to visit France & Swiss from MACO - my company after retirement as well.  I will not take your time telling stories ( I may tell later..) but try to sum up through pictures..In this blog pictures of 1983 visit to Germany.. Visited Germany again in 1997 (Berlin - East side), 2007 (Dusseldorf & Munich) & 2013 (Munich). These are pictures of 1983:

Mr PL Modi, Mr MR Kedia, Myself & Mr Prasad (Top) on a river cruise on Rhine, Mr Helmut Litters (SMS) & me at Cologne (Middle) at Klon main stations (Bottom)

 I visited a grand zoo at Duisburg.. a demand from my little girl Shweta before departure who read some where about this zoo including its Dolphin show..
Stalactite caves on way to Hilchenbach from Dusseldorf. Could not believe that time that 120 km road trip will be over in about 1 hour !

Party at 26 Oberbilker Alle..

Busy marketing - My first in Europe
We shifted to new apartment on other side of Rhine in Apr-1983 with Late Dr KG Pandey,  Mr PK Sinha & Mr MR Kedia

Comments invited !

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Talking to TV Vaidyanathan

2 days ago I got a call from an unknown number... It was a surprise a call from Mr TV Vaidyanathan. I had come across this brilliant Mechanical or more accurately a Mechanical Project Manager during erection and commissioning of MECON's Skin Pass Mill at Salem. One of 2 engineer (other was Mr Sugatahan)  who knew mechanical erection according to  Mr Munshi - who headed their department in MECON.

Sri Vaidyanathan (TVV) is a nice gentleman a go getter and never say die type of person. During Salem E&C days we used to use his temporary liquor license for buying our drinks. During Vizag project days we came to know his prowess in use of PC's - including games (never my forte) and in playing cards. His wife was a proficient classical singer and sang over Radio  and other places. Later on she did not keep well & was ill and had many medical complications. She expired in 2009. As informed TVV's daughter is married of & is in Delhi.

Wish a very happy retired / re- employed life to TVV. It was so nice to talk to a old colleague

Saturday, April 23, 2011

From Bokaro Steel to MECON - the change which changed the life

Were there no Emergency in India my life would not have been so exciting !

How ? Let us roll back a little to 1977 ..

Janata Party - a conglomeration of anti Congress and anti Emergency political parties  overthrows Indira Gandhi Govt by thumping Majority after dark days of Emergency.

Late Mr Biju Patnaik,  Steel Minister in new dispensation goes ahead to set aside earlier decision to have Russian Mills and gives the order for new CRM-II complex to MECON with Wean United Inc of USA.  

Thus MECON - a leading Steel Consultancy Company - got the order for CRM-II in 1977 and  MECON had to play dual role as consultant as well as supplier of equipment for SAIL- Bokao Steel. In view of this new job some 17 electrical engineers were selected from Bokaro Steel Ltd for parallel transfer to MECON - both companies were subsidiary to SAIL at that time.

I along with many of my friends Mr SB Mukherjee, Mr PC Sadhu,  Mr Prakash Chatterjee, Mr Udai Singh, Mr Prabhakar, Mr NK Tamrakar, Mr KN Jana, Mr KK Mukherjee, Mr Awdhesh Ojha. Mr Tiwary. Late Mr DK Roy, Mr CD Pandey, Mr Manoranjan Dandpat and others joined MECON. It was a curious change for us. We were perfect commissioning engineers with lot of and  variety of hands on commissioning experience and we had to prove our selves in design and engineering organization. We thought the new job easy earlier learning later that it was anyway not so very difficult.

That time electrical department in MECON was in 3 parts Electrical-1 headed by Mr Mathai C.E, which did Electrical Power and Distribution, Electrical-2 headed by Mr BP Sarkar, CDE which did Rolling Mills and Processing Lines (Both Supply jobs and Consultancy) and Electrical-3 - headed by Mr PS Sharma, E.M which did all remaining things for Steel and Iron Making. Myself was picked by Mr BP Sarkar for posting in Electrical-2 (RM&AED) under Mr K Ramadurai- who over turned earlier decision to post me in Electrical-1.
I alomngwith my friend Mr SB Mukherjee and others joined Rolling Mill - supply part of Electrical-2 lovingly called United Wing due to MECON's collaboration with Wean United Inc. We were put under Mr BP Goyal - a tough task master. He later resigned from MECON to work with Road Master Cycles at Rishikeh and later in Jindal Stainless Ltd. I rejoined under him as VP-Projects in JSL during my short stint in 2006-2007.

We used to work in what was called "Apna Bazar Building" in main road of Ranchi - then in Bihar State. Driving a scooter in Ranchi road without road devider and lot of Rikshaws was a nightmare for most of us who had seen wide roads in Bokaro. However I was comfortable driving here and 2 of my friends needed me to drive them to Firaya Lal chowk when required.

One interesting thing which happened during our initial days in MECON was that - me and SB Mukherjee will criticize Mr BP Goyal (I have lot of respect for him now) in Bengali thinking he won't understand us. Later we got a shock when we heard him talking fluent Bengali - due to his earlier posting in Durgapur. My journey with MECON had begun..

Monday, February 28, 2011

Post PG test - So called malfunctioning of CO2 fire fighting in Salem 2 Hi mill

Few years after performance guarantee test SAIL HQ realized the importance of fire fighting system, which was never commissioned to the satisfaction of Salem Steel. Almost Rs 2 Crore was pending from SAIL to MECON and there was pressure on Lube and Hyd department of MECON who had supplied the CO2 fire fighting system as turnkey system and our Electrical department was not involved. However when the problem of pending money came up- we were again summoned to recommission the system supplied by Vijay Fire. Sri KN Jana who was that time in Electro Technical Laboratory was asked to investigate and do the needful. After brief study he found that the power supply to main board was not stable. He assembled a power stabiliser using 2N3055 transistors and we started our journey to Salem. That time we found that we could afford to stay in Welcome Group Chola Shereton a 5 star Deluxe Hotel in Chennai as per our DA entitlement if we shared room.

We did stay in that hotel sharing a room. We found the fridge in the room stiffed with cold drinks, chocolates and other stuff. We ate and drank all that was in the fridge thinking it was complementary. Jana even drank the soda water also. It was shocking later to pay Rs 70 for each bottle of cold drink consumed which were worth Rs 4 or so that time.. we learned a lesson that day about such hotels..

In Salem we had to discuss the test with Mr Sugathan - a ex MECONIAN in charge of design in Salem and one Mr Jayraman Mr Jayraman was in charge electrical and was ex colleague of my then boss Mr K Ramadurai. It was tough discussions and we knew the going is going to be tough.

During the test all technical people along with fire fighting personnel were present. We were confident having tested the panel several times. But when the test was done, Only fire alarm got activated and no punching of CO2 cylinder took place. We were disappointed. We tested the panel and it functioned well. As expected our requests for retest were not accepted. It was time to check again and again why it malfunctioned. Again it was myself only to notice that a glass cover on the panel installed by Salem Steel for protection / mal operation was pressing a selector switch and thus only manual mode was getting active - this was preventing automatic operation of CO2 cylinders as required for successful test. We again approached Salem Steel for retest. With lot of arguing with Mr Jayraman and with some support from Mr Sugathan a retest was organized next day with panel glass cover kept open. Fire fighting worked and a minutes was signed accordingly.

We returned to Ranchi and reported the matter with a sense of pride to Mr BP Sarkar - then GM (C). He was very happy, patted by back. However the pleasure was short lived. A telex message from Salem Steel arrived in second half rejecting the fire fighting system on the plea that such an important system worked only in second try. Our sincere efforts to make the system drew a flak. MECON then went for a commercial settlement and got all the dews except for Rs 5 lakhs deducted for this system - stll a good bargain for MECON, though Mr Sarkar wont agree...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Salem- We almost missed flight from Chennai (then Madras) to Calcutta

During Performance Guarantee Test of MECON's  2 Hi Stainless Steel Mill, we had to over stay at Salem due to  re - test for certain sizes of strip, which was not taken care in our planning. We, - myself, Dr KG Pandey, Mr SM Ganguly, Mr Raha and others,  were short of cash due to this delay and had just enough money to reach Calcutta (Now Kolkata.). We were not worried for our stay in Calcutta since our company had a guest house. We were also not worried for our onward journey for which we had confirmed air tickets.However we were definitely worried if we  were to miss the flight at Madras. 
We reached Madras in the evening by train. Our  flight was at 6:30 PM. It left us with just enough  time to reach airport before check in counters will close. We immediately took a taxi and rushed to the airport.  But Murphy's Law caught up with us. "What may go wrong will go wrong." On way there were some trouble - a crude bomb was set off by miscreants at an important road Junction and all traffic to Meenbakkam Airport was diverted. 

Our one hour ordeal of worry and tension - now started. Due to precarious cash position we could not afford to miss the flight. Had we anticipated all this, we would have taken some advance from SAIL office  in Salem. There were no ATM or Credit Cards in those days. Our company (which has an office in Chennai today), had no office in Madras in those days. If we missed the flight we had no money to stay or purchase even train tickets to Ranchi. 

Driver started driving through alternative route. He followed the taxi ahead for some time then lost sight of the it. Since there were not may flights in those days, not many taxis or cars were there on the road to follow. We soon realised the driver is not familiar with this route. We got scared once we realized this.  Dr Pandey threatened the driver with consequences if we miss the flight. Others also got jittery and started scolding the driver, who due to this pressure missed some turns. I asked him to stop at a betel shop and ask for the direction. I tried to over hear the Tamil conversation and could make out he has overshot some turm and is about 10 km from the airport and one railway crossing shall be on way to the airport. Once he took a U turn all of us lost our temper.  We still had 45 minutes from the flight departure. They used to close the counter half an hour prior to departure. Every body was prepared for rushing to Indian Airlines  Manager's office to allow us late check- in. At this point of time I remembered that I had an all India road map book I had purchased this during my car journey from Salem to Ranchi via Tirupati.
I took the map out of hand bag, and tried to locate our current position. Soon I could locate the railway crossing near the airport. It was another day for me to become a "hero" for the team. I  guided the taxi to airport based on the direction as per the road map within 15 minutes. Every one was relieved - though no body thanked me and simply rushed inside the departure area after paying the driver and carrying the bags. No body even bothered to use the baggage trolley.
On reaching the airport we found that the flight was delayed by one hour. This fact instead of making us happy disappointed us. This was like preparing hard for an examination for which examiner has set very easy paper !