Monday, January 24, 2011

Performance Gurantee Test - Salem 2 Hi mill,

In the last post I wrote a story which was not exactly my own experience but experience of one of my colleague in the section Mr JVSN Rao. I desire to dedicate one posts on my old colleagues of  80's in MECON - particularly when Rolling Mill and Auxiliary Equipment Division (RM&AED) of MECON was located in rented building called Apna Bazar Building - which houses Income Tax office now. RM&AED also was called United Wing due since we used to design and supply rolling mills under collaboration with Wean United Inc of Pittsburgh, USA. There was one company's who's brochure meant for Mr BP Sarkar used to have an interesting address

"Mr BP Sarkar, Chief Design Engineer,
United King, MECON, Ranchi-834002".

Replacement of United Wing with "United King" matched well with Mr Sarkar's royal manners and we shall some time refer to Mr Sarkar as "UNITED KING" Our department was headed by Mr Ramadurai. Others were Mr BP Goyal, Mr SM Ganguly, Mr JVSN Rao and Mr Kalyan Bhattacharjee. Myself, Mr SB Mukherjee and Mr Manoranjan Danpart joined in 1978 as per parallel transfer from another SAIL unit namely Bokaro Steel. I shall detail out this later. Now for main story of today.

Story  about Performance Guarantee  test at Salem.
Me, Mr Vidyanathan, Mr Raha, Dr Pandey etc constituted MECON's team  for PG Test in 1987. .During pre checking of Mill readiness, Salem engineers desired to change 2nd short dump from 80 mm to 105 mm. This was needed to accommodate  roll protection unit which had lost its shape due to wrong force cylinder operation earlier and now needed 105 mm gap.

In absence of Siemens Germany's engineer, BHEL didnot want to touch AGC panel. As usual for my inquisitiveness, I studied to drawings and found that one BCD (Binary Coded Decimal)  register when converted read 8000. I quickly came to a conclusion that this must be 80 mm short dump reference and thought to change this. The change needed only  shorting for the zeros one ones, so as to read 10500 or more. Dr Pandey was anxious the moment he knew what I was up to. He tried to convince me to let the status quo remain. How ever I being in different department than his, stood ground and explained, in case the changes did not work, I can revert back the settings. I could set to nearest to 10530 and we got a short dump of 105.3 mm. I knew, I have won the hearts of operators of Salem as this change was very important to them. Operators were key for us to pass through the PG test and I desired to keep them in good humor. One operator named Quadir - a Malyali guy was an excellent operator and a good friend of MECONIANS. He later went to middle east. Another trainee operator had terrific accident when manually polishing the rolls and his hand went inside the roll gap - it took six months for him to again get back to work.

Null Setting of  servo valve of Hydraulic roll force  cylinders was another contentious issue , I had already done this setting along with Sri CND Nair,  for safe and equal dumping movements of both cylinders at approx 4% of flow in case of power failure,  and I did not want proposal department to recheck this. I did not cooperate in terms of help from BHEL they needed and it was impossible for them to do anything themselves in Salem. They had taken more than required credit of this insignificant electro-hydraulic related thing in past in Rourkela and I did not want this to happen in Salem. In MOM with Salem Steel it was recorded "Servo valve's null setting was done by MECON during commissioning (ie in 1980), however this may checked by plant once every month".

In the night of PG test there was lot of drinks - Whisky specifically,  available at site and we all were drunk. However I had noticed slippage of strip on deflector rolls particularly at high speed some time resulting on negative elongation measurement. For MECON to pass nobody should notice this in the displays. I decided to be behind the panel for the whole night correcting the factor thumb wheel switches for the 2 deflector rolls such that elongation for the major portion of strip reads within the set value and so MECON was successful in passing one of the first PG test of the mill. Mechanical guys will not agree that the strip was slipping on the deflector rolls and design should have been different for Stainless Steel. I tried to prove my point through publications and calculations though in vain. I am sure they still do not agree with me in the same way they thought regarding the dump valves was erroneously getting energized by Electrical Circuits till proven wrong.. (this story also for a later post..).

Mr Kalyan Bhattacharjee has requested me to publish the story of Ms Silk Smitha - Tamil Danseuse and actress staying in the same hotel very near to my room. I shall post this and other story regarding we almost missing the flight in the very next post... very very soon..


  1. I forgot to name Mr SM Ganguly who was also present during PG test (sorry Ganguly da) and when ever I disappear to have a drink in the Zonal Building near to Z-Mill-I, he will start searching for me. I had difficult time explaining to him where I was during these intervals.

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