Why training process plant people on casting aspects is important
Purchasing cast spare parts or cast consumables is not an easy job for people working in a process plant either it is a cement plant, a fertilizer, a power station or a mine.
The easy way is to purchase exactly the same part that was installed in the first place from the Original Equipment Manufacturer without entering in the details of the cast parts they use. The advantages and disadvantages of this approach are obvious.
What it is not obvious is how much the operation can be accelerated when the people inside the plant know exactly how the cast parts they use behave during operation, which are the properties of the parts, and how these properties affect their operation.
Benefits of such knowledge can be longer use of the parts since we can predict more accurately their lifetime, reduced failures and less equipment downtime. Furthermore the purchasing cost would be decreased since the cast parts will be specified in terms of properties and the buyers can have access to multiple potential suppliers who can meet the specifications. Also, since the properties will be quantified and correlated to the operation of the part, it will be easy to increase the lifetime specifying superior properties where it is applicable.
After considering the above mentioned benefits someone would ask what type of knowledge do the people inside a plant need to acquire. Basic metallurgy, types of alloys used in specific application and their physical and mechanical properties, correlation between alloy properties and their microstructures, basic heat treatment concepts, are only some of the fields which people in a plant need to know.
It may seem difficult to ask the people inside a process plant to acquire this knowledge while they are deeply involved in running the plant. This is why well targeted training courses could provide casting related knowledge in short period of time. The courses have to be planned and implemented by experienced casting experts who have a good knowledge of the process plant operation.