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Mon, Jul 15, 2024 06:59
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We received a good "monkey story" in response to our quiz this past week:

A young 'whipper/snapper' engineer was transferred into our Pulp Mill to train to replace an 'old salt' Recovery Boiler Area Supv. Soon after his arrival, one Rec Blr was shut down for semi-annual maintenance. The 'y w/s' had noticed that the smelt tank agitators' belts were squealing badly prior to shutdown so he added replacing the belts and resetting tension to the work list. This work was satisfactorily completed. When the boiler was started, almost immediately both agitators began tripping-out due to electrical overload. The 'y w/s' was on top of it when the 'old salt' came by and told him to reduce belt tension so the belts would squeal and the motors would stop tripping out. The 'y w/s' explained that the motor starter heaters were rated lower than the motors' rating and he wanted to change to the proper heaters. (He had checked the performance data curves on the agitators which indicated that the max load should be within the motors' ratings, if the proper heaters were used.) The 'old salt' explained to the 'y w/s' that the boiler had been there for many years and for all of those years it had been run with the agitator belts slack so the motors wouldn't trip-out; hence, there wasn't any need to spend the time and money necessary to change the heaters. The 'y w/s' had the tension reduced on the belts so that the tripping stopped and went home wondering if his move from Technical into Operations had been a wise choice. The rest of the a later time, the 'y w/s' did, in fact change to proper sized heaters resulting in better smelt dissolving tank agitation, reduced belt failures, and reduced sheave wear. Plus as time passed and the 'y w/s' became an 'old salt' in his own rite, his decision to be an Operations man proved to have been a good one.


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