Tuesday, May 20, 2008

To be familiar with a paper machine...

Sun has already risen. Taxi leaves Industry Microbiologist (IM) at the mill gate. Wishes of good morning, a short phone call, registration as a visitor...

Then to the mill office. Friendly welcomed by the hosts - usually both from the production and QC laboratories. "Coffee?" - "Thank you, certainly!".

Short conversation about everyday issues. Everybody is sitting down. The meeting can start.

Short presentation of the company, mill, machines and products (if not already known by IM). It is interesting how informative such presentations today are! Basic facts, not too much - room for detailled questions.

Then towards the topics of the day.

There are several types of problems, caused by the microbial activity in raw materials, processes and products. Every problem is individual one and strictly confidential, but references from other mills are relatively easy to find. No more discussion about the problem itself at the moment, but ideas are stored somewhere in the mind.

Process layouts! Excellent! They are really needed to understand this new machine as "fermentor and ecosystem". What kind of raw materials+ What comes from where? Conditions? Flows? Delays in flows? Storage times? Biocide programs? Washing strategies? Several details...

And every time, after the answers - to store all this information somewhere in the mind (of course also on paper). To be processed later in the hotel room with a a pen and a sheet of paper. Different techniques- statistics, time series, even mind mapping...

But, before departure from the mill: visit to the machine. a most important issues. Analytical results from the control room of the machine, discussions with the personnel...Checking CCP's of the wet end and tank section, broke system...

Even more small details to send somewhere, in the back of the head.

Some analytical procedures before leaving. Rapid methods, if possible: luminometry, PC microscopy...

After overnighting, back to the mill. Person at the gate is alredy known by IM. "Hello, I will call...".

Straight to the meeting room. Some new persons have already arrived. Exchange of visit cards (how many different visit cards are there in the world? Is somewhere a museum for visit cards?).

Short summary of yesterdays' experiences and some proposals to be discussed. New persons present new ideas and new points of views. Conclusions, future forecasts.

Collection of small samples (easy to carrry with in IM's car - or to be packaged in a separate bag when flighting). Then the final meeting: what shall be done next? By who?

Farewell wishes, very friendly. Most important dates for activities, meetings, e-mail contacts have already been confirmed.

Leaving the mill - a satisfied feeling: something will progress, some help has been given...

- A typical visit by Industry Microbiologist in a paper mill. He really likes his job!

1 comment:

Helge V. Keitel said...

Juha, continue with your own blog. It's important to have lots of activities.

Br
Helge