Hans Ryser, Chairman, Heating System Managers Forum (Heizwerkführer Forum), Switzerland
"The right screw in the right place – that’s what it‘s all about."
If I were on that popular TV quiz show where people have to guess other people‘s profession, I would have stumped a lot of people. I was a heating plant manager and plant mechanic for a food products company all the way up until my retirement. I have been Chairman of the Heating Plant Manager Forum since it was organized in 1999 as an association for best practice sharing and continuing education. Heating plant managers are in charge of ensuring smooth operation of steam and hot water systems at waste heat plants and industrial firms. They run the systems, monitor processes and oversee quality.
Hardly any space to properly tighten a screw
Industrial Thermal Engineering (IWT) heating plant managers are also responsible for plant maintenance and perform servicing. Being knowledgeable about the many aspects of joining and fastening technology is a key competency. Pipelines can be laid in such Byzantine fashion that sometimes there is hardly any space to properly tighten a screw, almost like on a submarine. That is why we arranged a group visit to Bossard AG.
Bossard‘s Director of Application Engineering took us on a fascinating journey through the world of fastening. He explained to our group the meaning of the various designations appearing on screws, the forces applied to them, how to properly tighten them using a torque wrench and how to ensure proper lubrication, even during maintenance. The most striking part though was his comments on why it is so important to always use the right screw at the right place.
After his expert presentation we from the Heating Plant Managers Forum agreed that a “fastening seminar” like that should really be mandatory as part of heating plant manager training. One big reason why, is that heating plant managers are not only responsible for trouble-free operation of heating plants, but also bear tremendous responsibility for the safety and protection of both, people and the environment. Their valuable knowledge and expertise thus translates into huge benefits for future generations.