30 September 2007

Save Time

Our section of the shop has three Timesavers. A Timesaver is a huge belt sander with a conveyor belt. Slap your material on the conveyor, it gets pulled under the sanding belt, and then gently spit out the other side. Of our three, we only use two on a regular basis: the BIG ONE (for sheets) and the little one (for finished sets). Usually when we tell someone that there's a problem with the Timesaver, we mean the BIG ONE.

When I say BIG, I mean BIG. It's an older, bigger, non-computerized version of the widebelt model, and it's a good seven or eight feet tall. And it's finnicky. It needs to be cleaned (sprayed with a water-lubricant mixture) before and after every job because the steel dust and the lubricant/rust-inhibitor form sticky globs that block some of the parts from moving the way they're supposed to. When the (manual, not motorized) lift is blocked by gunk, it won't bring the conveyor belt close enough to the sanding belt, so the sheets won't come out the correct thickness.

Most of the guys don't bother cleaning the machine because it takes five minutes and needs to be done thoroughly. As a result, the gunk builds up, the lift stops working, and we have to go find Paul. This does not make Paul happy. In fact, it makes Paul really, really angry. He doesn't mind doing routine maintenance, but when it's a chronic issue that could be solved by the guys doing what they're supposed to do, he starts yelling and cursing.

It got so bad a few days ago that Paul started shouting at Melvin, telling him that he had to make sure the guys rinsed out the machine, and that if they didn't, he should fire them. That's how big an issue this has become. It's dying down, though. The guys clean the machine just enough for it to mostly work properly, and nobody calls Paul when they have problems. They just shrug and move on. It saves time.

Coming next: Health and Safety

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Are you still welding? Did you find a new job?

Keep blogging. We need to hear from more women in the trade.