Plants Grapple with Graying Staff

Retaining expertise and know-how remains a crucial issue.

Seán Ottewell, Editor at Large
BASF coach

Many chemical makers must defuse a demographic time bomb as veteran engineers and operators approach retirement. Companies are pursuing a variety of strategies to bring replacements up to speed and ensure that a vast wealth of knowledge and experience isn’t lost. For example, for over five years now, Air Products, Allentown, Pa., has been developing procedures for knowledge retention and transfer. So much so that today most of the activity at its corporate university centers on this challenge; the company has developed a range of informal learning techniques such as communities of practice, side-by-side working, after-action reviews and story-telling. At Dow…

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  • Plants Grapple with Graying Staff

    By Seán Ottewell, Editor at Large

    Many chemical makers must defuse a demographic time bomb as veteran engineers and operators approach retirement. Companies are pursuing a variety of strategies to bring replacements up to speed and ensure that a vast wealth of knowledge and experience isn’t lost. For example, for over five years…

    Full Story
  • Cast a Cold-Eye on Cooling System

    This Month’s Puzzler We would like to increase the cooling water flow to a tower condenser (heat exchanger A in Figure 1) from 2,900 gpm to the exchanger nameplate rating of 4,500 gpm. A review of the files shows the heat exchangers and control valves have plenty of capacity. In fact, we are…

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    By Andrew Sloley, Contributing Editor

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    By Chemical Processing Staff

    If you’ve heard it once you’ve heard it a thousand times -- you can’t manage what you can’t measure. And how can you measure something you can’t easily see? The goal of asset management and the tools of the trade (enterprise asset management software among them) is to enable total…

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  • Learning and Laughter Abound

    By Traci Purdum, Senior Digital Editor

    All work and no play makes for a grumpy workforce. And according to Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play, “There is good evidence that if you allow employees to engage in something they want to do, is playful, there are better outcomes in terms of productivity and…

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  • Bring Your Procedures into the 21st Century

    By David A. Strobhar, Beville Engineering

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