Success beyond the mountain we climbed together

by The Tata Power Co. Ltd.
0 24 5.0/5

As a bunch of unknown and unfamiliar persons got together, the only thingthat we knew was that we were on a New Journey, unknown to the  Division. The employees in the plant murmured in hushed anticipation.  “Something new is about to happen”. In the ‘more than two decades’ no one had dared to step into the areas where we were about to tread, modifying the existing ways and traditional systems, rejuvenate the processes and infuse fresh thinking into the mundane process. “Do you really think this bunch of guys can do anything at all?”, many asked, mocking us more than really supporting us.

Indeed, over the past few years small incremental improvements had been done but flittered away over time with no significant impact. Market demanded not just being reliable but also cheap, sustainable and process-oriented. A pensive Head of Operations, Shekhar got into ahuddle with the unfamiliar faces under the guidance of Supratik at Jamshedpur and Rashmikant at Mumbai. “The stakes are High and we have a mountain to climb” he quipped. “Can you guys give us something different?” he asked the sombre group. Mail exchanges soon turned to frequent VC session as the project steps unfolded one by one. Indeed, we had to bring down the Flue Gas Exit Temperature, ensuring better combustion in the boiler and lesser atmospheric heat up. The challenge was huge.

The Team was enthusiastic right from the word GO and meticulously went through the process of the Define and Measure. It was here that with some small elementary improvements itself our target got closer. This gave us the necessary adrenalin in the dark forest of mystery. The cloud of uncertainty slowly started moving away and the sun seemed to shine brighter. Having gone half way, the Team now focussed on the root causes and interrelated factors that contributed to the High FGET. Each of the members from different backgrounds,Mohit, Santu, Tapas, Nitin and Mukesh put their head together to come up with the ultimate solutions. “Boss you will be surprised very soon” they told Namjoshi the Head of the Division.

Indeed, God helps those who help themselves as our shutdown was just when we needed it to be. One by one the screened ideas were implemented, and our refurbished baby was set to roll. As the first megawatt whizzed past into our customers premises, we all kept on looking at the Graphs of the multi display screens before us. We were on the verge of an important milestone. The whole division along with our Corporate Team waited and waited till it was established that we were well on our way to permanent glory, having established the system without any extra cost, just by the steely determination and the wonderful process we followed.

We implemented the solution to bring down the hot flue gas exit temperature from the furnace which resulted in reducing most vital parameter of Heat Rate and enhanced efficiency of the unit through the Six Sigma methodology. “Go and celebrate”, Namjoshi said breaking into a wide grin as he went through the before and after figures. We not only created history but also made a bunch of very good friends who stuck together during the hard trials and uncertain ups and downs of the process. The success became history and we were hailed as heroes in our own right.

Lessons Learned

  • Following of the DMAIC process and  analyses method which created the final Poka Yoke
  • Multi-Disciplinary CFT came up with different ideas to remove thebottlenecks
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