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The jinks

  1. Jun 12, 2007 #1


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    Don't believe in such a thing? well i have proof.

    The proof is performance figures between three shifts of operators on one
    production line.

    If this one person is in that shift production goes down by up to 15%.

    This has been a long term study over three months, we have found that if this one person is just in the production area, not even working on the line
    production output goes down.

    As i have said this was a long term study with all manner of people trying
    to identify the reason for the short fall, at no time was this person seen
    to be doing anything other than his job in a proper manner.

    This person was put on another production line, and yes output went down.

    The mechanical causes of reduced out put? well no mechanical failure, just
    a multiple of minor things that (could) happen any time.

    Now is that aint proof of a jink i give up.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 12, 2007 #2


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    Sounds like proof to me. :biggrin: So do minor mishaps happen around this person?
  4. Jun 13, 2007 #3


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    The only thing i can think of is when he uses the toaster in the canteen,
    he sets the fire alarm off, twice in one week, it works fine for other people.

    Sounds spooky but the man hours that have gone into this investigation are in the hundreds.
  5. Jun 13, 2007 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    How many people work on each shift?

    What are his duties?

    Is he a happy employee? Aside from a simple statistical anomaly, my first thoughts are sabotage or incompetence. Does he talk a lot and cause distractions? What is his access to the sources of the failures?

    I've done several jobs that involved cleaning up the mess left by ex-employees who had grudges. One time I even caught someone sabotaging my work. :surprised
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2007
  6. Jun 14, 2007 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    I've had two jobs that seemed to be cursed. One involved an underground control room that, as it turned out, was using two different control technologies that had never been merged before. Unfortunately the factory didn't explain this to me until I had eaten about a month of work - it was a bid job. Then the construction foreman's father died and he had to leave, which slowed down work to a crawl since no one else on his crew knew what was going on. Then the control room collapsed due to an engineering error. Then the primary contractor went bankrupt. Then a bank took over the job and everyone threatened to sue each other, including me, and I hadn't even been paid yet!!!

    Had another job that began with me slipping and nearly breaking my leg as I entered the building. From there everything went down hill as I tried to limp up and down the stairs twenty times an hour. Everything that could go wrong did, twice. There were even times that the system would run fine for several hours, and then, seemingly inexplicably, it would fail as soon as I walked out on the production floor. I really did start to wonder if this was even possible!!!

    I made a bundle on that job but only got two to four hours of sleep most nights. By the time of the start-up I was literally hallucinating from lack of sleep.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2007
  7. Jun 14, 2007 #6
    sounds like me and sports teams
  8. Jun 14, 2007 #7


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    I had a technical consulting job that was an apparent set-up from the start, though I couldn't prove it. My company had sold a dryer felt - a continuous porous plastic mesh fabric designed to transport wet paper through a series of encounters with steam-filled dryer cans (large rotating heated cylinders that dry paper) to be used in a certain dryer section, and the assistant production superintendent (who unbeknownst to me was about to quit the mill and work for my competitor) and the maintenance manager were pushing the idea that my company's dryer felt was causing that entire section of the paper machine to shudder and was causing sheet breaks, which was causing production losses and -$$$$$$. Their major "proof" was that every time the seam on this continuous fabric came around, it coincided with an axial shudder of this huge piece of machinery, and they had the vibration analysis results to "prove" it. I could not convince these nuts that they were wrong, so I went over their heads to the superintendent in charge of that group of paper machines and got him to order the production crew to run that section at-speed before they cut off our dryer felt so I could see what was going on (these fabrics are very $$$$ and are a big factor in the cost of making paper). We got the section running and sure enough, the section (massive steel frames, rolls and dryer cans) was shuddering pretty much in harmonics with the felt-length, but I went to the back side of the machine and spent about 10 minutes listening to the machine, holding my flashlight against the frame of the machine and up to my ear, using it like a primitive stethoscope. I asked to have the section shut down ASAP and the production superintendent and the maintenance manager wanted to know why (and rightly so) so I asked the maintenance manager if the drive gears inside the dryer frame were helical-cut instead of straight, and he said that they were. I told him that the retaining nut for the bull gear (the main drive gear for the section) had apparently backed off, and was allowing the bull gear to slide back and forth axially as the section slowed or sped up, causing the side-to-side shudder and vibration and affecting section speed. He was doubtful, but on orders from the production superintendent, he had inspection covers removed from the back side of the frame and his crew confirmed that this was in fact the case. It took a couple of days to get and install a replacement for the bull gear, but it saved the company BIG $$$$ to catch this problem while the slack gear had not had the time to wreck the whole dryer section. After that, I did not have to "prove" myself to the production staff or maintenance crew of that mill - they knew me as soon as I showed up in the mill.

    The paper machine was manufactured by Beloit, is located in Jay, Maine and was operated by International Paper. The production superintendent was subsequently promoted, and as a result of his promotion, my "presence was required" on other problematic shutdowns in IP mills in Ticonderoga, NY and even more distant locations. Sometimes "curses" or "unexplained effects" are not only explainable, but easily so if you're willing to ignore the "obvious" answers. In this case, the correlation of the vibration with the frequency of the felt seam was "obvious" but not at all logical, but the maintenance/production folks were unable to see beyond the reports from their vibration analysis machines. "Curses" can be lifted by people who are willing to think rationally.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2007
  9. Jun 14, 2007 #8


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    There are six people in the area of the most inexplicable faults, of them only
    two move from set positions, the only things that are done manually is the
    filling of magazines, one with pots the other lids.
    One person keeps the pot mags full, another the lid mags.
    But i have even done these jobs myself to rule out tampering.
    It sounds crazy but pots will just stop feeding, hang back, we have switched batches of pots, checked all the specs over and over, all they have to do is drop vertically.
    We have had the service engineers from the machine manufacturers check
    every thing and operate the machine, if this one person is in the room faults still happen.
    Vacuum cups stop picking lids from mags, the entire system has been renewed, vac cups, vac generators, valves, pipes, lids changed to batches that are known to work ok.
    These are just two examples of inexplicable faults there are more, that happen only when this person is about.
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