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Metal Casting Technologies : March 2010
Back to the studied electrical engineering where I was a Dean's Lister during the last three years (of a four-year course) of my college schooling. After graduation, I had to take two Professional Board Examinations as required by our government for electrical engineers. The first was taken right after graduation and a license as Assistant Electrical Engineer was earned. After at least four years work experience, a second examination had to be taken to earn a Professional Electrical Engineer's license with the responsibilities of a Professional Engineer. I was a topnotcher in both examinations; I was a topnotcher twice in a row. My very first job as an electrical engineer was in a shipyard where I was assigned as an Assistant Supervisor in the Electrical Shop. I had a hand in setting up a 2-500 kva units of a 1,000 kva diesel-electric generating plant whose management was later assigned to me. I even designed (as the subject of my Engineering Report in the Professional Electrical Engineering Board Examinations that found its way to the Office of our Managing Director through a recommendation of the Chairman of the Board of Examiners) and constructed a 2.4 kv power distribution system for the Shipyard's welding machines that were dispersed around the drydock area, to improve voltage regulation as the power plant was 500 meters away. Meanwhile, the shipyard acquired a 30-year-old, second- hand, 2-tonne charge, electric arc furnace for its foundry intended for making steel for castings. The Managing Director, showing personal confidence in me, personally assigned me to set up this arc furnace and make it operable, reminding me that I was an electrical engineer and should have no problem with this. In about six months, I reported to him that the furnace was ready for operation and he charged me, "Good, now that you have set it up, you operate it. We have nobody else who can do it. Remember that this is my pet project." Thus I got assigned to the foundry department to give engineering support to the Foundry Supervisor, a highly experienced and good foundryman for producing castings in any alloy, except steel. It was only at this time that the foundry would venture into steel castings. I will always remember the first time we operated the arc furnace. The Managing Director sat in the Supervisor's office and watched the proceedings while we melted steel in the foundry for the first time. After four-and-a half hours (it would have taken normally only one hour to produce the melt), we tapped the furnace and poured "molten metal" into the prepared molds. The Managing Director was satisfied with the furnace's performance and left happily back to his office. I had a troubled sleep that night and headed to the foundry very early the next morning to check the result of our operation the day before. When I opened the molds, lo and behold, I found that we had poured slag into the molds and not metal. I wondered where the metal was and looked inside the furnace. There it was, solidified into one huge mass following the contour of the furnace bottom. Right then and there, I vowed to myself that no metal was to make a fool of me. I was going to lick this thing. It was the turning point in my life that transformed me from an electrical engineer to a foundryman and, later, to a metal engineer. For the next three years, besides my responsibility to attend to the power plant, I scrimped my time and learned the practical aspects of metalcasting and successfully started the foundry into the steel casting business. But there were many things I did not understand; I needed formal study to really know what was going on. As there was no metallurgical engineering course available in the Philippines at the time, I was sent by the Company through a US Government fellowship to study abroad and I opted to study Metal Engineering (Adaptive Metallurgy) How I became a foundryman and made steel castings I METAL Casting Technologies March 2010 47 By Prof. John H. D. Bautista, Consultant, Philippine Metalcasting Association, Inc. THE MANAGING DIRECTOR SAT IN THE SUPERVISOR'S OFFICE AND WATCHED THE PROCEEDINGS WHILE WE MELTED STEEL IN THE FOUNDRY FOR THE FIRST TIME.
Media Kit 2010