Welding Engineer, Chromalox (CHX)
How long have you been with our company and where did you start your career?
I have been with Chromalox for five years now. My career started with my Welding Engineering degree, and I have held six jobs before Chromalox since then (25 years). My jobs have ranged from building automated machinery, to repairing/fabricating castings, building bridges or dams to working on nuclear reactor fabrication and design.
What does a typical day look like for you?
On a typical day, I may work with Sales or AEs to determine if we can meet customers fabrication requirements or need extra qualifications. I could also work with design engineers on qualifying or assigning welding procedures to the ASME vessels they design. I also work with the welders on the shop floor to answer questions or give additional training on equipment or procedures that are new or different. I also make sure we have the right welding consumables (wire/rod) for the jobs that come through the shop, verifying that our consumables meet all customer specifications. I could also work with our fabrication department/engineers/project managers, like I did this morning, to figure out how to make a repair to an ASME vessel that had to be modified and meet all the ASME Section VIII requirements for the modification.
What’s challenging about your job?
My job can be challenging in dealing with all the different layers of Chromalox people and customers trying to get everyone to understand the requirements and restrictions for fabricating heaters/pressure vessels. Communicating with people around the world on how we need to fabricate things in the Ogden plant order to make a quality heater and vessel within the process restrictions we have here can be difficult.
What do you enjoy?
There are several parts I find enjoyable about this job. I like working with all the different materials we use and figuring out ways to meet customer’s requirements for fabricating them. It can be like putting together a puzzle at times. Another facet of the job I like is being able to make improvements. Helping Chromalox get better by implementing the use of new fabrication technology is a fun challenge. Working with the people here that have a good attitude is fun as well.
“I like working with all the different materials we use and figuring out ways to meet customer’s requirements”
Is there a specific project or piece of work, particular time you want to talk about – can you tell me about it? How did you do it and what support did you get? What impact has it had on the business as a whole?
One of the things I do that helps Chromalox and gives me a sense of accomplishment is investing in others. We have had three Welding Technicians here that I have mentored, and the most recent one graduated from his engineering tech program and became a second welding engineer here at Chromalox. Bringing these people along has improved the company and set us up for having the skill sets we need where we need them. Training AEs or DEs on fabrication and material issues also puts Chromalox in a better position to succeed instead of having the engineers learn (or miss) these requirements when a job comes along that needs them. At that point, it delays the jobs if the engineer hasn’t already been trained, or requirements could be missed.
What is the best part about working here?
The best part is working with the Chromalox people I enjoy. The quality team here is great to work with.
What difference do you make?
From what I’ve heard about what used to happen before I got here, our welding program has taken a giant step forward in skill and professionalism. It’s good to know the work you do is paying off, and that it’s recognised by others. I also like to make a difference for our customers. Getting welding procedures, qualification, and fabrication done right, even if it’s the first time we have done anything like it helps us keep our customers satisfied.
And what excites you about the future?
We are making improvements to our fabrication capabilities that will set us up should our medium voltage (direct connect) boiler business take off. Having a new technology/product like medium voltage boilers revitalise our business to take advantage of our improvements (and require even more improvements/expansion of our capabilities) would be exciting.