Dear Friends,

I have studied Master of Technology (Mechanical Engineering) from IIT, Mumbai, India. About 29 years ago, I stated working as a quality control engineer for the erection of India’s first 500 MW Thermal Power Plant by Tata Power. I have experience of 5 years in erection and 23 years in maintenance of Thermal Power Plants of Tata Power at Trombay, Mumbai, India. During my service at Tata Power, under training program for technology transfer I have taken training for steam turbine repair and upgrade techniques at Tennessee Valley Authority, USA.

I have observed that there is a wide gap between what is taught in a college (theoretical knowledge) and what is required (practical knowledge) in the industry. Due to this young engineers have to struggle a lot to acquire practical knowledge. Fortunately for them, now knowledge is available on internet but they don’t know what they should know. Another problem with internet is that though knowledge is available there, searching it is very time consuming. It is like searching a pearl from an ocean.

To best of my knowledge, in India no one is giving structured training for mechanical maintenance in totality. There are trainers and organizations offering maintenance training but they are limited to subject of their specialization. In view of this even experienced persons may not know some important things unless they spend a lot of time in upgrading their knowledge. I will give one example to explain this. I have used wire rope slings for many years but I did not know the effect of D/d ration on sling capacity till I started surfing net to write an article on it. This type of ignorance is very dangerous as it can lead to a fatal accident.

In today's competitive world new products and services are introduced everyday but even experienced persons come to know about it only by chance. This is due to gap between manufacturer’s sales representatives and end users. I will illustrate this point also by one example. As per me SPEEDI-SLEEVE made by SKF is a very good product to repair shafts grooved by oil seals. It is a thin walled sleeve having a high quality finish to provide an optimal counter face for a radial shaft seal. The sleeve is simply pushed in to position over the worn area providing a sealing surface that is as good as a new shaft. A coal handling plant of a Thermal Power Plant uses a large number of gearboxes for coal conveyors where oil leakage at radial seal is one of the common problems. This product can be used to attend oil leakage problem due to grooved shaft. I came to know about this product by chance shortly before I choose to resign from Tata Power.

I believe that it is possible to change above scenario if some highly experienced technical person with passion for maintenance starts meticulously working with determination to change it.

Now I will tell you about the environment in which I worked for 28 years. The Tata motto is to improve the quality of life – of their consumers, employees, shareholders and the communities where they operate. The importance of social responsibility was enunciated by Jamsetji Tata, the Founder and has been expanded upon by successive chairmen of the Tata Group. Tata Group believes that it is their duty to ensure that the wealth that they generate is in part distributed within the community, in which they work and live.

I have passion for maintenance and have acquired knowledge for it by working hard and spending a lot of time. As knowledge helps a person perform better, every one wants to acquire it but as I wrote earlier, with a lot of difficulty. In today’s world, all are very hard press for time and I do not want that everyone shall work hard like me and spend a lot of time to acquire it. Inspired by Tata’s commitment towards social responsibility, I thought that as I am competent, I shall take up the work of bridging the gap and resigned from Tata Power with effect from August 15, 2008. In the past, I have created and uploaded some articles on my blog site (now renamed as As per my plan, now I am launching this website as I have adequate articles. Website will ease searching of published articles. I am confident that with the help of like minded people in creating this website (site for people by the people), it will help to improve the quality of life of people working in the field of mechanical maintenance and erection.

There is one more reason to make this site. During one lecture I attended on Knowledge Management when I was with Tata Power, the speaker told that it is very important to take care of knowledge with the people. If a person leaves the company it goes with the person and if a person dies, it also dies. I don’t want the knowledge gained by me to die with me. As per me website is the best place to keep it live for the benefit of the society.

You must be curious to know why I am doing all this. The answer is simple – it makes me happy. I have no words to describe my happiness, it is to be experienced!

I have gained immense knowledge in erection and mechanical maintenance during last 28 years working in Trombay Thermal Power Station of The Tata Power Company Limited, Mumbai, India. For this, I am very thankful to the Management of Tata Power for giving me an opportunity to learn.

In my articles, I will try to write in short about various topics related with mechanical maintenance. However, as the articles are written to take care of all types of persons from a technician to in-charge of a maintenance department, some persons may find part of the information useless to them. Please ignore the irrelevant information. As specifications (standards) are covered under copy write, it is not possible to give detail information about them. In view of this, specifications number and some detail/information about it is given in the articles. You may obtain more detail from your product/service supplier.

Please help me to improve this site – send me your suggestions and contribution.

Before I sign off, I will like to tell you that I like mentoring/training and consultation. Any one interested in it may please contact me. Mentoring/training and consultation will be provided free to individuals.


K P Shah

Posted on May 01, 2009

Page last updated on May 01, 2012

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