Boiler Production

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Boiler Production

Post  Steam Traction World on Thu 18 Apr 2013, 10:59 am

Hi All

Richard has asked for an update on boiler construction in the 4” Agricultural section of the forum. Given the reason behind the request I thought it worthwhile to include it as a production update.

I’ve copied below a letter that went out to our 2” & 4” Agricultural Engine builders earlier this year, so everyone knows the background.

“Dear Customer

It is with great regret that I need to inform you that our Boilermaker, Lee Mallalieu, has been diagnosed with cancer. He’s had understandably quite a bit of time off recently whilst awaiting diagnosis and has just started a fairly lengthy session of radiotherapy. He is not expected to return to work for at least three months.

Whilst our initial thoughts are with Lee and we sincerely hope that he will make a full and speedy recovery we must consider the short term impact on our customers and business.

We have therefore recruited a new (albeit temporary) Boilermaker, Harry Cheeseman. Harry joins us with a wealth of welding and fabrication experience and we’re sure he will be able to ‘fill the gap’ more than adequately. We need to get him through all the welding tests and procedures required for him to become a certified pressure vessel welder and then he’ll need to gain some experience in welding our boilers. The construction of our boilers is somewhat unique because of all the pre-drilled holes in the boiler barrel. We’ll therefore need to be certain that he’s mastered the technique on one boiler before we start producing a full batch. Harry will just be constructing our steel boilers.

Things are a little easier for our copper boiler construction in as far as we can re-assign an existing skilled silver solderer, Ian Adkins. Whilst Ian is skilled in silver soldering, it is quite sometime since he last made a boiler so inevitably his production rate will be less than Lee would have been able to achieve. We also need to cover the work that Ian would normally do.

We will try to keep boiler construction delays to a minimum but inevitably there will be some significant delay. We will assign boilers to customers on the basis of when orders were initially placed with us which seems to be the fairest way. We will also continue production of all post boiler kits to hopefully ensure the overall production period is not increased.

It’s difficult at this stage to be precise about the exact amount of delay. We’ll know more in a few weeks time.”

The current situation is that Harry has now passed all his tests and has been certified to weld our boilers. We have seven finished 4” Agricultural boilers (constructed previously by Lee) awaiting hydraulic test by RSA. We’re expecting a delivery of boiler barrels next week. When this arrives Harry will start constructing his first boiler. Both RSA and I want to ensure that he constructs it properly and within tolerance before he starts a batch. This will mean at least a couple of RSA visits. We will get the previously constructed boilers hydraulically tested on RSA’s first visit. Once we’ve gone through all of this we should be in a better position about understanding future steel boiler production.

Ian has now successfully completed his first copper boiler for the 2” Agricultural engine. Production of these has now commenced. Ian however also needs to do most of our other fabrication and sheetmetal work, so he can’t construct boilers full time. We’ve taken on an apprentice, who for the time being at least, is helping with some of Ians work. We should see the first batch of copper boilers completed during May.

I’ll add another post on the forum as we get more information.



Steam Traction World

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Re: Boiler Production

Post  Robfishman on Thu 18 Apr 2013, 11:48 pm

Thanks Steve

Our thoughts are also with him and his family and we wish him a speedy recovery.

Kind regards


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