WE HAVE A PASSION FOR SOLVING PROBLEMS 2010 Ecotech introduces Blast Monitoring Service Nicholas Dal Sasso MANAGING DIRECTOR MELBOURNE Some years ago, Ecotech was contracted to provide an upgrade to an Opsis CEMS (Continuous Emissions Monitoring System) at the Boral Cement Plant at Berrima in New South Wales. A very peculiar effect on the readings was observed which had everyone, including the supplier and me, baffled. The customer was anxious to get these readings working so it was a pressure cooker situation. After a lot of effort and some systematic troubleshooting, I found an unusual optical phenomenon to be the cause and a fix was implemented. After all was working, we asked the client for sign off on the last part of payment for this job and much to our surprise we were awarded a 15 % bonus for the efforts we put into overcoming this issue. Marie Laborde RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SWITZERLAND I guess my happiest proudest moment was a few years back when we couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the ACS 1000 Air Conditioning System. After a year, multiple trials in multiples laboratories from Melbourne to Sweden to Finland and many failures I finally figured out that a leak was the reason for all our troubles. I still remember the relief I felt when the graph appeared on my screen. This graph showed the theory and the measurements finally agreeing. Michael Gambold INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY MELBOURNE I remember one time that I had to travel to remote Queensland to assist with calibrations of Blast Monitors in the field for four days. I had flown into Mackay, heavily laden with my clothes, safety gear bag, tools, Geophone tester and laptop bag. My hotel was in a little town called Emerald, some 380 km and 4 hours drive away, and the site was another hours drive starting early the following morning. So here comes the funny/tragic part of the story… I got everything I needed ready for the next day, all the documentation, my laptop charged, and all my clothes, safety gear ready to go. I thought that I had better change the batteries in the Pistonphone (the microphone tester). I removed the four AA batteries and then when I went to install the new ones, the spring to hold the batteries (you know the ones) broke off. The reason it broke off was it was plated with some other metal and the plating stayed to the circuit board but the spring did not. You can imagine a few choice words were thrown around, but after the long time and distance to get here (not to mention the customer was counting on it) I came up with a plan. I “Magyvered” a solution by electrical taping the spring on to one of the batteries. This worked alright but would sometimes restart the test equipment as the spring was slightly compressed (not ideal when the calibration took 5-10 minutes). I didn’t have anything else lying around except for some change in my pocket. I then used a 5-cent piece in between the batteries as a spacer but to ensure that it did not touch the other battery terminals I covered it in half with electrical tape (imagine making a ying-yang with electrical tape). It worked and I could move it around without it restarting and could close the battery compartment. Amazingly this worked like a charm for the four days that it needed to work. When I got back to Melbourne I re-soldered this ensuring that it was done properly and fixed up the other tester that we had to ensure this problem would not happen again. ECOTECH : TOGETHER
OUR GLOBAL VILLAGE Khanh Nguyen TECHNICAL SUPPORT & SERVICE MELBOURNE Flight to Saumlaki Island from the Jakarta airport was probably the most frightening experience while working for Ecotech. The flight took off very early morning around midnight and the flight kept shaking most of the times, maybe due to the strong wind and everyone was panicking. 2011 Spectronus greenhouse & isotope analyser manufactured under license from University of Wollongong _ Ecotech wins Governor of Victoria Innovation Excellence Export Award Phil Schneider TESTING MELBOURNE There are many proud moments, including having shaved off my 17- year old pony tail and later dyeing my hair blonde for charity, so it’s hard to pick one. But one that does come to mind is training the new technicians for 10 weeks at Ecotech Industries in Pithampur, India. I think it was very valuable for both companies to be there and see the issues that they are facing more from their perspective. Building working relationships between the two factories was important and some of my favourite times were being on the bus on the way home from work, just hanging out with the Indian clan and listening to their thoughts on dowries, or sharing earpieces and our favourite music, which was something I hadn’t done since high-school. Rob Brown HEALTH, SAFETY, ENVIRONMENT & QUALITY (FORMALLY, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY) MELBOURNE Google Apps making us ONE office. Along with the IT team, we made the decision to shift our collaboration platform across from Lotus Notes to Google Apps. When we first made the move, some thought it was just another email platform that swapped a web interface for a clunky old mail application. What I’m really proud of is the way that eventually most people “got it”. What we were really trying to do was shift people to a new platform that allowed them to collaborate across the entire business. Meetings now take place hourly with participants across the world - that never used to happen. When we look at a Sales Forecast spreadsheet, we’re now all looking at the same Google sheet and people are updating it in real time. When we do a Communications Session, we now regularly have people in other branches joining in. Imagine how we’ll collaborate in the next 40 years. Image by: Rob Brown 51
"Very efficient. Competitive pricing. The reminders, I’m so busy in my job that it’s so great to have a reminder to do something. It really helps me.
I’m very happy".
- Tim Cannon – Research and Development Manager; Pecan Engineering Pty Ltd