I know that there really is no good reason for not blogging in forever, but you wouldn’t believe how busy work has been these last few months! For a quick recap, I am currently appointed as a project engineer on a fast-track project, building a plant in Limpopo, South Africa. My role on the project is quite vast and ranges from managing the design team to procuring all the large mechanical equipment, to cost and time management. Basically – I’m a ‘Jack of All Trades’.

You might think that the life of an engineer working in a remote place is drab and full of dirty old men, but you’d be very mistaken! My job keeps me running in heels! Every day is a brand new challenge – it keeps things interesting. Like today I was in Johannesburg, meeting with our design engineers. I had to sort out some issues with the order for our vibrating screens and feeders and sat in on a model-review meeting.

Model-reviews are really great. The draftsperson displays the most updated 3D model of the plant and the entire team goes through all the changes and progress made on the design over the past week. Today, after receiving the detailed information from one of our suppliers, we discovered that one of our major components was way bigger than we’d planned. In fact, it’s so big that it doesn’t even fit on the platform we built for it on site!

On the 3D model, we were able to play around with the orientation and positioning of the component, and with a little bit of creative re-routing of the planned plant roads, we were able to find a spot for it that everyone was happy with! The next step is to sell the concept to the project manager.

Over the next week, we’re going to have kick-off meetings for some of the equipment on order, including the jaw and cone crushers. This is when the design engineer, the project manager and the quality manager all sit down with the supplier to ensure everyone is clear about the scope of supply and that the quality management system is clearly understood. We’ll also be visiting the fabrication shop of our ball mill supplier – to check the quality and progress of the equipment. I can’t wait to see what the guys have been up to since we placed the order!