November is conference time
It’s November and the 2014 SKF National Maintenance Engineering Conference is upon us again. For our part of the world, this is the biggest show in town and one that could not happen without the enthusiastic support of a stack of volunteers who have a passion for engineering, industry and people like you.
Networking and supporting engineers is a core function of the Maintenance Engineering Society, so November caps off an entire year of network evenings, webinars, arguing with pointy hats and bleating to bureaucrats as we try and defend the world from poor decisions and logic vacuums.
From time to time we raise issues that seem out of step with the populous only to discover, such as with our appalling health and safety stats, that we are simply ahead of the pack and with patience, the rest will catch up.
This is the case with counterfeit materials, first raised by Larry Wiechern a number of years ago. While the horror stories mount, getting traction in the public arena is frustratingly slow so it is heartening to see that DEMM readers get it. Readers are adding to the discussion with their own experiences and points of view, such as Gary Lewis’s comments (DEMM October 2014 Point of View) regarding Paul Adlam’s article on safety testing of imported fasteners.
Gary adds some sensible comments including a salient point that an inspectorate previously existed that would have jumped on the issue without hesitation.
The MESNZ’s view is that an open market system akin to beef and lamb’s ‘Quality Mark’ programme for imported materials is the model to follow.
We also believe the topic will not hit front and centre until our insurers start declining payouts due to counterfeit materials. It is only a matter of time before the tip of that iceberg surfaces.
While these topics and others such as apprenticeships, guarding, qualifications, etc buzz around their heads, engineers continue to do what they have done for generations; keep the wheels turning.
MESNZ recognises the need to pass on the learning and experience across workplaces and on to newer generations, so actively creates opportunities for engineers to meet, talk and listen.
Far from being dinosaurs, we believe engineers can step up and play a prominent part in industry, hence the society call to ‘lift your game’.
So, get out of your cave and trot down to Hamilton for the annual conference. Better still, join up with the society and come along to one of our network events.