One of the world's largest power utilities has benefited from bespoke training thanks to its industrial membership of TWI.
Eskom, the company responsible for producing around 95 per cent of South Africa's electricity, received a week-long training course delivered by one of TWI's in-house experts.
The bespoke course was specified by Eskom to cover precisely the areas its engineers would find most useful, encompassing a range of welding and materials topics.
Much of the training was specific to the power industry, an area in which TWI has a growing presence, including training in welding creep-resistant steel, post-weld heat treatment, field hardness testing and inspection of parent materials and welds.
The workshop was delivered as part of Eskom's industrial membership package. When a company joins TWI, a portion of its annual fee is set aside for pre-paid consultancy work, and Eskom was able to use this allocation to fund the training.
Around 50 Eskom employees with varying levels of experience attended the sessions: a mixture of welding engineers and inspectors, metallurgists and NDT technicians. For those who had recently graduated and joined the company, the workshop helped them understand applications of their academic knowledge. For the more experienced, it was an opportunity to refresh their knowledge and learn about updated methods and procedures. For all attendees, the training provided a chance to find out about other fields of work that were connected to their own, giving them a greater understanding of the context of their own area of operation.
TWI Principal Project Leader Marcello Consonni travelled to South Africa to deliver the course. An experienced trainer and engineer with a background in pressure vessel manufacture for the nuclear industry and more than ten years' experience, Marcello was well qualified to lead the workshop.
He said: 'Everyone I spoke to following the course said it had been very helpful. One of the most useful things for them was the opportunity to talk to someone with a broad knowledge of the industry, and to ask questions directly.
'It was a chance for them to draw on the expertise of TWI and receive answers to their queries in real time. And any questions that I wasn't able to answer when I was there, I brought back to Cambridge with me so that the relevant TWI experts could deal with them.
'Another less obvious but hugely beneficial aspect of the training was the unique opportunity for Eskom engineers to find out about how their counterparts elsewhere are doing things and benchmark their company practices and performances.
'Opportunities like this, and the events TWI member companies attend throughout the year, are a great way for organisations to network and share knowledge and experience.'
A spokesperson for Eskom said: 'The workshop was greatly appreciated by our staff, who found it to be extremely beneficial. The information on welding P91 was particularly useful in light of Eskom's new-build programme of two supercritical fossil power stations with P91 components.
'The majority of our staff would like to have more workshops of the same calibre because of the associated benefits and also to keep Eskom in line and up to date with the happenings and developments within the energy industry in other parts of the world. Overall, it was an excellent and well-attended seminar.'
TWI is a world-leading research and technology organisation. Over 900 staff give impartial technical support in welding, joining, material science, structural integrity, NDT, surfacing and packaging. Services include generic research, confidential R&D, technical information, technology transfer, training and qualification.
To find out more about how TWI membership could benefit your company, contact us.