The alarm goes off, signalling the start to another day. Luckily my partner and housemate are also up early, so I can be as noisy and clumsy as I like.
I make my lunch and then jump on my bike to ride into work.
I arrive at work and get straight into it. Overnight I’ve received no emails that require further action so I have time to plan my day and sort through my open tasks.
I head out to the workshop to attend the disassembly of an excavator boom cylinder from one of our projects. The project team has requested a failure analysis for this component. We are required to supervise the disassembly and carefully inspect all parts to develop a root cause of failure.
I gather the disassembly information and cylinder seals to commence the failure analysis for the cylinder. I discover a failure mode I haven’t seen before, so I grab a few of the other engineers, and we brainstorm possible causes. There’s a wealth of knowledge and experience available from the engineers at Thiess. It has been great learning from them, and they’re always happy to pass their knowledge onto the next generation of engineers.
It’s time for the all-important mid-morning coffee.
It’s back to the office for a meeting with our senior engineer to review one of my design and drawing packs. This design is for a multi-level transport cage, an improvement request from one of our delivery drivers. The senior engineer gives me a few tips and changes to implement before we send it to the manufacturer.
I receive the oil analysis results from a dozer final drive that informs our another failure analysis we conducted earlier in the week. The results show elevated levels of aluminium and silicon, confirming our earlier suspicion of dirt ingress and contamination. With this, I’m able to finalise my report and send this back to the project.
Time for the third-best part of my day, behind coffee number one and two – it’s design time. I jump into CAD, an engineering software, to design some transport stands for regular components we send out to our projects. Having dedicated stands for each component makes storage and transport safer for both us and the project team.
The engineers head downstairs for lunch. We must be quick, as we only have 30 minutes to discuss all the world’s issues from our lunchroom at Darra.
After lunch, we hop in the ute to drive out to a subcontractor’s facility. We’ve been working with them to implement a new remanufacturing method for cylinders and are there to inspect a few prototypes.
I arrive back at the workshop and begin preparing for another disassembly tomorrow. It’s a component I haven’t seen before, so I spend some time looking through the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) assembly drawings to understand how it operates and where its failure points could be.
I wrap up for the day, close out the last of my emails and jump on my bike to ride home.
I arrive home and get some garage time before dinner. Being able to tie in your work to your hobby is always great and given that my car is always broken, the failure analysis skillset comes in handy.
Sit down for dinner and to watch some TV.
Off to bed, ready for another big day tomorrow.