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Y-12 craftsmen expand skill set

Dalton and Rowland earn Reliability and Maintainability
Implementation Certification

y-12 jimmy dalton receives award
UT’s Dr. Klaus Blache, right, congratulates Y-12’s Jimmy Dalton, an outside machinist, on earning his Reliability and Maintainability Implementation Certification; image courtesy of Y-12

OAK RIDGE, TN – Jimmy Dalton and Danny Rowland, both outside machinists at the Y-12 National Security Complex, are the first at the site to earn Reliability and Maintainability Implementation Certification through Y-12’s partnership with the University of Tennessee.

During the two-year certification program, the craftsmen expanded their skill set, learning new techniques and technologies to sustain not only Y-12’s legacy facilities but also the site’s modern infrastructure. Proactively maintaining assets and equipment keeps the site operating safely, securely, and productively. It’s also less expensive than running equipment to failure.

“The right maintenance at the right time provided by highly trained craftspeople is a primary focus for Y 12’s Infrastructure organization, and this certification supports that focus,” said Paul Durko, manager of Y-12’s Reliability and Maintainability department.

Dalton and Rowland achieved the certification by completing 120 hours of continuing education through Y-12’s Maintenance Continuing Education Program, three 40-hour off-site workshops at UT’s Reliability and Maintainability Center, and a Y-12 improvement project.

“The program was a great opportunity to continue learning and refresh my skills and knowledge,” said Dalton, whose project involved upgrading a Y-12 access control barrier. The upgrade increased equipment reliability and saved more than $80,000 in unscheduled maintenance.

y-12 danny rowland receives award
Y-12’s Danny Rowland, left, receives his Reliability and Maintainability Implementation Certification from UT’s Dr. Klaus Blache. “Once you understand how reliability and maintainability best practices impact operational efficiency and effectiveness, it’s much easier to focus work on what really matters,” Blache said; image courtesy of Y-12

For his project, Rowland, chief steward for the site’s outside machinists, created and implemented a Y12 employee apprenticeship program for the trade, which includes maintenance and repair of ventilation fans, gear boxes, pumps, compressors, and other mechanical equipment. Through Rowland’s research, Y-12 expects to realize a savings of $120,000 over four years.

“There hasn’t been an outside machinist apprenticeship program at Y-12 since the 1990s,” Rowland said. “Now we have several apprenticeship classes underway. Developing this program has been one of the most challenging and rewarding things I’ve done as chief steward.”

The Reliability and Maintainability Implementation Certification is one way Y-12 is investing in employees and building workforce skills the site needs to fulfill its National Nuclear Security Administration mission.

“Jimmy’s and Danny’s achievement expands the overall knowledge base of our union membership and provides more resources to other employees as they encounter new technologies and improved methods of meeting our tasks,” said Mike Thompson, Atomic Trades and Labor Council president. “Their accomplishment becomes a stepping stone to raising the bar for everyone going forward.”

Published October 7, 2019

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