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Rad Sponge

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Chemistry laboratory procedures
« on: Apr 18, 2007, 08:33 »
Our chem management is pushing hard to switch our laboratory procedures from rule based (Navy style) to knowledge based in effort to allow maximum flexibility while in the lab.

The procedures to extract the samples from the plant will still be rule based since we are manipulating valves, switches, etc just like OPS OIs.

I am looking for leads into how other labs are functioning.

Its pretty inefficient to do pH, for example, step by step when the guidance straight out of the tech manual gives general guidance and not tell you which fingers to use to push the buttons (I exaggerate, but you get the idea)

I am looking to gather knowledge and pass it on to the project manager.

Here is what we operate in the lab and in the spaces:

Dionex IC Dx 500s with 2000s and 3000s in the testing phase.
HACH UV-VIS 4000 for silica and hydrazine grab samples
HACH UV-VIS 5000s for ONLINE silica (DI Supply) and hydrazine(Feed)
Shimadzu GCs for Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Oxygen
OI TOC 1100 analyzer
Mettler DL 21 Boron titrator with DL50 in the testing phase
HACH turbidimeter
Various ph probes, conductivity meters, snap chemets
SWAN sodium analyzer ONLINE (Feed, Condensate, Demins)
Orbisphere O2 Online (Feed, Cond)

Our radioassay procedures are already flexible. I am focused on power plant pri and sec.

The balance is between our vision and the document/procedures people.

Change management, who moved my cheese, etc.


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Re: Chemistry laboratory procedures
« Reply #1 on: Apr 18, 2007, 09:29 »
Knowledge based procedures work long as the techs use their knowledge. Rule based procedures are a pain in the butt. They give management total control, and don't allow for any in the field improvements. Knowledge based do allow more flexibility, but the techs will actually be required to do their job, and do it well. I prefer knowledge based, but there is always somebody that makes a mistake, and then blames an inadequate procedure for the problem. Or management overreacts to an error, and decides to micromanage via procedures.

knowledge and rule based procedures ebb and flow like a sine wave, and if you plot it out, the wave will follow your error rate.....

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Re: Chemistry laboratory procedures
« Reply #2 on: Apr 18, 2007, 09:46 »
As a potential compromise, we have certain tasks in OPS (also maintenance and HP) that are considered "skill of the craft". Perhaps the rule-based procedures (drawing the sample) could dictate something generic like "analyze".

It sounds strange at first, but is already done on things like EHC (main turbine control) at some utilities. A departmental procedure would then lay out which tasks were considered requisite skill of the craft for any given position.
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