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Foreword

This book is written by three engineers who have had exceptional experiences in industry, particularly the hydrocarbon process industry. All of them have held positions of authority in the maintenance and reliability of the companies they worked for. A reader will quickly grasp that they were self starters and still are, as evidenced by the creation of this book. These are not men who needed to be pushed. Indeed, I suspect that that would have dampened their motivation to create and install the myriad of solutions and systems that they introduced.

The book is a selection of work problems that these men had to struggle with and solve. The chapters penetrate every aspect of field engineering, maintenance, and field management. Each author was able to make contributions to each section. They were able to do this because of their remarkable breadth of experience, which readers will appreciate as they read and assimilate the various sections.

In my own career as a field engineer and manager in the process industry, I learned to listen and even enjoy the experience of others. Everything you read in this book will not be directly applicable to your particular job at the moment. However, as you read and enjoy their related experiences you will be storing their experiences in your mind. You will build connections to your own experiences that will make the text memorable. Finally, you will form ideas about how to approach problems that will make your respective jobs easier and more fulfilling.

The three authors provide their experiences in facilities in the Middle East, Far East, Europe, and Central America. As a reader, you may want to put yourself in the place of the writers as you study each episode in their long litany of experiences. In this way, you will taste the cultures that formed their experience.

I was gratified that the book did not linger on mechanical "How To" ideas, but got to the heart of what makes a refinery, or a machine manufacturing facility, or any production facility really work well. These men are really pointing out, although they do not specifically say it, that the greatest impetus to successful operations is how people manage themselves and set up the procedures that provide rapid and accurate work products.

At the end of each of their related experiences, the writer delineates the lessons he learned from that encounter and the principles that emanated from the experience. In reading the draft, I found that the lessons and principles capped the learning; they made the narration of the depicted experiences complete.

In summary, this is a must read for people who have to struggle with the day-to-day problems of plant life. If you have a subordinate field position in a manufacturing facility, this book will reveal why bosses do the things they do. If you are in a supervisory or management role, this book will help you steer your career.

The Late Charles J. Latino Formerly CEO and President Reliability Center, Inc.

 
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