Just do it…Refreshing our…

Just do it…One way

Even though we can titrate with our eyes (almost) closed, it takes discipline to get a solid, consistent result. It isn’t all that technical, but like a lot of things, the key is having a repeatable technique.

As an example holding the reagent bottle as vertically as possible will deliver a certain drop size. Hold it at 45 degrees and the drop size will increase because there’s more surface area in contact with the fluid – ergo bigger drops.

The problem isn’t so much as whether you hold it perfectly vertical or at 45 degrees. The problem comes if you switch back and forth. Do that and you might be off a drop or two in that ten-drop target’s measurement.

Then there’s the temperature of the sample and of the titrant itself. Use a reagent in February that’s been your 35-degree trunk and you’ll get a different outcome that if it’s at room temperature.

Of course if the wash tank sample is 155F versus 120F, you guessed it, a different outcome. And of course pulling a sample blindly somewhere in the dispenser’s range is always a crap shoot. That’s why it needs to be done at the beginning of the feed cycle and at its’ end so we can average the two for an accurate measure.

But in the end whether we tilt the bottle, warm the reagent, or any other variant, the key is to do it the same way. Then even if your actual end point is only sort of correct, it’ll at least be the same day in and out.

Next up: Temps and dispenser accuracy…Training approach.

We probably all remember that one lazy teacher in high school who was mailing it in rather than making any real effort to engage with the class. The predictable result was a room full of bored, disinterested and (inevitably) poorly educated teens who couldn’t wait until the bell rang so they could escape the tedium.

Well, maybe we’re occasionally guilty of having become “that” teacher when we’re training operators. And if we are, then we probably deserve the next emergency call forcing us to stop what we’re doing to deal with a completely uncalled for problem whose root cause was an inattentive or otherwise ineffective operator who wasn’t really trained.

The answer to avoiding that situation is admittedly harder to do than it is to say. But poorly executed training will inevitably result in a poor outcome. And since we depend on that worker to reasonably follow the procedures we’re teaching to make our lives better, it only stands to reason that we need to do it well. Perhaps thinking back to one of the great teachers who had our interest and attention is a good starting place.

Next up: Selling our training.