Tuesday, October 12, 2004

an entire day at KC's

Today Ewan and I spent the whole day at KC's, getting a tandem-driven tarbato cart finished up. The interns from last year spec'ed the thing, and KC built as much as he could after they left. However, ambiguities remained in their drawings, and KC's guys were at a stand-still over it all. Nandu came with us in the morning, helping with translating and letting us know the history of how the project got to where it is. Then Ewan and I got to work.

This is the first day where I felt like I really made a contribution to EcoSystems' work that couldn't have been done without me. We were really engineers today, working to get the big-picture of the project tied together - directing the work of the guys in the shop. Many hands make light work, and these guys were turning, milling, hardfacing, heating and bending faster than you'd believe when we'd ask them to change something. We knew where the tandem was supposed to get to, and they were really happy to do what we asked. After lunch, Nandu left, and it turned out KC speaks more English than he let on to. Communication went really well - sometimes it was drawings, but mostly it was gesturing with the mechanisms - the kind of gesticulations mechanical people are always making anyway. KC's guys are great at fabricating with the equipment they have, but most of the guys - save for KC and one of the machinists - hadn't thought about what the machine's meant to do and how to get there. They want to fulfill the drawings as given to them, or fulfill requests made of them. It was important for Ewan and I to be there, and everyone was really happy with where the tandem was by the end of the day. It was a great day at work, and the dahl bat at dinner was good.


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