Thank you for taking time to wonder through my Condition Monitoring Web Site. I hope you found the content interesting and informative (I sure found it interesting when I decided to teach myself web site design and attempt to put this site up for all to see).
Let me tell you a little about myself :-
My name is David Stevens, I am Divorced and have two beautiful daughters, Leanne Margaret and Bethany. We live in a little place called Orrell near Wigan, Lancashire.
I started my working life back in 1974 as an apprentice maintenance mechanic for what was then the National Coal Board (N.C.B), latter to become British Coal.
Most of my 4 year apprenticeship was split between St-Helens technical college, Old Boston training centre in Haydock, Lancashire and my employing colliery, Golbourne.
After successful completion of my apprenticeship, I was informed, along with several other 'rookies' that Golbourne colliery was over staffed with qualified mechanics and would we consider relocating to a bordering colliery, it was then that I chose to go to Sutton Manor Colliery were I spent many happy years.
It was at Sutton Manor Colliery that I was 'let loose' with my bag of spanners and trusty 'Knocking Stick' (hammer) to do my best at maintenance and installation of many types of machines used in the extraction and transportation of coal from the underground workings.
After 2 years out of my apprenticeship I decided to go back to college and study for my Mechanical Engineers National Certificate whilst also studying at City & Guilds level, in Hydraulic & Pneumatic system design and Computer Controlled Systems. This took a further 4 years block release at St-Helens Technical College.
In 1988 I was advised that the position as head of the (relatively new) Vibration Monitoring and Oil Analysis department at Sutton Manor Colliery was soon to become vacant and asked would I be interested in applying, this is were my career started to take off.
At the time, this 'Condition Monitoring' technology was 'Black Magic' to me, but also very interesting and I could see the benefits which could be gained from this new predictive approach. I went through the interview stage and was successful in winning this position (I would like to Thank Mr Garry Green who was Colliery Mechanical Engineer at this time for giving me that wonderful start).
I joined a department called PPM (Planned Preventative Maintenance) which consisted of three other guys (two maintenance planners, Garry Conley (not the rugby player) and Les Hefferan, also in the team was a metallurgist, Phil Burns). The first few weeks were very trying for me as I had VERY LITTLE experience with computers, and had even less with vibration monitoring (Talk about outside the comfort zone).
As time went by, and some incorrect analytical decisions made, (from which a lot was learned) the program was beginning to produce results and associated cost benefits, this increased the confidence within the Engineering, Production and Management staff that value can be derived from this relatively new predictive approach.
After approximately 18 months it was announced that Sutton Manor was going to be one more of the Colliery closure statistics so I needed to look for new employment, fortunately this came looking for me in the form of a company called Monition from Bolsover in Chesterfield. I had a call from this company 2 days after the announcement of the colliery closure asking would I be interested in working for them (you can guess at the answer).
This company required a Vibration Monitoring Engineer to manage the Condition Monitoring at two Lancashire collieries (Parsonage and Bickershaw), this was an ideal situation, as it allowed me to continue in an area of employment which I was really enjoying and starting to really develop my analytical, diagnostic and prognostic skills.
After 12 months with Monition I was promoted to Head of the Analytical department (which meant I would be office based in Bolsover) some 120 miles from home. This did not deter me as I was in a job which was more like a hobby. Unfortunately, all the driving to and from the Bolsover office was starting to take its toll and I had to make a decision, either move home or look for a company involved in Condition Monitoring (CM) closer to home.
After lengthy discussion with my wife (ex wife now), and trying to pre-empt the direction of the company for the future, I decided to seek employment closer to home.
Around Christmas time 1991, an ex Sutton Manor colleague and friend, Peter O'Brien, told me of a company in Stockport, Manchester called AV Technology Ltd. who were looking for a Vibration Monitoring Engineer. I contacted the company to find out a contact name and subsequently sent my CV to them. I was contacted and asked to attend an interview at the Stockport office and shortly after was offered the position with them. (Eureka!)
With this company I was responsible for the day to day running of a large Vibration Monitoring programme at Shell UK, Stanlow Manufacturing Complex in Ellesmere Port, Chester. This involved data collection and analysis of some 1500 machines across a repeating 5 week cycle (something to get my teeth into).
Along with the Stanlow CM programme I was also involved with Condition Monitoring on several North Sea and Southern North Sea production Oil and Gas platforms, Pulp & Paper, Food & Beverage and several other chemical plants as well as trouble shooting, on-site balancing, Infrared Thermal; Imaging, Failure Analysis, Oil Analysis etc. (keeping me very busy indeed).
In February 2000 I was offered the position with Shell Industrial Services as the European Equipment Condition Monitoring (ECM) advisor, responsible for the development and implementation of ECM solutions across all class of market in the European community and in January 2003 I was promoted to Project Manager for the Shell Services Asset Monitoring Centre of Excellence.
Unfortunately, In July 2004 it was announced that this position, and many more on a global scale, where about to be made redundant. It was at this time that I started to review my career path and think seriously about what I wanted to do for the future. Global travel was taking its toll and I decided that it was time to look at reducing this significantly.
I started to look at opportunities in the UK, with both small and large organisations. It was not long before several job prospects were available to me, I was now in the fortunate position to review and make my decision based on what would fit my requirements. I would like to thank Shell for a very interesting and challenging 41/2 years, which certainly helped me develop and improve many additional skills which will only add value to what I can continue to offer.
In November 2004 I accepted a very interesting and challenging opportunity with a global company called Rockwell Automation as Senior Engineer for the ICM (Integrated Condition Monitoring) division.
Unfortunately, this job did not meet my expectations, and after just 14 months I was in a position which necessitated the need to look for alternative employment.
This came in the form of a company called the Ionixgroup. The Ionixgroup is dedicated to providing professional and innovative asset reliability and environmental solutions to industry.
I started with this company on the 3rd April 2006 in the role of Services Manager for the 'AMS' (Asset Maintenance Solutions) division of this growing company. In January 2007 I was appointed AMS Divisional Manager, and in June 2007 as part of a company reorganisation, I took the role of Regional Manager which allowed me to focus more on my customer base.
The company is going from Strength to Strength with the addition of new recruits to support the service delivery.
In February 2007, at 49 years young I decided it was time to get back into education and enrolled with Bolton University on a Business & Management Degree course... (I should get my bus pass and B&M Degree around the same time)..
Very Best Regards
David Stevens IEng, MIET, FIDiagE, MICML
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