15 October 2009

Pipes with Problems...

So what do I do and what do I work with?

The nature of the company is doing maintenance and repair in the oil and gas industry.

What sort of maintenance?

Most of our projects involve playing with pipes. Not that sort of pipes you have at home but from the smallest pipes to the biggest pipes available in the oil and gas world…

Now, these industry pipes will get corroded, eroded, rusty, cracks, leaks, holes and pitting. In our world, the term hole is used when you can see through the pipe and a pit is a half develop hole. So you cannot see through them yet.

Then, because these problems with the pipes will hinder the oil and gas operations, they need to replace these pipes. To replace them, they cannot just do it straightaway.

Well, not exactly in that manner…

Lots of paperwork and stuff. Ordering replacement pipes and delivery time. Lots of complicated process involves. So, because the replacement cannot take place immediately, they need to do something about the problem before the whole platform blow up! Or worse, reduce the income!

So, that is where we come in…

“Hello Sir! I see you have seriously critically dangerously corroded pipe there!”

Well, not exactly in that manner…

Usually the client will contact us with their problem. They will also ask for quotation, or how much that the whole repair will cost them. If they are happy with our quotation, then proceed with the repair work. If not, we either renegotiate until the client is happy or just show them the door find another alternative that will work for them… sigh…

Well, not exactly in that manner…

Here let me show you what sort of problem the clients brought forward to us.

As you can see from the pictures, all of these once beautiful hardworking pipes had been corroded, eroded, cracked, leaked, had wall loss, pitted, holed etc. Does not look good at all and look messy, unhygienic and dangerous. The risks of getting problem from the higher up people soar high too. The risk of lowering the production and income also great…

So my company offers these two solutions:



These two principals keep those problems in check until replacement can be made. They give our clients more time to do necessary stuff and also keep the production running smoothly at the same time. And the pipes will at least still look presentable…

14 October 2009

Pipes are... Pipes!

When I started working here, I came across these four words that I must know and get use to when I entered the world of oil and gas. These four words are:


Pipe system that you cannot see with your naked eyes. This is because the pipe system is underground, underwater, in the wall etc.


Pipe system that you can see with your naked eyes. Like, like, hmmmmm… Well, any pipes system that you can see is linework.


This when the pipe is connected to valve, tap, filter etc.


Well… it is just the hollow cylinder or the tube. That is all. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezey!

When my senior asked me the meaning of these four words, I could not answer. Then I tried to Google and check Wikipedia. The only correct answer I could find was for pipe. Other three words were and are not available. I had to put are as well because, before I post this, I recheck the terms in Wikipedia…

Still not there.

My senior, after observing that I was totally lost, generously told me the true meaning of those words. Correct only for the oil and gas world usages mind you…

Work work boy!

Yay! I have got a job! I am an engineer now! Well, sort of…

This stairs connect me from the real world to the world of working...

This is an excerpt from my offer letter on my job scope:

· To carry out workscoping such as site visits for onshore fields and offshore platforms.

· To follow every instructions from Supervisor/Lead Engineer during offshore activities.

· To execute technical aspects of particular project including all technical and QC reports.

· To be able to execute professional and high quality application/ hands on of company’s products for all the jobs secured onshore and offshore.

· Other tasks that may be assigned to you from time to time by the Top Management.

Okay then… In a way of speaking, I am working in oil and gas maintenance and repair company. Our job is to sell solutions to our clients’ problems.

My job… Hmmmmm…

Is to give the see the best solution to the problem, apply the solution and gives the best price for the solution. Sounds simple and easy right?

My job requires me to go offshore as well as onshore sites. There are more offshore sites though here in Malaysia. Just in case you do not know, when I say sites, that includes, oil and gas platforms, ships and tankers and whatsoever stuff related to oil and gas industry. As long as they need our solutions, we call them our clients and sites are our working area…

Not much of excitement just yet for me here in the company. The most exciting event so far was going for my safety offshore training course for three days. It is a must for anybody who is going offshore to g for this sort of training. There are more specific trainings according to the sites requirement that I need to do. If I have to go to those sites that is…

Currently I am stuck to my desk and laptop, doing reading and reports on my company main products or principles as they call it. Not as bad as my university time because I only need to read on the principles only and anything that is related to them for extra knowledge. I need to know the technical data as well as how the principals work.

My last boss did said, if I am to be an engineer, I should know the product, how it works, why it works that way as well as applying it. If I only know the product and applying it only, then I am at the same level of the technicians…

So, this is what the company is grooming me to be.

Preparing me to be an engineer. So that I can also helps the marketing department to do their presentations too. Any technical questions will be pushed to me… Another reason why I should know the principles very well…

Second stage of grooming is to get me to know the proper procedures when a client approaches me with a problem. I have to know what sort of information needed before I can accept or decline the project. If accept the project, then I need to know more information to initiate the project.

Door to world of... Hmmmmm... Boredom... For the moment that is.

Now, as my boss had warned me, my job is to draw up a project milestone, noting down stuffs and number of people I needed. Gives a prediction how long the project will be and how much the cost for this project will be.

When I did all that, everything will be at my neck. Anything went wrong will be pointing at me and my beautiful neck. I was also told that, as I will be working with projects involving oil and gas, any mistakes may cost terrible accidents and lives. These mistakes will also cause the company credibility and my credibility as an engineer. It will make the company harder to get a project in the future. It will also be harder for me to handle a project or worst case scenario; I might end up losing my job.

With bad reputation, it will be hard for me to find a new job as well…

I have to remember as well, the company is paying for other workers too. If I am out of job, I only have to worry about myself, unless I get married. The company has to worry about other workers and they have their own family to feed…

I gulped when I took all this in…

One of my lecturers said the truth back then in my university time:

To be an engineer, you have to be responsible for your work. All your calculations and methods must be correct as the end result will affect lots of people lives and money. In the real world, there are no correct answers to questions. The engineer has to come up with it, be sure that the answer is correct and apply it to the real world…

Anything happened; I am to be blamed…

My working desk... Dead or alive depends greatly on what I do here...

13 October 2009

Give me more MONEY...

I want to make money and have lots of money… For now, I am not really thinking for fun. Of course, with lots of money, it will be very nice.

I can go for a vacation somewhere. (Thinking of China, Japan and Korea)

I can buy more GUNDAMS! (PG 00 Gundam is coming out soon)

I can do house make over! (Seriously, my house need to be rearrange)

More books and comics! (So much more books to read)

And lots of other things such as, new laptop, DSi, Wii, cars, shoes, vest, presents, gifts, courses etc…


Yes… Happy time is over… Only now the letters catch up with me and give me surprises.

Seriously, when you do business with Government, always make another copy for yourself. If something undesirable comes up, at least you have evidence to back you up…

I have only got to know this cute lawyer friend of mine only later in my life. (She is not a lawyer now, a CT, whatever that is… Forgive me but lawyer terms are too alien for me) She does give me good advises regarding legal stuff…

Unfortunately, most of it already happened and it’s rearing its ugly head now after all these years.
I don’t know how long, but I am already blacklisted in PTPTN for not clearing my loan. Ever since I studied oversea, my mother and I had written letters to PTPTN, telling them I couldn’t pay the loan yet for I am still studying.

Now I have got a letter summoning me to court.
I called them up to clarify on these issue and they told me I had not send in a form they had sent to my house to inform them that I was still studying. As I was not at home that time, I asked my parents and to that they said, “What forms?”

I don’t understand why our letters are ignored and couldn’t be used as supporting evidence that I was still studying. Nearly every year, when the letter asking for my payment came, my mother would reply with a letter explaining my situation. Apparently, it didn’t get to the person it intended to be for…

I am not angry over the extra amount that I have to pay but for the irresponsibility and incompetency of the officers. The extra amount, insyallah will be used as sadaqah for the money will be used to help another student. No problem at all…

Sigh… With my current salary, it will take years until I get to finish paying for my loans. Time to look for higher pay job or earn extra income somehow… How can I even start saving up for my marriage?

12 October 2009

Mechatronics Graduate...

I have got myself a job… And the best thing is, it is quite related to my degree… Hmmmmm, well, not so, I would say.

Alright then, let us start from the beginning… I have a diploma and a degree in Mechatronics Engineering. I did my diploma in Malaysia, where I was born and somehow, I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to further my study in degree in Australia.

So you ask, what the heck is MECHATRONICS?

Ahhhhh, a very good question indeed. If you ask one of my lecturers during my diploma time, he would answer with:

Mechatronics is a field for someone who is very greedy and unsure of what to do. It is a field where the students learn nearly everything and yet they are not good in anything. They just want to do everything…

Thank you sir, that is very supportive!

Anyway, I give you what Wikipedia said about Mechatronics:

Mechatronics is the combination of Mechanical engineering, Electronic engineering, Computer engineering, Control engineering, and Systems Design engineering to create useful products.

Better answer if you compare to the previous answer… At least you do not feel bad for doing that course…

And here are some technical definitions for Mechatronics, taken from Mechatronics: An Introduction edited by Robert H. Bishop:

The definition of Mechatronics has evolved since the original definition by the Yasakawa Electric Company.

In trademark application documents, Yasakawa defined Mechatronics in this way:

The word, Mechatronics, is composed of “mecha” from mechanism and the “tronics” from electronics.

In other words, technologies and developed products will be incorporating electronics more and more into mechanisms, intimately and organically, and making it impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins.

The definition of Mechatronics continued to evolve after Yasakawa suggested the original definition. One oft quoted definition of Mechatronics was presented by Harashima, Tomizuka, and Fukada in 1996.

In their words, Mechatronics is defined as the synergistic integration of mechanical engineering, with electronics and intelligent computer control in the design and manufacturing of industrial products and processes.

That same year, another definition was suggested by Auslander and Kempf:

Mechatronics is the application of complex decision making to the operation of physical systems.

Yet another definition due to Shetty and Kolk appeared in 1997:

Mechatronics is a methodology used for the optimal design of electromechanical products.

More recently, we find the suggestion by W. Bolton:

A Mechatronics system is not just a marriage of electrical and mechanical systems and is more than just a control system; it is a complete integration of all of them.

All of these definitions and statements about Mechatronics are accurate and informative, yet each one in and of itself fails to capture the totality of Mechatronics.

Despite continuing efforts to define Mechatronics, to classify Mechatronics products, and to develop a standard Mechatronics curriculum, a consensus opinion on an all-encompassing description of “what is Mechatronics” eludes us.

This lack of consensus is a healthy sign. It says that the field is alive, that it is a youthful subject. Even without an unarguably definitive description of Mechatronics, engineers understand from the definitions given above and from their own personal experiences the essence of the philosophy of Mechatronics.

For many practicing engineers on the front line of engineering design, Mechatronics is nothing new.

Many engineering products of the last 25 years integrated mechanical, electrical, and computer systems, yet were designed by engineers that were never formally trained in Mechatronics per se.

It appears that modern concurrent engineering design practices, now formally viewed as part of the Mechatronics specialty, are natural design processes.

What is evident is that the study of Mechatronics provides a mechanism for scholars interested in understanding and explaining the engineering design process to define, classify, organize, and integrate many aspects of product design into a coherent package.

As the historical divisions between mechanical, electrical, aerospace, chemical, civil, and computer engineering become less clearly defined, we should take comfort in the existence of Mechatronics as a field of study in academia.

The Mechatronics specialty provides an educational path, that is, a roadmap, for engineering students studying within the traditional structure of most engineering colleges. Mechatronics is generally recognized worldwide as a vibrant area of study.

Undergraduate and graduate programs in Mechatronics engineering are now offered in many universities. Refereed journals are being published and dedicated conferences are being organized and are generally highly attended.

It should be understood that Mechatronics is not just a convenient structure for investigative studies by academicians; it is a way of life in modern engineering practice.

The introduction of the microprocessor in the early 1980s and the ever increasing desired performance to cost ratio revolutionized the paradigm of engineering design. The number of new products being developed at the intersection of traditional disciplines of engineering, computer science, and the natural sciences is ever increasing.

New developments in these traditional disciplines are being absorbed into Mechatronics design at an ever increasing pace. The ongoing information technology revolution, advances in wireless communication, smart sensors design (enabled by MEMS technology), and embedded systems engineering ensures that the engineering design paradigm will continue to evolve in the early twenty-first century.

Phew, that is a long one…

And if people ask me, what is Mechatronics? I will just say,

It is a mix of Mechanical and Electronics and we play with robots.

Most of the people will be happy with that and they will be more interested with how much my salary will be and which big companies I will work with instead…


Congratulations to my sister for her graduation…

My parents get to see graduation ceremony both in Malaysia and Australia.

Both are different in many ways.

Both are unique own its own.

But (yes, there is a but) Malaysia Universities still lack in hospitality, practicality and punctuality… I wished now that I had attended my own graduation ceremony when I finished my diploma. Just so that I get to experience and see it myself.

The one main point that I like the most is this. I don’t know whether they do this in other local universities in Malaysia

My sister wanted to buy the graduation robe because she is going into the academician path. Thus she thought of buying the graduation robe earlier and so she went to the University few days earlier before the ceremony. She had everything ready and she followed all the instructions given from the guy in charge and the University website to buy the graduation robe…

When she got there... She could not buy it yet. She could only buy it after the graduation ceremony had ended which will be few days after that. She could not buy the graduation robe on these reasons:

1. They did not have enough graduation robes.

2. They wanted the robes to be guarantee for the students to return and get their certificates.

When I heard this I was like, “WHAT?”

I thought I heard it wrongly and I asked her to repeat that again…

They wanted the robes to be guarantee for the students to return and get their certificates.

Okay… How much more stupid can they be… I mean, I am pretty sure, very very sure, positively sure, the students will still come back to get the certificates. Whether they have the robe or not, I am sure they will return to the university to get their hard earned certificates…


Why cannot they make extra robes and sell off to the students anyway? They should have extras and if the number of their students increases every year, well, they should have extras and the extras should be useful then. Those who buy the graduation robes pay more anyway, should not they be happy to get more money?

Seriously, their business brains are really down in the drain…

Hey, that was a bit too long… Maybe I should break them into few parts…

Anyway, congratulations Sister...