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the role of technologists in engineering practice

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In this paper, the role of technologists in engineering practice is being focused as well as challenges militating against proper engineering practice in Nigeria. It also highlights how engineering practice is being carried out and the need for opportunity as regards engineering practice; this would increase productivity and efficiency of the engineering field. This paper tries to provide solutions to the challenges as well as how Nigeria can develop in area of engineering practice culture through the technologists.

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Posted By OLUSOLA MICHAEL ROTIMI { follow user } 1 year ago 8/27/2019 7:04:52 AM in Miscellaneous { follow category }

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EMMANUEL A. A,       IGBASANMI O. E,       OLADIMEJI E. A.

MECHANICAL ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT,

THE FEDERAL POLYTECHNIC, ADO-EKITI, EKITI STATE.

ABSTRACT

In this paper, the role of technologists in engineering practice is being focused as well as challenges militating against proper engineering practice in Nigeria. It also highlights how engineering practice is being carried out and the need for opportunity as regards engineering practice; this would increase productivity and efficiency of the engineering field. This paper tries to provide solutions to the challenges as well as how Nigeria can develop in area of engineering practice culture through the technologists.

 

INTRODUCTION

Wikipedia Encyclopedia defines Engineering Technologist as a specialist dedication to the development and implementation of existing technology in a field of engineering. While Oxford Advanced Learner’s dictionary defines Technologist as an expert in technology. Chamber Encyclopedia defines engineering as a branch of human endeavor by which forces of nature are brought under control and the properties of matter are made useful to man in structure machines. But I would rather define technologist as a person by virtue of his technical training and exposure possesses that ability to design, build and maintains appliances, accessories equipment, machines, roads, infrastructures and instruments to perform their desired goal continually without breaking down in case there is a fault or complete breakdown, he is able to diagnose the fault(s) in the equipment or system and rectify it. That is able to bring such faculty equipment or system to “live” by clearing the fault and to make it function or work.

 

In doing this, technologists must be able to know the appropriate tools or the instruments needed to carry out the necessary tests to detect and confirm the fault(s) and able to use them. He should be able to carry out the necessary tests before performing endurance test. The endurance test is the assurance that the faulty equipment or machines would work perfectly without any hazard to the customer.

 

In electrical field according to 17th edition of Institute of Electrical Engineers (I.E.E) regulations for wiring insulation resistance and continuity tests using meggar insulation tester are required. The expected results should be a minimum of 1M and zero readings respectively, if it is less it means safety of equipment and consumers could not be guaranteed.

 

In order for the equipment, machines, appliances to function properly, schedule maintenance is necessary. Schedule maintenance is the planned maintenance ahead of time for all equipment, appliances and machines. A specific time to shut down the factory or production line even when there is no fault. During this time, the necessary checks like clearance of bearing, winding insulation, earth leakage, insulation resistance as well as continuity test are carried out. In most cases, all parts of the machines are carefully examined to see wears and parts to be replaces. It is technologists and technicians that carry out this task. During this period where necessary machines are decoupled and coupled back and all necessary tests are carried out using manufacturer’s manuals and maintenance manuals. Engineering practice among which is schedule maintenance allows a maintenance officer to know when specific machines, equipment and appliances are due for servicing. The necessary material, spare parts and where necessary special kits and tools are ordered before maintenance commences.

 

During schedule maintenance, opportunity maintenance may come in, this usually occurs when some parts are bad but the parts are weak, retaining such parts inside the machine can cause future breakdown.

 

THE CHALLENGES OF ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGISTS IN NIGERIA

Fake spare parts and substandard materials are some of the challenges faced by maintenance technologists and engineers. Some cables are not pure copper or aluminium sold in the market when such substandard materials and cables are used; such equipment are not maintained, even where they are maintained, such equipment are not kept in cool environment to maintain the accuracy and long life span of the equipment, these are neglected by the school management. As a result, many equipment and machines are lying down fallow.

 

Training of technologists personnel is a problem to some organizations/establishment. But in most cases, the training to enhance the skill and technical know-how of the technologists are denied them yet such organizations/establishments expect their technologists/maintenance officers to perform to optimum. In Nigeria, new equipment are coming into the country but in most cases, training of technologists/technicians who will be end users to maintain and service them are not included in the agreement of purchasing. In some cases where the agreement of training is included, wrong personnel who are favorite of management are sent for such training. No wonder when such personnel are back, they could not impart knowledge nor effectively maintain or repair the equipment/machines they have gone for training.

 

In Nigeria today, lip services are paid to engineering practice, no wonder power supply is erratic, long breakdown time on transformers, fault on lines, pot holes on our roads, building collapses with no attention, leading to economic loss, man power loss and even discomfort to consumers. This is because emphasis is placed on certificates rather than what the technologists or technicians could do with their hands. Unless this trend is changed, vision 2020 for Nigeria to be among the top 20 economic of the world may be a mirage.

 

Nnannaet-at (2003) attributed the huge loss and difficulty of transportation of farm produce from rural to urban centres as a result of lack of maintenance and poor condition of roads in Nigeria. It is technologists and technicians responsibility to carry out this task but they are neglected in the society through bad government policy, discrimination against HND holders in favor of first degree holders. As a result, those that are talented and ready to work with their hands are no longer interested to go to polytechnics likewise many young men who should have gone to technical schools preferred to be commercial motorcycle riders. Unless this trend is changed, Nigeria may be heading for a doom technologically.

Mustafa (2013) in his lecture development of water supply infrastructure in Nigeria, warned that engineering development must be de-politicize as other consideration outside the use of professionals and indigenous personnel could spell doom for the economic future of our dear country. The Nigeria society of Engineers also warned that unless implementation of workable engineering policy is pursed, the dream of Nigeria for vision 2020 would not be achieved (what a timely warning indeed). Workable engineering policy and engineering development are policies where each member of the engineering family are considered very important for an overall achievement for economic goals of the country. The engineering family are engineers, technologists, technicians and craftsmen. Each member has a definite role to play in engineering practice of infrastructure, roads, power, automobile, machines and equipment in order to make our life comfortable, have road without pot holes, regular power supply, good water supply, uncollapse buildings and bridges.

 

Japanese development manufactures called TOTAL PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE (TPM) should be encouraged where machine operators are trained to perform preventive maintenance on the machines they operate. The countries where this is adapted saw increase productivity, 50%-99% reduction in equipment failure rated and 905 reduction in product defects reduction unless Nigeria develop maintenance culture and increase the effort to make it work, many companies that should have been cited in the country will elude us. Many companies are already citing their factories in some other West Africa countries like Ghana. The countries where those factories are cited, their nationals usually get job opportunities thereby boosting their economy. The federal and state government should make power affordable, available and it should be regular so that factories could be cited in the country. This will reduce the rate of unemployment of our youth.

 

CONCLUSION

Vision 2020 remains a mirage in the presence of death of proper maintenance culture practice. It is now incumbent on all the stakeholders in the engineering sector as well as the government to join hands together in culture and increase the effort to make it work, many companies that should have been cited in the country will elude us. Many companies are already citing their factories in some other West Africa countries like Ghana. The countries where those factories are cited, their nationals usually get job opportunities thereby boosting their economy. The federal and state government should make power affordable, available and it should be regular so that factories could be cited in the country. This will reduce the rate of unemployment of our youth. Government should make environment conducive for the practice of engineering which will build the nation as a whole.

 

RECOMMENDATION

1.      That Nigeria, both government and individual should develop maintenance culture and have interest in engineering practice.

2.      That the government should change its policy of discrimination against HND holders by giving them equal opportunities to serve both in remuneration and dignity.

3.      All members of engineering family should be encouraged and allowed to play their role in engineering.

4.      Necessary equipment, machines and personnel should be provided for training of technologists in Nigeria.

5.      Engineering practice should be encouraged as this would boost productivity and enhance

Comments

Ebredeni Ebiegberi 1 month ago 7/22/2020 4:32:03 PM

The way you dress is the way you are addressed. Until the NATE N COREN realise that a postgraduation training is needed my all fresh engineering graduate to make them qualified engineers,technologist before they can be recognise n appreciated. So I will suggest that the professional body mostly COREN establish a training school for fresh graduates so that they can fully be introduced into the society as professioners in their various fields. That is major problem of the engineert

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Ebredeni Ebiegberi 1 month ago 7/22/2020 4:10:30 PM

The presenter failed to mention the role not play by the professional bodies e.g NATE n COREN. Unlike other professional field e.g. law n medicine, the engineering profession has no training school after graduation from the tertiary institutions. Until this is identify as the major problem of the engineering profession, the professional can never be recognised or appreciated by all. To be a practicing lawyer you must pass out from law school, for medicine you have an housemanship to make you a doctor why then is the envy field different.

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Briggs Chidera Onuajula 10 months ago 11/22/2019 8:43:33 PM

Good work Sir

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