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IID honors April team of the month

April 29, 2002|STAFF REPORT

Imperial Irrigation District General Manager Jesse Silva and the board of directors on Tuesday honored the district's oil-reclamation system team as the April 2002 team of the month for its creativity and excellent work.

The team of engineers, machinists and electricians built a high-tech machine that purifies transformer oil, which is expected to save a tremendous amount of money for the district.

The machine's job is to extract combustible gases, contamination and free water from the mineral transformer oil that is used to insulate and cool transformers. Previously this service was provided by a contractor, with a week's worth of work costing about $50,000.

The team also saved money for the district by building the unit in-house, constructing the oil-reclamation system for under $50,000. Most units cost $180,000 or more.

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The district's machine and welding shop did all the fabrication and welding and made the parts, right down to the nuts and bolts. In doing so, they also made several beneficial design changes.

"The team's work shows the kind of initiative and innovation that has always been at the district," Silva said. "I'm proud we have the opportunity to recognize it."

Jim Brownlee, machine and welding shop supervisor, said the project required a lot of dedication and hard work.

"Our guys had just sketches and snapshots to work from, but they did an excellent job. And that is what is so impressive about this," he added. "It's given the district a way to save a significant amount of money, plus our men gained the ability to move forward in their craft."

The oil-reclamation system team includes engineer Carlos Serrato, electrician III Sergio Leones and machinists III Salvador Ayala and Edward Dollente.

The oil-reclamation machine is expected to go into operation in about a month.

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