Sagar D. Shilimkar, Welder Trade, Mazagaon Dock

Interviews post authorEliza Bhalerao 20 February 2021

Sagar D. Shilimkar, Welder Trade, Mazagaon Dock

Sagar D. Shilimkar, Welder Trade, Mazagaon Dock

“If you salute your duty, then there is no need to salute anyone. But if you pollute your duty, you need to salute everyone.”

Tell us a little about yourself?

Myself Sagar D Shilimkar from Mumbai, India. I have a total 15 years experience as a welder. Currently, I am working for Mazagaon dock warship and submarine building company for Indian navy.  The nature of work includes maintenance of ships.

How did you develop the art of welding? What made you choose welding as a career?

After 10th Std, I decided to join apprentice program at L&T Powai Mumbai workshop for two years. One of my close friend advise me to choose this trade. At powai work shop, I got the chance to work with highly skilled welders. During my training period, I got practical as well as theory knowledge of various type of welding process like SMAW, TIG, MIG, MAG SAW, and strip cladding. The training period helped me lot to develop my wedding skills.

Please brief us on your current work model?

Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilder Ltd is the public sector undertaking company, located at Mazagaon Mumbai, Maharashtra India. Our products range includes naval ships, submarines, offshore platforms, etc. We have heavy engineering divisions for ship and submarine building. As our company delivers war ship and submarine to Indian navy, we have received immense satisfactory report. We always aim to deliver projects in given time, and will maintain our product quality to satisfied our customer.

What type of projects are your currently working upon?

Presently, I am working on war ship project no. 12653 (Nilgiri class) which is a next generation of guided-missile frigates in 6,500 tone range.

Can you describe on some of the mega projects you worked upon in the past?

I have worked on many projects, but I very specifically like to describe the project name INS Chennai code name Project 15. The total ship length is 163m, and beam size is 17.4m. The project was laid down during feb 2006 and commissioned on 21 Nov 2016. The Indian Navy had successfully test fired naval version of Brahmos Missile from INS Chennai on 18th Oct 2020.

Please describe on the most unique and interesting project so far? Why?

In the year of 2004, L&T had bagged an order to supply world’s largest Coal Gasifier to China. This project was manufactured from advanced technology steel at L&T. Project involved mostly piping work which is quite challenging.

What challenges do you come across when at work? How do you manage to cope up with the same?

While working as a welder, we face many challenges. I would want to share one among the recent incident: We built ship in a yard, wherein we have to assemble 130 to 140 units to each other and thus make a 130 meter long ship. During the process of fabrication and assembling of units, we faced a challenge of excess gap, which is difficult to reduce. This gap reaches upto 8 –  10 mm, which takes time to fillup with arc welding. Thus, we had to face excess penetration, more time consumption, more heat input. Now inorder to resolved this problem, we started using copper back strip at excess gap area, after welding can be easily removed while back chip gausing of weld butt. This is how we solved this issue.

Your say on the Safety at Work. How do you consider the same when on site?

Safety is very important. Every one must use PPE to protect themself from industrial hazards, as well as should take care of people around us. It is highly important to consider social responsibility. Our company provides us PPE. Sometimes we work in enclosed space, thus we have to check the gas level for safe work place. However safety check and all safety guideline should be followed before starting hot work in yard.

Any anecdotes you wish to share to support the importance of safety for welders?

Yes I was sailing on board ship – MSC SUKAYNA container ship. While I was working in bottom tank, we had a fire emergency as the opposite of tank got fire. Knowing this, I immediately raised the alarm. While working onboard ship, we always need to monitor on what’s happening the other side of wall. Many flammable things could be present around us while performing welding jobs.

Welding job has many health hazards like welding fumes, flux, dust, infrared and ultraviolet rays, heat, etc which keeps affecting welders health. But now, day-by-day the engineering safety standard are introducing and the welder must certainly take advantage of that.

What is your greatest strength, and how does it help you as a Welder?

I am a honest person. I know my job and if you salute your duty, then there is no need to salute anyone. But if you pollute your duty, you need to salute everyone. I simply follow this principal. I thing performing job honestly and at a given time is my biggest strength.

Can you please share an incident of a toughest welding job you have come across?

Yes, many times we need to weld pipe which were galvanized. Before we start welding, we have to clean the paint and then start welding. However on board ship, some pipes were in difficult position, where welders faced galvanized paint fumes, which were dangerous to health. As per my opinion, welding galvanized pipe is a tough job onboard ship.

What are your future plans?

Recently, one of the immigration agency had informed me that Welder are on high demand in Australia. Eventually, I would be looking forward to apply for migration program, to get a welding job there. I need to clear IELTS exam, and I am working on it.

Closing message.

Firstly, I like to thanks WELD FAB TECH TIMES for giving me this opportunity to share my experience and thoughts on this platform. I wish them great luck and success.

I would want to close this interaction by requesting all the welders to please follow safety rules and regulation. You are an important person for your family and for your organization. Thank you.

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