“More important is knowledge, passion for the subject and willingness to learn and ready for hard work is essential.”

Interviews post authorEliza Bhalerao 10 April 2021

“More important is knowledge, passion for the subject and willingness to learn and ready for hard work is essential.”

Vinay Kembhavi,
Director,
FabWeldQA Solutions

What made you choose welding as a career? How much of total experience do you have?

After becoming an Engineer, I was placed in the Marketing Department and was supposed to go thru the contract documents. When I was sent for training in the Manufacturing Workshop, I was impressed by the huge equipment being fabricated and Welding was the most important process of all these manufacturing activities. Hence, I got attracted to Welding Engineering and thus my career as ‘Welding Engineer’ started. I have more than 35 years of experience in the Manufacturing Industry.

Since you hold a vast experience in the welding segment – engineering, fabrication, testing, inspection, quality management and TQM. What has been your contribution and efforts towards some of the mega projects? Please share some of your experiences?

In a career spanning more than 3 and half decades, I was fortunate  to have made contributions in Highly critical Nuclear Equipments like Calandrias, End shields, Moderator Heat exchangers; and in Aerospace division –  the Rocket motor Casings. All these equipments required highest quality of workmanship, stringent control over welding quality and fabrication and machining tolerances.

You were a part of Welspun Corporation, Mumbai. What has been your role, challenges, and how did you manage to cope up with the same?

My role in Welspun Corp. was as Head of Welding & QA/QC-APAC. The challenges were many as we had 3 plants in India and I was positioned in Corporate office in Mumbai and had to travel frequently to all these plants for some customer visits, meetings, reviews and trouble-shooting etc.

In addition to above, I was also required to travel to all steel mills in Europe, Korea, Japan and China for Pre Production Meetings as they were our raw materal i.e steel suppliers.

I was able to manage this hectic work schedule by proper planning and delegation to  the subordinates when not in office.

Could you brief us on some of the interesting projects that you have worked upon, while in Welspun?

When In Welspun, most of the important and critical projects belonged to the LSAW Pipes i.e the Longitudinally welded SAW pipes to OIL and Gas Industries. Some of the interesting and critical projects were SHELL in USA, Suncor Energy in USA, Transcanada Pipe lines in Canada, NESTOIL in Nigeria, TOTAL in France, Technip in UK, Saudi Aramco, Enbridge in USA, MVA in USA, Statoil in USA, Petrobras in Brazil, Dodsal in Abudhabi, NPCC in Abudhabi, SOS in Iran, Kuwait Oil Co. and all Indian Oil majors like HPCL, BPCL, IOCL etc.

You were also a welding head of three manufacturing divisions – aerospace, defense and nuclear at Walchandnagar Industries. Please elaborate more on your experiences, learning during your tenure?

Since I had started my career In Walchandnagar and stayed there for 15 years, I was quite well aware of the nuances of fabricating such highly critical equipments for these sectors.

Unlike all other fabricated equipments, the above projects require more stringent quality requirements, most of which are customized or tailor made specifications for that particular equipment/Project instead /in addition to some National /International standard. Hence, a more detailed study/understanding of the specified requirements is needed and ensure the requisite machinery and skilled manpower is available for successful execution of the project.

Tell me about the most challenging engineering project that you have been involved with during the past year.

During the last year, the most challenging project was for one of the Oil and Gas major in Gulf, where certain Subzero Impact test were required, which were quite high in values.

Considering your vast experience of 35+ Years, we would like to understand the concept and effective process initiatives needed to enhance the Plants efficiency and productivity?

When a new Project comes, a thorough study is required to carry out with all relevant persons in different functions to identify productive processes, benchmarking, zero-defect, alternate suppliers, TQM, etc.

What has been your contribution towards cost saving techniques in the organizations you worked?

I had the penchant always for cost saving / Productivity right from earlier days. To start with, I converted one repetitive joint of a Centrifugal Shaft from SMAW to GMAW, which incidentally won a Merit Award from the Management.

I went on always looking for more productive processes like in one case there was huge amount of overlay on Tube sheet, so I planned Strip Cladding in place of conventional SAMW, even importing the strips and fluxes. Similarly, lot of Tube to Tube Sheet joints was automatically welded with Orbital Welding Heads.

What type of welding codes, and standards, certification is required for any fabrication – engineering jobs, especially in India?

For beginners, an Engineering Degree/ Diploma in Mechanical/Metallurgical Engineering and for little experienced holders some additional qualification/Certification in Welding will be helpful. More important is knowledge, passion for the subject and willingness to learn and ready for hard work is essential.

What is your say on the current welding market scenario? Is it on par with the international markets?

No, I don’t think we are self sufficient in making all sorts of latest Welding Machines, Consumables on par with the best in the world.

What according to you is required to boost the welding industry in India?

With more focus on schemes such as Atmanirbhar Bharat, it is high time that the leaders of Welding Equipment/Consumables should start making world-class products in India with or without foreign collaborations as we have requisite knowledge and skilled manpower available.

What are your expectations from the government for the upliftment of the welding segment?

Government has already taken initiatives like Atmanirbhar Bharat, Vocal for Local, etc now it has to be implemented in letter and spirit by both Government and the Indian Industry.

As a Certified Senior Welding Inspector, can you highlight on some of the important points that every heavy engineering company should consider into the successful completion of any of their welding projects?

Few important and critical points are like study in detail of the requirement of welding, deploy very suitable, skilled and trained welders and constantly keep monitoring the Quality at every stage and take corrective actions immediately when needed.

What is your say on the importance of Health and Safety in welding?

It is very important and bit neglected especially with small and medium scale fabricators. However, with advent of ISO: 18001 Certification, this is getting its due importance, but as said above it for Big Fabricators.

What new engineering specialty skills have you developed during the past year?

Marketing and Business Development.

Where do you see yourself ten years from now?

Mentoring the Managers and Sr. Management persons

Closing message?

If one has to succeed in Manufacturing /Fabrication/Welding field, he has to posses “KAP” i.e Knowledge, Analytical mind & Passion.

BRIEF PROFILE:

  • Have exhaustive and extensive experience in Welding, QA/QC & Fabrication; not only in Oil and Gas industry but also on high end equipment manufacturing Indian MNC’s like Larsen & Toubro, Walchandnagar Ind, ISGEC and Welspun Corp, etc for over 3 decades in the areas of Oil &Gas, Nuclear and Aerospace manufacturing industries.
  • Traveled world over and led Inspection Teams/audited/done technical assessment  of  all world leading steel suppliers like JFE and Nippon in Japan, Dillinger and VAGB in Europe, POSCO in Korea, BaoSteel and TISCO in China.
  • Have also audited welding consumable manufacturers for approval and fabrication contractors.
  • Have worked with all major Oil and Gas and Fabrication EPCs world over, not limited to M/s Exon Mobil, Enbridge, Petrobras, Shell, Jacobs, SAIPEM, Technip, Saudi Aramco, all domestic Oil majors, etc.
  • Last position was with Welspun Corp. as Sr. Vice President – QA/QC- India and APAC and Global Head for Welding for all its manufacturing units in India, USA and Saudi Arabia.
  • Was also Vice President & Head of  Manufacturing  in  Walchandnagar Ind.
  • 13 years experience in L&T -HED as MR and Quality & Welding Head.
  • Presently, Director of FabWeldQA Solutions, providing  consultancy to  medium and  big fabricators who need marked improvements in their quality of fabrication, welding, and help solving complex welding problems.

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