AuCo Solutions
WeBuild GERDP Ethiopia. 2000 Ton/hour. 3 Time World Record in 2014

WeBuild GERDP Ethiopia. 2000 Ton/hour. 3 Time World Record in 2014 ( ...)

Linkedin share button

How to become world productivity champions

WeBuild GERDP Ethiopia hydroelectric dam

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project (GERDP) is a hydroelectric dam project of WeBuild, located approximately 500 km north west of the capital Addis Ababa, in the region of Benishangul - Gumaz along the Blue Nile.
( Salini-Impregilo Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project (Ethiopia GERDP) )

In the GERDP construction site of WeBuild as manager of the automation, electronics and software section, I adopted strategies to improve productivity.

Working on one of the largest construction sites in the world, with around eight thousand workers of all levels and from all over the world, projects you into a dimension of unimaginable grandeur.

But the most beautiful thing is seeing how the construction site manages to use the qualities of each person, of each country, of each level to create something grandiose and unimaginable together.

It all started by lowering two people from the helicopter into the middle of nowhere, to create a lake the size of Garda. In just a few years, 250 km of roads, two bridges over the Nile, an airport, a hospital and several villages for workers have been built. As well as medical centers, shops, restaurants, bars, swimming pools, gyms, aqueducts, radio stations, TV broadcasting systems.
Virtually everything.
Everything to be invented, tested, solved.

I arrived when the installation of the plants to produce RCC, the cement to build the dam, had not yet been completed.

More than a hundred PLCs, a thousand electric motors, hundreds of conveyor belts stretching for tens of kilometers, more than a hundred operators on the control panels.

The very fine dust that entered everywhere even through the seals, the tropical climate, the continuous installation of new parts required many technical assistance interventions.

Some equipment had an MTBF, the average time between one failure and the next, of less than 7 days.

My section followed all the software and all the electronics not only of the automation and production division of the RCC, but also of the tower cranes, the Caterpillar alignment guide lasers, the level radars in the silos, the stations radio and the diffusion of TV in the villages, etc.

I requested all source software and documentation from all suppliers, collecting 250 thousand pages of electrical diagrams and millions of pages of documentation, organizing them in digital form to make them immediately available and updatable.

With the introduction of the technical reports of each intervention in my section, I identified the frequency of failures, the causes, and the resolution strategies.

For each type of intervention, I have drawn up detailed procedures. I created a team of six people who, following a 64-step procedure in 30 minutes, performed preventative maintenance on an electrical panel in order to guarantee more than 30 days without failures. In twenty days, the team carried out the revamping of all the control systems of all the systems present on the construction site, thus managing to almost eliminate the requests for intervention.

On the construction site we hired about ten people a day. My section created a manual of about 250 pages with all the information needed for a new hire. Maps, nomenclatures, terms used, names of facilities, tasks, organization of work, location of services such as security, hospital, doctors, shops, restaurants, etc.

The new hire thus immediately became operational independently and was included in the preventive maintenance team.

Each task had a procedure and was organized on three levels:
- Helper: does not require any specific knowledge of the job.
- Support: person with good knowledge of the procedures who supports and collaborates with the higher level.
- Expert: knows the task procedure perfectly and is able to complete the procedure independently. He leads the team and trains the other members gradually taking them from helper level to expert level.

The new hires all started with the preventive maintenance task and moved up a level approximately every week. Some went up much faster, others at a certain point didn't go any further. Having become experts in one task, they also began working on other tasks in order to increase their experience. Control of belt sensors, verification and calibration of scales and weighing systems, maintenance of tower cranes and overhead cranes, assistance on radio and TV broadcasting systems, management of aqueducts, testing of safety systems, inverter interventions and repairs, engine maintenance.

The fifteen people who made up my team had different experiences and nationalities. Three Ethiopian engineers, an Italian physicist, a South American technician, several Ethiopian electricians and workers. With this organization they trained each other during work with times completely in the shadows, therefore at no cost. Personally, I started by creating the lowest level and by immersing myself in the mud of the problems I was able to develop the procedures and solutions for each task.

The more I had experts available for a task, I was able to dedicate myself more to more complex tasks such as on-call interventions for automation problems, the design and modification of systems, the repair of parts for which we did not have spare parts due to customs problems, such as level radar and alignment laser.

We almost always worked with teams of two to six people so that there was always someone teaching and someone learning. I remember a photo I took by surprise of the maintenance team where all six of them were busy carrying out the procedure on an electrical panel. Everyone with tasks, active, collaborative, and important, from the engineer to the electrician, to the manual worker. One of them was illiterate, but he also carried out his tasks and became as important as all the others. It's wonderful to see such a collaborative team in which everyone is able to make an important contribution to achieving the common goal, thus making everyone feel proud of the result obtained.

Two Ethiopian engineers from my section were the only non-Italian technicians authorized to be responsible for night maintenance. Particularly difficult task because the production is active but you must operate almost alone since most of the technicians slept at night.

Great satisfaction for me and for them, but also for Ethiopia which has overcome a seemingly impossible step which until then had only found the skills necessary for this role in the construction site in Italian technicians.

Result due to their commitment and intelligence and to the approximately 240 support interventions carried out with me.

To reduce failures, I pressurized all the electrical panels without having to replace them, changed some critical components, and created redundancies on crucial devices.

All this has allowed us to have almost zero on-call interventions and reliable and continuous productivity.

With the commitment and professionalism of all eight thousand workers and in particular of the managers of the other sections, we have managed to bring production to around 2000 tons of RCC per hour and set consecutive three times the world record for RCC production in 24 hour.

A grandiose result to which I believe that my section, in its small way, has made its contribution.

I will always be proud of this professionally and I will always carry in my heart the fifteen people in my section and all the colleagues who had faith in me and helped me contribute to this result. A great result that I believe is only possible in a large construction site of a great company like WeBuild.


•    Salini-Impregilo Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project (Ethiopia GERDP)

•    WeBuild

Share on your network for don't lost contact with us
Linkedin share button
Fire Protection: industrial software automation
Crushing plant of aggregate production
Biogas: renewable green electric energy production
Electric Motors Test
Oven Software
Metal Heat Treating
Chiodatele: Automatic assembling machine
Automotive High-Speed Train: test of electronic equipment
Testing Machine MCS7001
Environmental Test Chambers
Routine Test Certificate
Dams Monitoring: automation software for green energy and safety
Tips to unlock Even Given in Suez
Metal Melting
Hardware virus protection
By using this site you agree to our use of cookies as describe in our cookies policy Cookies & Privacy