Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Curriculum Vitae - Constantinos Spanomanolis

Section B: Extended Professional Review Report

 

 

B.01. The Early Years

During his secondary education period ( 1962 – 1968 ) he spent most of his spare time assisting at Christos Spanomanolis and Sons (1). He received training in:

•  office organisation,
•  document filing,
•  commercial correspondence and communicating skills,
•  literature surveying,
•  ethics and procedures,
•  negotiation techniques.

He furthermore had the chance to witness and be briefed on a number of cases related to important contracts and the firm's relations with their foreign principals.

 

In 1972 he joined the Sales Department of V.E.S. A.E .(2)

After an initial training period he assumed responsibility for
•  collecting, verifying and processing of raw data on sales materialised in the city of Athens area
•  grouping of figures per individual commercial representative, city area, time period and product sold,
•  extracting and preliminary interpreting sales indices,
•  discussing results with the sales Director.

 

During his Part II Degree study period ( 1973 – 1974 ) he worked on a part-time basis at Conlon's of Sunderland , England, Antiques and Curios Dealers.

His duties involved:
•  organising furniture truckage,
•  shop attendance and management,
•  basic book keeping.

In the last four months he was given the task of visiting old houses before demolition in order to select valuable antique items to be purchased and shipped to the Continent in general and Greece in particular.

 

 

B.02. Basic and Applied Research Experience

During the last year of his undergraduate course ( 1974 - 1975 ), he worked at Sunderland Polytechnic Organic Chemistry Laboratory , as an assistant, under the supervision of Dr. J.A.H. Mac Bride.

This work, incorporating his final year degree dissertation, involved the investigation of steric hindrance upon reaction products, caused by the presence of the relatively voluminous C6H5 - groups in α,β -unsaturated carbonyl systems (aromatic ketones), upon treatment with nucleophilic (C6H5-MgBr) reagents (3).

 

After obtaining his Bachelor's Degree ( 1975 ) he joined the University of Durham Polymer Research Laboratory , then known as ‘Lab 25 ', to work in step-growth photopolymer synthesis under the supervision of Prof. W. J. Feast, FRS.

At Durham he received a very comprehensive theoretical and practical training in many fields, such as:
•  the chemical characterisation of polymers and monomers (chemical and physical methods of analysis),
•  works safety,
•  literature surveying,
•  designing and setting up complex apparatuses for various processes (photochemical and ground-state),
•  physical separation techniques for complex mixtures,
•  characteristics of materials and followed numerous research colloquia,
•  seminars and lectures on a variety of scientific topics.

He did basic research in the field of step growth photopolymerisation of carbonyl compounds, investigating:
•  the extension of the photoreductive addition of benzophenone to diphenylmethane to polymer synthesis, namely the irradiation of meta-dibenzoylbenzene with meta- and para- dibenzylbenzenes, under various conditions.
•  the synthesis of fluorinated photopolymers through the irradiation of fluorinated oxetane structures.

He also investigated:
•  the characterisation of the ‘benzaldehyde photopolymer'(4).

From 1976 to 1978 he was appointed as a university junior laboratory demonstrator in organic chemistry.
This work involved teaching first and second year undergraduates in synthetic organic chemistry techniques, organising briefing and debriefing sessions, holding tutorial classes and evaluating students' laboratory work.

During his military service in the Greek Army ( 1980-1981 ), he was appointed a Research Assistant at the National Defence Research Centre (NDRC)(5), Scientific Research and Training Directorate, Department of Chemistry, Athens .

He got involved in the synthesis and purification of an optically active Cobalt complex (organometallic chemistry) and the study, design and manufacture of a thin film containing that complex (solid-to-solid solution), designated to substitute in field service an equipropertal but inconvenient-to-use solid-in-liquid solution, contained in a special glass cell.

For this project he was in charge of a team of 4 research workers (privates holding Bachelors or Masters Degrees in Science or Engineering).

Part of the work for this project had to be carried out in the Chemistry Laboratories of the 'Democritus' Nuclear Research Centre, Aghia Paraskevi, near Athens and the School of Chemical Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA).

He was, at the same time, given the task to plan and supervise the setting-up of an Organic Materials Synthesis Unit within the area of the NDRC(6).

Other minor projects at the NDRC, in which he got involved, included:
•  the chemical characterisation of various substances used by the Army, in an attempt to decrease dependence from foreign sources of supply(7).
•  some applied research on waterproofing leather batches for use in military shoe-industry.

 

 

 

B.03. Early Managerial and Technical Experience

In 1981 he joined Christos Spanomanolis Sons - Trade & Technical Agencies , in Athens , Greece , as a partner - commercial representative of foreign manufacturing firms (mostly Northern European and Japanese) specialising in spare and replacement parts for the deep sea going vessels(8).

His task was to locate manufacturers in the field and evaluate possibilities of establishing working relations with them.

This activity involved:

•  travelling, mostly in Northern Europe, visiting shipyards and manufacturers' sites in an attempt to accumulate experience and understanding of their operation, methods of production, stock management, technical and managerial problems and after sales service policies.
•  evaluating and sorting technical data, specifications, industrial drawings, samples, maintenance handbooks and instruction manuals given by the manufacturers' technical departments,
•  attending meetings and seminars on technical problems and the behaviour of materials in the marine environment,
•  accumulating and sorting-out notes, writing technical and general reports for future use.

While in Piraeus , he assisted in:
•  the sales of spare parts, visiting customers and recording their needs,
•  handling technical after-sales problems and disputes, visiting vessels anchored at Piraeus port and on two or three occasions appearing in front of the Courts of Law as an Expert Witness.

 

In 1983 he entered into an agreement with Messrs Fuller Engineering (Marine) Ltd , an independent supply organisation of non-original (compatibly manufactured) spare and replacement parts, to act as a Director.(9).
His main responsibilities were:
•  controlling the corporate stock of samples,
•  keeping full technical and other records in a computerised form,
•  organising and supervising the despatch of samples to subcontractors
•  collecting the finished items,
•  proceeding with qualitative controls on final products, the last activity involving materials analyses, dimensional controls, NDT's etc.
•  assisting in the formulation of strict procedures for the whole operation and communicating to subcontractors any technical specifications requested(10).

Customers relations and world wide promotion of Fuller products was assigned to Messrs Faringdon Foster International Incorporated , established in Greece in 1987 as a Law 89/1967 Corporation.

He was appointed a Representative for Greece – Director of the Firm.

An important task of Messrs Faringdon Foster was the allocation of responsibilities and pertinence as well as the handling of disputes arising between agents in various locations around the globe.

 

 

B.04. Managing a Manufacturing Concern: The case of Spachri Ltd

In early 1987 he got involved in the establishment of Messrs Spachri Industrial Manufacturing & Exporting Company Limited , a manufacturing facility in the Aigaleo area, near Athens , Greece(11).

Manufacturing sectors at Spachri eventually included a bronze / aluminium / cast iron foundry, a fully equipped workshop containing specialised machinery such as vertical lathes and gear cutters, a rubber production unit, an in-house testing unit, mainly for heavy items such as cylinder heads.

Production of parts fell under the following general categories:
centrifugal heavy fuel - mineral oil - diesel oil / water separators,
marine air compressors,
auxiliary engines (diesel generators),
main (propulsion) engines,
piston rings for a number of European and Japanese makes,
marine pumps,
rubber (nitrile, silicone, fluorinated) products (O-rings, gaskets, couplings).

By the end of 1996 Messrs Spachri Ltd had become, with a work force of 55, the biggest specialised marine spares and replacement parts producers (compatible manufacturers) in Greece , manufacturing and exporting over 50,000 different part numbers all over the world.

International sales of parts were and are still carried out using the Fuller brand name, provided from 1990 onwards by an independent Liberian corporation, Messrs Thorn Fuller Sidwell Inc. , established to succeed Messrs Fuller Engineering (Marine) Ltd. He was appointed a Director of this Corporation.

 

 

B.05. Managing a Complex Manufacturing Concern: The case of YLIKON A.E.

In 1996 he took part in the establishment of Messrs YLIKON Materials Processing Limited , assuming the offices of Member of the Board (1996-2002), Vice President (2002-2004) and Director (1996-2004).

Messrs YLIKON A.E. succeeded Messrs Spachri Ltd; indeed the two firms merged in 2002 to form a single corporation.

The purpose of establishing the new manufacturing concern was twofold:
•  to serve the ever increasing demand for marine spare parts
•  to create a most modern and fully ordered work environment with additional manufacturing and support departments, capable of producing under the strictest specifications, thus allowing diversification into high technology fields.

Preliminary work, planning and market research lasted for almost two years, while demand for the marine sector products remained high.

By 1999 the concern was significantly upgraded with respect to what it was as Spachri Ltd back in 1996.

Important additions were the modern foundry with full support facilities, the numerically controlled machining unit, the modern quality control department and the upgraded chemical and metallographical laboratory.

In addition, all sectors and production lines were certified to ISO 9002:1994 standard.

The apparent success of the operation as a whole from 1981 up to 1999 had begun to make sensation.

Messrs YLIKON A.E. had grown prominent in local and international marine supplies, exporting top quality products to some 80 countries worldwide.

This fact was acknowledged and rewarded by the Greek Prime Minister's visit to the company's premises on May 20, 1999, a honour reserved to just a handful of private enterprises.

As a Member of the Board of Directors and Representative of YLIKON, he had the honour to address the Prime Minister of Greece and the visiting party accompanying him(12) .

Major TV channels nationally covered the visit and all political and financial newspapers published extensive articles on the event, praising the Directors of YLIKON A.E., him included, for what they had achieved. A few days later, the Athens daily Eleftherotypia published a personal interview, which he was asked to give to one of the journalists covering the visit.

During the talks that followed the visit, YLIKON was strongly advised and invited to get actively involved in the much-publicised ‘hellenisation' of Greek Army defence materiel.

Hellenic Army General Officers in charge of Supply and Logistics persistently encouraged YLIKON to enter the defence market, so that the Greek Armed Forces reduced dependence on foreign (non-Greek) sources of supply.

The company, having been persuaded and having confidence in the country's top political and military leadership, decided to diversify and participate in Government Calls for Bids for defence materiel.

YLIKON satisfied required economic and pre-production technical criteria and was consequently awarded 3- and 5-year contracts with the Hellenic Army General Staff, worth millions of euros. The scope of the supply was U.S. armoured vehicles M113 Track Shoes.

The execution of contracts in question necessitated considerable investment in planning, design, applied research, personnel training, purchase of new machinery and equipment, pilot manufacturing and batch production and very strict quality tests.

Messrs YLIKON A.E. undertook this task aspiring to receive as large quantities, repeatedly promised by the Defence Ministry officials, which would pay off this investment.

As a direct result of this intense effort, important know-how was developed in Greece . For the first time U.S. Armour Vehicle Track Shoes were manufactured using local (in-house developed) know how from the very first (pattern manufacture and steel casting) to the last (final quality control) production stages.

State Quality Assurance Certificates for the YLIKON products were issued from the Greek Ministry of Defence.

Product Quality Certificates were also obtained from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), an important partner in this technological effort, with which YLIKON succeeded in establishing a close working relationship with outstanding results.

However, vital interests of multinational companies active in the field, as well as of their agents in this country were seriously and adversely affected. They did everything in their power to stop production at YLIKON and get rid of what they perceived as a threat to them and heir monopolistic position in the market.

YLIKON, although persecuted and harassed, continued the production and deliveries of Track Shoes to the Army Depot, refusing to succumb to pressures.

The YLIKON Track Shoes were duly tested by Army Engineers and found perfectly suitable for the use they were intended for.

Notwithstanding, the powerful cartel of multinationals and their accomplices made good of their threats against YLIKON by using as leverage certain ‘inner circles' at the Army General Staff plus certain Banks.

Repeated appeals to the top political and military leadership in Greece , the press and other Institutions yielded no results.

He was at the end advised not to push the matter any further as the cartel's power was far greater than any other in Greece(13) .



 

B.06. Principal Technical / Managerial Duties in Manufacturing

These could be summarised as follows:

 

B.06.a. Materials

 

B.06.a.i.

Labelling the individual parts, resulting from the disassembly of machinery or equipment, with the original manufacturer's part number, as it appeared in the appropriate instruction manual(14).

B.06.a.ii.

Examining each individual part to be copied(15).

Very briefly, the steps involved were the following:

 

B.06.a.ii. - i. Metallic materials:

•  classification according to material type (bronze - aluminium alloys, pig iron or steel),
•  determination of minor components by quantitative chemical analysis,
•  metallographic examination,
•  determination of mechanical properties. Destructive / Non-Destructive Testing,
•  accurate dimensional measurements for the preparation of metal casting.

B.06.a.ii. - ii . Plastic materials (usually thermoplastic):

•  determination of the basic polymeric structure through chemical analysis,
•  detection of the presence of additives such as plasticisers, UV or thermal stabilisers, etc,
•  determination of the d.p. (degree of polymerisation),
•  accurate measurement of the sample dimensions and calculation of the size of the mould to be
manufactured for the extrusion process.

 

B.06.a.iii.

Electronic processing of the information collected on the fully characterised part.

B.06.a.iv.

Collection of data on the raw materials and manufacturing stages required for each part.

B.06.a.v.

Determination of the average total cost via computer software.

Comparison to competitors' selling price.

B.06.a.vi.

Choosing alternative raw materials for a certain part(16).

B.06.a.vii.

Determination of the raw materials and the manufacturing processes required for production.

B.06.a.viii.

Storage of the information into the corporate computer in an easily retrievable way for use in production upon demand.

B.06.a.ix.

Choice between alternative production processes

 

 

B.06.b. Rubber Chemistry

His duties at Spachri Ltd included supervising the company's rubber plant(17).

Specific duties, related to chemistry, were:
•  Supervising - and in some instances, getting personally engaged in - the chemical analysis of the incoming samples(18).
•  Deciding on which components (chosen from those readily available in the local market) and at which proportions should be blended to produce a mixture which, following vulcanisation, would give an equipropertal or even superior quality compatible rubber product(19).
•  Determining the processing conditions (quantity processed, time, temperature) in the Internal Mixer (Banbury) and the Mill Rolls(20).
•  Determining the conditions (time and pressure) of vulcanisation in the hydraulic / electric compression press(21).
•  Checking the properties of the final product and making sure that the quality was acceptable (quality control)(22).
•  Instructing and supervising rubber technicians of the plant on their duties and trying to make them understand - as fully as possible - what they are doing.
•  Keeping full records of all recipes and details of the rubber chemistry processes in the plant, in an easily retrievable way.

 

 

 

B.06.c. Informatics

The particular organisational needs of the operation and above all the anticipated rapid increase of samples and items produced, made the conventional handling of data inefficient and cumbersome. Computerisation appeared as a viable solution.
He was therefore left with no alternative but to attempt to computerise the operation as early as 1981.

This was not an easy task at that time, considering the negative attitude and distrust of almost everybody, from the top management to personal assistants towards something totally new, which would fundamentally change their working habits.

In view of the very meagre resources available to a relatively small firm, he opted to start with a small but powerful and inexpensive Sinclair QL® 68008 1 MB-RAM machine (Q-DOS® operating system), equipped at first with two 720 KB FD drives and later on with a 20 MB HD drive.

The software he used for data processing was the Psion® Exchange® ‘Archive'® database and the ‘Abacus'® spreadsheet, parts of the Psion® suite offered with the machine.

After an initial testing period and as staff became familiar with the benefits of computerisation, there started a wave of requests for additional features and facilities from the machine.

It therefore became obvious to him that the company had to switch to dedicated software, incorporating and satisfying as many requests from the staff as possible.

Being the only member of staff to have a good idea of the company operation and a fair knowledge and experience in computing, he had to act as a bridge and liaison between business activity and software development, directing and supervising all related activities.

For the development of dedicated software, he opted to use the – then – powerful and inexpensive Psion® Archive® programming language and some Lattice C® .

Major Programs successfully completed, tested and put in use until the end of1983 included:
•  Enquiries, Orders, Packing List and Invoices registers,
•  Invoicing software
and
•  Offer Comparative Tables,
the latter serving as a most useful guide for submitting offers to Customers.

By 1987 he switched to PC-compatible 80286 machines (MS-DOS® v. 2.1) equipped with two 30 MB HD Drives running the PC-version of the Psion Exchange® (PC-Four® ) programs (Abacus® , Quill® , Archive® , Easel® ). A LANsmart â local network system was eventually installed to make the sharing of data files between users possible.

As the group grew, the use of local networks showed its defects. So, in 1988 he decided to install a Motorola® 8 MB RAM 68030 UNIX 5.5 multi-user system equipped with a 300 MB HD Drive .

The software used was re-written under his supervision and data files were transferred to the new machine, serving some 15 terminals including a remote one connected to the central unit via a Telindu® modem.

The PC-compatible/ LANsmart â system remained in operation in the group as a backup system, being continuously upgraded and finding new uses as technology progressed.

By 1993 it was upgraded to an 80486 66MHz MS-DOS® 6.1/Windows 16MB RAM machine equipped with a 350 MB HD drive connected to a Hewlett Packard® LaserJet4P 600 dpi printer.

Most applications (running independently of the Motorola® multi-user system) were based on the Microsoft® Excel® spreadsheet and Word® text processor.

Upgrades, additions and improvements were continuous.

By 2004 it was the principal E.D.P. tool of the company, serving some 20 individual Work Stations. It consisted of a Windows NT Compaq® Proliant â Server, equipped with a RAID® array of 5 Hard Disks, modems, fast back-up systems, separate Communications Server, linked via Ethernet® to the Motorola â multi-user system.

By 1994 the problem of filing in the office had became quite serious, as staff wasted considerable time in storing and retrieving individual Case Files, depicting the case from the initial Customer enquiry down to Customer payment details.

As the keeping of Case Files in the premises for a long time after the closing of the case was imperative, the problem of space became an annoying one.

This left him with no alternative but to proceed with the purchase and installation of a multi user version of suitable document handling software. He opted for the Optika® Frequent Filer® program , and after a brief testing and parameterisation period the product was presented to the office staff.

The problem of changing work habits, mistrust and fear to loose vital data rose as a very serious one, with most conservative employees reacting to the idea of having to abandon conventional filing(23).

Another activity in which he got personally involved was the preparation (text-image - page layout – sound - artistic effects) of
•  the combined YLIKON –TFSI - FFI corporate website (http://www.tfsi.com) in Greek and English language
and
•  an YLIKON website (http:/www.tfsi.com/ylikon1982/main.htm) in Greek language, related to the company's harassment from 2002 onwards.

From 1981 to 1996 he was directly involved in all aspects of the company Computing / E.D.P. department, from selected data entry, computer operation and analysis, following hardware and software developments.

From 1997 to 2004 his direct involvement gradually diminished, keeping responsibility for formulating the company computing policy.

 

 

 

B.06.d. Quality Management

As early as 1994 , he was searching ways to improve the operating efficiency of Spachri Ltd (and later YLIKON A.E.) and exert management control in a modern way.

Furthermore, to catch up with the changing environment, the company had to possess an indication that an independent authority was periodically examining the management system.

These thoughts led him to the conclusion that a Quality Assurance System had to be installed.

He assumed the office of Quality Assurance Director and Management Representative to the System, which he kept up to 2004. He then proceeded in structuring a Q.A. Department within the company which made great efforts to change the mentality of the Staff and educate all employees on the requisitions of the ISO 9002:1994 International Standard.

The undertaking was not easy at all, given:

•  the large number (tens of thousand) of items being produced,
•  the way production was structured (compatible manufacturing according to the original manufacturer's sample and not to mechanical drawing)
and
•  the absence of strict and clearly set specifications to follow.

All these factors rendered the working out of individual Product Files impossible, thus making the strict following of the Quality Plan, requested by the Standard, very difficult, if not impossible.

After a year or so of unsuccessful efforts and repeated consultations with the Institute of Quality Assurance in London , he was fortunate enough to start collaboration with the Piraeus Office of Messrs ABS (American Bureau of Shipping).

The problem was finally solved in a very elegant way and by the end of 1996 he lead the Company to a successful Certification Audit.

Educating the staff on matters related to Q.A. went on, through seminars organised in the company premises by him. His colleagues and himself did teaching.

There followed semi annual Surveillance Audits, a Re-certification Audit in 1999 and an upgrade of the corporate QA System to an ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management System in June 2004 .

 

 

 

B.06.e. Project Management: Production of Military Components

The origins of this project have been covered under the heading “ Managing a Complex Manufacturing Concern: The case of YLIKON A.E. ” Once it became clear that the task was technically very demanding and could not be successfully completed using the production methodology employed in the marine sector, he took over the management of the project in an attempt to find a solution. It was the first time he was involved in a Project of this kind(24).The main technical differences between manufacturing for the Marine and Defence sectors, as he experienced them, were the following:

 

Marine Sector

Defence Sector

Large number of Customers

Unique Customer (Monopsony).

Large number of Customer Orders (loose-form Contracts)

Two or three Contracts with very strict terms

Large number of samples, small number of items to be produced per Customer order

Large number of items to be produced for every Contract.

Production was carried out mostly according to original manufacturer's sample.

Production was carried out following a mechanical drawing.

Specifications were relatively loose.

Specifications were very strict.

Customers did not request strict product quality controls.

Product quality controls were set by Customer and were very strict indeed.


His contribution to the successful outcome could be centred on the following points:
•  The writing up of a thorough Product File, including a Quality Plan and a Production Methodology for the parts to be produced; the final approval of the Product File by the Army Committee.
•  The referral of the persistent production problems to a highly specialised research institution(25), to act as an expert consultant; the consolidation and maintenance of excellent relations with them.
•  The hiring and training of fully qualified engineers to supervise production(26).
•  The education of production personnel on the new requirements of production, those stemming from strict specifications.
•  The day-to-day following of all operations
•  The maintenance of close contacts with project engineers and technicians.
•  The standardisation and revision of production stages
•  The tracing of events and progress per single stage.
•  The location of appropriate and specialised testing laboratories(27) for those product quality control, which could not be carried out in-house and the establishment of excellent relations and fruitful cooperation with them.
•  The confrontation of the Army Quality Controllers and the negotiation of product properties and quality control findings with them.
•  The supervision of the acquisition of new machinery and equipment for the project, keeping in mind to keep production cost as low as possible.

 

 

 


Notes:

(1) A family activity oriented towards the exclusive representation for Greece of a number of respectable American and Western European corporations. Most of these corporations were manufacturers of textiles machinery, cotton ginning plants, marine engines and other equipment.
[back to text, footnote 1]

 

(2) The company was the trading subsidiary of a large Greek home appliances manufacturer.
[back to text, footnote 2]

 

(3) The reaction yielded main product structures best explained by the Friedel Crafts process in a then theoretically unusual aqueous environment, possibly due to intermediates being stabilised by extensive intramolecular electron delocalisation (aromaticity). This explanation was supported by the intense red colour, which appeared in the solution for nearly a second after treatment with an acidic solution.
[back to text, footnote 3]

 

(4) The product resulted from the irradiation of pure benzaldehyde (C6H5-CHO) under a variety of conditions.
[back to text, footnote 4]

(5) A Military Formation reporting directly to the Hellenic Army General Staff.
[back to text, footnote 5]

(6) The work involved main building modification, purchase of materials, mechanical (pumps, etc) and laboratory (glassware, etc) equipment, building up a chemicals stock, design and construction of fume cupboards, vacuum lines, piping systems (compressed air, vacuum, water, gas etc), and also drawing up safety rules for the Unit personnel and visitors. The Unit was inaugurated in early 1981.
[back to text, footnote 6]

 

(7) An example was the case of a fluorocarbon liquid, then marketed under the name of “PC-77” and used as refraction media for Field Artillery operations. It was carefully purified from trace contaminants, (possibly added deliberately to ‘create an effect'), then structurally examined by 1H and 19F NMR, I.R., UV and mass spectroscopy and finally confirmed as perfluoro-2-butyltetrahydrofuran (C8F16O), by direct comparison with an original sample of the product, purchased from a respectable supplier.
[back to text, footnote 7]

(8) The company was established in 1973, to succeed Messrs Christos Spanomanolis and Sons.
[back to text, footnote 8]

(9) From 1983 to 1984, production of Fuller non-original parts was allocated to third parties (subcontractors) all over Europe . From 1984 onwards, production of parts was gradually transferred to local (Greek) manufacturers.
[back to text, footnote 9]

 

(10) These specifications were mainly tolerances, surface quality requirements etc.
[back to text, footnote 10]

(11) His official capacities at Spachri Ltd were: Joint Administrative Officer and Technical Director

(12) The party included Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament, Government Officials and other high-ranking functionaries.
[back to text, footnote 12]

 

(13) In the context of this war against YLIKON, the company became target of a series of hostile actions. The timing of these actions was prominently chosen by YLIKON opponents: the company had just announced its readiness to deliver a further batch of one thousand (1,000) Track Shoes to the Army Depot. Furthermore, it had just made known the installation of an additional Thermal Treatments Unit in its premises, specially designed and assembled in collaboration with the Metallurgy Dept. of the National Technical University of Athens. Operating the Unit would significantly increase output and overall quality of the Track Shoes.
The fate of YLIKON A.E. is now in the hands of the Athens Court of Appeal.
[back to text, footnote 13]

 

(14) This was a very important process since production was mainly carried out according to the original sample rather than following the mechanical drawing. Furthermore, production was centred on the original manufacturer's part number.
[back to text, footnote 14]

 

(15) It was, obviously, not possible to obtain information (drawings, specifications, etc) from the original manufacturer.
[back to text, footnote 15]

 

(16) The decision was taken considering the function of the part in the engine/equipment, mechanical factors, chemical environment, temperature, pressure, etc. A typical example was the successful substitution of an extrudable Nylon -6 seal ring with one made of a curable rubber-polyamide mixture which, apart from being 40% cheaper to produce, was also found to be property-wise more appropriate for its function.
[back to text, footnote 16]

(17) The plant produced original or compatible (copied) moulded articles by the compression method, such as o-rings, seal rings, gaskets, lip seal rings, elastic couplings and specialised rubber-to-metal sandwich structures.
[back to text, footnote 17]

 

(18) The aim was to identify the type (structure and grade) of the elastomer and the various compounding ingredients such as plasticisers, antioxidants, vulcanising agents, retarders, accelerators etc.
This involved preparing a few grams of a portion of the original sample (oven-dried and finely chopped) and then treating it with various solvents so as to extract the ingredients included in the sample.
[back to text, footnote 18]

(19) This usually involved collecting a variety of recipes from the literature and from verbal communications, experimenting with them and in most occasions modifying them.
Since 'established' recipes do sometimes contain errors or omissions, some of them intentional, he had to use his accumulated experience over the years to make the appropriate corrections. This duty also involved following the literature and testing a variety of established or novel commercial products in order to evaluate their suitability. This was a fairly frequent exercise especially with rubber-to-metal glues, mold treatment sprays, etc.
[back to text, footnote 19]

(20) Given the fact that both sulphur and the various sulphonating agents are added in the Internal Mixer, it is essential that processing times be rightly 'guessed', experimentally verified and clearly recorded for future use.
Unless this is carefully done one risks having the compound toughened ('semi-vulcanised') inside the Internal Mixer, in other words rendering it inappropriate for further use.
[back to text, footnote 20]

(21) This exercise was important and was directly related to the percentage of sulphur and vulcanising agents one adds to the compound.
The temptation to use an overdose of sulphur and thus reduce time in the press was there, because it was cost-wise desirable. However such an action often damages the end product quality, for instance rendering the nitrile o-ring too brittle, or prohibiting complete vulcanisation.
[back to text, footnote 21]

(22) Tests such as Hardness (DIN 53505), Oil/ water/ corrosion prevention oil resistance Ageing (ASTM D-471), Air Ageing (ASTM D-573), Brittle point (ASTM D-2137), Surface quality (ISO 3601-3) etc, were often performed at the highly specialised Testing Research and Standardisation Centre of the Greek Public Power Corporation (P.P.C.).
He supervised tests and evaluated results.
[back to text, footnote 22]

(23) As Files were gradually transformed from the conventional to an electronic form and the voluminous filing cabinets disappeared, the privation syndrome had adverse psychological effects on those not proficient with computerisation and new technologies . The problem of enforcing the new filing system policy proved much harder that he had anticipated and, being alone versus the rest, he had to fight against a complex situation, employing various tactics until the new system and way of thinking was finally established and accepted by the rest.
[back to text, footnote 23]

 

(24) From the metallurgical point of view, the project involved the casting and full treatment (surface, thermal and zone hardening) of Steel type 42CrMo4
[back to text, footnote 24]

(25) The Metallurgy Department of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA).
[back to text, footnote 25]

 

(26) The team included four Metallurgical Engineers and one Mechanical Engineer.
[back to text, footnote 26]

(27) Such Institutions included the Materials Laboratory of the Hellenic Arms Industry (EBO), in Aigion , Greece , private Laboratories for radiographic examination of cast products, etc.
[back to text, footnote 27]