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HQ - Mechanical Department

Chief Mechanical Engineer.—One of the Principal Officers of each Railway Administration is the Chief Mechanical Engineer who is head of the Mechanical Department. Amongst his more importance duties is that of the maintenance of the rolling stock and other mechanical equipment of the Railway in good repair as on this depends to a very large extent the safety and reliability of railway transportation. To enable him to carry out this duty, Mechanical Department of the Railways have within their control one or more workshops, in which locomotives, carriages & wagons are periodically examined, repaired and overhauled before being placed back on the line.

 

Chief Workshop Engineer.—The direct control on the affairs of the workshop is exercised by the "Chief Workshop Engineer" who is the administrative head of the department for workshops. The Chief Mechanical Engineer acts as the overall coordinating officer for ensuring effective working of the department. As such in all matters relating to policy formulation which concerns the Mechanical Department the Chief Workshop Engineer issues instructions in consultation with the Chief Mechanical Engineer who is the Principal head of the Department. Responsibility for budgetary controls in the workshop rests with Chief Workshop Engineers.

 

There are various "running sheds", "sick lines" and "train examining stations", conveniently situated on the line where different kinds of rolling stock, not undergoing repairs in workshops, are examined and kept in readiness for immediate use. These running sheds, train examining stations and wagon sick lines are necessarily parts of the organisation of the Transportation Department, as distinguished from the Mechanical Department, and the nature and scope of the control of the Chief Mechanical Engineer of these running sheds and stations varies within rather wide limits. But where the Chief Mechanical Engineer is responsible finally for the total expenditure on the repairs and maintenance of rolling stock, whether incurred in the workshops or in the running sheds, he controls the budget for both these big streams of revenue expenditure. Responsibility for Budgetary control in workshops rests with the Chief Workshop Engineer.

 

Other Mechanical Engineer.- The Chief Mechanical Engineer has one or more Senior Officers to assist him in his work at headquarters, which falls into three broad categories—

(1) Locomotive Workshops.
(2) Carriage and Wagon Workshops.
(3) Running Sheds, Sick Lines and Train Examining Stations.

Where the main workshops are sufficiently large and important, a Chief Workshop Manager or a Deputy Chief Mechanical Engineer is placed in direct charge of
such shops. The smaller workshops are placed under a Works Manager, a Senior Scale Officer of the Mechanical Department or an Assistant Works Manager.

Mechanical Workshops.—The main locomotive workshops of the railway may be either situated at the same station as the main carriage and wagon workshops or at different stations. In addition to the repairs and reconditioning of rolling stock and of plant and machinery, and the manufacture of the spare parts for the repair thereof, these workshops may carry out work of the nature shown below: —

(1) Construction and assembly of— 

(a). Locomotives.

(b) Coaching Vehicles,

(c) Goods Vehicles.

(2) Manufacture of articles required by the Stores Department for General use.

(3) Manufacture of articles of various kinds for— 

(a) Other Government Department.

(b) Foreign Railways,

(c) Others.

The Production Engineer.—The head of the workshops whether he is called a Chief Workshop Manager, a Deputy Chief Mechanical Engineer or a Works Manager, is directly responsible to the Chief Mechanical Engineer and Chief Workshop Engineer for the efficient conduct of his workshops. He is ordinarily assisted by a Production Engineer who is responsible for the work of the following sections —

(1) Drawing office — Design
(2) Drawing office — Plant
(3) Drawing office — Jigs and Tools
(4) Planning 
(5) Rate fixing 
(6) Progress office 
(7) Tool Room 
(8) Feed and Speed Chargeman
(9) Inspection 

The more important duties of the Production Engineer are as follows:

(1) to plan and ensure most economical and the best method of Production and the most economical use of machines;

(2) to determine the standard time for each operation by following the analytical method of fixing rates; and

(3) to design machines and tools to suit the needs of works passing through the shops.

His office should-

(1) prepare and design drawings and specifications for new standard parts and for the necessary jigs and tools;

(2) prescribe the nature and sequence of the operations to be performed:

(3) inspect all manufactured parts: and

(4) on the conclusion of any series of operations, compare the times actually taken with those originally estimated by it, investigate all important differences and report as to the causes thereof and as to remedies therefor.

Planning and Production Control.—The efficiency of a Railway Workshop or a Production Unit is largely dependent on an efficient planning and production control organisation. The broad functions of this department comprise of: —

(i) Pre-planning activities: These comprise of study of drawings and specifications, preparation of cost and details Books for each component; drawing up of lists of raw material or component requirements for ensuring its availability; maintenance of data for unstalled capacity; booked load; spare capacity, etc. for each machine group etc.

(ii) Drawing office activities: These comprise of scrutiny of drawings received; preparation of part drawings to facilitate manufacturing operations, designing various jigs and fixtures, tan-plates, drop stamping dies, flanging blocks, gauges, etc. for economical manufacture of components; maintenance of drawings for standard cutting tools etc., placing manufacturing orders on Tool Room, when required, etc.

(iii) Planning activities: These comprises of planning the various activities connected with production in manner which would ensure fullest use of the plant and other agents of production and making all arrangements work as smoothly and efficiently as possible. The functions of this office are broadly divided as under:

(a) Processing: The functions include preparation of scroll process sheets indicating sequence of operation, quantity of material to be used. The section or load centre where the operation is to be carried out; the requirement of machine groups, jigs, fixture and gauges, etc.

(b) Rate fixing: The functions include maintenance of synthetic data for fixing rates (time) for individual operation, indicating allowed time in the process sheet for each of the operation involved; to scrutinise all completed piece work cards, issue of excess time cards etc.

(c) Efficiency: This section deals with matters of general efficiency of the shops. Its activities comprise of review of existing practices, suggest improvement, keeping constant watch on off cuts and rejected materials lying on the shop floor or stores scrap yard in order to suggest suitable usage of that materials etc.

(iv) Production control activities: These comprise of release of work orders for components assemblies etc. well in advance of the schedule of production; preparation of production schedule and distribution thereof in advance to all concerned for their guidance, arranging with stores departments for reservation of required material before actual release of work orders etc.

(v) Progress office activities: These comprise of keeping constant watch of Production of components, assemblies, errection etc. as per schedules laid down, preparation of monthly report of production and their deliveries, keeping liaison with shops and stores departments in the drawal of raw material and finished parts. Intersection and intershop movement of components; maintenance of records for number of orders received, orders completed etc. for each batch etc.

(vi) Inspection activities: These comprise of inspection of components, assemblies etc. on completion of each operation to ensure the production as per drawings and specification, bringing to the notice of concerned authorities of deviation from drawings; and specifications for rectification and rejection; certification on the job card, and Route cards regarding quantities passed or rejected in respect of each operation etc.

Personnel Officer.—The workshops have an establishment branch under a Personnel Officer who is under the direct control of workshop in charge in matters of day to day working. He may take policy directives from Chief Personnel Officer of the Railway. One of his main duties is to attend to all affairs regarding staff and workshop labour. He is generally responsible to the workshop for all matters relating to establishment such as recruitment, payment of wages and overtime, grant of leave and passes, complaints, discharges, payment of provident fund, gratuity and compensation, maintenance of service registers and other such records.

Chemist and Metallurgist.—A Chemist and Metallurgist is usually attached to the major workshops with a technical laboratory equipped to carry out all the necessary chemical and metallurgical tests. He is responsible for quality control on manufacturing and other operations in the workshops and sheds involving special knowledge of modern chemical and metallurgical techniques keeping in view the maximum outturn of the workshops. Most of the analytical work required by the Railway is carried out by him in addition to his normal duties in connection with the work in the shops to which he is attached.

Shop Superintendents.—The workshops themselves are sub-divided into 'Shops' and sub-divisions, which are under the supervision of Shop Superintendents who have under them Assistant Shop Superintendents, Chargeman and Mistries to assist them in the work of supervision, as well as one or two clerks.

Electrical Engineers In the Mechanical Workshops.—Electrical Engineers in the Mechanical Workshops work under administrative control of workshop incharge, and through him the Chief Workshop Engineer. They are under the technical control of the Chief Electrical Engineer for technical aspects of electrical engineering and observance of Electricity Act rules and regulations.

The duties of Electrical Engineers attached to Mechanical Workshops include running of power house if one exists, the supply and distribution of electrical energy, the maintenance of all the electrical plants and machinery in the workshop and electrical repairs of rolling stock.

Workshop Accounts Officer.-The Section Officer (Accounts) or Accounts Officer in the case of the bigger shops in the Workshops, is incharge of all the costing and accounting of the workshops. He is the Financial Adviser to the Head of the Workshops and is responsible for rendering him all the assistance and cooperation that may be required by the latter. He is administratively under the control of the Financial Advisor and Chief Accounts Officer.

Stores Organisation.—There is a Stores Organisation to assist each workshop under a Stores Officer or a subordinate responsible for the custody, replenishment and distribution of workshop stores. The Officer is directly responsible to the Controller of Stores but his main duty is to run stores service required by the workshop in most efficient manner possible and to maintain all records for the correct and prompt procurement/accountal of all stores/stores transactions.

Departmentalisation of Workshops.—On Zonal Railway workshops the shops are either Process Shops, i.e. Manufacturing Shops or Job Shops, i.e. Repair shops. Amongst the Process Shops are the foundries, saw-mills and rolling mills. The term may be extended to include the Forge, welding. Smithies and Bolt and nut shops etc. All the other shops are job shops.

It is important that the division of a "Workshop" into its constituent "shops" follows a definite plan that may be eventually standardized is that the way workshops. The underlying principle is that the division of a workshop into shops, brings about as complete a departmentalisation as possible of the different kinds of work done and of expenditure incurred. Thus a "Saw-mill", so called is often better split up into two shops, i.e., the saw-mill proper and a wood-machine shop, even though both classes of work are carried out within one shop and supervised by one Shop Superintendent as a single charge. Each shop should be allotted a shop number by which it can be distinguished. Certain "Shops" may be sub-divided usefully into "sections" or sub-divisions and this should be done wherever possible.

The 'Shop' or 'Section' of a shop is the unit not only for purposes of technical control, but also for those of financial and cost control. The number of jobs in progress at any one point of time in any such compact unit is comparatively small and the margin of error in booking to each job the correct time and materials spent on it be as low as may be achieved in practice. Any method of distributing 'on cost' attributable to such an unit amongst the jobs undertaken would give more reliable results than what would be the case if the distribution were made, either taking the workshop as a whole or as divided up into a few large units.

Classification of staff in Workshops.—The staff employed in Railway workshops, other than Ministerial staff, may be classified under the following broad categories: —

(i) Unskilled Artisans

(ii) Khalasi Helpers

(iii) Skilled Gr. III

(iv) Skilled Gr. II

(v) Skilled Gr. I

(vi) Master Craftsmen*

(vii) Subordinate/Supervisory Staff

Note: To the extent of 10% of the posts of Skilled Gr. I (Rs. 380-560) as personal to the incumbent.

Sanctioned Strength of Staff.—The volume of work carried out in a railway workshop varies within wide limits. In order, therefore, to admit of the strength of each shop being capable of contraction or expansion as the volume of work decreases or increases, the number of staff normally required for each shop should be fixed with reference to the minimum requirements of the shop and a temporary addition made to it, for a limited period only, as and when it becomes necessary to do so.

The maximum number of staff that may be employed on a shop, under normal conditions should be fixed by the General Manager under each of the categories (i) to (vii) detailed in paragraph 120. Any variation in the number so fixed will require the sanction of the General Manager.

Note: If the existing number of staff is in excess of the normal strength so fixed, vacancies arising amongst such staff should not be filled up until the strength fixed for the workshop is reached.

The power to sanction the maximum number of staff that may be employed in a shop under normal conditions as also temporary additions to staff to cope with any additional increase in work may be delegated by the General Manager at his discretion, to the Chief Mechanical Engineer. The power to sanction temporary additions to staff may be redelegated by the Chief Mechanical Engineer to the Work-shop-incharge or any lower authority, provided a limit is fixed in numbers and approximate cost of such temporary additions. The temporary additions to staff should be kept closely regulated in accordance with the requirements of the work. The provisions in this para are, however, subject to any general or special orders of the Railway Board regarding creation of posts and regulation of staff strength.

Within the limits prescribed by the General Manager or any lower authority empowered to do so, the detailed distribution of staff under each trade category will be made by the Workshop-incharge. This will be the sanctioned strength of each shop. The Workshop-incharge should communicate to the Workshop Accounts Officer any variations made in the strength so fixed.

(Ref. – Indian Railways Code for the Mechanical Department (Workshops))




Source : Central Railway / Indian Railways Portal CMS Team Last Reviewed on: 01-02-2012  


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