AECI names Walter Hyde Employee of the Year in a Technical Field
Walter Hyde of Sikeston, a maintenance planner at New Madrid Power Plant, was among 13 employees honored March 24 by Associated Electric Cooperative’s during its 21st annual employee recognition awards ceremony at its Springfield headquarters. Associated Electric operates the New Madrid Power Plant, part of its diverse resources serving a three-tiered system of electric cooperatives in three states.
The recipients of the cooperative’s prestigious Excel awards were nominated by their peers and co-workers and selected from nominations by senior management.
Hyde is the recipient of the 2014 Excel Employee of the Year in a Technical Field award. He joined Associated in 2009 as a journeyman electrician, having worked in industrial, mechanical and electrical jobs. Three years later he became a maintenance planner, focusing on the planning of spring and fall maintenance outages at the power plant.
During an outage, a generating unit is shut down for routine maintenance and repairs, which can cost millions of dollars, require thousands of parts and employ hundreds of contract workers. Every day the unit is not generating electricity increases Associated Electric’s cost of serving member cooperatives.
An outage starts with a plan, which is what Hyde develops after gathering information from many sources. For Hyde, "It boils down to the better planning you put into a job the better the outcome," he said
A nominator added, "Walter has taken outage planning to another level. He has challenged some of the cultural barriers and been successful at achieving the desired outcome."
Hyde described his job as, "I go out and look at jobs and try to come up with a good job package that will be efficient for the crafts to accomplish." He documents needed parts, drawings and assembly manuals in an effort to "improve wrench time" for the workers. "The less time they have to look for parts, the more time they have to turn wrenches," he explained.
Hyde said he finds satisfaction in "learning the process, identifying ways to improve the process and then seeing how improvements make the outages better." His nominator praised him for one of those improvements in 2014. "One of the key areas that Walter has instituted this year is parts kitting for outages. Kitting for parts improves efficiency and effectiveness of completing the desired activities," he said.
Parts kitting simply has warehouse staff gather all the parts for a job, park them on a shelf and then move them into a tote or kit with the work order when the job is ready for them. Hyde's idea was put to the test last spring when a boiler tube failed on Unit 1. Employees were able to react quickly, limiting the time the unit was off line.
Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. is owned by and provides wholesale power to six regional and 51 local electric cooperative systems in Missouri, southeast Iowa and northeast Oklahoma that serve more than 875,000 customers. Associated Electric’s mission is to provide an economical and reliable power supply and support services to its members, including the “Take Control & Save” energy efficiency program, www.TakeControlAndSave.coop. Associated Electric is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative.
An Equal Opportunity Employer -- AA/Minorities/Females/Disabled/Veterans