As I See It: When concerns matter

Many years ago, I was the principal engineer for a steel mill operation. I was on a first-name basis with plant management. Upper corporate management decided we could sell more product if we added a new chemical finishing process. In addition to being the resident engineer, I was assigned to supervise the chemistry experiment. We were not told how many questions were unanswered. The system was poorly designed, crude and unsophisticated. Frankly, I do not think the proponents realized how little they knew. As mills go, we were small, about 240 employees, but our output was measured in tens of thousands of tons per year. Our furnaces used half the natural gas in the county.