Dean Casey

Machining Services Project Manager Repairs

Dean CaseyBackground

I was raised on a farm in Northern Illinois for 18 years where I developed a strong work ethic while holding a job, going to school, and working on the family farm. After graduating high school, I went to vocational school where I completed a Tool & Die Apprenticeship program and received a certificate as a Journeyman tool and die maker. I worked in the tool and die industry for six years before moving onto Field Machining in the power generation industry where I have worked for the last 18 years. I started my career at MD&A in 2014 as a machinist in the Machining Services Division and was promoted to project manager in 2016.

What do you do here at MD&A?

I manage most field machining work scopes for the Machining Services Division from cradle to grave. I am involved in estimating, manpower assignments, purchase orders, procurement of materials, hiring secondary vendors, and onsite management of large projects.

What is the most interesting challenge you have come across?

My greatest challenge at MD&A has been developing our Stationary Journal Machining Program, eliminating the need for outside vendors. We have built the program from the ground up in less than a year and have performed more than 50 journal and collector ring restorations.

How does In-place stationary shaft machining work? 

The stationary journal machine is a collaboration of components that allow the machinist to build a self-driven orbital machine around a shaft to remove damaged areas. The machine rotates around the stationary shaft to machine, clean, and then perform the final hone and polish of the metal. Using the existing unworn shaft areas for reference, the machined area of the shaft maintains the same centerline of the original shaft condition.

What was something you learned refurbishing journals on-site internationally?

The MD&A management team worked together to provide a quality repair with a quick turnaround. Rather than tearing down the unit and performing the journal repairs in portable lathes or with stationary journal machining equipment on rotor stands, Machining Services performed on-site journal repairs in place with MD&A’s stationary journal machining equipment, saving the customer a significant reduction in non-generation time and labor cost resources.

Four LP journals had wear damage and radial grooves. Our team went to the site with the intention of performing journal repairs on the four damaged journals yet ended up honing or polishing all eight journals to restore to OEM conditions. Other competing vendors could not supply the resource of an in-situ process and had longer repair durations or “band-aid” fixes for the damaged journals.

In order to further reduce the duration and despite the time difference, our Bearings, Seals, and Hydraulics team kept in constant communication via telephone and email to get the bearings machined in Ohio as we completed each journal on-site. The plant staff worked diligently with Machining Services to reduce downtime between setups and provided materials and tooling. The customer and MD&A took a logistically difficult job and made it a smooth, seamless transition, making it easy for my team to focus on the work at hand.

The safety culture of the customer was similar to our own safety culture here at MD&A, and at no time was I fearful of unnecessary risks while on site. The stationary journal process on-site provided an opportunity for them to see the value of MD&A and alternative processes to accomplish work scopes that would have been previously performed in other ways.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I own a Polaris RZR UTV and like to spend my time in the woods trail riding with my family and friends.


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