Updated Course Features Cutting-Edge Equipment
A popular course at the SIU-affiliated Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education (PHC) has updated its curriculum and added new equipment that utilizes the latest technology in the reefer container industry.
These changes signal major improvements to the school’s advanced refrigerated container maintenance (ARCM) class, a two-week offering at the Piney Point, Maryland, campus.
Mike Fay, a longtime Seafarer and electrician who occasionally teaches at the PHC, developed the ARCM class and serves as its lead instructor. He explained that the recently added state-of-the-art units can handle a wide range of cargo – some of which is both expensive and delicate.
“It’s not uncommon to see $1 million worth of pharmaceuticals in one container, and that content has to be maintained at exact temperature, humidity and oxygen level,” Fay said. “This requires the person working on the equipment to have an in-depth knowledge of capacity controls and operating systems.”
One way for students to gain or enhance such knowledge is by training with top-end equipment, and the PHC boasts such gear. The school recently added Carrier PrimeLINE unit that allows students to learn “on the next generation of units equipped with electronic expansion valves and digital control valves,” Fay noted. “These components give the unit the capability to keep a 40-foot loaded container within one-half of one degree of setpoint, thereby helping ensure the customer’s product integrity.”
Fay also mentioned that students in the July ARCM class took on the task of refitting a vintage, out-of-service Star Cool reefer unit with new, up-to-date components, including a 2.0 frequency converter, a variable-speed compressor and the latest digital controller. By the time the students completed their work on that unit, it was fully operational.
One highlight of the July course was a visit and some guest instruction from field subject-matter expert Benjamin Hernandez, service manager of the Americas for Star Cool/Maersk Container Industry.
“It was an honor to have Benjamin share his knowledge with the class,” Fay said. “He was so impressed with the whole Paul Hall Center training facilities that he offered the support of the Star Cool factory in Denmark to supply training aids and tech support. The school has always partnered with SIU-contracted companies for donating actual reefer units from their fleets for training, but this is the first time a major manufacturer has offered factory support. This ensures that the PHC will continually have the capability to train students with the latest technology well into the future.”
Comments are closed.