The Seafarers-affiliated Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education (PHC) recently completed yet another major upgrade to the school’s facilities.
The newly upgraded engineering shop features state-of-the-art trainer systems, real-world equipment and new lab environments that will give students the best opportunity for learning the various aspect of the engine department in a safe, controlled scenario.
PHC Acting Vice President Tom Orzechowski said, “The shop is completely retooled and set for the next level of training. The building itself went through a complete renovation, and we added new classroom space adjacent to the new electricians’ lab. New trainers encompassing every aspect needed for upgrading and basic training are now available and at the ready. This brings our vocational shop up to date and prepares us for the future.”
PHC Instructor Bill Dodd said, “The engineering community is ever-evolving with the introduction of newer electrical and electronic equipment, more advanced mechanical applications and environmental concerns on board ships. It is the responsibility of the HLSS (Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship) Marine Training Department to incorporate the most up-to-date equipment to train mariners in their perspective vocations.”
The new equipment includes:
– A Pumps Trainer System, for teaching students how various types of pumps operate and function with the multiple piping systems on board ships
– A Mechanical Trainer System, for teaching how couplings, bearings, chain drives and gear drives are incorporated in a mechanical system, as well as how alignments are performed
– A Hydraulics Trainer System, for teaching about hydraulics and what types of components are in a hydraulic system for lifting, pushing, extending and retracting pieces of equipment that are far too heavy to move by hand
– A Pneumatics Trainer System, to provide students with understanding how air can accomplish many tasks
– A Steam Boiler Trainer System, to allow students to better understand the steam cycle
– An Oily Water Trainer System, to provide students an understanding of how to clean and get rid of oily water waste aboard ships in accordance with applicable laws and regulations
– A Lube Oil Purifier System, to help develop a better understanding of how important clean lube oil and fuel oil are to the effective running of the ship’s engines
– Centrifugal Pumps and Motor Assemblies, which allows hands-on training for students when having to replace components or rebuild centrifugal pumps onboard ships.
Another new addition, the Electrical Training Lab, allows students to train for troubleshooting, testing and repairing various types of electrical issues that may arise aboard vessels. Each student has access to their own group of electrical components for testing, troubleshooting and repair training.
Additionally, the Programmable Logic Controller Units Lab allows students to develop and implement sensor inputs/output logic for multiple mechanical, pneumatic and electrical systems aboard ships.
Finally, as previously reported, the engineering shop houses the up-to-date reefer containers – donated by SIU-contracted ship operators – which allow mariners to train on the actual equipment they will encounter on a vessel or offshore work site.
Longtime mariner and electrician Mike Fay offered his thoughts on the completed shop, saying, “I think most would agree the reefer container training is the top rung of the engine department ladder. That is where all the other courses are combined: electrician, refrigeration, high pressure silver brazing, etc. The reefer units we train on are the actual units from vessels; they are not models or simulators as some other labs use.”
“Many of our trainers that we have taught with were more than 20 years old, and have seen better days,” said Dodd. “While static trainers are useful, they do not represent the full level of comprehension students need to demonstrate their competency requirements for certification and graduation…. It was decided that new training equipment needed to be acquired, so we may continue to provide the very best training to the new and seasoned mariner for years to come.”