Operational Details

As the plant build-out continues the work has begun on identifying and codifying the set of processes that will be required to make sustainable biofuel.

I have written here before on the importance of quality. Quality in the production process is a necessity that must be adopted internally and integrated operationally. Towards that end we have begun the work documenting the activities and procedural standards that will make up the core of our quality management and environmental compliance operations guides.

I have made mention in past entries here that I believe that it is imperative that we operate in a way that drives continuous improvement and reinforces organizational alignment from the top down. But most importantly the operation must perform in a manner that is true to the dream and vision of creating a sustainable approach to biofuels production and delivery.

Not surprisingly setting quality objectives and defining processes has forced a careful examination of the mission as well as our internal capabilities and readiness level as plant production looms near.

I have dedicated a considerable amount of time researching how other producers approach quality. It has been a challenging task, since few organizations operate openly or welcome inquiries from what they view as potential competitors. A modicum of the challenge has been offset by my personal experience implementing quality and environmental management systems in a variety of organizations.

The greatest advantage in setting the framework of mission and objectives for the organization I believe is the clarity of cooperative purpose that is beginning to find a voice and take root as a cultural imperative. One day soon Promethean Biofuels Quality Management System will exist as an organized, living, breathing, and coherent document. I hope that it may also serve as the cornerstone of an organization made strong by a talented and diverse group of people dedicated towards a common purpose.

Make it a better place,

Todd

 

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The last mile.

The work is hard. The hours are long. Progress seems interminably slow.

The plant is mere weeks away from opening. I spend each day turning wrenches, fitting pipe, working out various electrical issues, titrating oil, talking to other producers, talking to would-be producers, and wondering how everything will get finished in time.

The major hurdles that remain, the last mile, that last 5%, separates a useless collection of tanks connected to pumps and electrical controls from something of utilitarian beauty that connects a community to the ideal of energy independence by producing a high quality biofuel.

Although I complain about slow progress, help has come from many sources. 

Jeremy arrived a few weeks ago with a bevy of tools, an abundance of community connections, and the desire to see a functional plant built in the spirit of America ingenuity. I might add he’s an excellent welder.

Richard, a local firefighter who had planned to make his own biodiesel, dropped off 200 gallons of used soy in excellent condition, saying that he was excited to see a plant the size of ours in his town. He brought his mother and daughter along to show them the plant as well.

Our first intern starts next week. 

I may not be able to see the finish line, but I think I see the starting point of the next part of the journey.

Tomorrow morning my wrench and I will work to forward the cause of making it a better place.

Todd