Selling The Sizzle Part 3 2018-07-21T12:18:18+00:00

Quality Second to None!


ESL believes in doing the job right first time, every time. For us “Safety is first even if the business is hurt“. At the same time “Quality is second to none through relentless improvement” Our “Quality Communique” is presented below for better understanding of our commitment towards Quality. It is then followed by a list of brilliant, TRAILBLAZING ideas to align our service quality with customers’ expectations.


  • Whether we sell an equipment or simply install
    We will do the job right and spare no effort at all.
  • We will do what we say and vice versa
    Making sure, we neither falter nor fall.
  • Quality will be built in our services, at every step
    Be it a big step or very small.
  • We will train our people continuously
    Our aim is to meet all challenges and avoid any pitfall.
  • We will accept our mistakes and learn from them
    Doing so, our progress will never stall.
  • Plan-Do-Act and Check
    This is a quality tool often discussed in our conference hall.
  • The rule of Pareto is our guiding principle
    We will focus on critical mass first and then what is small.
  • We will use Poka Yoke systems
    Our target is no mistakes at all.
  • Benchmark against best-in-class amongst all
    We will learn from best practices of others to stand equally tall.
  • Zero defect is our ultimate goal
    Success will depend on this over the long haul.
  • Our product may fail and service fall short
    We will fix it and allow no shortfall.
  • Talking to the parts and condition based maintenance
    This is our genset service strategy for every Mill or Shopping Mall.
  • Parts we sell may cost more
    We’ll make sure your plants run and not just crawl.
  • ESL strives to raise quality and lower life cycle cost
    Be it a power plant or just a major overhaul.
  • Any lapse in our quality is not acceptable
    If you see one just give us a call.
  • Neglecting quality is a dangerous thing
    It is like playing with a fireball.
  • The race to quality has no finish line
    Continuous improvement is the only cure-all.


Most organizations fail because of quality of service. The quality of service separates good from bad, ordinary from extraordinary. Please don’t compromise on your service quality. It will make you slip, trip and ultimately lose your grip.


Kill not the goose that lays golden eggs. By the same token, don’t cut the branch supporting you.

Treat your customers, whether internal or external, well. Don’t take them for granted. Don’t betray their trust by unnecessarily doing more than what is required on their equipment. Never take advantage in terms of high price and / or low quality. Remember a satisfied customer is an annuity forever. They will continue to look after your families. Make him win, you will win too.


Generators are lifeline of any industry, banks, telecommunication operators, commercial outfits, hospitals, etc. Poor Service is neither forgotten nor forgiven. It drives away the customers for ever. Regrets and repentance thereafter is of no avail. It is no use crying over spilt milk. Remember poor customer service is the biggest reason of customers quitting you.


SERVICE at ESL stands for Safe, Empathetic, Responsive, Virtuous, Innovative, Compliant and Effective. It has a lot to do with attitude and ability. Acquiring the right skill sets (ability) and developing the perfect service attitude may take ages and massive continuous improvement efforts.

5. MOTHER OF ALL EVILS! – فساد کی جڑ

16,000 gallons! Yes! Indeed! 16,000 gallons of water!

A typical heavy duty cooling system will circulate a 16,000 gallon swimming pool worth of coolant every hour.

The general function of coolant is simple, to transfer heat from the engine. This is done by removing heat from engine components, circulating the heat through the cooling system and dissipating the heat through the radiator. The thermostat allows the cooling system to control the temperature of the system.

However as simple as this sounds coolant technology and maintenance is extremely important to the function of the engine.

The generator cooling system in Pakistan is the mother of all evils because of very high temperatures in summer.

A coolant must protect the whole system in order to properly remove heat from the engine. The coolant interfaces with many metallic and non-metallic surfaces and is also used to manage the temperature of other engine fluids.

To properly transfer heat the coolant must protect the system components from corrosion, cavitation and scale.

More than 40% of engine problems originate in the cooling system. This makes selecting and maintaining your coolant key to protecting and ensuring the longevity of your equipment.

Aksa generators with truly 50 degree radiators provide a very good solution to the customers.

These radiators are believed to be larger in size (perhaps because of larger diameter, more tubes) with larger radiator fans sweeping large volumes of air.

Cooling system is covered in our “Meet& Treat” sessions.

6. WHEN THE SKY WILL FALL, WE SHALL CATCH THE LARKS   نہ نو من تیل ہوگا نہ رادھا ناچے گی

The amount of oil that Radha needs, proverbially, to perform her dance is incidentally the same as required by a one-megawatt gas generator. Whether she dances or not, is not important for an engineer. Important is that the engine will not work if not properly lubricated. In fact, it will seize.

Make no compromise on lubrication. It is the key to long life and good performance. See more details in our article “Ten commandments of maintenance”. This topic is also covered in our “Meet& Treat” sessions.

7. A PEBBLE IN THE SHOE – زرا سا کنکر، چلنا دوبھر

Boxer Muhammad Ali once said, “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out but it’s the pebble in your shoe”.

Would you believe, a lot of generator failures occur not because some component has broken down; they occur because of there being no fuel in the tank or fuel quality being poor. Fuel often becomes a pebble in the shoe.

Fuel is the fodder for the generator. Solution to fuel problems is not found as shown above. A lot of customer complaints are addressed simply by refueling or using better quality fuel or adding a water separator in the fuel line or simply cleaning of the fuel tank. The customers should also ensure regular calibration of engine pumps and injectors, which can easily save 3-4% on fuel consumption.

This is all the more important because fuel cost in Pakistan is more than 80% of total cost of generating electricity from a diesel generator. Yet customers become complacent and have to cut a sorry figure. Theft of fuel, in many cases, adds insult to the injury.

Importance of fuel system and its calibration is covered in our “Meet & Treat” sessions.

Fuel pump and injector calibration facility is available in ESL Karachi for Cummins as well as non-Cummins engines.


Root cause of most generators’ problems is lack of attention to daily maintenance and the fact that it is entrusted in the hands of untrained or poorly trained people. It is really a thorn in the flesh. For details, see our article:

Battery maintenance is also a constant pain in the neck. A very large percentage of generator failures is caused by as insignificant a thing as a poorly maintained battery. Alas!


It is seen that often security guards, peons, gardeners, etc., are entrusted with the job of looking after generators. This is very common in banking sector, telecommunication sites, etc. They often lack training and knowledge of the machine. Very expensive equipment is simply left at the mercy of untrained person just to save some Rupees.

Please note that an untrained operator is dangerous. He can mess up with basic maintenance and throw spanners in the wheels. Customer’s production, banking operations, telecommunication coverage worth hundreds of thousands Rupees can be disrupted. If you want training for your staff, please ask ESL. It will deliver it at your doorstep free of cost as part of its obligation towards the society.


Whether you have internal customers or external ones; whether you are in Sales, Service or a behind the scene officer; whether you are the CEO or a counter clerk, neglecting customer service will become a menace. It will ultimately destroy your own career as well as the name and image of the whole organization.

Please don’t compromise on quality, training, relationship building, ethics and fair practices etc. Negligence of these can play havoc with your own personal career and the future of the entire organization too. The pitcher will break at last.


Customer Service is not complex. There are no wheels within wheel. Just follow a few simple instructions:

Always stay in touch and reach out to the customers before they complain; make no false promises; fulfill your commitments; add more value than they pay; make them win; accept your mistakes while you ignore theirs’; continuously improve skill-sets and most importantly your mind-sets to do more with less and earlier than they expect, etc. All your worries will dissipate in thin air. Your organization will start firing on all cylinders and you will start winning too.

This will require continuous improvement at all levels, from peon to the President, which is the objective of this book. This is easier said than done. Yet there are no wheels within wheels.



Always remain in touch with your customers. Reach out to them before they complain. Resolve their issues before they become a monster. Great fires always start from a little spark. Remember an ounce of care and caution can prevent tons of catastrophe. Please nip the evil in the bud.

13. LOOK FOR A NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK! – بھوسے میں کیل کی تلاش

Nip the evil in the bud and remove the problem as soon as it shows up. Not doing so will result in spreading the problem all over. Efforts to correct then will be as difficult as looking for a needle in a haystack.

14. IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT! – ابھی چلنے دو

This is run-to-fail maintenance strategy, which is seldom acceptable. It should not be allowed. Generally, maintenance should be performed before equipment breaks down. It costs the least and consumes the least amount of time as well. However, there are few exceptions where you see the “Don’t trouble trouble until trouble troubles you” approach. Please guess!


Squeaky wheel strategy is also not nice. Instead what should be done is that the machine should be maintained as per manufacturers’ recommendations. Alternatively, the condition should be watched continuously and as soon as an initial sign of a failure is discovered, the machine condition should be rectified. The maintenance must be performed before it can lead to expensive breakdowns.


Unlike a new broom which proverbially cleans only when it is new, any machine will continue to deliver first class performance provided it is maintained well and operated as per instructions of the manufacturers.

Just pay attention to daily maintenance, regular cleaning, oil and filter changes at prescribed intervals, right type of engine coolant, adequate and well balanced load on all the three phases, use of genuine parts, etc. The generator will continue to deliver desired performance year after year regardless of its age. Even the old will sweep clean. It will know the corners also well.


Long ago the world has changed its perception about maintenance. Change your mindset too. Maintenance is an investment and not a necessary evil. While you invest a fortune on buying expensive equipment, you should not stop short on maintenance. Go the whole hog. In for a penny, in for a pound.

Now the strategic view of maintenance is gaining popularity. This is defined by condition of the equipment, operating loads, maintenance action (strategies) and business objectives, etc.

Please carry out maintenance as per the strategic view maximizing uptime and reducing expenses.

18. TIT FOR TAT – جیسے کو تیسا

The machine always pays you back in the same coin. You look after it well, it will look after you well and vice versa. Maintenance strategy is the key!

The best maintenance strategy for your machines is reliability centered maintenance. It is a mix of run to failure maintenance (waiting for failure to occur), lots of preventive maintenance (including time based, age based, condition based) and predictive maintenance. For generators:

1. Time based maintenance applies to Unlimited prime sets @ 250 hours, 1000 hours, 2000 hours, 6000 hours and 12,000 hours, etc.
2. Age based applies to Standby sets @ 6 months, year, two year, etc.
3. Condition based – as and when the condition dictates.

Please contact ESL for a full presentation on “Reliability Centered Maintenance”.

19. STRIKE WHEN THE IRON IS HOT – جب لوہا گرم ہو


Striking iron at the right time when it is hot is being effective. Striking it with right force and at the right place is efficiency. According to Peter Drucker, effectiveness is more important than efficiency.

Let us now see which is the most effective maintenance strategy and when? Here are few examples:

a. Reactive or Run to fail strategy is followed for electronic cards, control modules; heavy duty mechanical parts e.g. crank shaft, cam shaft, etc.
b. Interval based Preventive maintenance strategy:

  1. Time based: For standby generators
  2. Utility based: For prime generators

c. Conditioned based strategy is generally followed for fuel system calibrations; engine overhauls, etc.
d. Proactive or Predictive maintenance strategy involves profiling and diagnostics to predict impending failures. It is followed for very large, heavy duty machines and its parts, etc.
e. Reliability centered maintenance is the most effective form of maintenance. It is a mix of all of the above in varying proportions depending upon equipment and its operations cost, crucial nature and complexity, business objectives, etc.


Before an engine overhaul becomes mandatory, it shows the following signs:

These symptoms are a “tip of an iceberg”. The little signs that you can see are in fact part of a much larger problem.

For more details please read ESL article “Engine Overhauls – the curtain rises”.


When will my engine receive a new lease of life? When will it go for an overhaul? Is there a Relationship between Overhaul Intervals and Generator ratings?

How much will it last after an overhaul? What tests should it go through before it is certified “born again” or “fit again”?

Generator set life depends upon engine load factors, fuel and lube oil quality, ambient conditions, operating load, installation quality, and the maintenance program.

Generator overhaul also depends upon whether the engine is compression ignited or spark ignited; what is the compression ratio; break mean effective pressure, etc. Please note that spark ignited engines usually go for overhaul after substantially longer time than compression ignited engines.

ESL sheds light on these in its training book, various articles, and “Meet& Treat” sessions. It is also your perfect choice for overhauls on Cummins and Perkins engines (especially high horsepower machines):

22. TAKE THE BULL BY THE HORN – مشکلات کے ساتھ، دو دو ہاتھ

To do the job right, one must follow a step by step procedure. Allow no short cuts. Do what you say and say what you do. This is the spirit of ISO certification also.

Nothing gets done properly without following a method. An engine overhaul can turn out to be a futile exercise if it not performed systematically, according to the manufacturers’ recommendations as per the laid down SOP. ESL prides itself in performing overhauls on Cummins diesel and gas engines. It assures that when done properly, it can revive engines’ performance and life expectancy to its original values. Please go through the following article in ESL training book:



Years ago, after a machine was overhauled and put into operation, it was recommended to apply load in a slow and steady manner. This gave a chance to the newly assembled parts to become compatible with each other. The process is known as breaking – in or running – in.

However, nowadays, for diesel and gas engines, the time it takes to complete break-in procedures has decreased significantly from a number of days to a few hours (even none), for several reasons.

The main reason is that the factories in which the parts are produced are now capable of better machining and assembly. For example, it is easier to hold tighter tolerances now, and the average surface finish of a new part has improved. Manufacturers, decades ago, were capable of such accuracy and precision, but not with as low a unit cost or with as much ease. Therefore, the average engine made today resembles, in some technical respects, the top-end work back then. Break-in is now done at the factory, obviating end-user break-in. This is advantageous for several reasons. It is a selling point with customers who don’t want to have to worry about break-in and want full performance “right at the outset”. And it also aligns with the fact that compliance rates are always uncertain in the hands of end users.

But there is a growing tendency in power generation industry of not using genuine parts. Even if the parts are genuine, the tools used may not be as per manufacturer recommendations. Even if both parts and tools meet the desired criterion, people doing the overhaul may not be well trained or in right frame of mind.

Hence, it is still advisable to allow engine parts to undergo a certain running – in or breaking – in period. This will cause no harm but maximize the equipment’s working lifespan. Learn more about engine running-in in our “Meet& Treat” sessions.

24. SITTING ON THE FENCE – جائیں تو جائیں کہاں

How to test a new generator at 100% load with resistive load only. This is a hard nut to crack. If we draw full kva from the alternator, engine is over stressed by 25%. If we apply 100% kilowatts on engine,

alternator is only tested to the extent of 80%. The best thing is to test them with inductive loads where possible. For more details, ask for coverage in our “Meet & Treat” sessions.

25. PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE – احتیاط علاج سے بہتر ہے

It has been proven time and again that:

  • Dollars spent on breakdown maintenance are far in excess of dollars spent on preventive maintenance.
  • Preventive maintenance is advantageous because:
  1. engine remains fit and healthy
  2. small problems are rectified before they convert into big issues.
  3. life span of generator is extended.
  4. engineers are better trained while performing maintenance in a planned way instead of performing maintenance in a panicky way resulting from a breakdown.
  5. parts inventory can be more effectively planned.
  • Preventive maintenance is safer
  • Conditioned based preventive maintenance is even superior because instead of repairing the engine or its part, the root cause of problem is identified and then subsequently rectified.

26. A NINE DAYS WONDER – چار دن کی چاندنی

A lot of new, very expensive equipment is grossly neglected when it comes to maintenance. Customers not only delay maintenance but even when they decide to do it, they take recourse to non-genuine parts, untrained workforce, outdated methods, improper tools, etc. The poor machine proves to be a nine day wonder only and soon starts suffering from poor performance. اندھیری رات

Treating your maintenance problems with non-standards parts, tools and techniques, etc., is like feeding a sick and hungry child with a rotten apple.

27. PENNY WISE POUND FOOLISH! – اشرفیاں لٹیں اور کوئلوں پہ مہر

Customers spend a fortune in buying very expensive machines. But when it comes to maintenance, they settle for non-genuine parts and road side mechanics to save a few pennies. Even the quality of filters is compromised. This is a clear manifestation of a penny wise, pound foolish approach. Genuine vs non-genuine parts is covered in our “Meet& Treat” sessions.

28. BUY CHEAP AND HAVE A BAD MEAT – سستا روئے بار بار مہنگا روئے ایک بار

Genuine parts are expensive but valuable. Non-genuine parts are cheap but they make you weep. Buy genuine Cummins parts from ESL for your Cummins diesel and gas engines and relax.


There are a lot of customers who take maintenance very lightly. They consider maintenance spending a cost instead of an investment. Daily maintenance is avoided. Weekly, monthly, half yearly and yearly maintenance is delayed. They don’t believe in condition-based maintenance either. Only when the generator starts to squeak, screech and scream, they consider doing something. Even then they take recourse to cutting corners where possible. At first they delay maintenance and finally when they do go for it they use non genuine parts. For a generator or any other machine, this amounts to an “out of the frying pan into the fire” type situation.

30. WHAT CANNOT BE CURED MUST BE ENDURED – ۤقہر درویش برجانِ درویش

In telecom industry, BTS sites have varying load demands. There are a number of batteries which need recharging every now and then. Then there is the load of air conditioners also to keep the shelters cool. As a result, the load on gensets is constantly fluctuating. The generators are often operated at less than 30% load. This results in glazing of the liners and consequently leaking of combustion gases past the piston rings into the crankcase of the engine.

Not only this, the load is also not evenly distributed on all the three phases. Furthermore, the sites are located in far flung areas and are usually unmanned. Generators do not receive maintenance for weeks, even months. Daily maintenance, which is so critical, is unimaginable. As a result, these generators are often maintenance deprived. This is perhaps a necessary evil and cannot be cured; therefore, has to be endured.

The best thing under these circumstances is that as and when the maintenance is performed on these generators, extreme caution should be exercised to execute all activities properly. Even better thing is to use Aksa hybrid generators, which are ideal for telecommunication sites, banks, etc.

31. TOO MANY COOKS SPOIL THE BROTH – دو ملٓاؤں میں مرغی حرام

It is often seen in the industry that maintenance services are assigned to too many outside companies (Service providers). These service providers then assign jobs to their staff which also keeps changing. As a result, most of the times service jobs are performed by a different set of people with different skill sets, different backgrounds, varying commitment levels, unmindful of the previous history of the equipment, etc. Because of this continuous rotation of people, maintenance often becomes a joke. What should actually increase performance of the machine, ends up without adding much value.

“Too many cooks not only spoil the broth” but also refuse to own the responsibility of failure and poor performance. Every one suffers but the customers suffer the most.

32. HAVING ONE’S FEET IN SEVERAL BOATS – دو کشتیوں کا سوار

A car (or machine) which is in the hands of many is more likely to suffer from poor performance and early failure. Its example is depicted in the picture below (guess what)


The finest machine is only as good as the quality of operation and maintenance services it receives. It is often observed that the companies exercise extreme care and caution at the design and selection stages of the equipment. Best consultants are hired; prestigious site is earmarked for plant installation; a team of expensive commissioning engineers is invited from mother factories and inauguration is performed in style. Tall claims are made. Quality rhetoric abounds.

But what happens thereafter defies description. The power plant is put in the hands of untrained, unskilled lowly paid employees. Training is ignored. Maintenance is neglected. Quality of parts, even filters is compromised. Size of actions does not match the size of words. As a result the plant loses its efficiency. Performance nosedives.

It becomes a case of “MUCH CRY, LITTLE WOOL” or ٹائیں ٹائیں فش or ونچی دکان، پھیکا پکوان


Small negligence in Operation & Maintenance can result in catastrophic failures. Often generators fail because of dripping water hoses or leaking exhaust pipes or fuel pipes or even worse no electrolyte in the battery. Many a times, simple and small negligence of adding untreated water in the radiator can prematurely spoil your engine. Hence, small problems should never be neglected as “many a little can make a mickle”. Learn more about cooling water treatment in our “Meet& Treat” sessions.

35. NIP THE EVIL IN THE BUD – گر بہ کشتن روزِاوۤل

Japanese say “a nail which is sticking out must be hammered down immediately”. This is true for any machine including a generator too. Any leakage in oil, fuel, air induction and cooling and exhaust system can be catastrophic. Any loose nut or bolt or worn out belts can be perilous. Any abnormal temperature, noise, vibration or smoke can be menacing. Any such abnormality should be removed forthwith. This is a good engineering practice for every machine.

Nip the evil in the bud. However, its Urdu version is just a joke!


A bad worker is not the one who does not have the required skills. Often he is the most trained one. Yet because of poor attitude and little success which easily travels to his head, he always finds faults with his tools, colleagues, company and customers.

On the other hand, a good workman is endowed with tremendous attitude. He makes no excuses for poor performance. In fact, he does not believe in sloppy, clumsy work and uses his intelligence to overcome all the problems. Instead of moaning and groaning, he makes things happen while others around him wonder what has happened.

He gets going when the going gets tough. This is the hallmark of a good worker and ESL has plenty of them.

Contrary to the bad workman who never accepts his mistakes and finds fault with everyone, we expect every ESL worker including its top management to accept mistake, if they commit one.

37. READY, STEADY, GO – ایک، دو، تین


It is common knowledge: We all need exercise to stay healthy. But did you know your generator needs regular exercise too? Exercising your generator by running it on a regular basis – even when you don’t need it – helps prolong engine life and can also enable you to identify and even diagnose little problems before they have a chance to grow into major headaches. Even short periods of time without use can result in fuel-related problems and allow moisture to build up in generator components.

Here’s how to exercise your generator and keep it ready, steady & go:

  • First, make sure your generator’s intake and exhaust are clear.
  • Next, connect your generator so it has at least a 50 percent load. Turning it on without having it power anything is only partially helpful, because it doesn’t allow you to identify any issues that might occur once power is actually being drawn from the unit. Plus, your generator was designed to work with an electrical load being drawn. Operating it without that load doesn’t enable it to work quite as effectively so you won’t get the full benefits. Your generator manual will tell you what the unit’s maximum load is; aim for at least about half of that during exercise.
  • Make sure the generator has fuel and check connections as you normally would before starting it. Then, power it up and let it run for at least two hours. A two-hour period allows the unit to lubricate itself and also ensures any moisture will be completely burned off. While it’s running, listen for any unusual sounds or check for other issues that could indicate a potential problem. And that’s it. Simple, right?

Your generator was built to work and allowing it to remain unused for long periods can result in its operating less efficiently or even refusing to work at all. Exercising your generator (say once a month) is a simple way to make sure it continues to work its best.

38. LITTLE STROKES FELL MIGHTY OAKS – پھول کی پتی سے کٹ سکتا ہے ہیرے کا جگر

Continuously train your people. Contents of diesel and gas generators trainings are available on ESL training book as well as its numerous power point presentations. “Meet & Treat” sessions are also conducted for customers.

Even little strokes of continuous improvements will cut large oaks of ignorance, incompetence, inefficiency and ineffectiveness. Ordinary workers will be transformed into extraordinary employees. Poor attitudes will give way to positivity. Craftsmanship will take place of clumsiness. Mountains of ignorance will be turned into highlands of knowledge. Quality will emerge from quagmire of wasteful working and disgruntled customers will become “customers for life”. Remember quality “isn’t expensive”. It “is priceless”.

39. RAIN OR SHINE – بارش ہو یا برسات

Allow the generator cooling system take away all the heat after you stop the engine. Make no compromise on this!

At the end of operations when all the load has been taken off from the generator, always end with a three to five minutes cooling run, come what may! Rain or shine! It drives away excessive heat from sensitive engine parts (especially turbochargers) and prevents expensive repairs later on due to carbon deposits resulting from degradation of oil at high temperatures.


MTTR refers to “mean time to repair”. It shows speed of response and repair when machine breaks down.

MTBF refers to “mean time between failures”. It shows the quality of repair.

The hallmark of quality service is low MTTR, high MTBF and maximum availability.

41. GAME OVER – کھیل ختم، پیسہ ہضم


Engine wear is caused by:

 Contact between parts
 Pressure (BMEP)
 Relative Motion

There are two types of wear i.e. “Normal wear and Abnormal wear”.

The major wear items are:

 Cylinder liners
 Seals & gaskets
 Piston rings
 Turbo bearings and seals
 Valves, guides, and seats
 Main and rod bearings

Abnormal wear is caused by the following:

1. Incorrect installation
• Insufficient fresh air for engine aspiration
• Improper, free flowing exhaust away from incoming air for induction.
2. Incorrect maintenance or operating techniques
3. Lack of cleanliness
4. Using the wrong oil,
5. Extending oil changes interval,
6. Not maintaining the coolant concentration, (results in liner pitting & cavitation)
7. Inadequate machine warm-up,
8. No cooling run,
9. Poor daily maintenance (weakest link)
10. Poor attention to Maintenance Commandments – Ten Commandments
11. Bypassing safeties – Protective cover
12. Low load operation
13. Unbalanced operation, etc.
14. Engine exercising during storage / idle periods

The parts which may fail prematurely are cylinder block, crankshaft, cylinder heads, connecting rods, pistons, etc.


Most customers spend a fortune in buying generators. But close their fists when it comes to spending
money on maintenance, parts and training. Little do they realize that جہاں لاکھ وہاں سوا لاکھ will not make

much of a difference. If they take maintenance seriously, they will realize that there is not much to worry. They need not to run from pillar to post, from one vendor to another to find solutions of their generator problems. Their problems are caused by mainly six reasons.

More than a century ago, an Italian scientist Pareto discovered that approximately 80% outcomes are caused by approximately 20% reasons. This is true for any population and is exemplified by the following picture:

In generators also the same rule is applicable. 80% generator issues are caused by 20% factors. There are six main reasons which cause generator failures or lack of performance. Take care of these six and you will be on the course to receive maximum benefits from your machine.

The six major issues and their remedies are as under:


A SCREW IS LOOSE SOMEWHERE – کہیں کوئ کسرباقی ہے

Where there is smoke there is a fire! Where there is a problem, there is a cause!
It is the job of a good service engineer to carry out a root cause analysis and find out which screw is loose, where, why and to what an extent.


44. EAT A HUMBLE PIE – کفِ افسوس ملنا

When the going goes tough, one does not rise to the occasion. In fact he sinks to the level of the training he has received. Please leave no stone unturned to train yourself and your people.

An organization without training, development, continuous improvement gets out of control and runs amok, illustrated by the figure below. It leaves its stakeholders rubbing their hands while regretting and repenting.

45. PREVENT YOUR ENGINE FROM GOING TO DOGS – انجن کا دھڑن تختہ ہونے سے بچائیں

Don’t let your engine go to dogs. Never disable the safeties of your machine. Learn more about engine safeties in our “Meet & Treat” sessions.

46. BETTER WEAR OUT THAN RUST OUT – بے کار سے بیگار بھلی

The doctor told the patient “it’s not that diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases or obesity which runs into your family. It’s that no one runs in the family”.

Similarly, it’s not the high load running on your generator which destroys it. It is the lack of load on the generator which plays havoc with it.

Though low load on generators may appear to be beneficial, in reality it is not so. It results in premature failure of the generator. Recommended values are as follows:

  • Diesel generator – not less than 35 – 40%
  • Gas generator – not less than 65 – 70% (why higher? – Contact ESL)

47. CATCH 22 SITUATION – نہ جاۓ رفتن، نہ پاۓ ماندن

We often use capacitors banks in our factories to improve power factor, increase power utilization and reduce current flowing through the cables. These power factor correcting devices, if used excessively with our generators, do help to a certain extent by keeping the current flowing through the windings down. However, their excessive use can result in exciter losing control of the voltages and hence premature failure of the whole alternator.

Too little correction results in overheating of windings. Too much may result in alternator damages. This is a CATCH 22 situation or a “caught between two stools” type situation. Learn more about it in our “Meet& Treat” sessions.

You will find the following article very useful in our training book.

48. A CHAIN IS ONLY AS STRONG AS ITS WEAKEST LINK – زنجیر کی مظبوطی اس کی کمزور ترین کڑی کے مساوی ہوتی ہے

Daily maintenance is highly neglected by lot of customers operating and maintaining generating sets. This is often the weakest link and it makes whole operation and maintenance exercise highly susceptible to uncalled for problems. Please read ESL article:


SMALL LEAKS CAN SINK BIG SHIPS – چھوٹا سا سوراخ بڑے جہاز کو ڈبونے کا کارن بن سکتا ہے

Beware of leaks in engine cooling system; lube oil system, exhaust system and air intake system. Engines may seize because of leaking water hoses and leaks in exhaust system can quickly turn it into ash. Because of the risks associated with these leakages, they are part and parcel of daily check activities.

50. RED RAG TO THE BULL – آ بیل مجھے مار

Generators with low and unbalanced load on three phases may soon find themselves in hot waters. The rule is that loads should not be more than 10% off balance from each other. Please see more details in our Training Book article:


Do you know that almost 80-90% of the cost of generating electricity from diesel generators in Pakistan is made up of fuel cost? Hence, maximum attention should be given to proper operation, fuel system maintenance and calibration and quality of fuel injected into the engine.

Please read an excerpt from ESL Training book to further understand the importance of fuel system.

52. STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH – احوالِ خلق بزبانِ خلق

Talk to the parts; listen to their voice and perform maintenance based upon this conversation. This is called condition based maintenance. For more details, please read ESL training book article:

53. FIND X! CAKE WALK – سیدھا سادھا کام

Customers are fully aware that fuel cost is almost 80 ~ 90% of the total cost of electricity generation from a diesel engine.

Saving large sums of money on fuel consumption is now very simple. Please visit ESL fully air conditioned, dust free and well-equipped fuel system calibration facility.

ESL has the capability to calibrate almost all types of fuel pumps and injectors at nominal cost and allows customers to receive huge benefits by reducing fuel consumption. This is now very simple. It is as easy as a cakewalk. Yet not as straightforward as the following response by an innocent student!

54. MOUNTAIN OF A MOLEHILL – رائی کا پہاڑ

Generator problems are mostly very small. Inattention to them converts these mole hills into mountains. For example

  • Inattention to battery maintenance often leads to weakening of the batteries and starting problems
  • Small leaks in the cooling system can lead to burnt out head gaskets and seizure of the engine
  • Poor coolant quality can result in holes in the liners and may lead to mixing of water with oil
  • Poor lubrication can result in poor engine cooling, poor sealing between piston rings and liners, etc., leading to loss of engine power
  • Leaks in air intake system can result in ingression of sand and dust in the cylinders leading to premature failure of engine liners and piston rings
  • Small leaks in the exhaust system can completely burn down the engines specially when it is housed in a canopy

We must not let any of these mole hills become a mountain through good and timely maintenance.

55. BUNDLE OF STICKS – اتحاد میں برکت ہے

Remember the story narrated by a dying father to his four sons using a bundle of sticks and demonstrating how all four of them acting together are stronger than each one acting singly.

Similarly generators paralleled together are better than one generator acting singly.

Parallel your generators to act like one. Seek help from ESL which can easily parallel generators of any make, model and manufacturer with hundred percent in-house resources.

Try to understand it from another perspective as under:

Is it possible that sum of parts be greater than the whole? Is it possible that five Rs. 1000 currency notes be more valuable than one Rs. 5000 currency note? Not at all! But strangely five 1000 kva generator sets are more valuable than one 5000 kva generating set. This is because of generators paralleling. By so doing you avoid “putting all your eggs in one basket”. For more detail, please read the ESL article:

For more details, find information in the following manual.


A machine failure is not without a rhyme or reason. Where there’s a smoke there is a fire. Poor operation and maintenance are often the reasons of machine failures. Please take care of daily maintenance, oil and filter changes at specified intervals, engine cooling system, batteries, amount and distribution of loads on three phases, etc. If you do these, you will take care of most important reasons for engine failure.


Whether to switch on power factor correction devices or abstain is a tricky question. You are between a rock and a hard place. If you don’t switch them ON, too much current passes through the generators’ alternator windings at peak loads causing them to heat up in peak summers. When you switch them ON, you take the risk of exciter losing control of the voltages and consequently causing damage to the alternator which amounts to ِدھر کنواں، اُدھرکھائی

Please contact ESL for further details in its “Meet &Treat” sessions.

58. SINGING A HYMN BEFORE A BUFFALO – بھینس کے اگے بین بجانا

Our Director Commercial, Mr. Junaid Shahzad, was a special person. He would constantly tell his colleagues that performing job alone is not enough. Performing job rightly is obligatory. Furthermore, performing the job rightly is not enough. Performing the right job is required. He was always trying to emphasize the difference between efficiency and effectiveness and was constantly explaining, for many years, that effectiveness is more important than efficiency. He was also trying to explain that efficiency when combined with effectiveness gives rise to great achievements. But efficiency and effectiveness when combined with sincerity and faith gives rise to wonders. Miracles come into being. Champions are born! His constant reminders, however, were not understood by majority of engineers. His rhetoric mostly fell on deaf ears or would go in from one ear and out from the other. مرد ِناداں پہ کلامِ نرم و نازک بے اثر

59. CUSTOMERS’ DILEMMA! A ROLLING STONE GATHERS NO MOSS – نہ تین (۳)میں، نہ تیرہ (۱۳)میں

Customers often shuffle from one brand of generator to another and one supplier to the next because they believe the one they don’t have is better than the one they have. The result is that they become a rolling stone. They end up with a variety of dissimilar brands with little synergy and a long list of vendors with little in common.

Instead they should take care of the grass on their side. It will also turn green.


Knowledge is power only if we, as engineers, have the proper attitude. An engineer with proper attitude has the following traits:

  1. He is a man of integrity, honesty and upright, God fearing character.
  2. He believes in giving more than he receives.
  3. He believes in performing more than he promises.
  4. He opens his shop the earliest and pulls the shutters down last.
  5. Notwithstanding the above, he believes is SMART work even more than he believes in HARD work.
  6. He combines effectiveness with efficiency and vice versa.
  7. He never gives up and believes that “winners are not quitters and quitters are not winners”.
  8. He continuously looks to upgrade his skills set and more importantly mindset.
  9. Instead of moaning and groaning, he makes things happen while others around him wonder what he is making happen.
  10. Success does not get to his head nor do failures get to his heart.
  11. When the going gets tough, he gets going.

Through sheer attitude, he makes things happen while others around him simply wonder what has happened. Knowledge is power for him only because it is augmented by his tremendous attitude.

When the knowledge is complimented by proper and perfect attitude, it starts doing wonders. Impossible becomes possible. It can even pass a camel through the eye of a needle. Look what has google done; where Apple and Microsoft have taken the whole world to. How WhatsApp has revolutionized our life. The way Careem and Uber are providing solutions to our commutation problems is stupendous. These all are the wonders of knowledge coupled with attitude.

61. IF THINGS WERE TO BE DONE TWICE, ALL WOULD BE WISE – پہلی غلطی بھول تو دوسری نالائقی

Remember, most customers don’t give you a second chance. Do it right first time, every time, all the time. For more details, please read the poet’s rendition of ESL quality policy.

62. HIGH & DRY – بے یارو مددگار

Many of us have experienced difficulties in breathing at hilltops and mountainous areas. Similarly, we run out of breath easily in hot conditions.

We have also experienced that our food is not easily cooked when we are picnicking on hilly areas. This is all because of air being less dense and air pressure being less than standard 14.7 psi. Lower air pressure and less dense air means there are fewer oxygen molecules available.

Air which is short on oxygen molecules at elevated temperatures or elevated altitudes leaves our generators also high and dry. It reduces the power they can produce and this reduction is generally termed as engine deration.

Engine deration, however, is not caused only by high temperatures and high altitudes.

  • It is also caused by whether we are operating our generators on island mode or grid parallel mode (for more clarification, please discuss).
  • It is also caused by quality of gas for gas generators. Lower methane number results in engine deration.
  • It is also caused by what is the LT return temperature of your gas generator. Generators with higher LT return temperature are less prone to engine deration than those with lower LT return temperature.

For more details on engine deration, please contact ESL.


Young engineers are often poor in paperwork. Their writing abilities become a yoke around their necks. They must realize that nothing gets finished till the paper work is completed. So they must sharpen their writing skills. The sooner, the better! After each job involving trouble shooting, the should, as a minimum, write a report clearly stating the complaint, its causes, corrective action(s) and steps to control & conform etc. It is highly recommended that they should do a course in business communication from a renowned business school.

Failure to do quality paper work will result in spinning the wheel without advancing forward in their careers.

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