REDUCTION MANAGERS CAN
This real story happened in a smelter during the good old days, when we still used overhead slides for our presentations
During the quarterly management meeting the reduction manager went through his usual presentation, explaining the developments of the production and giving reasons for deviations.
First he explained that the current efficiency dropped because of shipments of bad alumina.
Afterwards he explained the sharp increase in current efficiency after he returend from holidays and improved operations drastically.
Suddenly, someone realized that the slide was flipped and remarked that the whole chart is upside down.
The reduction manager in this example was a seasoned reduction manager who had seen it all.
In his answer he was not shy and said that he would find an explantion for this chart as well.
This story shows how difficult it is still to find the correct explanations for phenomena, especially over shorter periods of time. The reduction process is still very archaic and only little information from few sensors are available. The hostile environment and the low economic returns make it difficult to justify a very different approach. Typically a smelter consist of a few hundred reduction cells and each cell produces between 1 to 3 tons aluminium per day.