An Interview with Gobind Khiani, Engineering Consultant and Piping Fellow

    Gobind Khiani has been in the engineering field for more than 24 years. He first began his formal engineering education at the University of Pune in India and later attained a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from the Schulich School of Engineering at University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

    Hose + Coupling World had the excellent opportunity to interview him to discuss his typical workday, his interaction with hoses, end user experience, and his role as a leader and mentor.

    By Sanket Sharma

    Gobind’s passion, in-depth knowledge, and insight as an end user is palpable as soon as you start a conversation with him. He first arrived in Canada in 2002, bringing with him industry experience, formal education and a bank of professional skills that would tremendously benefit the end user industry. In fact, his experience and knowledge not only benefitted the end user industry but several others.

    “My experience has been in working for end users, OEMs and EPFCs (engineering procurement fabrication and construction) companies,” he said. “It has been a very challenging and rewarding career at the same time. I try to contribute my knowledge to the industry, and at the same time learn from it.”

    Gobind said that one of his primary incentives to enter the field was his deep interest in technical knowledge. “I feel that there are a lot of ways of understating what is written
    in a code, in a practice, in a document, all of which could be regulated. How do you interpret that information? And how do you write the spec to create a quality product?
    That’s really the idea that keeps me ticking,” he stated.

    Gobind’s experience has led to his involvement with industries such as pipeline, oil & gas transmission and petrochemical complexes.

    Hose Interaction

    Breaking down his role in the industry, Gobind stated that different disciplines play their respective roles to ensure quality production. These include Subject Matter experts, Quality and Inspection leaders, Supply Chain Management, Quality Audit teams, and Contract and Procurement supervisors.

    A Subject Matter expert has the following key responsibilities:

    1. Specification Owner: Align, update, apply management
    of changes and reword specifications
    2. Consultant: Support to projects towards specifications,
    guidance towards technical management and troubleshooting
    on operations
    3. Field Engineer: Troubleshooting at site

    Engineers are usually expected to find solutions to everyday problems. “You cannot wait for somebody to show you how it’s done on the site. If the problem requires you to get your hands dirty, then you must do that,” Gobind said. Although, when necessary, in cases when a new field engineer cannot find the solution themselves, teamwork with operations and guidance are provided. “To fix the problem, as a colleague, one has to work in teams to review, discuss, understand and solve the problem that can help guide them to the right answers,” he added.

    When it comes to hoses specifically, Gobind explained that they are used in various industries and applications, and specified data coming from end-user sites, as well as contractors, and professional Engineering firms. He said, “This data must be presented to ensure proper installation and use of the hose materials regardless of construction and/or materials.

    Any information not presented to completely capture the intended application may result in premature failure”. While discussing the different kinds of hoses used for different applications, Gobind said, “Hose and coupling manufacture/ assembles hose styles which consists of Flexible Metal Hoses, Industrial Rubber Hoses, and PTFE or comparable
    thermoplastic constructions. All hoses are specified based on specific application data. We use the acronym STAMPED to determine the proper hose and its suitability
    for the intended application.

    The Acronym stands for:
    – Size (generally nominal pipe size)
    – Temperature (Upper and lower limits including design
    or upset conditions)
    – Application (External conditions such as abrasion, bending,
    climate, potential for crushing, kinking flexing, as well
    as possible exposure to chemicals, oils, ozone, and UV)
    – Media (Type and concentration of the media being conveyed,
    and its compatibility with the hose)
    – Pressure (Upper and lower limits including design or
    upset conditions)
    – Ends (Style, type, and connection method, pressure ratings
    of each, and the compatibility with the media)
    – Delivery (Specific testing, tagging, packaging, and shipment
    methods)

    “Whenever applications of critical nature are presented, only hoses that are pressure tested and certified, i.e. CSA registered, are generally used”, Gobind said. He further added,” Manufacturers of such critical service hoses should normally produce at least two hoses of the same design and type, such that one is tested up to the highest design parameters for it to burst during testing. This proves the performance of its design. This ‘burst’ test is recommended by end users because of the critical nature of the application. For example, if sulphuric gas leaks from a hose that is employed to transport it, it could be potentially life-threatening to a person mere 20 feet away. When the second hose is installed, it proves that all the factors have been considered and limitations are tested to ensure safety in critical applications.” As we further delved into the type of projects that he works with, he said that he has worked on engineering assessments and management of change projects. This requires not only supporting and evaluating vendors but getting
    involved in the complete process, i.e., from writing the datasheet, to supporting the procurement and being on-call during that time, and monitoring delivery after inspection.

    A typical work day

    In his vast and varied experience, Gobind has worked as a Subject Matter Expert for piping materials, detailing specifications involving valves and other associated equipment
    throughout his career. One of the primary duties includes a collection of subject matter equipment like flange, fitting, elbow, expansion joints and hoses, among others.
    A typical work day for Gobind includes 50% of his time being dedicated to new projects, 25% in codes and regulations, and 25% in maintenance and reliability support. He engages in the review of documents submitted by vendors to make sure that current industry practices are being implemented and to determine if the manufacturing expectations
    are met or exceed the company’s expectation. Gobind’s daily interaction with hoses is plenty and very specific. As the industry expectation is that the manufacturer will comply to not only industry and corporate standards, he is responsible for the verification of those documents, ultimately providing compliance to the project requirements.

    Educating and mentoring

    Gobind is a big believer in mentoring. He has coached and groomed many juniors throughout his career, more than 200. “I always say that I am like a USB, you can download as much as you want,” he said with a laugh. He said, “A student needs to be continuously pushed to their best ability to keep learning. They are encouraged to learn from their mistakes, and only then can they reach a point where they can deliver the right product.”

    Gobind is not only a firm believer in continuous learning and sharing knowledge but also advocates the need to find the right path for oneself. As a mentor, the one piece of advice he always offers to young industry personnel is to search out and seek their own field of interest. He is a big believer in the need to identify what makes somebody “brave enough to travel the unknown path” and “learn what they are capable of”.