If you search for the historical past of customers’ teams, you’ll discover that many early organizations centered on computer systems. While it’s arduous to substantiate all the main points, at the very least one supply recommended that the primary customers’ group was shaped by a number of dozen IBM mainframe pc clients in 1953. The members discovered these casual conferences, which allowed them to debate widespread coding issues and distribute end-user created applications, to be a good way to share information for the betterment of all.

Of course, customers’ teams will not be unique to the pc world. The energy trade has loads of worthwhile customers’ teams. Some focus on explicit fuels, just like the Powder River Basin Coal Users’ Group (PRBCUG), whereas others revolve round particular know-how, such because the Combustion Turbine Operations Technical Forum (CTOTF)—a fuel turbine customers’ group—or the HRSG User’s Group, which focuses on warmth restoration steam turbines (HRSGs) and mixed cycle operations and upkeep (O&M) points.

Conferences and Meetings

POWER lately shaped a partnership with CTOTF, changing into the group’s official publication, amongst different issues. As such, a member of POWER’s editorial employees will attend CTOTF’s twice-yearly conferences and report on essential subjects coated in the course of the occasions. I had the pleasure of attending the group’s fall convention, held September 16–20, 2018, in Chandler, Arizona. Jack Borsch, CTOTF’s chairman, famous that this was the 43rd yr that the group has been bringing energy professionals and trade leaders collectively. I discovered it to be a really attention-grabbing and worthwhile expertise.

One of the advantages of customers’ teams is that attendees can community with and study from others who’re coping with related challenges, and the discussions often happen in an open and trustworthy setting. Everyone I met on the CTOTF occasion appeared genuinely desirous about serving to others succeed, and the teachings shared have been usually immediately relevant to many customers on the occasion. Personally, I discovered the query and reply classes to be significantly helpful. The format allowed customers to share particulars about bother they have been experiencing at their plant, and options have been provided not solely by convention organizers, but additionally by different attendees. Most plant points will not be first-of-a-kind issues, so this was a good way to achieve perception from friends.

POWER has additionally had a longstanding partnership with the PRBCUG. The group was based by two skilled coal energy professionals—Jim Wiseman and Randy Rahm—together with David Johnson, who was a founding father of each the POWER-GEN International and ELECTRIC POWER occasions. Johnson was a frontrunner with the TradeFair Group (TFG) when the PRBCUG was shaped. Today, TFG and POWER are each a part of Access Intelligence, a media firm that serves a number of main markets.

Next yr would be the 19th yr that the PRBCUG annual instructional summit has been co-located with ELECTRIC POWER, which might be held on the Mirage Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, April 23–26. “Rather than studying from the ‘School of Hard Knocks,’ attending the summit is a cheap technique of gaining the information wanted to securely and effectively deal with and burn coal from friends who’ve ‘been there and finished that,’ ” stated Rahm.

This yr the HRSG User’s Group will even co-locate its annual convention with ELECTRIC POWER. Rob Swanekamp, founder and director of the HRSG User’s Group, stated having an open discussion board on the convention, by which everybody can converse and supply options to widespread trade issues, is likely one of the key advantages of the group.

Swanekamp shared an instance of the HRSG User’s Group serving to to unravel an issue for a member. “During a dialogue, a consumer questioned a deposit he had discovered that was not [flow-accelerated-corrosion] associated. A consulting engineer within the room knew instantly that it was…

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