With 40 years of meter repair experience under his belt, we thought it was appropriate to sit down with Commercial Meter Supervisor Dan Hansen and ask him to share a little of what he has learned over the years.
My name is Dan Hansen, and I work here for Energy Economics, and my title is the Commercial Meter Supervisor, both here in the shop, and in the field where we have technicians go out to the job sites and test, and calibrate, and repair commercial meters right on the job sites. And so, along with that, I give these guys as much technical support by phone if they also have problems out in the field, and then I’m here for the technical support, and training in new people for repairing meters right here at our shop at Energy Economics in Dodge Center.
What changes have you seen in gas meter technology?
In the 40 years that I have been here repairing gas meters, and the changes that you see in the meters now today- in the case of like diaphragm meters– really the mechanics of the diaphragm meters, the repair of them and everything like this, isn’t any different than it was 40 years ago. The meters that were built back then, you saw a lot of cast-iron body meters and brass internals in them, we even worked on meters that had leather diaphragms in them that were made in the 30’s and 40’s. Of course, everything now of is synthetic diaphragms, and they have developed the meters now into aluminum cases, more plastic parts inside. That’s kind of the changes you have seen over the years with the diaphragm meters.
And as far as the rotary meters, the turbine meters, they are built kind of on the basic – once again – the rotary meters were big heavy cast-iron meters that took 2-3 people to move them around, where now a young man can carry one underneath his arm. And then they have gone to so much more now with those kind of meters with the electronics. Doing all of the calculations for you – the temperatures, and pressures, and the humidities, and barometers and atmospheric pressures and all that. Whereas before you had mechanical instruments on a lot of these turbine and rotary meters that did it mechanically. You had to hook up and have a constant pressure on them, and when you went to repair or calibrate those meters, you could actually calibrate them with a wrench and a screwdriver or whatever. Now everything is electronics and computer technology with them. And so that is where you see a lot of changes over the years also.
What is the favorite part of your job in working with EEI?
Well, the favorite part of my job here at Energy Economics, today and also the past 40 years, my most rewarding thing is working with the customers. Making sure that at the end of the day we have them supplied with what they need. When they call in here I try to be here for as much technical support as I can for the customers. They call in here with a problem, “Dan, what can I do? What should I do here with this meter? We have a down meter.” We get them up and running. And when the customer leaves our shop here, or we get done with our conversation on the phone, both the customer and I are satisfied and happy – that’s the most rewarding thing.
Another thing is working with the people that work here at Energy Economics. When we get new people in here, I like working with them. Especially the people that are really gung-ho and enthusiastic about learning new things, things of that nature, and seeing these people develop along the line. And that I can pretty much I can say “good morning” to them, and away they go working, and by the end of the day everything is done just like it needs to be done. And those things are rewarding here. But like I say, the biggest reward I have here is working with the customers.
When did you realize this had become your career?
When I finally realized this was my career was probably when they had a little celebration here for me for being here for 40 years. I kind of thought back on it and thought, “Wow. I guess this was my career.” Not planning to probably be a career, of course. It started out as a job, just like anybody else. I don’t know how many people start a job and say, “This is going to be my career,” you know? But it has turned out to be that way. And I feel good inside about it. I feel it was a good choice to stay with Energy Economics for 40 years because they have been very, very, very good to all of the employees here and it has been great working here with them.
Congratulations, Dan! Thank you for 40 Years of Excellent Work!
This gives EEI the opportunity to provide competitive pricing on all Itron gas products, including the new i250 residential meter line (a remake of the classic Schlumberger 250), commercial Itron meters, and base AMR setups.
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