Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication Jan Feb 2013

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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Hydraulics HYDRAULICS AT WORK BRENDAN CASEY FUTURE SECURING YOUR PROACTIVE WITH MAINTENANCE One of my earliest mentors taught me there are essentially two types of business activity: present bank and future bank. In other words, there is activity that generates revenue this month or quarter (present bank), and there is activity that will generate revenue several quarters or even years down the track (future bank). Usually, the two activities are mutually exclusive. Consider a rancher who wants to grow his herd through natural increase. Every female calf he keeps to add to his breeding stock is a deposit in his future bank, but it comes at a cost to his present bank — it's a calf he cannot sell now. This means for the rancher, like most businesses, there's an ever-present temptation to borrow from the future bank to improve present bank results. Therein lies the dichotomy: you can't have it both ways. The Value of Proactive Maintenance The cost of proactive maintenance is much different than that of preventive, predictive and breakdown maintenance. This is because you don't actually have any kind of impending condition. Proactive maintenance is a vigilant activity of controlling things, as opposed to letting things fail on their own and then simply just changing out components or letting a breakdown occur. MAINTENANCE STRATEGY TECHNIQUE NEEDED COST PER HP PER YEAR* Proactive Maintenance Monitoring and correction of failure root causes, e.g., contamination $0.10 Predictive Maintenance Monitoring of vibration, wear debris $8 Preventive Maintenance Periodic component replacement $13 Breakdown Maintenance Large maintenance budget $18 *Power Generation Example 20 | January - February 2013 | 95% of lubrication professionals view proactive maintenance as an investment, according to a recent poll at Equipment operation is essentially a business activity, and the approach taken to its maintenance involves this present-bank/ future-bank dichotomy. At a recent seminar I presented, a student described how very little predictive maintenance is done at the iron-ore mine where he works. Hydraulic components are changed out, and oil is dumped until problems go away. A hydraulic excavator worth $7 million digs $1 million of iron ore a day, so the largely unnecessary replacement of $90,000 worth of hydraulic components and $18,000 worth of hydraulic oil in a single day is tolerated and even encouraged to minimize downtime. This production-at-any-cost mentality is present bank over future bank in the extreme. There's no doubt iron-ore miners are making hay at the moment, but theirs is a cyclical business. I remember the last mining recession very well. Miners were guarding every penny. When the current boom ends, these miners will have a real problem. They can't just flick a switch and go from production at any cost to a lean and mean operation. Their legacy systems and workforce culture won't allow it — not quickly anyway. They will pay a penalty for not making future-bank deposits to their maintenance systems, practices and people during the boom times. When proactive maintenance is performed correctly and effectively, every dollar spent on it should come back with friends attached.

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