Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication Jan Feb 2013

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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Page 3 of 76

Lubrication Programs AS I SEE IT JIM FITCH NORIA CORPORATION How to OPTIMIZE the STATE OF Lubrication I remember my first day at a new job in 1981. This is the job that launched me into a 32-year career in lubrication. My first assignment was to conduct a telephone survey of industry professionals on various topics related to oil analysis and contamination control. I quickly learned that the industry was suffering from stagnant practices and lethargic attitudes. It was not too long thereafter when I began to have second thoughts about the wisdom of pursuing lubrication as a career path. Perhaps some of you have had similar feelings. It took a while, but I eventually came to realize that what seemed like a dismal state in an old and generally unexciting field was actually a huge opportunity in disguise. It reminds me of the story of the two shoe salesmen. They were both sent by their factory to Africa to see if there was a market for their product. The first salesman quickly reported back: "This is a terrible business opportunity. No one wears shoes." The second salesman reported back: "This is a fantastic business opportunity. No one wears shoes." At first I saw the lubrication field like the first salesman. I soon came to realize the enormous potential that it actually represented. Now decades later it is gratifying to see the considerable progress that has been made in the world of lubrication. Of course, much work still remains. It's this unfinished business that offers untapped opportunity for both users and vendors The Optimum Reference State alike. Many have seen this opportunity and are moving The lubricant Optimum Reference State (ORS) is a critical in to capitalize, but there is concept in the journey to world-class lubrication and enhanced still plenty more lowmachine reliability. In short, it is the prescribed state of machine hanging fruit for those who configuration, operating conditions and maintenance activities required to achieve and sustain specific reliability objectives. have the vision and are Lubrication excellence is achieved when the current state of willing to take on the challubrication approaches that of the Optimum Reference State. lenge. As they say, There are many different critical attributes of the ORS. "opportunity knocks." These attributes relate to people preparedness, machine preparedness, precision lubricants, precision lubrication and oil analysis. Achieving the ORS almost always involves change or modifications. Each attribute must be: 1. Precise and definable (e.g., a specific lubricant sump level), 2. Measurable (e.g., a specific viscosity) or verifiable (e.g., a sample port location), 3. Controllable (by modification) and sustainable (by program continuity), 4. Able to achieve the desired reliability objectives related to the financial benefit, safety and machine readiness. 4 | JJanuary - F b February 2013 | hi l b i ti i news and certainly not profound, they are fundamental concepts that are largely underdeveloped and, in my opinion, need to be understood as the foundation of any transformational strategy by users. The state of machine and plant reliability should not be maximized but instead optimized. Lessons Learned Now, 32 years later, I've compiled a list of "lessons learned" related to my experience in lubrication and oil analysis. Lurking within these lessons are many of the opportunities to which I am referring. While these themes may be viewed as old Among these lessons learned include: • Lubrication is heavily influenced by behavior science. Machines fail largely by human agency, i.e., things you do that you shouldn't and things you don't do that you should. Critical to this is behavior that is influenced by culture, reward, recognition and attitude. • Lubricant-induced machine failure is highly controllable. The greatest amount of this control lies with the user organization. However, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), lubricant suppliers, component suppliers and laboratories also have great influence on machine service life. See Figure 2 on page 4 relating to the attributes of the Optimum Reference State (ORS) and where there is the most "control," as well as the sidebar (left) that defines the Optimum Reference State. • Clean, dry and cool lubricants yield huge reliability returns (proactive maintenance). The majority of the case studies Machinery Lubrication has published relate to this basic strategy. Proactive maintenance monitors and eradicates

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