Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication March April 2017

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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34 | March - April 2017 | How to Determine CASE STUDY Storage and Handling Improving How Can Pay Off The Gerber production plant in Fort Smith, Arkansas, manufac- tures a wide range of high-quality baby food products. Along with aseptic cups, glass jarred products and meat sticks, the facility produces enough infant cereal to supply North America. In 2006, the plant incorporated oil anal- ysis with its existing predictive maintenance (PdM) tools, including infrared inspections, ultrasonic leak detection, vibration analysis and motor current analysis. It didn't take long for oil analysis to reveal that cost savings could be realized by keeping lubri- cants clean, dry and controlled. Because silica was found in virtually every oil sample, an informal root cause failure analysis was conducted to examine how the facility's lubricants were being managed. At the time, the plant was using an open-raftered "oil shed." Hot, humid and windy Arkansas summers combined with a neighboring facility that was manu- facturing with sand resulted in lots of dust. When the wind blew, dust would enter the plant's oil shed and settle on everything. "The oil analysis data opened our eyes and led to a totally different view of how we manage lubricants," said Mark Gonza- gowski, the plant's reliability ser vices team lead. Improving Lubrication Management The first step in improving Gerber's lubri- cation management was to reduce the amount of silica showing up in the oil samples. Nearly everything lubrication related had to be corrected, from how and where lubricants were stored to how much and how often they were applied. Rather than "re-inventing the wheel," Gonzagowski researched lubrication management and found universal truths across all industries. For instance, oil must be kept clean, dry and controlled from the time of purchase through gearbox top-offs. Subsequently, and by staying true to these truths, Gerber implemented lubri- cation management with another universal principle as the guide: apply the right lubricant in the proper amount at the correct time. Gerber team members attended Noria training courses and used the company's learning materials to obtain certifications through the International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML). These certifi- cations not only would validate the skills and knowledge gained by personnel but also help ensure better machine reliability. As part of an initiative known as "zero access," new machine guarding was constructed around eight critical machines. A new approach for maintaining oil levels and Lubricant Better Lubrication Management Boosts Gerber's Asset Availability The renovated lube room at the Gerber production plant

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