Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication May-June 2017

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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4 | May - June 2017 | AS I SEE IT outlines a good proactive strategy to avoid or control fault bubbles. Root Causes Relate to Reliability Culture and Education Most fault bubble root causes can be traced to a human agency. This could relate to skill, attitude or the general reli- ability culture. As it is true that it's never a good strategy to "inspect in" quality, like- wise it is never sufficient to "condition monitor in" reliability. Don't get me wrong, I'm a strong believer in condition moni- toring and the value of measurement. However, the big bang-for-the-buck comes from building reliability teams flanked by education and culture. Stop celebrating rapid repair and start celebrating the failure "non-event." That is the failure or fault bubble that didn't occur. A positive, nurturing maintenance culture is a critical plant asset. Consider that when people do good work, they feel good about themselves and their job. When people do bad work, they feel bad about themselves and their job. Feeling bad is a serious morale problem that multiplies and spreads. The simple solution is to enable people to do good work by culture and relentless educa - tion. And, good work should be recognized and celebrated. This is both problem and solution. Culture drives behavior. Behavior influences quality of work. Quality work is fundamental to plant reliability and the cost of reliability. Good culture has inertia, too. It fuels a chain of reinforcing successes. Small successes beget larger and more sustainable successes. Creating a good culture starts and ends at the top, at the leadership level. When good leaders are in charge, everyone wins. When bad leaders are in charge, the culture becomes negative/hostile/stagnant, and everyone loses. Good culture also emerges from management's aspiration for improve - ment and the inherent desire to do good work. It relates to skills, tools, work plans and machine readiness. Focus on Detecting Root Causes, Not Just Symptoms Work backward from sudden-death failure to develop your condition monitoring game plan. This is illustrated in a simplified form for an imaginary pump bearing in the table below. Rank the main failure modes by likelihood/severity down the left side of the table. Make sure any critical fault bubbles are included. In this example, I have mechanical wear (abrasion, scuffing, etc.), corrosion, surface fatigue and oil seal failure (causing lubricant starvation). Next, list root causes across the top of the table. I've included misalignment, particle contamination, water contamination and wrong/degraded oil. In the blue area of the table, put X marks under each root cause associated with each failure mode on the left. One X mark is for a root cause that has a minor contribution to a failure mode. Two marks are for a moderate contribution, and three are for a major one. CONDITION MONITORING STRATEGY TABLE: PUMP BEARING FAILURE Ranked Failure Modes ROOT CAUSES (OF FAILURE MODES) Condition Monitoring Options* Misalignment or Mounting Error Particle Contamination Water Contamination Wrong or Degraded Oil 1. Mechanical Wear X X X OO X X X X X X Heat Gun or Thermography 2. Corrosion OO O X X X OOO X OO Inspection: Sight Glasses, Mag Plug, BS&W, etc. 3. Surface Fatigue or Fracture X X OO X Vibration Analysis 4. Premature Seal Failure/Starvation X X X O X OOO X OOO X OOO Oil Analysis Totals 8 7 3 4 7 6 4 5 * The condition monitoring methods do not read across to the failure modes on the same line. Instead, they designate the ability to detect the root causes at the top of the table. 76% of lubrication professionals say their organization has tried to change its culture, based on a recent survey at You can read more about how to create a strong and effective maintenance culture at:

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