Machinery Lubrication


Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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OIL ANALYSIS Successful Integrating oil analysis into an established maintenance program can yield great returns in the form of more reliable, longer-lasting equipment. However, 43 percent of oil analysis programs leave half of their equipment unsampled, and 36 percent don't adjust their preventive maintenance based on the results. Moving a reactive or preventive maintenance program to one that predicts and avoids wear requires the right people, processes and technology, but the rewards are well worth the effort. Build the Business Case Many programs have a staggered start when they adopt oil analysis. They either test the value using a pilot program or pick a starting location that will discover the best way to fit the program into their processes before rolling it out to the entire company. Along the same lines, it's much more feasible to pick one or two types of equipment to test at the beginning. Adding the task of collecting oil samples regularly from all equipment isn't realistic for most maintenance programs out there, espe- cially if they already feel the crunch of overtime hours. The first step is identifying where testing would generate the most bang for the buck. Focusing efforts on increasing the reliability of critical and "problem" equipment espe- cially helps time-starved maintenance programs get ahead of the work backlog. It also adds the bonus of demonstrating the strongest benefits to management. For programs without data from past oil analysis, the best place to start is by pinpointing equipment that is experiencing high rates of failure. Units can be grouped by type, manufacturer, model, application, replacement cost, hours/miles operated or how vital they are to production. Calculating the maintenance costs (especially rebuilds and replacements) and the number of failures will typically identify the units that would benefit the most from oil analysis. Presenting the business case this way should succeed, since you're speaking the language of management. Maintenance and equipment costs are unavoidable, but they can be reduced. Savvy businessmen are willing to listen to improvement ideas, especially when they are backed up by real-world data. Develop a Plan and a Team Once given the green light to begin, many want to jump in and start pulling samples. That sort of ad-hoc program can easily fizzle out or run into problems that kill momentum. In addition, easing into a program will allow time for staff to become acquainted with the new process so it doesn't feel like additional work piled on top of their already heavy workload. Instead, create a detailed action plan, recruit personnel and begin training staff. Pin down exactly who will be responsible for what duties and how their efforts will be evaluated. Set dates or triggers for staggered rollouts, but remember to leave space in your timeline to deal with delays and unex- pected issues that will eat up time. While there's nothing wrong with aggressive sched- ules, falling behind can be demoralizing to staff and raise management concerns. Prepare Personnel and Equipment Once the plan is in place, it is time to put it into action. Training and preparation are always required, even for oil analysis veterans. Everyone involved with the program needs to know how it will benefit the maintenance plan before they can start Oil Analysis By Bret t minGeS, Pol AriS l ABorAtorieS Maintenance Program Through Building a 20 | July - August 2017 |

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