Machinery Lubrication


Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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Page 31 of 80 | July - August 2017 | 27 formulate an overall asset strategy for improvement/defect elimination. Q: What is the amount and range of equipment you help service through lubrication/oil analysis tasks? A: At the Four Corners Plant, we have 60+ horizontal slurry pumps, 10+ vertical water pumps, 30+ right-angle mixer gear- boxes, 50+ parallel shaft gearboxes, 10+ hydraulic systems, 80+ agitator flotation machines and 3+ miles of conveyor belt. I oversee 190+ total oil samples (some monthly and some quarterly). Q: On what lubrication-related proj- ects are you currently working? A: I am currently working on PM optimiza- tion, launching our pump oil sampling efforts and using ultrasound technology to monitor the health of and aid in applying grease to conveyor pulley bearings. The results of these projects will help us move into the precision maintenance domain and save money by attaining longer equipment life, reducing man-hours and decreasing lubricant spending. Q: What have been some of the biggest project successes in which you've played a part? A: During my time here at Four Corners, we have significantly reduced our hydraulic oil usage in one year through offline kidney-loop filtering, initiating weekly PMs and preventing contamination from entering the systems. These actions have resulted in a 94-percent reduction in particles over six months. The number of particles went from an average of 70,000 to 4,000 parti- cles per milliliter. We also discovered that we were using the wrong kind of oil in five different assets. This has been corrected and has led to a 38-percent reduction in oil usage in our log-washer gearboxes in one year. In addition, we have taken control of our oil sampling program by bringing it in-house. Our PM mechanics now do all the oil sampling instead of a contractor. This enables us to obtain better data because we can sample any equipment at any time, and the PM mechanics can see the inside of the equipment by pulling a sample. This does wonders for ownership, as they can directly see their efforts paying off by having cleaner oil. It also saves us $14,000 a year. Q: How does your company view machinery lubrication in terms of importance and overall busi- ness strategy? A: Mosaic views precision lubrication as mission critical to our success. In order to stay competitive and retain our position as the world's largest producer of crop nutrient products, we must take care of our equip- ment and keep it available for production. Precision lubrication alone is not the magic solution, but it does play a significant role in the overall maintenance strategy of any company's equipment. I like to say nothing will put you down faster or keep you running longer than lubrication. Q: What do you see as some of the more important trends taking place in the lubrication and oil analysis field? A: Most of what I see and what has helped Mosaic is training and education for everyone, not just engineers, supervisors or PM mechanics. The maintenance depart - ment's philosophy at Four Corners is to empower each mechanic with the knowl- edge, procedures and tools to safely and efficiently care for the equipment. Any department's culture and mentality start at the top. Both the maintenance superintendent and maintenance manager have passed the MLT I exam, and the mainte - nance superintendent plans to take the MLA II exam later this year. In addition to the managers, our three maintenance supervi- sors and five mechanics are MLT I certified. Subsequently, precision lubrication is being engrained into the culture at the Four Corners plant, and it all starts with training and education.

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