Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication May - June 2018

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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Page 47 of 80

A: Currently, I am working with our new machinery lubrication technician. For many years, we had a very traditional lube tech. His job was to grease bearings and fill gearboxes every day. At the end of last year, this person retired, and I helped our maintenance manager create a new skill block in our group for a machinery lubrication/reliability technician. is new skilled role will do much more than just add grease and lubrication. Along with me, they will also be getting trained to earn a MLT I certification. is newly developed role will become the nucleus of our lubri- cation program and expand into lubrication reliability through new technologies such as ultrasonic lubrication. Q: What have been some of the biggest project successes in which you've played a part? A: When it comes to machinery lubrication, there are two proj- ects that I am proud of and count as successes. e first was upgrading our lubrication storage and dispensing system. Origi- nally, we used a row of oil drums with open bungs and pneumatic pumps placed in the drums but no breathers. We upgraded to a pod storage system that filters in both directions. It uses desiccant breathers along with dedicated and color-coded hoses. We also upgraded to sealed, color-coded secondary containers. e second project was the development of a machinery lubri- cation technician skill block within our maintenance group. Prior to this, the lube job was thought of as a less skilled job that could be accomplished by nearly anyone. Today, the position is a skilled trade that receives the training necessary to be a key player in our maintenance reliability team. is role will do more than just fill gearboxes. ey will be involved in oil analysis and identifying and implementing the predictive practices that will make us more reliable. I look for this position to grow as the potential is realized. Q: How does your company view machinery lubrication in terms of importance and overall business strategy? A: Honestly, I have to say that I am blessed to work with a great group of maintenance professionals, both in the plant and on our corporate team. Our company has always understood the importance of machinery lubrication and has some great prac- tices in place through our preventive maintenance (PM) program and operator asset-care lubrication. ere have been successes and failures throughout, but we learn and adapt. Right now, we are beginning a journey to implement additional modern practices and technologies into our lubrication program.Without the support from our company leadership, these improvements would not be possible. Q: What do you see as some of the more important trends taking place in lubrication and oil analysis? A: I think that ultrasonic lubrication has some of the greatest potential and is something we are looking into very closely. Oil analysis, while not new, can unlock some hidden information that leads to good business decisions. In addition, improve- ments are being made to clean and maintain the cleanliness of lubricants, so things like color-coded secondary containers and single-use funnels to prevent contamination are a must. Q: What has made your company decide to put more emphasis on machinery lubrication? A: I would say that it has just been part of the maintenance reliability journey. If every day you are fixing breakdowns and not asking why, then that is the road on which you will stay. However, if you stop and ask the right questions — why, how and what can be done — you will end up changing lanes, and your journey will take a different path. A few years back, I was fortunate enough to sit in a training session given by Bob Matthews. He made a comment that stuck with me. He said, "You have to remember we are a maintenance department, not a fixing department." In my humble opinion, if you want to do more than fix things, you need to understand and value lubrication. ML ML www . | May - June 2018 | 43

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