Training has always been a hot topic of conversation in the lubrication world. When apprenticing to be a mechanic or millwright, not nearly enough time is spent on lubrication. What typically happens is a maintenance or reliability decision maker appreciates the need for training within a great machinery lubrication program and decides to get his team trained. However, little attention is given to who exactly needs to be trained and what training those people require. For example, if electricians in your plant are responsible for electric motor lubrication, they don't need to attend a 3-day certification level class to learn about advanced lubrication or oil analysis, but they do need at least a 4-hour class on how to effectively grease an electric motor bearing. A great approach to training is to assign a "lubrication champion" on your lubrication team and have him trained and certified in all the areas of lubrication. Others should be trained based on their level of involvement in the lubrication program. Those responsible for oil analysis should be trained on it. Those greasing bearings should have task-based training for that task. Further enhance the credibility of the training with certifications.

Fig 1

Storage and handling continues to be an area I always shake my head at. It would seem to me that this is one of the more tangible elements of a great lubrication program, yet most have a hard time understanding its value. Some of the dirtiest areas of the plants I have been to have been the "lube room." They are typically dark and dingy, subjected to temperature extremes and moisture contamination and are always accessible to whoever wants access. I often ask my clients if they would store oil meant for their car or truck in the same way that they store oil for the machines in the plant. No one has ever said yes.

There are many turn-key systems that exist that will take a sorry-state-of-a-lube-room to near best in class. But it's not enough to just buy your way to best in class; you have to understand why it's important to handle lubricants in this manner. If you've had your team trained on methods and theory of proper storage and handling, you're halfway there. The next step is to reinforce your preferred practice with standard operating procedures.

Procedures are a key element to doing anything with consistency and accuracy. We have all read the articles highlighting the need for knowledge transfer before the retirement boom hits and our companies suffer corporate amnesia at a nationwide cost of billions or even trillions. Procedures should be clear and concise and represent how something gets done each and every time. To support this, procedures should be dynamic enough that we can change some of the elements if we need to. For example, duty cycles change, operating conditions change and production demands change. These changes all require a change in lubrication frequency, amount, type or method of application. A great machinery lubrication program understands the need for change and allows for modifications to procedures to support these changes.

We have all heard the saying, "You don't know what you don't know." Through training and procedures the unknown becomes known. We become conscious that there is a better, more efficient way to do something. These revelations, however, don't go very far unless we're given the right tools to do the job. It is one thing to implement best practice and it's quite another to execute preferred practice. Much of what makes a good machinery lubrication program great are the tools and accessories we use to get the job done. Sample valves installed on machine components, filter carts for periodic decontamination, grease meters on our grease guns, and sealable and refillable transfer containers are all great examples of the tools we need to execute a great machinery lubrication program.

To ensure the success of a great machinery lubrication program over the long haul it is mandatory that the current culture adapts to the new business as usual. The daily grind sometimes keeps us from seeing the obvious. Whenever I ask a client why they are doing something in one way or another, the most common answer is, "That's the way we've always done it." Right or wrong, we continue to form habits in our work, often to the detriment of the machines we are committed to making more reliable. This current business as usual can change as we adopt preferred practice and provide the right tools for the job. The new business as usual has us using our knowledge from training, storing and handling our lubricants they way they need to be handled, following procedures when executing tasks, and using the right tool for the job. Over time, this will become business as usual. Perhaps at the next plant I walk into, I'll see the proper implementation and execution of a great machinery lubrication program and ask why they are doing things that way, and they might say, "That's the way we've always done it." That would be great.

Jason Kopschinsky

Jason Kopschinsky joined Trico July 2010 as Reliability Services Manager. Prior to joining Trico, he spent 7 years in asset reliability and lubrication management services with Noria Corporation. He has published more than 50 technical articles. www.tricocorp.com

Upcoming Events

August 9 - August 11 2022

MaximoWorld 2022

View all Events
banner
80% of Reliabilityweb.com newsletter subscribers report finding something used to improve their jobs on a regular basis.
Subscribers get exclusive content. Just released...MRO Best Practices Special Report - a $399 value!
DOWNLOAD NOW
Optimizing Value From Physical Assets

There are ever-increasing opportunities to create new and sustainable value in asset-intensive organizations through enhanced use of technology.

Conducting Asset Criticality Assessment for Better Maintenance Strategy and Techniques

Conducting an asset criticality assessment (ACA) is the first step in maintaining the assets properly. This article addresses the best maintenance strategy for assets by using ACA techniques.

Harmonizing PMs

Maintenance reliability is, of course, an essential part of any successful business that wants to remain successful. It includes the three PMs: predictive, preventive and proactive maintenance.

How an Edge IoT Platform Increases Efficiency, Availability and Productivity

Within four years, more than 30 per cent of businesses and organizations will include edge computing in their cloud deployments to address bandwidth bottlenecks, reduce latency, and process data for decision support in real-time.

MaximoWorld 2022

The world's largest conference for IBM Maximo users, IBM Executives, IBM Maximo Partners and Services with Uptime Elements Reliability Framework and Asset Management System is being held Aug 8-11, 2022

6 Signs Your Maintenance Team Needs to Improve Its Safety Culture

When it comes to people and safety in industrial plants, maintenance teams are the ones who are most often in the line of fire and at risk for injury or death.

Making Asset Management Decisions: Caught Between the Push and the Pull

Most senior executives spend years climbing through the operational ranks. In the operational ranks, many transactional decisions are required each day.

Assume the Decision Maker Is Not Stupid to Make Your Communication More Powerful

Many make allowances for decision makers, saying some are “faking it until they make it.” However, this is the wrong default position to take when communicating with decision makers.

Ultrasound for Condition Monitoring and Acoustic Lubrication for Condition-Based Maintenance

With all the hype about acoustic lubrication instruments, you would think these instruments, once turned on, would do the job for you. Far from it!

Maintenance Costs as a Percent of Asset Replacement Value: A Useful Measure?

Someone recently asked for a benchmark for maintenance costs (MC) as a percent of asset replacement value (ARV) for chemical plants, or MC/ARV%.