International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML) announced its newest industry award recipients during the Reliable Plant Conference & Exhibition last week in Louisville, KY


Heartland Pet Food Manufacturing, a Blue Buffalo facility located in Richmond, IN, was selected to receive the 2020 John R. Battle Award for Machinery Lubrication Excellence. The plant’s program comprises over 1300 pieces of lubricated equipment.

"Blue Buffalo is extremely grateful to receive the prestigious John R. Battle Award," says Plant Technical Manager Jeff Zimmerman. "Our 'Buffs,' Kevin Keith and Matt Felix, have built a world class lubrication program at Blue, and we are extremely proud of their leadership and dedication."

"It is quite an honor to receive the John R. Battle Award," adds Kevin Keith, a certified MLT I and MLA I Lubrication Specialist who submitted Heartland's application. "This award is a testament to the time, capital, and effort we have put into building and maintaining a world class lubrication system at Blue Buffalo."

Matt Felix, certified MLA III and MLT II Lubrication Specialist, acknowledges that Heartland’s lubrication program success has benefited from supportive leadership.

“Beyond the support for me as an individual employee, we have had and continue to have support to make lubrication a priority of our reliability program,” says Felix. “The support from our management team and all the way down is amazing and will continue to drive success and reliability so we can continue to produce the amazing products our family of consumers can rely on.”

Representing the Heartland plant, Keith accepted the award in person from ICML Executive Director Leslie Fish during the conference's opening ceremony. He was accompanied on stage by Conditioning Monitoring Technician Ray Jackson and Reliability Specialist Bobby Beatty.

L-to-R: Ray Jackson, ICML Marketing Manager Paul Hiller, Kevin Keith (holding the Battle Award), Leslie Fish, Bobby Beatty


Ontario Power Generation (OPG)’s Pickering Nuclear Generating Station was selected to win the 2020 Augustus H. Gill Award for Oil Analysis Excellence. John Watling P.Eng., Senior Technical Engineer at OPG, submitted the application.

“Understanding the level of rigor that the ICML places on the requirements to be considered for the Gill Award, it is a privilege to be recognized as this year’s winner,” says Watling. “The application process itself became a very useful tool for us to gauge the health of our PdM oil analysis program and identify areas where we need to focus to achieve and maintain industry best.”

Rick Tremblay, Mechanical Maintenance FLM, notes that this award acknowledges the role played by continuous improvement in a successful oil analysis program. “The PdM team at Pickering Nuclear are committed to providing the best service we can to our Station,” says Tremblay. “Receiving the Gill Award is a fantastic honor that recognizes that commitment--and our Station’s commitment--to continuous improvement.”

View of the Pickering Generating Station's oil screening facility (photo courtesy of OPG)


Since 2001, ICML’s Battle and Gill Awards have recognized end-user programs that demonstrate excellence in the application of machinery lubrication and in-service lubricant analysis. The awards are open to companies worldwide and there is no cost to apply. To remain unbiased, ICML does not nominate programs itself but only accepts submissions that come directly from industry. Applications are accepted year-round with annual cut-offs for judging. See the list of previous winners.

ICML's industry awards include the Augustus H. Gill Award for Excellence in Oil Analysis and the John R. Battle Award for Excellence in Machinery Lubrication


The International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML) is a vendor-neutral, not-for-profit organization founded in 2001 to help lubrication practitioners succeed in their professional careers, and to serve global industry as the world-class authority on machinery lubrication that advances the optimization of asset reliability, utilization and costs. ICML is an independently chartered organization consisting of both paid professional staff members and volunteer committees. It is a certification body serving industrial lubrication and oil analysis practitioners worldwide; a technical awards body recognizing companies that excel in oil analysis and machinery lubrication programs; a membership body engaging and promoting individuals and organizations; and a standards body developing ICML 55® standards for lubricated asset management. ICML certification exams are administered in accordance with ISO 18436 and are available in multiple languages worldwide.

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