Efficient Plant April 2021 - 19

feature | lubrication solutions

Oil analysis is a critical tool for establishing lubrication metrics
since it measures the health of the lubricant and the degree to which
degradation has occurred. Viscosity, acid number, and elemental
additive composition are routine tests that can be combined into one
metric we might refer to as " lubricant condition. "
Used as a metric, lubricant condition can be calculated as the
number of samples that come back flagged with issues related to
lubricant health, divided by the total number of samples. While the
goal should be 100% compliance, setting a target of 95% is a good
starting point.

ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE
Increasingly, companies seek to ensure that operations and maintenance are focused on sound environmental practices. In the
lubrication world, this means that we are constantly striving to use
less oil by identifying and correcting leaks, while ensuring that we
can account for every gallon of oil used. In some industries, such as
mining MHSA, these practices have been in place for many years,
but will soon be mandatory in most industries.
For precision lubrication, there are two environmental metrics
we should track. The first is simply a total count of the number of
gallons of oil or pounds of grease used each year. Depending on past
practices, a reasonable goal might be to see a 5% to 10% reduction,
year-on-year, of the total amount of oil or grease used. Not only does
this demonstrate a commitment to good environmental stewardship,
the cost savings can also be used to help justify investments in other
aspects of the lubrication program.
At least in North America, many companies have implemented very strict environmental policies, either as part of an ongoing
sustainability program or as part of a broader regulatory compliance, such as ISO14001. To ensure that lubrication is meeting this
standard, a very simple metric that measures lubricant consumption
versus disposal can be used.
This " lubrication sustainability " metric is the ratio of the number of gallons of oil that have been safely and correctly disposed of,
versus the total number of gallons received. Many companies set
very strict guidelines such as 97% to 98% compliance for lubrication
sustainability.

Lubricant condition = Number of samples flagged green for oil health
Total number of oil samples submitted

Lubrication sustainability = Number of gallons of oil safely disposed
Total number gallons used

eustress, which is the opposite of distress, can create engagement,
drive, and tenacity.

ASSET MANAGEMENT
In asset management, KPIs are everywhere, usually with a catchy
three- or four-acronym label such as MTBF, MTTR, or OEE. In the
field of lubrication, few organizations have truly developed SMART
KPIs to drive sustainable best-in-class performance. Without strategic KPIs, many lubrication programs drift in a current of apathy,
without clear direction or consistency of effort.
Put simply, precision lubrication is about using the correct lubricants in the right amount and ensuring that the lubricant is clean,
dry, cool, and has not degraded, while constantly being cognizant of
safety and environmental responsibility. As such, lubrication metrics
need to measure these important aspects for long-term success.

RIGHT LUBRICANT, RIGHT CONDITION

PM COMPLIANCE
Once proper lubrication PMs have been established, ensuring that
routine lubrication tasks, such as re-greasing, oil changes, and basic
inspections, are done in a timely fashion is just as important as using
the right lubricant. To measure this, a standard metric called " lubrication PM compliance " should be established.
Lubrication PM compliance, which measures the on-time completion of time-based lubrication tasks, should be tracked on a monthly
basis as the ratio of the number of PM tasks completed on-time
versus the total number of lubrication PMs in a given month. Again,
our goal should be 100%, with 90% compliance a good starting
point.

Lubricant PM compliance = Number of lube PM completed on time
Total number of lube PM in a given month

APRIL 2021

EP2104flube.indd 19

CONTAMINATION-CONTROL COMPLIANCE
Since anywhere from 60% to 80% of lubrication-related machine
failures are tied to contamination, it makes sense to adopt metrics
that measure fluid cleanliness and moisture content. Once again, oil
analysis provides the raw data to compile monthly metrics. Since
every type of machine has different contamination tolerances, we
need to start by assigning dryness and cleanliness targets using the
ISO4406 standard.
This can be done on a machine-by-machine basis or, perhaps
easier, by overall asset class. Asset class simply means similar
machines in similar applications. For example, all centrifugal pumps
in the Chem Prep Area or all hydraulics in the Finishing Line. Once
dryness and cleanliness targets have been established, a monthly
" lubrication cleanliness " metric can be established as the ratio of
samples that are at or below the required target level, versus the total
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Efficient Plant April 2021

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