Maintenance Technology April 2016 - (Page 4)
s mentioned in this column before, editing
magazines is my second career. It started
almost 17 years ago when I began covering
all things related to the industrial-fluidhandling pump market.
Oh, what a big "room" that was! Thrown into it
by accident, I soon learned that pumps, after electric
motors, were the most purchased industrial items
in the world. Pumping systems, i.e., pumps, seals,
bearings, motors, controls, instrumentation, and
the technologies that kept everything aligned and
running as desired, became a major focus for me. As
did pump-user workforce issues-something that
was also capturing the serious attention of pumpusing industries.
For me, the ongoing skilled workforce crisis that
Maintenance Technology has been highlighting
for the past decade first reared its ugly head in the
pump world. Circa 1999, operations were already
anguishing over the loss of seasoned pump pros
Operations seemed to be anguishing
over the loss of seasoned pump pros
from their ranks as far back as 1999.
from their ranks. The amount of "tribal knowledge"
disappearing with the "old hands" was alarming,
given the fact pump operation and maintenance
courses typically weren't a big part of engineering- or
Granted, Dr. Dara Childs and the Texas A&M
Univ. (TAMU) Turbomachinery Laboratory, College
Station, were trying to keep practical pump education and knowledge transfer alive. The Advisory
Board of the TAMU Pump Symposium (now in
its 32nd year) was a veritable "Who's Who" of the
greatest living pump experts on the planet. Still, the
timing and location of the annual Houston-based
Symposium weren't necessarily the best for all
aspiring pump users across North America, and
programs sometimes skewed toward the theoretical.
While pump-industry suppliers had always
offered various training courses to meet growing
demand, other opportunities-often hands-on in
nature-began appearing around the country. One
example that immediately comes to mind is the longrunning Mid-Atlantic Pump Symposium, presented
by the Baltimore/Philadelphia-based industrialequipment distributor Geiger-Smith Koch.
There were other efforts as well, including a
number of value-added, non-Houston-based, open
training sessions and workshops. That's how I
met one of my favorite pump-training gurus, Sam
Buckles, of Eli Lilly and Co., Indianapolis. He and
his enormous working-pump rig appeared on my
radar screen in one of the first such workshops I
attended-and I continued to see him using the
equipment to train new generations of pump users
throughout industry (much like he did at Eli Lilly)
several times thereafter.
Although Sam has retired, I understand his welltraveled pump-training equipment is still in service.
I was delighted to learn of this at the 2016 Univ. of
Tennessee Maintenance & Reliability Conference
(MARCON) in Knoxville. That's where I met an
amazing woman named Rendela Wenzel.
As an Indianapolis-based consultant engineer in
Eli Lilly's Global Plant Engineering, Maintenance,
and Reliability organization, Rendela has done-and
continues to do-many interesting things. Among
them, she implemented pump training courses for
the masses at Eli Lilly, and now drives the company's
global pump, vacuum-pump, mechanical-seal,
and basic and advanced lubrication-fundamentals
training programs. Accordingly, she has become the
keeper of Sam Buckles' training rig. Having gotten
to know her, I'm confident this equipment and the
associated training programs, like everything else
that she manages for Eli Lilly, are in good hands. To
learn why, turn to page 17.
Rendela Wenzel is the subject of this month's
"Voice from the Field" profile by contributing editor,
Michelle Segrest (another veteran of the pump arena,
BTW). My take is that you'll be just as impressed
with this industry "Voice" as we are.
On a related note, speaking of pumping systems
and amazing women, check out April's special "Reliable Pumping Section" that Michelle Segrest also
produced. Beginning on page 27 and focusing on oil
and gas matters, it's the first in a series of sections on
various pumping applications that we'll run this year.
Stay tuned. MT
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology April 2016
On The Floor
Culture Changed At This Indiana Refinery
She Ignores The Glass Ceiling
Loadability Studies Aid PRC-025-1 Compliance
Look System-Wide For Cost Savings
Reliable Pumping Supplement
Fund Lubrication Program With Energy Savings
Infrared Safety Tips
Internet Of Things
Motor-Testing Tools Expand Services
Maintenance Technology April 2016