Maintenance Technology January 2016 - (Page 27)

LUBRICATION STRATEGIES WINSTON CHURCHILL WROTE, "Responsibility is the price of greatness." These words have special meaning for those of us in the lubrication field. In organizations that seek to become great, all personnel must understand the negative upstream and/or downstream impact that their individual actions could have should they neglect to effectively and efficiently fulfill their roles. This is especially true of lubrication team members, who, through daily interaction with machinery and moving parts, are directly responsible for the successful lubrication of equipment in their charge-as well as for any consequences resulting from their activities. Their failures will manifest directly in the loss of equipment availability, reliability, and life-cycle longevity, and indirectly through production yield and quality losses. A case in point My look into the oil and grease purchasing patterns of a major North American automotive-assembly manufacturer during a lubrication-operations effectiveness review (LOER) was a real eye opener. I was astounded by the many tens of thousands of dollars per month the corporation was spending on just one type of chainlubricant oil. This automatic-chain-lubricator oil was a name brand, premiumquality, molybdenum disulphide, high-temperature formulation. Designed specifically to lubricate power- and free-conveyor chain pins and bearings passing through the types of high-temperature paint-bake ovens found in automobile assembly lines, it was an ideal match for the application. So, given those facts, why was the facility using so much of the product for just four conveyorlubricator systems? Moreover, why had the lubrication staff or the lubricant supplier neither noticed nor brought to management's attention the systems' dramatic (more than 10-fold) increase in lubricant consumption over the past two years? Further investigation revealed that the chain-oil consumption increase had coincided with the hiring of a new lubrication technician. The PM (preventive maintenance) job plan and frequency for checking and filling the automated lubricator reservoirs, though, had remained unchanged-from the time the devices were installed and commissioned more than three years prior. This discovery prompted a physical investigation of the four lubricators themselves. The findings were more than surprising! The four lubricators were a popular, highly reliable brand. Lowtech in design, they used a pneumatic pump-to-point-style pump connected to dynamic injectors that would "volley" or "shoot" a small fixed amount of oil into either the unshielded trolley rollingelement bearings or the chain-link pins that connected the trolleys. All of the devices were in excellent condition-and still located where they had been originally installed-complete with reservoirs full of oil. Curiously, though, all had been shut off electrically at the breaker and their pneumatic air supplies had been shut off at the feed-line valves. As a result, all of these units were totally useless. Investigators subsequently learned that the four original lubricators had been "replaced" further down the conveyor line JANUARY 2016 Several Hands Responsible For This Oil Debacle The actions of personnel can either lead to great success in lubrication programs or, as this case study shows, to costly calamity. Ken Bannister MEch Eng (UK), CMRP, MLE Contributing Editor Lubrication team members must understand how their actions can have negative upstream and/or downstream impact should they neglect to effectively and efficiently fulfill their roles. MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM | 27 http://www.MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology January 2016

My Take
Uptime
On The Floor
Keeping Old Machines Running Like New
Operational Excellence Is A Competitive Necessity
Sell Reliability to Management
Several Hands Responsible For This Oil Debacle
Infrared Detects Leaks
Mobile CMMS Benefits
Gear Pitting Issues
Manage Energy Processes
Products
Ad Index
Showcase
Final Thought

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