Maintenance Technology October 2015 - (Page 33)

LUBRICATION Simple Purchasing Practices Incite Lubrication Failure Ken Bannister MEch Eng (UK) CMRP, MLE Contributing Editor While this account of one plant's extremely costly, catastrophic experience is a tough read, rest assured that the situation was avoidable. MAINTENANCE DEPARTMENTS MAY perform their own purchasing/expediting of MRO (maintenance/repair operations) materials or, conversely, rely on a formal relationship with the corporate purchasing department to perform that task. In either case, it behooves a maintenance department to have processes and procedures in place to ensure the exact lubricants required are successfully ordered and received-every time. This case study involves a catastrophic event at an automotive assembly plant located somewhere in North America. At the time of this lubricationrelated failure, the plant was operating with three continual shifts, 24/7, to accommodate a fourweek running backlog of vehicle orders. With an average unit selling price of $35,000 and a line speed averaging 60 units/hour, downtime losses were unrecoverable at the rate of more than $2 million in sales losses/hour. Despite its successful order book, the company had engaged in a corporate efficiency program that required its purchasing staff to individually review every purchase request and seek out less expensive alternatives wherever possible. In exchange, the company would extend a bonus based on the percentage of all accumulated savings. As a result, all purchases- including those associated with critical lubrication activities-slowed as agents in this motivated department immersed themselves in the role of price-cutting negotiator. The situation only served to reduce the level of service to the maintenance department and upset its regular group of suppliers. If the original supplier didn't lower its price, the purchasing agent would look for an alternative source based on the order specification. If the specification wasn't exacting, he/she could seek out a "similar" product. As detailed here, OCTOBER 2015 this purchasing-efficiency approach fueled a very expensive lubrication failure. Brewing a perfect storm The maintenance purchase requisition simply stated "two totes of ISO 22 air-tool oil." The automaker's lubrication program had recently completed lube-consolidation activities that reduced the site's different lubricant types/SKUs by half (to single digits)-leading to six-figure savings. As a result, lubricating oils were to be purchased in bulk totes from a reputable manufacturer through a reputable local supplier. Cutting corners on lubricant purchases is usually a ticket to costly expenses elsewhere. The lubrication program also ensured that lubricants were to be stored separately in a lubrication crib, and that they be adequately spill protected with a concrete berm and drain system. In addition to oils and greases, several release chemical agents were also stored in the lubrication crib. To accommodate safe lubricant transfer, the maintenance department requested multiple MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM | 33 http://www.MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology October 2015

My Take
Uptime
For on the Floor
Industry News
Crushing Limestone with Reliability
Choose Reliability or Cost Control
Get To The Root of the Cause
Select the Right Safety Logic System
Simple Purchasing Practices Incite Lubrication Failure
CMMS Upgrade Tips
Pump-Bearing Alignment
Lockout/Tagout Advice
Advancing Ergonomics
Products
Showcase
Ad Index

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