When lubricant is the lifeblood of your equipment, good lubrication practice includes several elements. Nine of them have been discussed in the foregoing chapters. Today step 10 will be looked upon: Training and Education.
Around the world lubricant is added to machines every day. This to prevent failure and preserve the lubricant function, i.e. overcome friction. If friction is the enemy to reliability, an effective lubrication program is absolutely essential.
Educating the work force is a fundamental element of a good lubrication program. The people who lubricate the equipment need to be Machine Lubrication Technician (MLT) trained and certified. The days when lubrication was performed by everyone and anyone are gone.
You will learn proven industry methods for selecting, storing, filtering and testing lubricants to boost reliability and generate lasting results in machine efficiency/maintenance. You will also gain better understanding of oil analysis, so they can align their efforts with those of maintenance professionals or oil analysis experts.
If you have already scratched the surface of the amazing improvement and resource-saving potential in good lubrication practices, ML II will round out your perspective with excellent preventive maintenance techniques. You will learn how to identify wear patterns, degraded lubricants, and those small but significant leaks that can spell disaster over a period of time.
It is also a good idea to have at least one person certified as a Machine Lubricant Analyst (MLA). MLA certification is a step beyond or above MLT; the Analyst is trained to collect as well as analyse lubrication samples.
Lubricants can serve as a wellspring of information for preventive maintenance. If you find yourself wanting to bring the valuable benefits of on-site fluid testing to your workplace, Oil Analysis II will equip you with everything you need. You will learn what to look for when sampling and performing your own on-site oil tests – detecting harmful particle and thermal stressors that degrade lubricants before they do serious damage.
If your dream is to reach high levels of diagnostics, analysis and even program design, Oil Analysis Level III is the most advanced course. You will learn the more detailed aspects of fluid analysis, technologies associated with it, and even how to go a step further from simply performing on-site tests to launch a strong oil analysis program at your workplace.
ICML is a vendor-neutral, not-for-profit organization founded to facilitate growth and development of machine lubrication as a technical field of endeavor. Among its various activities, ICML offers skill certification testing for individuals in the fields of machine condition monitoring, lubrication and oil analysis. (http://www.icmlonline.com/about_us.aspx)
Even though the vast majority of your lubrication programme will not be completed by your MLTs and MLAs, your lubrication programme will typically need to become more visible. All lubrication points should be documented, put into lubrication routes, and labelled for the correct type and amount of lubricant.
Lubrication sight glasses should be clearly labelled with a green area showing the correct level, and red areas that clearly indicate too much or too little lubricant. Lubrication points can be colour coded to match the colour of the lubrication dispenser to help make clear that the correct type of lubricant is being added.
Operator Care and Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) can be very powerful tools to help improve the reliability of your assets. The key here is to ensure that tasks are transferred at the correct level; operators should only be performing lubrication tasks on equipment they are responsible for operating and the tasks they perform should be required each day or each shift.
Those who start out with good intentions train people, transfer the tasks, and audit for a short time, but the next thing they know, three new operators who have never been trained in how to properly perform the task are running the equipment. In no time at all, there is a rash of lubrication-related equipment failures.
All who make this step be certain that you take the time to think through how you plan to manage the programme on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. Make sure to include up front how you will manage changes in personnel in terms of operators, MLTs and MLAs.
The WinnerWheel's part 10: Feed the brain and train
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