Media Production Coordinator

The Media Production Coordinator is a full-time position whose primary responsibilities will be to assist with print and digital media production., including but not limited to magazines, websites, e-newsletters, etc.

The position provides an administrative support role to our sales representatives. This includes responding to customer/prospect requests, scheduling and record keeping.

The position will build and maintain positive working relationships with internal and external customers.

The position requires an in-depth understanding of a variety of core business concepts, practices and procedures, as well as meticulous attention to detail of critical business functions.

Send your resume to our Human Resources Department.

SALES SUPPORT / CUSTOMER RELATIONS

  • Maintain great relationships with customers.
  • Record advertising schedules and exhibit space purchases.
  • Prepare personalized media calendars and creative material specifications for customers.
  • Solicit ad material from customers verifying that it meets specifications.
  • Conduct proofing to ensure proper content prior to going to distribution.
  • Maintain ad performance metrics for sales staff and clients.
  • Solicit and maintain online buyers guide listings.
  • Update sales team with open e-newsletter positions.

CIRCULATION MANAGEMENT

  • Maintain magazine and e-newsletter subscription additions and deletions.
  • Prepare bi-annually publisher’s statement.
  • Complete annual statement of ownership form for USPS.
  • Process vendor invoices for payment.

EXHIBITOR MANAGEMENT

  • Solicit logos and sponsorship deliverables from exhibitors.
  • Communicate important deadlines
  • Field questions and support exhibitors

MEDIA PRODUCTION

Magazine, print

  • Collect ad material from clients
  • Coordinate circulation with KMPS.
  • Verify ad percentage compliance with postal regulations and communicate results to printer.
  • Itemize print copies on distribution request form and provide to Publishers Press.
  • Determine postage. Code and process check request.
  • Reconcile and code printing invoice.

Magazine, digital

  • Solicit from hyperlinks from ad clients.
  • Provide creative services department with hyperlinks for ad pages.
  • Distribute verified final copy to digital subscribers.

E-Newsletters

  • Place ads and white papers into e-newsletter software.
  • Output html and text files and transfer into the circulation service software to create e-newsletters.
  • Conduct test blast to confirm accuracy with content, links and verify spam filter results.
  • Coordinate which white papers and house ads to run in each issue. Record on production spreadsheet.

Website Banners

  • Upload banners and create the campaigns in AdvertPro.
  • Create client campaigns (number of impressions, contextual categories or run-of-site).
  • Monitor impressions making adjustments as needed to fulfill required impressions.
  • Compose campaign performance reports for clients.

Sponsored White Papers

  • Collect white papers and abstracts from clients.
  • Upload PDF to library.
  • Orchestrate monthly alert e-mail broadcast.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, ABILITIES, AND EQUIPMENT USED

  • Digital Media Formats (html, pdf, various image formats)
  • Software Applications (Excel, Word, Adobe Acrobat, Outlook)
  • Printing Processes
  • Publication and Circulation Accounting and Compliance
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Accounting and Purchasing
  • Planning
  • Proofing
  • Customer Relations
  • Active Listening
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Time Management
  • Critical Thinking
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Writing
  • Coordination
  • Conflict Management
  • Oral Expression & Comprehension
  • Speech Clarity
  • Deductive Reasoning
  • Problem Sensitivity
  • Written Comprehension & Written Expression
  • Fluency of Ideas
  • Originality
  • Negotiations
  • Conflict Management
  • Ability to lift 20-25 pounds in a general office setting

PERFORMANCE BEHAVIOR COMPENTENCIES

The following list describes the performance behaviors necessary to meet the minimum requirements.

  • Integrity
  • Dependability
  • Cooperation
  • Results driven
  • Adaptability
  • Innovation
  • Creative conceptualization
  • Developer/multiplier
  • Attention to detail
  • Initiative
  • Self-control
  • Analytical thinking
  • Flexibility
  • Professionalism
  • Strategic agility
  • Collaboration

MINIMUM EDUCATION, CERTIFICATION, & LICENSURE QUALIFICATIONS

  • Requires minimum of Associates degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Experience in media production and circulation management preferred.
Download the Media Production Coordinator Job Description

Lubrication Reliability Specialist – TC

Work is performed under the direction of the Director of Technical Services. The Lubrication Reliability Specialist – Technical Consultant is a full-time position whose primary responsibilities will be the delivery of public and onsite training, management of Lubrication Program Development (LPD) projects, performing general consulting activities, and making editorial contributions to Noria’s award-winning magazine and annual conference.

The following job description outlines the scope of the job responsibilities of the position. The minimum knowledge, skills and competency requirements are listed below for the entire job classification. The functions of this position will be performed under minimal supervision.

Send your resume to our Human Resources Department.

Essential Functions

  • Provide public and on-site training in the areas of lubrication, oil analysis and contamination control.
  • Serve as project manager in charge of a Lubrication Program Development (LPD) team.
  • Serve as project manager in general consulting projects in the field of lubricants and lubrication.
  • Write technical reports and present articles and papers for Noria’s magazine and conference.
  • Create intellectual property in the fields of lubrication, reliability, and tribology.
  • Serve in a team for extended projects relating to the implementation and sustainability of lubrication programs.
  • Willing to travel up to 75% to support ongoing projects.
  • Maintain courteous and respectful interaction with clients.
  • Participate in educational and marketing events.
  • Other reporting as needed.
  • Other duties as assigned.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, ABILITIES, AND ACTIVITIES

  • Mechanical Aptitude – Ability to understand machines and processes to improve performance.
  • Relationship Building / Management – Ability to work well with all types of people and foster meaningful relationships with clients and co-workers.
  • Customer Focus — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing top tier customer service. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of
    Internal Use Only Senior Technical Consultant (STC) As of 05/09/2013
    alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they
    react as they do.
  • Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related
    information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas
    presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral & Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in
    speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas
    presented in writing.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce
    answers that make sense.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another
    person.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules
    or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or
    pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters,
    words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Physical Demands – Can include but are not limited to the following: standing, walking,
    sitting, lifting/carrying/pushing/pulling (up to 50lbs unassisted), climbing stairs, stooping,
    kneeling, crouching, crawling, reaching, depth perception, and color vision.

PERFORMANCE BEHAVIOR REQUIREMENTS (COMPETENCIES)

  • Integrity
  • Dependability
  • Cooperation
  • Results driven
  • Adaptability
  • Innovation
  • Attention to detail
  • Initiative
  • Self-control
  • Analytical thinking
  • Flexibility
  • Professionalism

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Technology, or related field or
    equivalent experience
  • Significant experience with mechanical equipment.
  • Significant experience with lubrication, oil analysis, tribology and/or contamination control.
  • ICML Machinery Lubrication Technician (MLT) Level I and II and Machinery Lubricant
    Analyst Level II preferred (or ability to pass upon immediate hire).
  • Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP) status is a plus, but not
    required.
Download the Lubrication Reliability Specialist – Technical Consultant Job Description

Graphic Designer

The objective of the Graphic Designer is to edit and produce materials that support Noria’s training, consulting and marketing services both internally and externally.

Position Duties

Preserve coherent and consistent visual standards across all product lines by adhering to departmental standards, templates, color schemes, themes, and guidelines.

Closely follow quality control standards to ensure all products leaving the department are in line with other offerings.

Minimum of 5 years of experience creating and manipulating graphics at an intermediate level (i.e.
develop/design a graphics concept, translate drawings into digitized renderings, manipulate renderings, and create vector graphics) in multiple formats in multiple software packages (i.e. Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign).

Possess an intermediate level of experience with layout principles and flow pertaining to graphics and text.

Moderate to advanced experience with designing with words and word flow (typography).

Design and create templates (i.e. single page layouts, flyers, tri-fold brochures, 8-12 page brochures).

Must be able to take logos from concept to final digital vector product.

Design and create sales/marketing materials (i.e. product brochures, logos, web graphics, promotional fliers, catalogs, point-of-sale materials, sales presentation tools, direct mail pieces, trade show graphics).

Any Photography, HTML5 Animation, Illustration, or Software Programming experience is a plus but not required. Previous magazine experience is preferred. Must have the ability and desire to share tips and best practices.

Physical requirements of this position can include but are not limited to: the ability to lift up to 25 pounds without assistance, moving objects in a general office setting, standing, climbing, bending, and other repetitive motions.

Send resumes to our Human Resources Department.

Download the Graphic Designer Job Description

Noria Among Oklahoma’s Top Workplaces

2015_Top_WorkplacesNoria Corporation was recently named among the top workplaces of 2015 in a survey of Oklahoma companies conducted by The Oklahoman and Philadelphia-based research firm WorkplaceDynamics.

The Oklahoman and WorkplaceDynamics considered 1,210 companies employing at least 35 personnel within Oklahoma. Of those, they selected the best 70 candidates, with Noria ranking among the top 40 companies employing fewer than 125 people.

“Our research of employee feedback concludes the common thread is having a healthy organization,” wrote WorkplaceDynamics CEO Doug Claffey. “Healthy organizations thrive on people who feel connected to their workplace through meaningful work and the belief that their company is moving in the right direction.”

Criteria for the top workplaces were based on the results of employee surveys in which staff members from participating companies evaluated their workplaces on seven different factors: work, manager, pay and benefits, direction, execution, connection, and engagement. Across the board, Oklahoma employees’ top priorities pertained to organizational health and connection, with pay and benefits scoring the lowest.

“Employees among The Oklahoman’s top workplaces buy in to where they’re going and how they’re getting there,” Claffey noted. “So much so, they’re not afraid to use the ‘L-word’ when it comes to their jobs – ‘I love my job.’ WorkplaceDynamics has determined for many years that more money or perks do not account for the difference between an average and poor workplace.”

Noria Corporation is the education resource of choice for numerous Fortune 500 companies. In addition to publishing and providing conferences and employee training, Noria provides a range of services related to advanced machine reliability and maintenance technologies. The majority of its editorial staff are practicing professionals who make up the leadership of Noria’s consulting and services team.

Task-Based Lubrication Training

Industrial Lubrication Fundamentals is a new training course that offers an introduction to optimum lubrication practices, which are a key component in achieving lubrication excellence. The course covers the common activities of a lubrication technician with recommendations from industry experts and reliability professionals. Using a variety of techniques and media, this training provides lube technicians with the knowledge and practical skills to perform specific lubrication tasks. Student participation is encouraged in the interactive course, which is designed for those who have a limited technical background and need lubrication and filtration training.

Industrial Lubrication Fundamentals
Tuesday, December 2 – Thursday, December 4, 2014
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Atlanta, GA
3-Day Course = $1,195

Training is a PROCESS, not just an event
We make it easy to take your training with you. Every student receives 90-day access to Noria’s online learning system, including pre- and post-assessments, printable job aids and videos used in the course.

Examples of what you will learn:
• Receiving and inspecting new lubricants
• Protecting lubricant integrity
• Transporting and applying lubricants
• Conducting field inspections
• Excluding and removing contaminants
• Sampling lubricants

Who should attend?
This course is intended for anyone involved in lubrication and reliability practices, from the plant’s purchasing department to top executives.

Specific job titles may include lubrication technicians, maintenance technicians, millwrights, mechanics, oilers, machine operators, etc.

Need help deciding if this is the right course for you?
Contact your training advisor today at (918) 392-5063 or send an email to training@noria.com

How to Use a Grease Gun Training

How to Use a Grease GunNoria Corporation has released a “How to Use a Grease Gun” video tutorial for those who would like to further their expertise in the areas of grease application and proper lubrication methodology.

One of the newest additions to Noria’s Reliable Skills Training video series, “How to Use a Grease Gun” is designed for lubrication professionals and manufacturers. The set includes a 28-minute DVD and comprehensive student workbook providing easy, how-to methodologies to ensure grease gun best practices.

Featuring a DVD and comprehensive booklet, the new release provides step-by-step foundational training that covers how a grease gun works, the best practices for loading a grease gun, the risks of mixing different grease types, the differences between various grease gun models, how to avoid grease contamination, how to use grease guns safely, how to get the most from your grease gun, and why proper grease lubrication is important to machine reliability.

“The grease gun is one of the most widely used tools for machinery lubrication, yet few are trained on grease gun best practices,” said Noria Corporation CEO Jim Fitch. “When used or loaded improperly, the grease gun can become a safety risk to both the lubrication technician and the machine.”

This training is available for online purchase or call 1-800-597-5460 to order.

Know the Effects of Water Contamination

“What would make a lubricant have a milky appearance?”

A hazy or milky appearance may indicate a water emulsion or other interferences such as air, dyes, oxide insolubles, soot and solid contaminants. While most people are aware that new oil is typically bright and golden in color, it is important to realize that new oil isn’t necessarily clean. If oil analysis has confirmed water ingression, the water should be removed as soon as possible.

Water ingression is the second most destructive contaminant and can wreak havoc in your system. Emulsified water is defined as microscopic globules of water dispersed in a stable suspension in the oil. Although all states of water in oil can cause damage to the oil and machine, emulsified water is considered the most destructive.

Water is the leading cause of hydraulic pump cavitation (vaporous cavitation). Water passing between loading frictional surfaces can explode, causing metal fracture. Depending on the oil type and temperature, a bearing can lose 75 percent of its life due to water contamination before the oil becomes cloudy.

Most contaminations can lead to a change in the viscosity of the lubricant, causing it to thicken or thin. Keep in mind that viscosity is the most important physical property of a lubricant. Anytime there is a change in the viscosity, it will have a direct effect on equipment reliability. Water contamination results in stable emulsions and higher viscosity. It will also cause a loss of film strength, which is necessary to keep surfaces apart.

Another negative effect that water will have on the equipment comes in the form of additive depletion. Additive polarity is defined as the natural directional attraction of additive molecules to other polar materials in contact with the oil. These polar materials would include water, a sponge, glass, dirt, a metal surface and wood pulp. In effect, additives take a ride on particles or water droplets.

Water contamination also has a negative impact on the base oil of the lubricant and causes problems such as oxidation, hydrolysis and aeration. In oxidation and hydrolysis, water promotes changes in the chemical and physical properties of mineral oils and some synthetics, which lead to acid formation, viscosity change, varnish and sludge.

In addition, water encourages aeration problems such as foaming and air entrainment. It also puts bearings at high risk when the machine is at rest. Once static etching/corrosion gets started, bearing failure is imminent.

Machinery Lubrication India Now Available

Featuring the same expertise that has made Machinery Lubrication the standard for lubricant professionals around the world, Machinery Lubrication India is now being offered for Indian readers. The new magazine will include articles from international experts as well as local content and news contributed by Indian authors from industry and academia.

Designed for lubrication professionals, manufacturers and research scientists, Machinery Lubrication India will provide Indian experts’ views, experiences and studies on subjects related to all aspects of machinery lubrication, from lubrication fundamentals and best practices for lubricant storage and handling to lubrication process development and lubricant analysis and interpretation.

Each issue of the magazine will cover in detail one industry sector, such as cement, power, steel, automotive, etc., with analysis of trends, systems, processes and procedures. The industry and product news section will include new industry entrants, expansions, mergers, acquisitions, promotions and hirings, as well as information about new product development and launches. Upcoming and recent events, trade shows, seminars, exhibitions and conferences in India and abroad will also be highlighted.

Serving as editor of Machinery Lubrication India will be Sudhir Singhal, who brings extensive experience in the field of petroleum products and has a number of publications to his credit. Singhal previously worked with the Indian Institute of Petroleum for nearly 40 years and has been a member of many international organizations including SAE and ASTM. He has published and presented more than 250 papers and prepared another 250 technical reports on research investigations.

For more information about Machinery Lubrication India or to begin a free subscription, visit the magazine’s website.

Using Criticality to Drive Oil Analysis Strategy

Oil analysis provides a huge payback when deployed through a proper strategy. While an extremely valuable tool in today’s reliability programs, it is sometimes applied in an ad-hoc manner. This is a dangerous approach, as the program can quickly become quite costly due to overtesting or even show little value due to inadequate testing. Let’s take a look at both situations.

Overtesting

A recently visited paper mill had a rather robust oil analysis program. This program was further optimized by the corporate reliability manager. The maintenance manager had a positive feeling about the benefits of predictive technologies and was supportive of the oil analysis program. While this was all seemingly positive data, the drawback was that the manager decided he wanted all equipment to be incorporated in the oil analysis program, including small centrifugal pumps containing less than even a quart of oil.

Taking this approach would have meant that the mill would run hundreds of oil samples on at least a quarterly basis. Adding to this, when following proper sampling procedures, we understand that the sampling hardware must first be flushed. When sampling small reservoirs, such as those in small centrifugal pumps, following the flush portion and then sampling, a complete oil change would have occurred on every pump each quarter. Considering the increased lubricant consumption coupled with the additional cost of testing the oil samples, you can see how the overall costs would add up quickly.

Although the maintenance manager should be commended for his aggressive drive toward equipment reliability, moving forward with the initially desired approach would have been costly, significantly reducing the program’s overall return on investment (ROI).

Inadequate Testing

During a recent oil analysis program benchmarking exercise, it was asked how machines were selected for inclusion in the testing program. The initial response was, “We use criticality.” When the process used for criticality assessment was investigated, it was revealed that there was no real process. The machines were selected based on what we like to call “perceived criticality.” This resulted in a very small group of components initially being tested, although the program was growing in a methodical manner. When a machine component failed that was not part of the analysis program, the replacement component was then put on the program. So there was no real methodology at all.

This plant was experiencing a significant number of failures that could have been avoided had the program been put together properly in the first place. By taking this approach, the total cost of program development and optimization was incredibly high once the costs of missed opportunities were included into the equation.

Moving Forward

Oil analysis comes in three basic forms:

  1. Commercial Lab Testing— Samples are collected and sent to a third-party laboratory for testing and analysis. This can take place on a routine basis or to confirm screening data from select on-site testing. 
  2. On-site Testing— Samples are collected and tested at the plant site using a number of potential on-site test equipment. Many advances have occurred in on-site test equipment that will be explored in a later issue of Machinery Lubrication. 
  3. Online Testing— Specialty meters (usually particle counters), moisture meters and dielectric testers are installed in a circulating system in order to capture “live” lubricant conditions. As with on-site testing equipment, this technology has grown significantly over the past 5 years. 

Each of the basic types of oil analysis has an intended function and can offer significant benefit to the end user if deployed properly. For companies with a large number of lubricated components included in the oil analysis program, it is vital to incorporate some level of each of these categories for a well-rounded program.

Utilizing the criticality of machines that has been assigned through a documented method provides the best starting point in the decision-making process regarding which form, or combination of forms, is best for each component.

A plant with a well-developed criticality system already has the foundation for establishing an equally well-developed oil analysis program. Some of the primary decisions related to oil analysis that criticality can assist with include:

  • Machine selection 
  • Reliability objectives 
  • Test slate selection 
  • Sample frequency 

The days of the common test slate and frequency are over. The largest ROI will be achieved by using criticality to fine-tune an existing program and to get a new program off to an optimized starting point. The plant that does not have an established criticality assigned to machines should consider this foundational element. Without it, the entire predictive program is at risk of supplying less than the desired effect on overall reliability and ROI.

Understanding Operational Criticality

The oil analyst should know a machine’s operational criticality. This can be broken down into two basic elements. The first is mission criticality, which considers the consequences of failure (production losses, safety, etc.) in relation to the machine’s intended mission. The second is functional restoration, which basically asks in the event of failure, what would it cost to replace, repair and rebuild the broken machine.

These two elements of operational criticality don’t always go hand-in-hand. Because of redundancy and standby equipment in some processes, an expensive repair may not always result in costly downtime. Likewise, in other cases, huge production losses may be triggered by small throw-away machine components.

Operational criticality is best defined by the asset owner, not by outside oil analysts or other non-stakeholders. For instance, consider using a scale from one to five for both mission criticality and functional restoration. A rating of one might mean failure is inconsequential, while a rating of five alerts that failure could have devastating consequences. The cost, frequency and quality of oil analysis will likely vary in accordance to how the machine is rated for operational criticality.

The Business Case for Lubrication Excellence

by Jim Fitch, Noria Corporation

Machines fail for a reason. They’re not supposed to wear out. Humans are at the root of the vast majority of these failures. It’s also humans that can intervene and restore plants to healthy and sustained operation. This is not an imaginary concept but rather a living reality in a growing number of companies today.

Machine failure can deliver an important lesson on future prevention and remediation. Fortunately, there have been countless investigations into failure causes across wide-ranging machine types and applications. This learning has enabled organizations to greatly enhance reliability but only when machine and programmatic modifications were applied. Lubrication and reliability training programs are designed to teach this collective knowledge about failure prevention. Still, knowing is not the same thing as doing.

Figure 1

The Hard Currency of Lubrication-Enabled Reliability

Lubrication-enabled reliability (LER) relates to all activities that improve reliability through tactical changes in the use and application of lubricants. LER offers specific benefits and opportunities that don’t exist with alternative reliability strategies. Yet, most companies seem to be in denial when it comes to lubrication. They see themselves as being lubrication responsible – a misguided belief that they are already doing an adequate job with lubrication. It’s like healthy living through a proper diet. It’s not a matter of just eating but rather the discipline of eating the right foods every single day.

The same applies to lubrication. It’s not about blindly going through the same old tasks of lubricating your machines. This will not enhance reliability. Instead, LER is about reinventing how lubrication is done. This fact is learned from hundreds of published case studies on lubrication. It’s very much like an untapped vein of gold that lies just below the surface. It’s near at hand but difficult to see.

Fundamentally, LER has to be a business decision. Managers face wide-ranging opportunities when it comes to change and investment. Sound business judgment needs to be applied in deciding what to change next.

Conversely, the cost of repairing or replacing a failed machine (plus the associated lost production) is not a business decision that is carefully weighed against all options. It is outside of the control and judgment of management. The decision is driven entirely by the machine and its failure. The wisest thing managers can do at that point is to invest in a skillfully performed root cause analysis (RCA) followed by the prescribed changes needed to prevent reoccurrence.

LER is an initiative taken prior to failure, ideally when there is considerable remaining useful life. The following are three critical factors that should be considered in making reliability investments such as LER:

1. Find Untapped Opportunities That Yield Deep Benefits

The investment must have the potential to yield deep, rich benefits that outstrip the potential cost and risk. It can’t be simply a mild chipping away at maintenance costs but rather a bona-fide homerun opportunity.

The magnitude of the opportunity is influenced by the current state of reliability (or unreliability). For instance, a company’s approach may be just to continue reactive maintenance using the 4-R treatment – rapid component replacement, repair, removal or rebuild. In such cases, the opportunity is rich; the worse things are, the better the opportunity for change.

LER doesn’t respond to failure but aspires to address the root cause. What is in constant contact with the machine that over time influences the rate of wear and corrosion? It is the lubricant. What, if changed, is best able to slow down that rate of wear and corrosion? Again, it’s the lubricant. While there are other influencing factors, lubrication is the greatest common denominator.

As a case in point, see Figure 1. Fifty-three percent of all problems reported by this unnamed company were lubrication related. In addition, those that were not lubrication related (e.g., bearing defects, gear defects, unbalance, misalignment, etc.) would have been revealed by simply analyzing the lubricant (wear debris analysis).

Figure 2 is a plant-wide tabulation of the causes of mechanical failure reported by another company. The incorrect choice and usage of lubricants totaled 43 percent.

The Pareto Principle teaches us that the greatest yield from programmatic changes occurs when we focus on the 20 percent of the causes (critical few) that are responsible for 80 percent of the occurrences of failure.

Figure 2 Ref. AIMAN (Italian Association of Maintenance Engineers)
and IRI (International Research Institute) in conjunction with SKF

2. Target Conditions that can be Changed and Controlled

Unarguably, there is much that’s outside the realm of control for most reliability and maintenance teams. For instance, we can’t inherently know which bearings and gearboxes have design and manufacturing defects. However, we can control the quality of the job we do in mounting, fitting and installing machines/components. From that point forward, it’s about wellness management – careful and continuous nurturing of machine health.

Fortunately, lubrication-enabled reliability is not high science. Any maintenance organization can accomplish it with proper training, planning and deployment. Much of it is behavior based and just good old common sense. It’s about making modifications of people, machines, procedures, lubricants and metrics.

In the last issue of Machinery Lubrication, I introduced the concept of the Optimum Reference State (ORS). The ORS is a state of preparedness and condition readiness that enables lubrication excellence. It gives the machine and its work environment “reliability DNA” as it relates to lubrication. The enabling attributes of the ORS needed to achieve LER and lubrication excellence are:

  • People Preparedness. People are trained to modern lubrication skill standards and have certified competencies.
  • Machine Preparedness. Machines have the necessary design and accouterments for quality inspection, lubrication, contamination control, oil sampling, etc.
  • Precision Lubricants. Lubricants are correctly selected across key physical, chemical and performance properties, including base oil, viscosity, additives, film strength, oxidation stability, etc.
  • Precision Lubrication. Lubrication procedures, frequencies, amounts, locations, etc., are precisely designed to achieve the reliability objectives.
  • Oil Analysis. This includes optimal selection of the oil analysis lab, test slate, sampling frequency, alarm limits, troubleshooting rationale, etc.

These ORS attributes are simple, fundamental changes that are within a plant’s ability to modify and manage. They are definable, measurable, verifiable and controllable.

3. Choose Strategies that Offer Low, Manageable Risks

Stop fixing the machine and start fixing what causes the failure. This is proactive maintenance. Of course, it is hard to invest in something that is not yet broken. People are quick to respond to crisis but procrastinate to make changes when plants seem to be running reliably. Lifestyle changes sometimes require the jolt presented by a good health scare. Crisis puts focus on reliability. Change by aspiration alone is far rarer.

So what’s the worst that can happen? Clean, dry and cool lubricants don’t induce machine failure. The real risk is not in miscalculating the benefits from LER but rather in a botched or incomplete deployment. We’ve seen many examples of this in the past, and sadly it is a common outcome by those who have pursued LER. This can be the result of:

  • Caving into pressure from old-timers who prefer business as usual
  • Poor deployment (attempting to save money by cutting corners)
  • Incomplete deployment and follow-through (getting halfway done and then becoming distracted by other initiatives)
  • Lack of planning and preparation
  • Lack of measurement and control (drifting back due to poor sustainability)
  • Personnel changes (particularly the revolving door of leadership)

To de-risk implementation, you need leaders to champion the effort, good communication to stakeholders, adequate financial investment, and lots of monitoring and measurement (during and after deployment). Good implementation of LER follows along the lines of good project management. Be methodic and consistent. Rome was not built in a day. If you choose to take the do-it-yourself route, then start by getting the knowledge and help you need. You won’t find world-class lubrication in your machine’s service manual.

Closing the Knowing/Doing Gap

Sometimes you need an intervention. You can wait for a crisis to get things started, or you can start today. After all, you can’t harvest the benefits of LER until sustained implementation is in place. Opportunity knocks today. Open the door.

Case Study: Nippon Steel

Nippon Steel, which is a past recipient of the Total Productive Maintenance Excellence Award, was the focus of a widely published case study on the benefits gained from lubrication excellence. The company implemented lubrication changes toward achieving the ORS and realized amazing benefits over a period of years in just one area of its plant. Bearing failures dropped from nearly 400 per month to just 12.