Tips from Dow Corning: How to keep your plants well oiled and running smoothly
A frequently cited study from M.I.T. estimates that approximately $240 billion—6 to 7 percent of the U.S. gross national product—is lost due to downtime, repairs, and damaged equipment caused by poor lubrication. Phil Grellier, Dow Corning global solutions development manager, offers three tips for keeping plants well oiled and running smoothly.
A frequently cited study from M.I.T. estimates that approximately $240 billion—6 to
“Proper lubrication is essential to a smoothly-running operation,” says Phil Grellier, Dow Corning global solutions development manager.
For improved performance, plant managers need only follow these simple steps:
1) Stay informed. Lubrication products and techniques are constantly changing, which means you need to stay informed. Knowledge about your lubrication system is one of the most important ways a plant manager and staff can prevent costly downtime and repairs. Many suppliers offer basic courses that cover the fundamentals of friction, lubricant selection, storage, handling, and dispensing as well as advanced courses that teach oil analysis, contamination monitoring and control, wear debris monitoring. and analysis.
2) Implement an Oil Analysis Program. A thorough oil analysis program can track critical wear-related characteristics of oil in service by comparing the results with previous reports and noting the trends. This will help identify contamination, lubricant degradation, abnormal machine wear, and problems with sampling. It also can transform a lubrication program from time-based to condition-based, eliminating unnecessary changes.
3) Find a Qualified Lubricant Specialist. A good lubricant supplier should provide the training and tools needed to properly maintain your production line, in addition to a comprehensive product line that fills all your lubrication needs. Plant managers should expect a comprehensive suite of services from their supplier to facilitate their lubrication management. If your supplier does not offer seminars in machinery lubrication or an effective oil analysis program, find one that does.
“With a working knowledge of the basics of machinery lubrication and careful attention to the applications and conditions of their lubricants, plant managers can be well-equipped to prevent costly damage caused by poor lubrication,” concludes Grellier.
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After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.