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Machine Health Services

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Comprehensive Machine Health Services Program

In collaboration with Advanced Machine Reliability Resources Inc. (AMRRI), U.S. Lubricants can help you design and implement a reliability-centered lubrication program that is tailored to your plant, your needs, your reliability goals and your budget. We can work with you through every step in the journey to identify and put in place optimum, precise and rigorous standards, and train your team to carry out the program.

Contact us to learn more about our tailored solutions for Assuring Machine Health in your plants.

U.S. Lubricants’ Machine Health Services team is comprised of certified lubrication experts with years of experience in the field. Our efforts are led by Mike Johnson (AMRRI). Mike has 25+ years of practical experience in industrial lubrication and equipment reliability management. He has developed reliability improvement strategies and implemented reliability centered machine lubrication programs for many well known multinational manufacturers, including Cargill, International Paper, Ford, Goodyear, General Mills, Saturn, Southdown, Chemetals, Arcadian Group, Diesel Recon, and many others.

Comprehensive Machine Health Services Program

Our Machine Health Services have been developed and refined into a proven approach that works. A typical program will require 9 to 12 weeks to implement in its totality although some, depending on plant size and machine population, may require longer. The program is organized into 7 modules, and as each module stand on its own, it will be tailored to your particular situation. Normally, implementing the process in its totality will tend to yield the best possible results.

Machine Health Services Program Modules:

  1. Benchmark Assessment
  2. Precision Lubrication Practices
  3. Linear Route Development
  4. Implementation
  5. Condition Monitoring with Fluid Forensics
  6. Engineered storage and Handling
  7. Implementation Training

1. Benchmark Assessment

The first step in developing a lubrication program is to measure the effectiveness of the plant’s machinery to establish a base line against which to measure improvements as well as to compare that baseline with industry benchmarks. The Benchmark Assessment uses a 255 question survey and provides consistent, simple, and easily explainable scores. The questions are organized into 9 categories that cover all aspects of lubricants, vendor selection, program management, oil analysis, and safety. Each question is answered with an objective yes or no from the client, and for each “yes” response, a subjective score is assigned by our consulting team, based on consistency and quality. The objective and subjective responses are combined to create an overall rating in each category, resulting in an overall program score. The results are displayed graphically on a multi-dimensional chart so they can be easily understood.

2. Precision Lubrication Practices

The next step is to define the work that must be performed based on the results of the Benchmark Assessment. Although time consuming initially, thorough documentation and enforcement of these practices ensures that they are carried out even as personnel changes. In operating environments where lubrication technicians do not have work standards based on recognized engineering standards, the work methods tend to change over time to reflect (and accommodate) the personal opinions of the individual technicians. This can create significant, sometimes damaging, variability. Our consulting team will help you refine your standard operating procedures and/or provide detailed work practices that can be incorporated into existing work plans.

3. Linear Route Development

Developing the lubrication task sequence is crucial for efficient work planning. Our consulting team will start with the critical machines and evaluate each individual component in order to set up optimum sequencing for each machine. Once all machines are evaluated, the individual machine task sequences are combined to create plant-wide routes that are the most cost effective and time saving possible. The end result is an efficient, well documented route that will achieve long lasting precision lubrication as the lowest possible cost and time invested.

4. Implementation

Implementing the work practices and executing the routes is where precision lubrication happens. Our consulting team will implement this process on a stand-alone scheduling system that is tailored hand-in-glove for the extensive documentation and scheduling rigors of lubrication program management. The goal is to get the optimized practices into a load-balanced route, get the route scheduled, completed and returned, and then close the route to prepare for the next round. Considering that each machine may have between 3 and 7 components, and each drive train may have between 3 to 30 machines, and all those components will require several visits per year, a medium sized production process can have thousands of events to schedule, close and track.

To ensure breakdowns do not occur, our consulting team will train your technicians to execute this program. We provide hands on training to assure that the program achieves long lasting results.

5. Condition Monitoring Assessment

Contact U.S. Lubricants to discuss lubricant analysis, sampling and test procedures, and condition monitoring tools and all the solutions for Assuring Machine Health™ that we can assemble, to address your particular situation, your uptime needs, and your budget.

Our approach to a condition monitoring program, “Fluid Forensics”, is not your traditional oil analysis program. The test slates, test frequencies, and targets are established based on equipment criticality, failure modes, and the individual customer’s reliability goals. This helps us create a balanced program that is both effective and efficient, resulting both in fewer missed opportunities, and fewer false alarms. We provide management with a snapshot of the current cost of machine lubrication effectiveness. We also provide your reliability engineering team with the details to make corrective actions. The evaluation and recommendations for each piece of equipment are very specific and allow you to achieve maximum benefits from our OilChek® oil analysis services. Our consulting team can also assist with KPI monitoring and reporting, which ensures that no action or problem machine/sample "slips through the cracks".

U.S. Lubricants also provides a more targeted Machine Health Services program that is exclusively focused on Condition Monitoring. The program also includes an initial benchmarking step, program development and optimization, comprehensive Fluid Forensics, on-site services, and training.

6. Engineered Storage and Handling

The manner in which lubricants are received, stored, and dispatched to machines can have a significant impact on the quality and cleanliness of the lubricant. As a result, it impacts the reliability, wear, uptime, and longevity of the machine that it is lubricating. Improving your lubricant storage, transfer, and handling practices, can help stop contamination at its source. Our consulting team will lead the engineering design and bid-specific preparation for a new lubrication handling and storage room or upgrade and existing space that will keep your facility safe, clean, and organized.

7. Training

While at your facility, our consulting team will provide a 2-4 day interactive and engaging precision lubrication training course that will greatly enhance the implementation of the practices of the program being established. The training will be tailored to your team’s specific needs and will also prepare attendees for MLT1 and MLA1 certification.

Machine Health Services Condition Monitoring Program

Lubricant analysis should be a cornerstone of any condition monitoring program. However, it must provide a sound return on investment. In collaboration with AMRRI, we have developed a suite of services focused specifically on lubricant analysis with the aim of providing you with the absolute highest return on the money invested in the program.

The “Fluid Forensics” approach elevates your conditioning monitoring to a new level. This approach delivers the most effective and efficient program possible by integrating specific test slates, test frequencies, and targets base on equipment criticality, failure modes, and each individual customer’s reliability goals. The program involves an initial benchmarking step, program development and optimization, comprehensive Fluid Forensics, on-site support, and training.

1. Benchmark and Gap Analysis

The initial step in building or improving any program begins with a review and evaluation of current practices and programs. This is a 3 day benchmarking and analysis process that allows us to “capture” the current operating level and define practices that will improve the program. The benchmarking process assesses:

  • Laboratory Selection
  • Equipment Selection
  • Test Slate
  • Sampling & Test Frequency
  • Data Analysis
  • Data Driven Corrective Action
  • On site testing
  • Predictive Technology Integration
  • Alarm Development (Targets and Statistics)

Our consulting team will give specific and general recommendations and priorities for program optimization. By using this road map as a guide to achieving oil analysis excellence, the end user can arrive at the desired ROI, increase overall uptime, and build confidence in the oil analysis program.

2. Program Development and Optimization

We use the data and practices that were defined in the benchmark and gap analysis step, along with our consulting team's and our own OilChek® oil analysis services team's SOPs to serve as a guidelines. Coupled with the plant's specific reliability objectives, we can help create a turn-key, custom designed oil analysis program. Our trained and certified consultants will work with your team, and in your plant, to help define all requirements for each machine on the oil analysis program. These parameters include:

  • Best sampling locations (primary & secondary points)
  • Test Slate assignment (routine & exception)
  • Sample and test frequencies
  • Target Cleanliness & Moisture levels
  • Sampling Procedures
  • Lab set-up assistance
  • Contamination control requirements

3. Fluid Forensics

The “Fluid Forensics” approach is not just a traditional oil analysis program. It’s a more effective way to perform condition monitoring for Assuring Machine HealthTM.

The test slates, test frequencies, and targets are established based on equipment criticality, failure modes, and the individual customer’s reliability goals. This helps us create a balanced program that is both effective and efficient, resulting both in fewer missed opportunities and fewer false alarms. We provide management with a snapshot of the current cost of machine lubrication effectiveness. We also provide your reliability engineering team with the details to make corrective actions. The evaluation and recommendations for each piece of equipment are very specific and allow you to achieve maximum benefits from our OilChek® oil analysis services. Our consulting team can also assist with KPI monitoring and reporting which, ensures that no action or problem machine/sample "slips through the cracks".

Utilizing the Fluid Forensics approach allows for best-in-class oil analysis. Customers may choose to continue to use their current laboratory or any laboratory they choose, entrusting the data evaluation to us, or can contract the entire program inclusive of the oil testing using our own OilChek® oil analysis services.

4. On Site Support

We can provide on-site contract oil analysis program support and management by placing a trained and certified lubrication analyst on site in your plant. The analyst can serve as the single primary contact for all aspects of the oil analysis program. Oil samples will be collected, labeled, and reviewed by experienced personnel focused on quality data. The on-site resource will utilize the Fluid Forensics oil analysis program testing and evaluation process, and serve as your local lubrication expert.

5. Training

One of the most important aspects of oil analysis is simply understanding the data and how to use it.

There are many applications on the market that help with oil analysis data management. Unfortunately, these applications are generally not used to their full potential. We utilize a multi-faceted training approach, and through our collaboration with AMRRI, we can provide training specific to the specific oil analysis applications such as Oilview by CSI, Oilography by 24/7, and Maintelligence by DMSI. Hands on training for these applications will include topics such as import lab data, test slate selection, assigning global and specific alarms, reporting structures, and data review. The training also includes a cursory review of sampling practices allowing users to fully capitalize on our consulting team’s time and experience.

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