Lubrication Management Consulting…where does your biggest lubrication challenge lie?

Not knowing what you don't know is the problem.

Recently I started wondering about the crux of reliability, where did it originate? Why? Who is truly accountable? I actually left the thought with more questions than answers. The beginnings of reliability came from pumping water. No pump…no water. The timing of said invention and subsequent need for reliability are considered ancient. It wasn’t until the aviation industry started to flourish that reliability became more popular.

Understanding reliability is definitely a challenge like no other. There’s the regimes, those are hard to wrap your head around if you’re not an engineer. There are several methodologies that coincide with the various regimes, which work well or not so well based on applications.
The one thing that is constant is that the operations leaders who must be held accountable for uptime, or the lack of uptime, all seem to be faced with a daunting myriad of issues and an ever growing list of possible solutions.

The overload of information and opportunities are endless it seems. The constant is missing a detail which leaves the most critical of assets open to failure. If knowing is half the battle, I’ve simply stated that operations professionals simply do not know what they do not know.
This not knowing in effect causes the problems.
We’ve been talking with a lot of our customers lately, they explain that there is a lot at stake with each of the end users we support. Critical equipment seems to be getting more complicated and at the same time we are still being forced to do more…with less.
This is a unique opportunity in that in the center of the chaos are the products which are designed to prevent the failures that happen, and in the best way possible at least make them predictable.
In meeting with some of our best customers they’ve expressed a well-known concern about industry knowledge disappearing with the aging workforce. When someone retires there is sometimes no replacement, at least in the short term. The new guy may not be as experienced in lubrication management or even have any real training in this area. What is important here is that the reliability knowledge simply gets stored in people’s heads, where it’s useful to the individual but not the company. How can your organization fill the void?

Lubrication Management Consulting Helps

There are many good resources for maintainers and operations professionals to get the information they can use to make their critical rotating equipment last longer between planned downtime events.
Where is the information? Do you actively study reliability? Who is responsible at your plant? Are you doing everything you can to prevent failure? Who has the answer to the reliability questions?
These critical areas are what separates the reliable operation from those where it’s a daily struggle to stay running.
I assure you there is a better way. I personally talk to people who say that Trico opened their eyes to a better way.
You see, it’s all right here. Lubrication management consulting, training, and products.
We’d love to discuss lubrication management consulting with you and assisting your team with a full plant assessment or possibly provide you the training that will incorporate the best practices into their daily routines. Contact us to learn more!


Lean Manufacturing Center of Latest Trico Upgrade

Trico exists to assist maintainers and operations professionals, lean process allows Trico to improve on a constant basis.

Lubrication Management / Oil analysisTrico is committed to providing the best service and delivery to its customers. This time around it’s updating and upgrading its machine shop to provide better cycle times, faster set-ups, and more reliable parts manufacturing. Trico has upgraded its machine shop by adding two additional 4 axis machining centers. The two new centers are designed to provide faster cycles on the parts that Trico machines from stock. These faster cycles will provide more capacity in terms of the number of parts per hour that are possible. The additional machining centers are built to include things like live tooling and additional quick change tooling to provide much faster set-up times compared to its other machining centers.

The set-up time on the new machines could be up to 50% faster, which means substantial productivity gains over time. Keeping movements of the tooling and operator touches to a minimum will provide a leaner process throughout the process from raw materials to finished parts.

Trico machinists and supply chain personnel studied the configuration of the shop floor as well, they were able to re-position the machines to provide an optimized layout, and this contributes to lean manufacturing by decreasing the movement of machinists on the shop floor itself. The expanded capabilities means that over time the options and opportunities for Trico will continue to grow.

Have you taken a look at the full spectrum of products that Trico can offer? When your customers repair or replace machining centers it is the perfect time to integrate new lubrication products like Trico dispensers or our line of coolants/lubricants.


Maintenance Regimes Simplified | Basics Every Maintainer Needs to Know

Maintenance has improved via the use of technology, however, a basic understanding of regimes is important to find which route protects your most critical equipment.

IMG_0297In researching relevant topics for maintainers in an effort to provide value with this content, I realized that there are many posts dedicated to the explanation of various different regimes. Most of which are excellent informational posts designed to truly get to the core of each concept and provide much detail into the inner-workings of each. This brought me to the question: Is that valuable? Is that what people really use to put maintenance regimes in place? Does this help in making a determination in which regimes are right for an organization? I believe that the answers are yes…and no.
I believe that in no uncertain terms when you are ready to develop and implement a maintenance strategy the due diligence process takes over and thus no blog post or article should be the crux of said strategy. In fact Trico has built a business on training and providing the TLM (total lubrication management) regime. If maintainers and operators could simply get this information from a post or an article how could this be possible and have so much value? The reality is that maintainers and operators really desire a broad overview of regimes, which then get boiled down into more detailed plans based on the criticality of the machinery in the plant. There are industry specific regimes that could be generally applied not one, however, is 100% transferrable.
Here is the rundown of basic maintenance regimes, hopefully with just the right amount of detail. If you feel this post is too detailed or vague or would like to add or comment please do so via our twitter or facebook using the tag #tricocorporation.
Run to Fail
This particular style is very simple and pretty self-explanatory. Run the equipment until it fails or goes hard down, requiring repair or replacement. This regime is typically used on non-critical assets which require low amounts of resources and don’t have much effect on the bottom line when compared to downtime. Critical equipment is typically never run to fail unless repair or replacement is extremely fast and cost efficient. Interestingly a good lubrication program could potentially create value for this strategy in rotating equipment by extending its life past the normal or manufacturer recommended oil change frequency, increasing the bottom line by decreasing the overall cost of replacement.

Preventative Maintenance
This maintenance regime relies heavily on the care and servicing by personnel designed around maintaining equipment and facilities in such a way as to prevent equipment downtime. Maintenance, including tests, measurements, adjustments, and parts replacement, performed specifically to prevent faults from occurring. We’ve all heard the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, and this statement could easily be the crux for any PM programs.
Preventive Maintenance activities include partial or complete overhauls at specified periods (typically when down time is least burdensome on production), oil changes, lubrication, minor adjustments, and so on. In addition, data logging equipment deterioration can paint a picture of underlying issues that can cause system failure. The ideal preventive maintenance program would prevent all unplanned downtime due to equipment failure before the failures occur.
Preventative Maintenance is a broad spectrum of styles encompassing:
• Prognostics
• Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM)
• Corrective Maintenance
• Operational Maintenance
• Predictive Maintenance (PdM)
• Value Driven Maintenance
A few to note here as being popular in modern manufacturing, Reliability Centered Maintenance or better known as RCM, and Predictive Maintenance or PdM. These two are widely accepted and used to be sure that systems continue to operate at a maximum efficiency. This does not mean that equipment stays running 100% of the time, more that any down time can be planned for and that typically saves companies money in terms of lost production.

Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) – An engineering framework that defines the operational parameters of an entire maintenance regime. First used by United Airlines to describe their optimum maintenance requirements for their fleet of aircraft, this regime can be used to create strategies around the most critical of assets in a plant. This framework specifically addresses maintenance preventable failures and can result in a program that exceeds uptime requirements with less resources. RCM uses techniques from standard preventative measures as well as predictive maintenance techniques.

Predictive Maintenance (PdM) – is the process of continuous monitoring of equipment condition to ascertain a reasonable failure window in time. This process saves time because maintenance tasks can be performed only when needed vs. on a standard schedule. PdM inspections are typically performed when the machinery is operating normally, reducing costly downtime. Successful PdM programs rely heavily on representative data which is consistently tracked and documented over time. PdM techniques include infrared, acoustic, vibration analysis, oil analysis, and others. In the future this type of monitoring will see extensive advancements in technology based on the current rate of sensor development and the development of wireless networks.

Operational Maintenance
This regime is typically the care and minor maintenance and cleaning of equipment by operators in the field. This typically does not require any advanced training or skill to accomplish. The operator is aware of the state of readiness of the equipment and can quickly maintain the equipment reducing the delays in waiting for additional, more qualified, maintenance staff or engineers. Operational Maintenance may require the operator to perform things like changing out filters, blades, cutting tools, belts and the like but rarely requires any internal maintenance or any tasks that require specific knowledge of the system’s function or design.

Corrective Maintenance
This is simply a task that gets performed once a piece of equipment or system has failed. This regime is to identify, isolate, and rectify a specific fault or series of faults so that a machine or system can be returned to normal operating condition within specified limits. Corrective Maintenance is generally reserved for those pieces of equipment which have been defined as non-critical. Many articles have been written about Corrective Maintenance as a regime because prior to the technology and systems development within PdM and RCM regimes, this was all maintainers had to work with in order to keep plants operating.

These regimes have a place in just about every type of plant, factory, and facility in existence today. Trico exists to provide the lubrication management tools of maintenance regimes as well as oil analysis and analytical ferrography, which is one of the most cost effective tools that makes RCM and PdM so useful.