A Twist on Particle Evaluation: Redefining the ISO Cleanliness Code

by Matt Spurlock

For over 20 years, users of oil analysis have used the ISO cleanliness code to help determine solid contamination levels in both new and used oils. The current ISO standard for reporting cleanliness is ISO4406:99. Using this standard, analysts and end users alike have managed to establish cleanliness goals and develop key performance indicators (KPIs) with the expectation to allow for preemptive action to avoid early machine damage. While this has produced some success, relying specifically on the ISO code as it is currently reported has its limitations. Continue reading

Fluorescent Cleaning NDT

by James Deardorff, President, Superior Coatings, Chillicothe, MO

New integrated process combines traditional cleaning methods with fluorescence-based inspection.

In recent years, the tremendous growth of available technologies and the resulting trend towards component miniaturization and increased product reliability has challenged many companies to upgrade their current cleaning operations to satisfy the higher quality standards required by new product designs.

Continue reading

7 Ways Leaders Fail

by Gregory Alford

To mangle a 270-year-old sonnet written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning—How do we dislike our bosses? Let us count the ways.

Survey after survey, Americans (and everyone else) trash their bosses. Gallup reports only 12 percent of American workers are engaged. Research conducted and published by Inc. reveals 75 percent of employees say their boss is the worst part of their job. And two-thirds add a new (better) boss is even more desired than a pay raise.

Ouch! Continue reading

Shining a Black Light on Coating Inspections

by James Deardorff, Superior Coatings Co.

The highest-quality, longest-lasting coatings available to consumers are installed at the factory. Factory finishes are applied in a controlled environment using quality materials and highly specialized equipment. Also, prefabricated metal will never be cleaner or in better condition than when it is used to manufacture new products. The longer the original coating lasts, the higher its value to the asset and the owner. Continue reading

Ten Steps to Pump Reliability – Part 1

By Tom Dabbs and Dan Pereira

Pump reliability is an old topic, but it is just as relevant today as it was the first time we heard it a few decades ago. There are some very good reasons to focus on improving pump reliability:

  • The average annual maintenance and operations spending on centrifugal pumps is 50 percent greater than for any other type of rotating machine (FiveTwelve Group, August 2006).
  • Centrifugal pumps in many plants consume more than 50 percent of total plant motor energy (Hydraulic Institute).
  • Pumps consume more energy than any other class of industrial equipment (U.S. Department of Energy, 2005).
  • A Finnish Research Center study of centrifugal pump performance (“Expert Systems for Diagnosis and Performance of Centrifugal Pumps,” 1996) found that the average pumping efficiency was less than 40 percent for 1,690 pumps reviewed across 20 different plants, including all market segments. The study also revealed that 10 percent of the pumps were less than 10 percent efficient.

Continue reading

Failure Teaches Success

By R. Keith Mobley, Principal SME, Life Cycle Engineering
As appeared in th
e July 2014 Edition of Reflections on Excellence

I absolutely hate to fail, but must admit that failure is an unescapable part of life. Thankfully most of my failures over the years have been relatively minor. Nonetheless, they have been a true source of irritation and frustration that in many ways outweigh the successes. Fortunately my early mentors taught me to use failure, no matter how serious or minor, as a learning tool and a platform to build upon. That lesson, combined with Mobley’s 10th Law, “Making the same mistake twice is unforgivable”, has played a major role in my successful journey over the past five decades. With each failure, my knowledge and expertise increased, enabling faster and surer growth. Continue reading

Maintenance Tip – Oil Sampling

By Terry Taylor, IDCON INC

The most important point about oil samples and oil analysis in general is you are looking for any “change” that is taking place.

In order to see a “change”, each sample must be taken in a consistent and repeatable manner. Oil Sampling can be accomplished in a many ways. However, there are only a few ways in which the sample can be correctly captured. Continue reading

Focusing RCM on Equipment Critical to Electrical Safety

by H. Landis Floyd, PE, CSP, CMRP, Fellow IEEE

Business and commerce are totally dependent on electrical equipment and systems for energy, control and communications. These systems can be complex and the task to analyze failure consequences can be equally complex. Unrecognized consequence of failure, especially if the failure impacts personnel safety, can have unacceptable moral and legal implications as well as significant financial costs. Recent trends in workplace electrical safety shed new light on reliability needs for certain equipment in electric power and control systems. One trend is the increasing attention given to mitigating arc flash hazards in electric power systems. Continue reading

Leadership in Maintenance Weekly/Daily Operations and Maintenance Meetings

by Torbjörn Idhammar

Daily and weekly meetings between operations and maintenance are crucial in taking the efficiency of your daily maintenance to a higher level. Many organizations deal well with production stops, but have issues with organizing routine work. Coordinating meetings where various departments prioritize work orders (WO) and maintenance is the foundation for a partnership between operations and maintenance. Such meetings create efficiency. Well-organized meetings with clear goals and agendas can completely change the culture for the better in an organization. Continue reading

The New Productivity Challenge

by Peter F. Drucker
Harvard Business Review

The single greatest challenge facing managers in the developed countries of the world is to raise the productivity of knowledge and service workers. This challenge, which will dominate the management agenda for the next several decades, will ultimately determine the competitive performance of companies. Even more important, it will determine the very fabric of society and the quality of life in every industrialized nation. Continue reading