Lubrication Over Coffee – Episode 1


Ken: How do I start my lubrication improvement program with LUBExpert?

Haris: You start with a “WHY”!

Ken: Why what?

Haris: Well, if you want to implement it right, first you need ask yourself “Why do I need it?” Once you know Why, you will understand what you want your LUBExpert to do for you, and where you want your implementation process to take you. Because … whatever got you here, will not take you there, meaning … practice that brought you to the position where you need solution is not the one that will make it better. So, it must be changed. Of course, … if everyone in the organization can sit around the table and honestly say … “We have a problem”, and that is easier said than done

Ken: What do you mean by that? Why would it be difficult for everyone to say “We have a problem”

Haris: Well, if it was easy, it would have been done long ago, and we would not be having this conversation at all 😊. Tricky part is that problems are hidden; hidden behind bad habits, hidden behind comfort zone walls, hidden behind statements like “It is not my job” and similar …

Ken: It sounds like you are talking about Reliability issues in general, not about lubrication

Haris: Yes. Those are same issues, cannot be separated. Whatever causes your poor Reliability will result in your bad lubrication practice … and then your bad lubrication practice destroys your Reliability … and round and round we go. So … unless you deal with it on that level … pushing grease this way or another will take you to the certain point for certain time … and your program will become history

Ken: It looks like everything needs to be questioned, am I right?

Haris: You are absolutely right. Everything needs to be questioned constantly. “Why” is probably most important ingredient in your implementation program

Ken: But at least some answers are absolutely clear … like; “Why we lubricate?”

Haris: Is that really as clear as it seems? Imagine for a moment that you are lube technician. Why do you lubricate?

Ken: Because bearings need grease to rotate properly and it is my job to apply it … correctly, of course

Haris: Ok, … now imagine you are a lube engineer. Why do YOU lubricate bearings?

Ken: Hm … to decrease friction and wear, to assist dissipating heat, contamination control.

Haris: Excellent. Now, you are a Reliability engineer, why do YOU think those two guys lubricate bearings?

Ken: To extend bearings life, avoid premature failures, to decrease downtime, spare parts, collateral damage, energy saving …

Haris: Excellent! Now forget about those three and come back to reality, you own this company … why do you want your bearings to be properly lubricated?

Ken: Definition or honest feeling?

Haris: Honest feeling

Ken: To increase profit!

Haris: VOILA! And that is the most honest and most correct reason to lubricate bearings. You see, even the question that seems quite straightforward have many different answers in many different languages. All of them are correct, some at personal level, some at departmental level … and some are really complete, at the organisational level. So, if I want shareholder to fund the program, lubrication engineer to develop a strategy and lubrication technician to execute … “WHY” needs to be clear to everyone. The big “WHY”

Ken: Ok, “WHY” is clear 😊. Let us go back to those problems that we need to recognize and resolve, those hidden (or not hidden) problems. It looks to me like a doctor visit … we need to make a diagnosis, prescribe medicine … and then take a pill.

Haris: Exactly! Diagnosis part is crucial. Only … it is not a pill really, not something you take, and all problems go away. Think of it as a new lifestyle.

Ken: Ok, let us do some diagnostics

Haris: Two more cappuccinos?

Ken: Two cappuccinos coming up!