Archive | May, 2009


12:26 am
May 29, 2009
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Lubrication Management & Technology covers the marketplace of lubrication practices, offering:

  • lmtcoversIndependent editorial and scope
  • The top editorial package in the field
  • Best qualified audience in the field … your customers

Lubrication Management & Technology serves the specialists in the lubrication field who oversee the purchase and reliability of advanced lubrication technology for their facilities.

  • LMT: Top-down penetration, from the person who runs things to the person who actually keeps things up and running
  • LMT: Delivering across the management teams: Managers, Supervisors, Engineers, Technicians and Operations Personnel
  • LMT: Delivering the Market, including Process and Manufacturing, Utilities, Transportation, Mining and other operations


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3:15 pm
May 28, 2009
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About Us

Lubrication Management & Technology, the magazine for achieving efficiencies through practices and products, serves the business and technical information needs of engineers, managers, and technicians who design, troubleshoot, and maintain lubrication and fluid power systems and buy and specify lubricants and fluids. It publishes information on best practices for managing these systems and the industrial machinery and mobile equipment that utilize them.

Editorial Office

Lubrication Management & Technology
1300 South Grove Avenue, Suite 105
Barrington, IL 60010
Phone: (847) 382-8100
Fax: (847) 304-8603

For staff contact information, including e-mail, please see “Editorial Management” and “Editorial Staff” links to the left.

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7:08 pm
May 19, 2009
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Don’t Look Back—Someone Might Be Gaining

The great pitcher Satchel Paige often said “Don’t look back—something might be gaining on you.” I bring this up, not because we are now in full swing of the baseball season, but because it leads to a relevant point about professional development in the maintenance and reliability field.

Today’s Professionals. We just completed two exciting professional development events at the University of Tennessee Maintenance and Reliability Center. The first was MARCON 2004, our annual conference. Feedback showed that the papers, the presentations, and the entire content were a step up in quality and delivery. I think this was partly due to the subjects presented being of more interest, and perhaps some actual quality improvement in content, but also because the attendees this year were very serious about learning and improving their knowledge.

It struck me that there is an increasing awareness of the importance of professional development permeating the workforce. As the economy climbs out of the doldrums (albeit slowly), there appears to be more awareness of the competitive necessity for excellence in the reliability and maintenance areas. Notice that I used the term “competitive necessity,” not “competitive advantage.” Certainly maintenance and reliability can be used as an advantage, but frankly it has become a necessity for survival in many business sectors.

Tomorrow’s Professionals. The second event was our “Overview of Modern Maintenance and Reliability Concepts” (or “boot camp,” as our students lovingly call it). This is a week-long training session that our maintenance and reliability student interns participate in before reporting to summer intern positions with their companies.

During these five 8-hour-plus days, we exposed them to many of the definitions, concepts, acronyms, systems, technologies, and management philosophies that govern maintenance and reliability in today’s world class enterprises. This year we added a case study that the students, grouped into teams, worked on throughout the week to reinforce the material presented to them by various experts. We also had representatives of several of the employers adding their experience and know-how for the students (and learning a few things as well).

The Case Study. The case study involved the Volunteer Manufacturing Co. (VMC), a medium-age plant with a highly reactive approach to maintenance and a somewhat poor record of reliability, but with a new plant manager who charged the teams with recommending improvements to bring the plant back to outstanding performance in regard to maintenance and reliability.

Converting Information to Action. As one of the “VMC managers” listening to the five student team reports and recommendations on Friday, I was pleasantly startled by the grasp that these young engineering students had of various concepts and ideas. I had expected good presentations, but I heard very good to outstanding reports.

The students had obviously listened well, but they had also taken what they heard and translated it into concrete action plans based on the VMC situation. It was extremely gratifying to observe how well they had assimilated a voluminous amount of information and converted it to solutions and proposals.

The Point. Although it may seem that this article so far is a bit self-serving, the real point I want to make is two-fold. One, the maintenance and reliability professionals currently at work appear to be realizing that professional development is key to improvement and that maintenance and reliability are legitimate strategic areas for enterprise survival as well as for competitive advantage. More and more, they are seeking out methods to improve their performance in order to raise the competitive situation within their enterprises.

Second, there are students entering the profession of maintenance and reliability who are going to enter the workforce with more knowledge and ability than many of us from my generation did. They are going to enter with experience and rapidly help their enterprise improve performance.

If representatives from either or both of these two groups happen to work for your competitor, you might be in trouble. They might be catching up or passing you. If you haven’t done so, perhaps you should consider initiating your own professional development plan. Do it, and then don’t look back. MT
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10:59 pm
May 13, 2009
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Reader Panel

Join The Maintenance Technology Reader Panel

We invite any Maintenance Technology print subscriber to become a member of our Reader Panel. The group is made up of readers who have volunteered to provide feedback and opinions on issues related to industrial maintenance, manufacturing and their jobs. Feedback is solicited by the magazine’s editorial staff through e-mailed questions, online surveys and scheduled telephone interviews.

It’s easy to become a Panel member. If you’re already a Maintenance Technology subscriber, simply e-mail your name and contact information to Executive Editor Rick Carter at We’ll send you a return e-mail confirming your acceptance. If you’re not a Maintenance Technology subscriber, please visit our subscription page to become one.

All responses provided by Reader Panel members are held in strict confidence. While we seek a high level of participation, we recognize the value of members’ time. To encourage continued participation, members who remain active with us for one year will receive a certificate noting this accomplishment and will be entered into a drawing for an American Express gift card.

The editorial staff of Maintenance Technology looks forward to hearing from you!

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7:27 pm
May 13, 2009
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Why Does This Happen? Use Root Cause Analysis to Get to the Source of Problems

Have you ever jumped to a conclusion about a problem only to find out later that you had misinterpreted information or, worse, acted without enough data, making the wrong decision in the process?

If you really want to solve problems, you have to understand the causes. It also helps to create solutions in the context of your specific goals. Root cause analysis (RCA) is used extensively by maintenance and reliability professionals to eliminate recurring problems. According to Mark Galley of Think Reliability, “to improve reliability we must identify and control the causes of unreliability.”

Root cause analysis is a disciplined methodology for discovering causes by using available information without prejudice. Lucky for us there is a plethora of free RCA information accessible on the Internet to guide our efforts and to teach us more about this valuable concept.

A great site to begin with is There is an active RCA threaded discussion forum where people can post questions, share experiences and stories, and learn about real applications of RCA. Past discussions are archived for easy access.

Apollo RCA offers a free download of RealityCharting software for problem definition, cause and effect charting, and solutions. It also offers a free chapter from Dean Gano’s book, “Apollo Root Cause Analysis” for download in a pdf format.

From the “your tax dollars at work department,” the U.S. Department of Energy has published a comprehensive and free 69-page “Root Cause Analysis Guidance Document” (DOE-NE-STD-1004-92).

The HPRCT (the Organization for Human Performance, Root Cause and Trending) site offers PowerPoint and pdf downloads from past RCA conferences. Follow the links to the Root Cause area, then click the links for past conferences. offers an on-demand web-based training course for cause mapping and uses the Titanic incident as an example. Owner Mark Galley also offers to e-mail an Excel spreadsheet template that steps you through the cause mapping process. E-mail to request a copy of the template.

MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY‘s web site offers several excellent articles in its archive area. Justifying Root Cause Analysis (Make the Business Case with a Significant Calculated Return on Investment) by Robert Latino is available.

Fighting Failure (Steps to Change a Plant’s Culture to the Mindset Where Failure is No Longer Accepted or Tolerated) by Ken Latino is also available.

The Reliability Center offers one of the deepest resource sites for RCA, offering an extensive selection of RCA articles, online training tutorials, and software downloads. It also offers a comprehensive page of links to other related web sites.

It would have been nice to find a web site that allowed us to run an actual RCA on the Internet using some of the available software; however, no vendors have set up such a system yet.

Please visit these useful RCA web sites and let us know what you think about them and the information they offer. You are also invited to e-mail us about any useful sites that you would to share with other MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY readers. MT

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5:31 am
May 13, 2009
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