Author Archive | Ken Bannister


5:28 pm
January 12, 2016
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Lubrication Strategies: Several Hands Responsible For This Oil Debacle

The actions of personnel can either lead to great success in lubrication programs or, as this case study shows, to costly calamity. By Ken Bannister, MEch Eng (UK), CMRP, MLE, Contributing Editor Winston Churchill wrote, “Responsibility is the price of greatness.” These words have special meaning for those of us in the lubrication field. In organizations that seek […]


6:08 pm
December 17, 2015
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Consider Lubricant Temperature

Temperature is critical to the performance and life expectancy of lubricants and the components they protect. By Ken Bannister, MEch Eng (UK), CMRP, MLE, Contributing Editor In the lubrication world, temperature presents an interesting paradox and irony. The paradox is that lubricants require heat to flow efficiently over and around surfaces, most commonly bearings. However, if the temperature gets […]


1:23 am
November 16, 2015
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Take A “CSI” Approach to Asset Management

The types of analytic, forensic, and diagnostic methods leveraged by various crime-lab sleuths in a long-running television franchise also have value for maintenance organizations in real-world environments. By Ken Bannister, MEch (UK), CMRP, MLE, Contributing Editor Many maintenance professionals may be fans of the popular CBS television crime series “CSI (Crime Scene Investigation).” Modeled in the classic […]


7:42 pm
October 12, 2015
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Simple Purchasing Practices Incite Lubrication Failure

While this account of one plant’s extremely costly, catastrophic experience is a tough read, rest assured that the situation was avoidable. By Ken Bannister, MEch Eng (UK)CMRP, MLE, Contributing Editor Maintenance departments may perform their own purchasing/expediting of MRO (maintenance/repair operations) materials or, conversely, rely on a formal relationship with the corporate purchasing department to perform that […]


7:04 pm
August 6, 2015
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Keep Hydraulic Fluids Contaminant Free

Hydraulic systems rely on vital fluids to transfer and amplify power and lubricate critical components. Protecting those fluids from contamination should be a top priority. By Ken Bannister, CMRP, MLE, Contributing Editor Despite their complexity, hydraulic systems are very forgiving beasts—almost too forgiving for their own good. They’ll tend to perform inefficiently for a long time before […]


6:10 pm
July 10, 2015
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Don’t Procrastinate, Innovate: Maintain to the Weakest Link, Part 2 — Weakness as Opportunity

By Ken Bannister, CMRP, MLE, Contributing Editor The first installment of this two-part column (MT, May, 2015) explored weakness as a desired state. To recap, manufacturers leverage this type of weakness in equipment’s consumable-wear items by building in adjustability that helps ensure the reliability and integrity of an asset’s critical—and typically most expensive—component systems. In this concluding installment, […]


7:22 pm
July 8, 2015
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Lubrication Strategies: Online Lube Training — Caveat Emptor

When it comes to lubrication best practices, information gleaned from online forums and posted videos could cost your operations. By Ken Bannister, CMRP, MLE, Contributing Editor “Free” extracts a price. Loyalty programs that provide point-based gifts track our spending habits and sell the data to other retailers. “Free” smart apps, offered in a restricted format, often […]


6:37 pm
June 12, 2015
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Lubrication Checkup: Oil “Lumps” Blocking Injectors

By Ken “Dr. Lube” Bannister Symptom We have experienced lubricant-injector failures in a number of our conveyor lubricators. We’ve used the same brand of high-temperature chain oil for the past five years without issue, except for the last drum. In that drum, we discovered coagulated “lumps” floating in the oil. The oil supplier is blaming our […]