Author Archive | Ken Bannister

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 […]

1:50 pm
May 1, 2015
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Don’t Procrastinate…Innovate: Maintaining to the Weakest Link, Part 1 — Weakness as a Desired State

By Ken Bannister, CMRP, Contributing Editor Remember the television game show Weakest Link? Its authoritarian host Anne Robinson specialized in shaming failing contestants with the words, “You are the weakest link, goodbye!” Unlike the TV show, which is designed to provoke disharmony among team members and negatively exploit the knowledge gaps of its contestants, the asset-management world […]

6:18 pm
April 1, 2015
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Lubrication Checkup: Managing Change

By Dr. Lube, aka Ken Bannister Symptom: We have a full lubrication program in place with two teams looking after different parts of the plant. All four specialists (two per team) have had the same training and use identical processes and procedures. However, over a six-month period, one side of the plant has seen reduced […]

6:00 pm
March 13, 2015
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Don’t Procrastinate…Innovate: Reducing Driver-Driven Transmission-System Failures

By Ken Bannister, CMRP, Contributing Editor Walk through any modern manufacturing plant or mechanical room and you’re sure to see power transfer from an electric motor or engine-drive pulley to a driven shaft using either a chain and sprocket or v-belt system. When made of high-quality materials, these common systems are, for the most part, very reliable. […]