“Our company wants the maintenance department certified to the new ISO 55001 Maintenance Standard within two years. Should we update our lubrication practices?”
Any opportunity to review and update your lubrication practices should be embraced. A well-managed lubrication program is an integral part of any asset-management program, and lends itself to ISO standards like 55001-Asset Management, 50001-Energy Management and 14001-Environment Management. ISO 55001, which debuted as a global standard in 2014, is tailored to the maintenance and reliability community. Focusing on the life-cycle management and value of a corporation’s assets, it encompasses all lubricated machinery and physical assets.
Preparing for certification will require an internal audit of your current maintenance strategies, methods, processes and procedures to ensure they align with the standard’s requirements. ISO 55001 demands that the asset-management group’s approach to maintenance directly align with corporate values, goals and objectives. For example, a company may have holistic stated objectives involving energy use/savings and environmental sustainability edicts. It will also have business objectives that could include increased service levels and manufacturing throughput and reduced capital spending and/or operating costs.
To certify, a maintenance department must clearly demonstrate corporate alignment of its asset-management approach (e.g., asset-management system). This includes maintenance policy, strategic asset-management plan, asset-management goals and objectives, and development and implementation of plans and reports to validate the system’s effectiveness. ISO 55001 calls for a value-based approach toward assets to assure their dependability (e.g., availability, reliability, maintainability and maintenance support) and life-cycle-costing/management.
Effective lubrication practices are crucial to the dependability and life of physical assets and their moving parts. The hallmarks of a best-practice lubrication program are those designed to meet the needs of the asset(s), improve the maintainability process, increase production/operations quality and throughput, and help reduce corporate energy use and carbon footprint with minimal capital outlay.
Yes, ISO 55001 is a great opportunity to review your current practices and implement an integrated, lubrication program designed to help you meet your certification requirements. Certification, and the process to achieve it, will also help you better serve your company, clients and assets. Good luck! MT
Ken Bannister of Engtech Industries, Inc., is a Lubrication Management Specialist and author of Lubrication for Industry (Industrial Press), and the Lubrication section of the 28th Edition Machinery’s Handbook (Industrial Press). For in-house ICML lubrication-certification training, contact him at 519-469-9173 or email@example.com.