Machinery Lubrication

Spring into reliability

Sheila Kennedy says solutions and tools fill Reliable Asset World/Ultrasound World X.

By Sheila Kennedy

Reliability-focused solutions were on display at the Reliable Asset World/Ultrasound World X conferences in Florida. Tools to simplify benchmarking and analytics, improve reliability education, monitor and measure conditions, and control contamination were featured.

Benchmarking and analytics tools

Benchmarking reliability performance over the Internet is a cost-effective alternative to in-person assessments by consultants. World Class Reliability Benchmarking (WCR-B) is a new, interactive, Web-based benchmarking tool from Allied Reliability Group. It enables self-guided assessments of 13 areas of expertise, such as asset health, craft skills, leadership, and change management, and displays site- and corporate-level analytics.

“I see great value in the new WCR-B tool,” says Andy Ginder, principal at Allied Reliability Group. “Not only does it provide a cost-effective, non-intrusive benchmarking approach, but it clearly defines areas of opportunity and strength, so that companies can marshal their resources in the most effective manner to close performance gaps.”

Sheila Kennedy is a professional freelance writer specializing in industrial and technical topics.Sheila Kennedy is a professional freelance writer specializing in industrial and technical topics. She established Additive Communications in 2003 to serve software, technology, and service providers in industries such as manufacturing and utilities, and became a contributing editor and Technology Toolbox columnist for Plant Services in 2004. Prior to Additive Communications, she had 11 years of experience implementing industrial information systems. Kennedy earned her B.S. at Purdue University and her MBA at the University of Phoenix. She can be reached at

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Tools that simplify enterprise data analysis and reporting ease the process of making informed asset decisions. AssetAnalytix from Reporting House is a catalog of samples of asset data analysis and reporting best practices developed over 12 years, which represent nearly every industry segment. Content can be customized for major CMMS/EAM systems using popular reporting technologies.

“AssetAnalytix is a content library of more than 600 customizable reports, more than 200 KPIs, dashboards, scorecards, and metrics focusing on in-depth analysis of asset reliability and maintenance. It augments data-driven asset performance management,” says Sunil Kamerkar, principal at Reporting House.

Educational approach

Custom education allows a higher level of applicability, greater retention, and a more direct impact on company goals. Eruditio’s proprietary Applied Learning process combines customized subject matter with experiential training, project-based learning, online support and reinforcement, and personal coaching. Its offerings include subjects such as leadership, reliability, and asset management.

“Applied Learning at its core is about using multiple media to convey your company’s learning objectives in a way that meets each student’s learning style and need for direct application,” says Shon Isenhour, partner at Eruditio. “This facilitated change in behavior improves retention of the content and ensures that the company gets real documented results from their training budgets.”

Condition monitoring and measurement

The ability to monitor equipment condition wirelessly increases flexibility in sensor installation. Ludeca’s Vibconnect RF sensors use radio frequency technology to share vibration, roller bearing condition, and temperature measurements. The frequency is not commonly used, so interference is rare. The system comes with a self-contained power source and uses standby mode between measurements to enable a battery life of approximately four years.

“The Vibconnect RF online system allows you to monitor the condition of plant equipment that extends over a large area without the need for installing costly cabling,” says Alex Nino, applications engineer at Ludeca. “It lets you optimize the availability of your plant equipment, improve equipment reliability, and reduce unwanted maintenance costs.”

Assessing the rpm of a rotating asset helps to refine bearing fault detection. UE Systems recently added a strobe light feature to its Ultraprobe 15,000 Touch ultrasonic condition monitoring system that determines and stores rotational speed. It adds to the system’s onboard diagnostics by setting up spectral markers on the exact place where bearing faults are expected to occur.

“I used this new feature recently in a manufacturing facility and it helped pinpoint the root cause of an intermittent conveyor feed problem,” says Steve Toth, president of Delta Focused Improvement. “This will save the customer over $20,000 in three months, and of course more money as you calculate the savings over a longer duration if this problem were to go uncorrected.”

Contamination control

Lubricant contamination control in tank farms and large applications is improved with durable, long-lasting breathers. The new Extended Series line of desiccant breathers from Des-Case is designed to help extend lubrication and equipment life, the amount of time between maintenance intervals, and maintenance budgets. Moisture adsorbent and high capture-efficiency filters protect equipment headspace from dirt and water particles.

"This line builds nicely on our past innovations, combining the materials, design, and high air flow of our standard breathers with the check valves of the company's hybrid breathers," says Jon Haworth, VP of product innovations and operations. “The new oil mist-reducing feature and more than double the desiccant of any of our other disposable breather products make for an attractive solution to contamination.”

Read Sheila Kennedy's monthly column, Technology Toolbox.