At the risk of repeating myself: Oil analysis saves close to $1 million

I recently spoke with Jeff Tucker, predictive maintenance, lubrication analyst, at the International Paper ( plant in Courtland, Alabama. Jeff is a good man and one of the friendliest individuals I've ever spoken with.

I'd learned that the mill where Jeff works had recently won the very prestigious  Augustus H. Gill Award, which is given each year by the International Council for Machinery Lubrication ( The award recognizes companies for excellence in oil analysis for condition monitoring. Its purpose is to inspire plants to reach greater heights with regard to maintenance and reliability. The Gill Award not only recognizes excellence in organizations; it also shines as a best-practices beacon for other companies' oil-analysis efforts around the world.

One of the humblest men I've met, Jeff gives all of the credit to the mill and the support he received all the way. He said he was surprised when he found out the IP plant had won the award, but it's not at all surprising if you go back and read the article we ran on the plant's in-house oil analysis program ( As we often preach, it's all about the quantifiable results. The IP mill uses a cost-avoidance calculator, and it already had determined that the oil analysis had saved the operation close to $1 million in 2010 alone. And that kind of money will turn some heads.

Jeff also will be giving a presentation on the Gill Award at IP's annual lubrication workshop this summer. And there's not a more fit individual to carry that banner within his organization.