Southwest City Facility Achieves 50% Reduction in Downtime through Improvements in Machine Lubricant Program.
The Simmons Feed Ingredients (SFI) plant in Southwest City, Missouri, is the recipient of the 2017 International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML) John R. Battle award for excellence in machinery lubrication. The award was presented during the Reliable Plant Conference & Exhibition in Columbus, Ohio.
In accepting the award alongside his team members, Tim Newman, Southwest City plant maintenance manager, said, “We're really proud of what we have been able to accomplish on this journey, it's really incredible. I'm thankful to our team for their hard work in helping us get here.”
SFI has been operating the Southwest City facility since 1984 and as recently as 2012 began concentrating on machine lubrication and training. The following year, the plant implemented improvements to its machine lubrication program applying the latest technology and techniques. Over the last several years the Simmons team attended many industry conferences and researched different technologies, techniques, processes, materials and training resources used to increase the reliability of the kind of machines used in the rendering industry. “When the program first started, we had one type of gear oil, one type of hydraulic oil and one type of grease,” Newman said. “Today SFI has seen more than a 50 percent reduction in unscheduled production downtime and this improvement is continuing throughout the facility.”
“We established new standards and put a training plan in place applying best practices in machine lubricant purchase, storage, and transport,” Newman said.
“Simmons leadership has been and continues to be a vital part of the improvements we have achieved in machine lubricants,” Newman said.
Oil cleanliness affects machine life and reliability and has a dramatic impact on safety as well as production rates. The Simmons team produced a lubrication standards manual showing key performance indicators (KPIs). By using an overall performance tracking and metric program to measure its progress, SFI has been able to close reliability gaps and extend the operational life of the machines and equipment.
The Simmons team also introduced lubricant standards and processes into the employment and onboarding process as well as establishing an expectation for certification requirements. The Southwest City plant now has a team of oil analysts, vibration analysts, thermographers and other condition monitoring specialists who work together to collect and monitor data from a central database. Condition-based maintenance technologies are employed as well as a computerized maintenance management system for tracking routes and scheduling tools to ensure compliance.
Other improvements include regular maintenance planning meetings, laser alignment, basic equipment care workshops, inspections completed on regular intervals and condition-based preventive maintenance.
Battle Award Criteria
The John R. Battle Award was designed to motivate companies to improve machine reliability and maintenance quality through development, implementation and management of a best-in-class machinery lubrication program.
To become an award recipient, an organization must demonstrate a solid lubrication program, supported by multi-disciplinary efforts and approaches, with sustainable results and continued improvements. Among other factors, the John R. Battle Award criteria will include the following:
- Commitment to education and skills competencies
- Maintenance culture and management support
- Lubricant selection, lubricant performance standards and lubricant consolidation
- Preventive, predictive and proactive program design and effectiveness
- Lubrication program metrics and overall performance tracking
- Lubricant storage, handling, safety and conservation
- Lubrication PM optimization, work plan management, scheduling and documentation
- Oil analysis program design, test slates, lab selection and setting of alarms
- Oil analysis sampling frequency, sampling hardware and procedures
- Contamination exclusion and removal
- Oil and grease application methods and hardware deployed
- Continuous improvement
ICML awards are open to organizations worldwide. A company does not need to be involved with ICML to receive the award. To submit a nomination for one of ICML’s recognition of excellence awards, email your plant information to firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information, visit www.lubecouncil.org.