MaintMaster blog - 13 May 2019


Lubrications

Lubrications

Completion Codes & Root Causes for Lubrication
When something breaks down, we investigate. We take things apart, clean and lubricate them in line with our procedures. We believe that we have done everything to prevent wear and tear. But lubrication does not simply mean applying oil or grease in the right places. It also means ensuring the right amount and the right grade. If we apply too much grease to a bearing that spins at high rpm, it can overheat and fail as a result. The type of grease may well be correct, but the amount is wrong. The same applies when replacing grease. Some types cannot be mixed, as they can solidify and lead to overheating.

In solving problems and analyzing root causes, historical data is often a valuable tool. To make analysis easier, it’s important to create a structure for your way of reporting and to ensure that everyone is aware of why and how you report. We naturally want a maintenance system to have the ability to track faults so that we can identify the root causes. MaintMaster uses completion code groups and completion codes for this.

However, we do not recommend generating completion codes to identify the exact cause for each individual job. In many instances, a few general codes are sufficient to understand a lot from your analysis. The equipment and the frequency of the work you perform, together with good completion codes are enough to identify root causes or at least provide help along the way.

Let’s continue to use wear and tear as an example.
The root cause of wear and tear could be:

Substandard cleaning
– How does the lubrication point look?
– Is there a lot of external grease gathering dust and dirt? This constitutes grinding paste that could damage the bearing.

Substandard/incorrect lubrication
– Is the lubrication point dry?
– Has a lot of grease escaped from the bearing?
– Is there a lot of solid grease on the outside or in the bearing?
– Have you mixed types of grease?

Normal wear and tear
– Is probably the trickiest thing to note. A bearing under optimum conditions lasts for a very long time.

These three – substandard cleaning, substandard/incorrect lubrication and normal wear and tear are the three root causes that work very well as completion codes in MaintMaster. It doesn’t have to be more complicated than this. Our experience is that many people believe that having more completion codes means more accurate statistics. But this is rarely true; instead we have seen that the statistics are confusing and more difficult to decipher. Many codes are misinterpreted and overlap each other, presenting the user with a difficult choice, and as a result users opt for their favorites and almost exclusively pick these when reporting. Your statistics will therefore not be better.

Our recommendation:

  1. Discuss and determine which completion codes are relevant to your business; identify your lowest level and keep it simple
  2. Describe what each completion code means and when to use it; illustrate where possible with a photo
  3. Make sure to regularly talk about your completion codes, and amend them as needed
  4. Inform and train people so that everyone understands your codes
  5. Discuss analyses with the entire group on a continuous basis as this improves understanding of the use of completion codes and will provide more accurate statistics in the long term.
  6. Don’t be afraid to evaluate the codes and amend them when the need is apparent

For statistics, monitoring and the ability to improve, it is important that everyone understand completion codes.

Good luck with your analyses!

Feel free to get in touch with me if you have any comments, concerns or questions.

/ Staffan Bergström, Project Manager, MaintMaster