Maintaining equipment is an important part of any business, and proper lubrication is key to keeping everything running smoothly. However, attempting to optimize your lubrication management by yourself can be an overwhelming task. You may turn to an expert in the space, a Lubrication Engineer. A lubrication engineer is responsible for the selection, application, and maintenance of lubricants to ensure optimal equipment performance. They have a comprehensive understanding of how different oils and greases work in order to make the best choices for each situation.
The Important Job of a Lubrication Engineer
Machines require constant nurturing. They are like a plant that needs the right amount of water and sunlight. Too much water and your plant dies. Not enough water and your plant dies. Maintaining proper lubrication of your equipment can be just as temperamental, but with far more costly results. For example, with too much lubricant an asset can overheat from the increased friction. Alternatively, with not enough lubricant, your equipment, and its components, will wear at a faster rate. A lubrication engineer knows the ins and outs of different machinery and their optimal lubrication levels and all of the supporting best practices. However, they are typically responsible for the big picture thinking and creation of your lubrication plan. A maintenance or lubrication technician will be the one to perform the various lubrication tasks.
Lubrication Engineer vs. Maintenance Engineer
Maintenance engineers and lubrication engineers have different responsibilities in a plant or manufacturing facility. While the two roles may overlap at times, there are key distinctions between the two positions. Lubrication engineers are lubrication experts who work to ensure that machinery runs smoothly and efficiently. They are responsible for choosing the right lubricants for a given application, as well as designing and implementing lubrication systems. Maintenance engineers, on the other hand, are responsible for inspecting, repairing, and maintaining machinery. While lubrication engineers may provide input on lubrication-related issues, their primary focus is on ensuring the proper operation of machinery. As a result, the two groups of engineers often work closely together to ensure that all equipment is properly maintained and lubricated.
Why You Should Hire a Lubrication Engineer
Lubrication engineers are sought after for their expertise in lubrication methods and products. They can provide you with high-quality products that meet your needs while maintaining a high level of compliance. They also have a good understanding of lubricant chemistry and can help you understand how best to use lubricants to achieve maximum results with minimal effort. There are many different aspects to a lubrication management plan, and a lubrication engineer can help with all of them, including:
- Choosing the right lubricants
- Deciding what lubrication equipment you need
- Selecting suitable contamination control products
- Management of lubrication suppliers and service providers
- Supervision of lubrication-related inspections, work orders, and preventive maintenance tasks
- Creation of best practices for lubrication procedures
- Planning for lubricant handling, storage, consumption, and conservation
- Develop lubrication-related engineering specs for new equipment
- Handle lubrication-related warranty and regulatory compliance
- Manpower planning, administration, staff training, and certification
- Lubrication information management
- Design and coordination of oil analysis program
- Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA); Failure Reporting, Analysis and Corrective Action System (FRACAS); Root Cause Analysis (RCA); and Troubleshooting
- Track and monitor lubrication-related reporting and performance metrics
A Smart Step to Improve Your Lubrication Management
Lubrication is a critical element in the efficiency and life expectancy of any moving equipment. If any one piece of your lubrication plan goes wrong, it can create expensive results from lost productivity to increased equipment wear and failure. Working with a lubrication engineer is essential to minimize component failures, increase uptime and production, and build a lubrication plan for your specific application.