Martin: Good afternoon Haris, good to catch up with you again.

Haris: Hello Martin, how are you?

Martin: I’m excellent, but I am really curious about where we left off last week. We were starting to talk how clever, and you said that was a topic for this week. So, let’s talk clever!

Haris: Yes. What do you mean let’s talk clever? So, let’s talk about you … or?

Martin: Well … yeah. Moving swiftly on. We have done me to death! 😊

Haris: Yeah, well, let’s talk clever. Lat Monday you told me I need to do a little bit more to convince you, and that’s great. So, when it comes to condition-based lubrication, in general … or Ultrasound guided, call it however you want, there is big difference between advanced algorithms and “screwdriver mode”.

Martin: Yeah, I mean, mechanical stethoscope, and I was always joking about it when you say, “screwdriver mode”; “Make sure you put the handle next to your ear, cause it’s going to be painful if you get it wrong” But, you mentioned “screwdriver mode” there, what is the difference between Ultrasound being advanced and simple screwdriver mode?

Haris: You can think about “Screwdriver mode” as a real screwdriver, but that’s not what I was referring to. “Screwdriver mode” was a simple process of Listen and squeeze the grease. Digital screwdriver is, Ultrasound, when you have some data, some values, as opposed to simple listening. So now you have something you can actually trend or set alarm on it. But still, this is not enough because it gives you information about where you are, and then you have to decide what to do next.
If you want to name something algorithm, it needs to do more, much more.  Quite often it is understood as two possible scenarios, which is completely wrong, in my opinion: as long as it goes down – push the grease … when it starts going up – stop the grease.
Well, it is not wrong … but it is not enough, it is very basic approach, and third generation of LUBExpert algorithm is taking care of all nuances and all cases. Think of it this way; if you want to go somewhere, you start navigation in your car. You do, right?

Martin: I occasionally listen to the lady on the dash 😊

Haris:  Ok, and you enter your destination. Now, navigation does the tricky part … tells you how to get to the place you want to go. Not only telling you where you are, cause that’s the easy part telling you “you are here now”, well thank you but what do I need to do next? Your intelligent navigation will consider traffic, it will consider history of your travels, your driving style, time of the day … all this stuff. In greasing terms, it means: do I need to grease? That is the first question and give me that answer based on data. Then measurement continues, data is being analysed live and LUBExpert takes on a prescriptive role; so, it tells you what to do next, step by step. Basically, to make it simple, you can see three different approaches:


  • First one is to add 40 grams every 3000 hours, no matter what … that’s time based.
  • Second one is Ultrasound Condition Based, call it old fashioned, that tells you what happens when you inject grease … that’s monitoring. You inject some grease – this is what happens.
  • Third one, the latest generation goes a step forward, it thinks with you and thinks for you; performs live analysis and tells you what to do next.
    Something like a guided missile.

Martin: Ok, I can see that’s very, very important.

Haris: It is important because bearings during grease replenishment do not necessarily behave in that binary way … you know, go up or go down. It is not necessary that friction will immediately go up or go down. What happens if operator injects certain amount of grease … and nothing happens?

Martin: Yeah, I mean… that’s an example I actually wanted to run by to you, cause that’s the experience I’ve seen

Haris: Yes, that happens very often, that behaviour needs to be considered, because it happens very often. For the operator, it is not an easy decision. Because you know where you are, but you don’t know how to get where you want to go. Operator may decide to stop adding grease, which may be correct, assuming that grease does not ends up in bearing at all. That is quite possible. But what if bearing reacts … after several steps, and you never took those steps?
There are more than three different possibilities here. Intelligent system analyses data live, combines it with whole mountain of other parameters and decides, tells you what to do next to get to your destination.

Martin: So, a lot like Condition Monitoring than, but a little bit more advanced?

Haris: Well, at the end of the day, It IS Condition Monitoring. In every aspect. By performing Condition Monitoring, we want to understand condition and needs of an asset. Based on that condition, we will either declare it fine (meaning that best thing to do is not to touch it) or prescribe certain action. Then, after action is taken, we asses condition again, if you are clever Condition Monitoring engineer, to confirm improvement.
Lubrication, in my opinion at least, IS corrective action. That means; “It is not good, let’s make it good.”

Martin: So, just as with Condition Monitoring you are gathering information on the condition and processing that information, just a little bit faster.

 Haris: Exactly! So, the logic of Condition Monitoring is:
Monitor, asses the condition, prescribe ….
Act, monitor again, assess outcome, prescribe …
Process is exactly same
Same target, same assets, same job …
The only difference is that now we have advanced technology, so we can do it live, fast and intelligent.

Martin: One thing remains a mystery … Condition Monitoring evolved a lot, leading to Condition Based Maintenance … and I want to stress that point – “Condition Based Maintenance” because I hear people that probably should know better the industry, saying “Condition Based Monitoring”. And that is one of those moments when I just want to erupt like Icelandic volcano, because it is not Condition Based Monitoring, it is Condition Based Maintenance. But why do you think Lubrication was left behind in terms of Condition Based Maintenance?

Haris: Well, that’s such a big mystery to me Martin, and I was hoping you would tell me that because it’s really unbelievable mystery that it was left behind. I don’t know why, you tell me, please.

Martin: You know I spent lot of time on-site in the past, and one of the ways we’ve dealt with questions was to nip down to local caffe and pick up an ice cream. How about we that? We sit down on a park bench, where rules allow us under current conditions, and have a little chat about this next time?

Haris: Ok, deal. So, grab an ice cream and see you next Monday.

Martin: Absolutely!