Haris: Hello Martin, how are you?

Martin: I am good, how are you?

Haris: It’s ice cream and coffee, Monday again!

Martin: You took the words right out of my mouth and … I’ve been thinking: Is there a barbecue scheduled somewhere down the road?

Haris: We started with a coffee, now it is ice cream, and yes, I think yes. There will be a barbecue and, actually, I planned to discuss high temperature applications over a barbecue! Is that ok?

Martin: Deal! Now, I have some more questions for you. By removing Time-based grease replenishment, how does that work in regard to the interval?

Haris: Yes, that is what sometimes confuses people in transition from Time-based to Condition-based lubrication. I agree, it is an excellent question.

Martin: Because, for me, intervals are good; they introduce order in chaos, they keep the workload levelled as such, and obviously, Condition-based kind of brings a little bit of chaos sometimes.

Haris: Yes, yes it does. Of course, chaos is not good at all. Training helps removing this confusion. Magic word, training

Martin: I like that, good, now let’s remove that confusion from our ice cream session!

Haris: Yeah, I saw it coming. In Time-based lubrication, interval is absolutely needed, and it means re-greasing. In Condition-based lubrication there is also an interval, but it means something else. It means data collection, measurement. So, there is an interval but there is conceptual difference. Condition-based lubrication is not much different than Condition-based maintenance … in its essence. Action is triggered by condition, not by time. So that is the difference.

Martin: So, we are not looking for action interval, we are looking for condition assessment interval or inspection interval that is routine that may trigger action.

Haris: That’s great. This is how you put is in simple words whet I am trying to say in a very long text and thank you for that. Yes, it is data collection interval. Condition concluded based on collected data will tell us if re-greasing is needed and how much. So, data will be processed, and it will tell you if greasing is needed. If it is not needed … fine, you did your job, you collected data which is actually essential job. Don’t touch the grease gun and go away. If it is needed, just turn on your machine and do the job.

Martin: So, no possibility for mistakes then?

Haris: There are always possibilities for mistakes, and that’s why we do the – Training!

Martin: Great, so, step 1 in removing confusion is done. Let me rephrase my question now: What is the data collection interval? How would we set that up? What is it?

Haris: Yes, that’s an excellent question. Correct data collection interval is determined actually the same way we determine data collection interval in Condition Monitoring. So, put it this way: If anomaly/defect shows its first detectable symptoms 6 months before functional failure or any irreversible damage, what would be a logical interval? So, surely, not greater than 3 months, if we want to do a good job. We chose interval that will give us certain advantage over the problem progression or development. So, it all boils down to understanding failure modes, as always; it’s always the same answer. So, if we understand failure modes and if we; of course, (with more or less precision) understand how anomaly progresses, we are able to set up proper data collection interval. So, that is where interval should be coming from.
Let’s put it this way, in very simple, everyday situation:
You want to replace electric pole in public street before if falls down on my head, for instance, because of corrosion. So, how often will you inspect that pole for corrosion? Daily? What do you think?

Martin: Possibly 😊

Haris: Ok, if you have no better things to do.

Martin: Probably not, because they would be cost cutting

Haris: Yes, it doesn’t make sense at all, because it’s like watching the grass grow. So, we are able to answer that because we know well that; from the first sign of corrosion to pole falling down, will take much more time than that. Maybe years. So, you will adjust your interval based on that understanding … maybe we will check it every year, every year and a half. Now, if you want to be proactive … and remove cause of corrosion you will also inspect, we will sandblast it and repaint it and do whatever we need to do. So, this is how we come to the interval.

Martin: OK. So, I’m going to guess that you would, obviously in terms of the inspection interval versus re-greasing interval, you would not even begin to want to compare them.

Haris: You’re right. I would not compare them at all. I would compare them in part where they put a plan into chaos, where they put order into chaos. They come from two completely different mindsets. Calculated re-greasing intervals are not really precise, they are the best we can do based on available data. So, real needs can be much earlier or much after the recommended interval. That is why we don’t go with based; we go with inspected condition. So, interval in time-based tells you: go out there and grease.  What we say is: go out there and check the condition.

They can be compared by work order and plan that somebody needs to do something, but description of the job is completely different.

Martin: But then obviously, you mentioned earlier the root cause issues etc … if we understand the root cause of the failure and we’ve done our failure modes and effect’s criticality analysis and we know how our machine might potentially fail, we’re basing than our inspection on real data.

Haris: Yes, exactly. Because assets, they do have a life, it’s a living organism. So, it changes constantly and that’s why we want to discuss interval in a completely different way. Interval of collecting the data.

Martin: Data is objective, but what about emotive aspects, the feelings?

Haris: Hm …. Feelings are good, I am very emotional guy, as you know, but we live in age of data and age of opinions and feelings are, I hope, behind us. But we can talk about my feelings … 😊.

Martin: So, I guess we ought to get another ice cream and coffee go into the whole aspect of feelings in a … deeper kind of way?

Haris: I completely agree, so I’ll see you on Monday on that topic!

Martin: Yep!

Haris: Goodbye!