Haris: Somebody will say we don’t have a budget for a solution. Yeah, but you do have a budget for the problem’s consequences. So, in this particular case, there is obviously a proof that that those problems are caused by lubrication. But as you said, we come to the syndrome that we don’t do the right investigation. So, somebody did a primary part of investigation. Yes, I know the root cause. Yes, it’s lubrication. BANG… we know who’s guilty. Now, how much does it cost? At one occasion, it was really funny story because, I was told that this problem that happened yesterday, it’s just $100 because that’s the cost of the bearing. So, you know how crazy that is. Little by little, we did the homework completely. The total cost was $120,000. Of course, if you come with $100, to talk to anyone to give you a budget and support for the solution, you’re not going to get it. Because those are false numbers, almost nothing was taken in consideration. But when you see what the real consequence is, then this is the number, and this is the story that should be out there looking for support. Because really, we’re all human and, if you describe me a problem, and it doesn’t really touch me too much, why would I look for a solution if I don’t see it as a problem?  That’s a simple human behaviour. So, representing it in a real shape and a real magnitude. It’s critically important. And obviously, we have this, but I have also different, different kinds of events. And I hope you will agree with me when: it was presented properly and then the solution was presented in such a complex way, as something of the huge magnitude and absolutely complete change of everything. And the management was just scared to give a green light. Because it’s a huge project that we will do for 10 years. Come on, are you crazy? Ain’t gonna work.

Martin: And that’s half the battle sometimes, I think is that when people get into predictive maintenance, they can see the wins in the first year, because, hey, we had 12 unplanned stoppages, thanks to 12 bearing failures, and we know what the costs were, as a result of the consequential damage. Now, we’ve actually got predictive maintenance in place, and we’ve had 12 planned stoppages without the consequential damage, but you’ve still had 12 bearing failures. And that’s where being proactive. Yeah, root cause focus. Fight the FLAB.

Haris: Yeah. So, please tell me what is FLAB?

Martin: Should we keep that for the next session?

Haris: Okay, so you keep me hanging out dry.

Martin: Yeah. But hang on a second, allow me to mention copyright to Drew Troyer.

Haris: Okay. So, yes, I think we explained this problem. And that happens very often. And it’s a huge obstacle to real solutions. Because we have so many engineers that are not well trained in economics. And engineers are usually very humble people, and they don’t, they don’t try to be extroverted very much. But there are moments when you really need to be a guy who shouts and who talks and … because otherwise, you’ll never get a solution. Now you have this second point: “Even some of my colleagues strongly resist to improvement”. And, Martin, here we are talking about people who understand the problem.

Martin: Yeah. Well, let’s talk about FLAB because, as I say, I must copyright Drew Troyer, he created the phrase, I guess, which is an acronym for Fasteners, Lubricants, Alignment, and Balance all of our key root causes that lead to failure. Now, obviously, if with rotating systems, alignment imbalances, in my experience, often being dealt with care of vibration analysis programs, and everybody knows that if we don’t align the machine properly, and don’t balance it properly, it’ll wear out just like when we go to buy new tires. The machine needs to be securely tightened to the framework, we need the framework and structure to be secure. We don’t want vibration as a result of loose fasteners. So of course, again, rather like lubricants, it may seem like just a simple thing, some nuts and bolts. But again, ignorance with that technology is rife in the industry, what level do we talk it to? Do we reduce the levels of talk because we’re using a thread lubricant and that kind of thing? You know, a nut and bolt is a compelling device, and we’ve got to get that 100% right. And regularly check those. Now I like the word FLAB because you know, obviously we talk about, I say we in the English language, we talk about fighting the FLAB. And of course, after lockdown, I think quite a number of us are fighting the FLAB. The excess, shall we say? And, you know, there’s a lot of parallels to what we have in industry and maintenance because, you know, of course, when you get people with lots of FLAB to taxi calls, who do we call when someone has a heart attack, the paramedics and the paramedics come charging in and they slap some paddles on the guy’s chest and, you know, shock him back to life and we’re a hero, we’ve saved someone’s life. And that’s the trouble in maintenance, I think is a lot of colleagues resist this because they’ve created that hero mentality. And in fact, coming back to Drew Troyer, he wrote an article recently about what he calls the dopamine effect, which is that adrenaline rush that we’re going to get when we come into the plant at midnight, and get it up and running again. We’re being slapped on the back and lauded as a hero to everyone, because we got the plant up and running again. Reality is if we look at it, we actually failed to do the job right in the first place. And to be held up as a hero for saving the day is actually the wrong thing to do. But people get hooked on that adrenaline rush. And I’ve had maintenance guys say to my face, I am here to fix broken things, I’m not here to fart around with all sorts of high level, highfalutin reliability statistics that you guys like to check out there. And I go, oh, it says on your shirt, you work for maintenance, but it sounds like you work for the repair organization.

Bearing Lubrication Monitoring
Lubexpert