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BETTER LUBE MANAGEMENT BOOSTS ASSET AVAILABILITY


CONTRIBUTING RE.ENGINEER

Noria Corporation (www.noria.com)

CHALLENGE

The Gerber production plant in Fort Smith, Arkansas, manufactures a wide range of high-quality baby food products. Along with aseptic cups, glass jarred products and meat sticks, the facility produces enough infant cereal to supply North America. In 2006, the plant began a journey to positively impact their predictive maintenance program. One of their initial findings was that nearly every oil sample contained silica, so they started with performing informal root cause failure analysis to examine how the facility’s lubricants were being managed.

Specific Opportunities:

  • Short gearbox lifespans

  • Contaminated oil

  • Poor lubricant storage and handling

SOLUTION

The first step in improving Gerber’s lubrication management was to reduce the amount of silica showing up in the oil samples. Nearly everything lubrication related had to be corrected, from how and where lubricants were stored, to how much and how often they were applied. Rather than “re-inventing the wheel,” they researched lubrication management and found universal truths across all industries. Oil must be kept clean, dry and controlled from the time of purchase through gearbox top-offs. Subsequently, and by staying true to thes