From May 19 through 22, the International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML) participated in Noria's very successful Lean, Reliable and Lubed 2008 conference in Nashville, Tenn. In addition to exhibiting and holding two certification exam sessions, the council had its annual board and committee meetings. The ICML Laboratory Lubricant Analyst committee held an ad-hoc meeting to discuss and develop work to propose to ISO TC108/SC5/WG4 on the upcoming standard 18436-5 - Condition Monitoring and Diagnostics of Machines - Requirements for Qualification and Assessment of Personnel - Part 5: Lubricant Laboratory Technician/Analyst.

The findings of this meeting were later shared at the annual ISO TC/108/SC5/WG4 meeting, which was held in Kyoto, Japan, the following week. The council was fortunate for the support and participation of knowledgeable laboratory representatives from several different companies from across the globe.

Labs
The laboratories represented included Analysts Inc., Caribbean Analytical Services (Trinidad), Caterpillar, CleanOil, Focus Laboratories (Thailand), Laboratorio Dr. Lantos (Argentina), MRG Corporation, PdMA, Solge (South Korea), Staveley Services, Southwest Research Institute, and Tekniker (Spain). The council would like to thank these companies for their pioneering vision and expert mentoring provided.

Recognitions
ICML also presented the Augustus H. Gill Award for Excellence in Oil Analysis and the John R. Battle Award for Excellence in Machinery Lubrication. These awards were created by the council to inspire companies to achieve world-class status in their oil analysis and machinery lubrication programs. The criteria for each of these recognitions serve as a road map for aspiring companies, which are often mentored by past recipients.

Gill Award
This year's recipients of both the Gill and Battle awards coincidentally came from the state of North Dakota, which speaks highly of the state for its "best in class" status. The 2007 Gill was awarded to Coal Creek Station in Underwood, N.D.. Coal Creek is part of Great River Energy company. Kim Burkeland, Coal Creek's chemical analysis technician, accepted the Gill Award on behalf of the station.

Battle Award
The 2007 Battle Award was awarded to Cargill Corn Milling in Wahpeton, N.D.. Preston Hatfield, plant maintenance manager, accepted the award on behalf of Wahpeton. He was accompanied by lubrication specialist and program lead analyst Clyde Hughes of Allied Reliability and Dorothy Onchuck, lubrication specialist from UGL Unicco Services.

Receiving the Battle award caps a five-year effort by the Wahpeton Corn Milling Facility to improve equipment reliability through improved lubrication practices. The application for the award outlined the various improvements the plant has made over the past five years, including but not limited to:

  • Improved storage and handling practices

  • Innovative equipment setup to improve overall efficiency of lubrication tasks

  • Utilizing onsite oil analysis to asses equipment health and target equipment for remediation effort

  • Deployment of portable and bypass filtration to improve overall oil cleanliness and reduce oil consumption

  • Development of written procedures to govern the lubrication program

  • Training of site personnel in improved lubrication practices

Team Effort
"Team Wahpeton" is the motto of the Wahpeton facility, and this effort is demonstrated by the total integration of Cargill personnel along with embedded contractors such as Allied Reliability and UGL Unicco Services. These companies work together in a seamless effort to make this plant operate at peak efficiency and reliability.

The Wahpeton facility demonstrates what may be accomplished when traditional barriers between a parent company and contracted service providers can be bridged to make the whole team a family unit. The Wahpeton plant also recently enjoyed recognition by receiving IndustryWeek magazine's Best Plant and Cargill's Best Plant awards for 2007.

Nominations are Welcome
Both awards are open to companies worldwide, independent of any involvement in the Council. A company does not need to be a member of ICML to apply. The council does not charge any fees to applicant companies and it does not nominate companies for the awards. Companies need to apply for the awards directly. Vendors and other industry practitioners may nominate a company and ICML will contact it to verify its interest in applying for one of the awards.

Information on the council's awards program, including the criteria for each award can be found at www.lubecouncil.org. Information on the oil analysis program at Coal Creek Station as well as Cargill Wahpeton's lubrication program will be covered in this column in upcoming issues of Machinery Lubrication.