Name: Roberto Cerra
Job Title: Predictive System Specialist
Company: Dow Chemical
Location: Bahía Blanca, Argentina
Length of Service: 30 years
During his 30-year career at Dow Chemical in Argentina, Roberto Cerra has worked in the company’s technical office, as a maintenance scheduler and work coordinator as well as a coordinator of condition monitoring for rotating equipment. He got started in machinery lubrication four years ago when his supervisor offered him a new position after the plant’s lubrication specialist retired. Cerra immediately accepted this new learning opportunity and has not regretted it since.
Q: What professional certifications have you attained?
A: I have a Level I Vibration Analyst certification and a Level II Machine Lubricant Analyst certification.
Q: Are you planning to obtain additional training or achieve higher certifications?
A: Yes, I want to continue learning as much as possible. Some of the certifications I would like to achieve in the near future are the Level II Vibration Analyst and Level III Machine Lubricant Analyst.
Q: What’s a normal work day like for you?
A: I usually perform several different tasks during a normal day. My main job is to review the various monitoring parameters, including vibration and oil analysis follow-ups. I also inspect the oil filtration and flushing systems to ensure compliance with the lubrication program we have established.
Q: What is the amount and range of equipment that you help service through lubrication/oil analysis tasks?
A: At the Bahía Blanca site, we have approximately 1,600 pieces of equipment, including steam turbines, compressors, gearboxes, fans, pumps and electrical motors, of which we monitor the lubricant condition for 140 critical machines.
Q: On what lubrication-related projects are you currently working?
A: We are working on replacing our mineral oil with synthetic oil, implementing ultrasonic lubrication in electrical motors, and recovering used lubricants through filtration and analysis systems.
Q: What have been some of the biggest project successes in which you’ve played a part?
A: One of the biggest successes was the implementation of the new lube room in one of our plants. The process of creating a new lube room will be adopted in the other four plants at our site as soon as possible.
Q: How does your company view machinery lubrication in terms of importance and overall business strategy?
A: I’m very happy to say that there has been a great change in mentality and that we are all more aware of the importance of reliability and sustainability.
Q: What do you see as some of the more important trends taking place in the lubrication and oil analysis field?
A: More and more, I can see that we are able to detect failures in a very effective way thanks to spectrometric and ferrographic analysis.
Q: What has made your company decide to put more emphasis on machinery lubrication?
A: Our company has put more emphasis on machinery lubrication since the prevention of failures in important equipment has proven to be very successful. The use of best practices based on sustainable lubrication has also had significant cost-saving results.