Name: Jeremy Swanson
Company: Luminant’s Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant
Title: Lubrication Engineer
Years of Service: 4 years
Location: Glen Rose, Texas
Working at a nuclear power plant might make some people a little uneasy, but not Jeremy Swanson. As a lubrication engineer at Luminant’s Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant in Glen Rose, Texas, Swanson has seen firsthand how the company emphasizes the importance of maintaining equipment to ensure optimal reliability. Since joining the company back in 2008, Swanson continues to look at the way the plant receives, stores and distributes its lubricants. He then compares those methods to industry best practices and determines what would be required to bring the plant’s standards up to the industry’s best.
Q What types of training have you taken to get to your current position?
A I have completed training for Machine Lubricant Analyst (MLA) Level II and III, Machine Lubrication Technician (MLT) Level I and II, basic ferrography, advanced ferrography, root-cause bearing damage analysis, multi-stage pump training, mechanical seal and vibration category 1 training.
Q Are you planning to obtain additional training or achieve any professional certifications?
A I would like to get my Certified Lubrication Specialist (CLS) and vibration category 2 and 3 certifications.
Q What’s a normal work day like for you?
A I start at 6:30 a.m., attend my morning meetings and any pre-job briefs, and then I work on approving lubricants for new pieces of equipment and for equipment in which the lubricants are no longer manufactured. Next, I work on either reviewing oil sample results from our lab or getting them sent to the lab.
Q What is the amount and range of equipment that you help service through lubrication/oil analysis tasks?
A The equipment we service includes turbines, pumps, gearboxes, diesel engines, compressors and valves.
Q What lubrication-related projects are you currently working on?
A I am currently working with our system engineer to replace our main turbine oil conditioner.
Q What have been some of the biggest project successes in which you’ve played a part?
A We replaced 25,000 gallons of oil and filtered it down to ISO code 14/12 within 48 hours.
Q How does your company view machinery lubrication in terms of importance and overall business strategy?
A Our company puts a lot of emphasis on the predictive maintenance technologies of oil analysis, vibration and thermography. When needed, we are provided the required support to maintain plant reliability. Our power plants and mines get together yearly to discuss operating experiences (OEs) and new technologies that are available for condition monitoring. We also review industry OEs to learn from others’ errors, as well as frequently perform benchmarking and self-assessments.
Q What do you see as some of the more important trends taking place in the lubrication and oil analysis field?
A Some of the trends I see are the emphasis on the distribution of lubricants to ensure that correct, clean oil is provided to the right equipment, as well as the methods and equipment for the removal of oil degradation products that cause varnish issues in turbine oils.