Goodyear M&R Leader Helps Instill Lubrication Excellence

Mike Shekhtman, the subject of this issue’s “Get to Know ...” feature, is the North American Region maintenance and reliability manager at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. He has worked 2.5 years for Goodyear after spending more than two decades with firms in a host of industrial maintenance and engineering roles (draftsman, design engineer, manufacturing engineer, plant engineer, project engineer, reliability engineer and maintenance manager). In his current position, he is based at the company’s headquarters in Akron, Ohio. Let’s learn more about Mike.

Mike Shekhtman is based at Goodyear’s headquarters in Akron.

What types of training have you taken to get you to your current job?:
I have a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University in Russia and a master’s of business administration degree from Cleveland State University. Over my career, I have attended multiple professional development courses, including those on maintenance and reliability subjects.

Do you hold any certifications?:
I am a Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional through the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals and a licensed Professional Engineer.

When did you get your start in machinery lubrication, and how did it happen?:
In my very first assignment in maintenance management, I was facing a very significant challenge – operating large-scale hydraulic systems that ran on phosphate ester. That fire-resistant fluid gave us the needed properties for our systems, but it was very sensitive chemically and required rigorous maintenance. Its condition directly affected our machines’ performance and the consequent production throughput. That is when I learned first-hand the importance of oil condition monitoring and that of moisture and particulates control programs.

What’s a normal work day like for you?:
I spend a considerable amount of time in our plants working with engineering and maintenance associates on improving the business of maintenance. Predictive effort along with what we call Lubrication Excellence is a big part of it. Since we are in the early stages of implementing systemic programs, much time is spent reviewing lubricant storage and handling practices, reviewing the expertise level of lubrication technicians, and planning short- and long-term actions to get better. I meet with the plants’ lubricant suppliers and service companies to assure that plant leadership takes advantage of all they have to offer. When I am in the office, my days are spent doing the same but via telephone and online conferences.

What is the amount and range of equipment that you help service through lubrication/oil analysis tasks?:
Our tire manufacturing plants are 500,000 square feet or larger. They have a very broad variety of lubrication systems. We have a lot of rotating equipment, such as large motors and oil-bath gearboxes. There are hydraulic systems and automated grease and oil lubricators, and there are a great number of manually lubricated machine components. We are striving to develop lubrication routes for our machines and have them in place at some plants. A regional expectation is that oil sampling and analysis is in place for critical machines, and most of the plants currently have that.

What lubrication-related projects are you currently working on?:
I am facilitating our Lubrication Excellence focus effort that we started recently. Each plant is expected to have at least one pilot area where there is a well-defined plan to achieve lubrication program “perfection”. I am working with the plants to develop a road map for pilot areas, plan timing and resources, and execute as planned.

What have been some of the biggest lubrication project successes for which you have played a part?:
I deployed a Lubrication Excellence assessment as a part of our yearly regional engineering audit. A group of lubrication-related items was separated into its own category in the evaluation that we conduct at each tire plant. We combine the known industry techniques and best Goodyear practices to assign weights and scores to the items we discuss during the audit. It turned out to be an effective tool to measure the plants’ performance in that category and plan for improvements.

How does your company view machinery lubrication in terms of importance, strategy, etc.?:
Goodyear values proper lubrication as true proactive maintenance. Although the outcome of a successful program is not easy to quantify, there is very clear evidence of significant plant throughput issues if equipment lubrication is lacking. So in the best spirit of continuous improvement, we apply the strategy of starting with well-established basic steps, facilitating ongoing training, and providing strong leadership and sufficient resources. Executing effectively to that strategy becomes the next challenge.

What do you see as some of the more important trends taking place in the lubrication and oil analysis field?:
I believe there is a high potential for online oil analysis and its combination with other predictive maintenance techniques for real-time condition-based equipment monitoring.

“Get to Know …” features a brief question-and-answer session with a Machinery Lubrication reader. These articles put the spotlight on industry professionals and detail some of the lubrication-related projects they are working on. If you know of an ML reader who deserves to be profiled, e-mail editor-in-chief Paul V. Arnold at parnold@noria.com.

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