ConAgra Tech Learns on the Front Lines

Jodie Prieto-Salazar, a Quality Tech with ConAgra, has been with the company for almost four years and is currently working toward becoming a Quality Tech II. She, along with her other co-workers, perform testing on recycled water and cooker water for SPC. Prieto-Salazar also takes care of the dud detection reject spreadsheet for quality, and helps out in the quality control department when needed.

What made the ConAgra plant at Milton, Pa., decide to redesign its program to be more effective with lubrication? Our plant decided to put more emphasis on lubrication because if we can get the machinery to run better, the better our performance will be. A Milliken group is coming in to our plant to help with the transition of making our machinery performance back to “like new.” There are different Pillar teams that are part of this task and one is the maintenance Pillar. Our group (the lubrication team) is a subgroup of the Maintenance Pillar.

How did you get your start in machinery lubrication and how did it happen? One day, my boss, Eric Wolf, came up to me and asked if I would like to take his position on the lubrication sub group, and I said yes, that it would be a different experience for me since I have no idea or experience about machinery lubrication. Just so you know, I do not actually participate in lubricating the machinery, I just participate with the group to come up with how we can make our machinery run better and longer with the right types of oils and greases. And, maintaining/filtering the oil/grease in the machinery.

Jodie Prieto-Salazar, a Quality Tech I at ConAgra, helps on her company’s lubrication team as well as the quality control department.

What types of training have you taken? The Noria training, when they came into the plant for the first time.

What is the range of equipment that you service through lubrication tasks at your plant? I do not specifically lubricate the machinery; I just help in planning which type of lubrication is being put on the machinery and what type. The actual mechanics do the lubrication.

What’s a normal work day like for you? Since I am just part of the subgroup and not actually doing the lubrication, I am part of the quality lab. We test the finished product with different tests. Every Wednesday I have a meeting with the lubrication subgroup to discuss what is going on and any new findings.

What lubrication-related items are you currently working on? We just had Noria come in to give us a plan of what they can do to help. We are now in discussion as to what we should do with this plan. We are trying to get a filter room set up in the near future. We are focusing on pretty much every piece of machinery that needs lubricating with some type of oil or grease.

How does your company view machinery lubrication in terms of importance, strategy, etc.? It has always been important but just within the last year or so since Milliken came in and we developed this lubrication subgroup that it has became a very important factor in keeping our machinery running smoothly.

What have been some of the biggest lubrication project successes in which you have played a part? As a group we are trying to implement certain types of oil/grease on the machinery to see which type works the best. We have come up with many charts showing which type of oil/grease should be used and how much on every piece of equipment that needs lubricating. We are just a new group, but we are trying to come up with many more ideas to help with making our machines run longer and smoother.

What do you see as some of the more important trends taking place in the lubrication and oil analysis field? Going to synthetic lubricants - this keeps the water and particles out more easily. Also, filtered oil.

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