"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 email@example.com.
Featured ML reader: John Kuchler
Employer: Johnson Controls Inc.
Job title: Manager of the predictive diagnostics team at the company's facilities in Milwaukee.
How many years have you been at this company?: 17 years
Where else have you worked over the years, and what has been your range of job titles?: I previously worked at Wisconsin Electric (now We Energies), the state's largest utility company, as a vibration and instrument intern.
What types of education and training have you taken to get you to your current job?: I earned a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and have taken training to obtain various professional certifications. I've also attended a variety of conferences on machinery lubrication. In fact, I recently attended a training class by Jim Fitch on "Oil Analysis Better and Best Practices" at a meeting of the Wisconsin chapter of the Vibration Institute.
Do you hold any certifications through ICML, STLE or any other body?: I have my Machine Lubrication Technician Level I certification through the International Council on Machinery Lubrication and an ISO Category 3 certification through the Vibration Institute.
When did you get your start in machinery lubrication, and how did it happen?: It all started 15 years ago. Training was required so we could better understand oil analysis results and how to best gather reliable oil samples. There was significant misunderstanding about the various tests we performed on oil samples. We needed to know how much we could rely on the tests we were performing and if our sampling methods were introducing errors into the results. We also needed to understand the source of contaminants in the oils - whether they were additives, possible wear metals or oxidized metals.
What's a normal work day like for you?: The day is spent working with our field technicians and other service personnel to maintain a quality program that delivers and communicates accurate and useful results. This involves researching various suppliers of hardware, software and technical services that support our service delivery organization. We maintain databases that store predictive data on the machines for which we are responsible; this also includes data supplied to us from third-party oil analysis labs. It is our responsibility to set limits and determine acceptable levels of contaminants, additives and physical properties of oil on the equipment we service. We use various resources to accomplish this including the OEM, statistical analysis of the database, chemical properties and our own experience on equipment operation.
What is the amount and range of equipment that you service at your plant?: We support thousands of machines across the globe for our service organization. We have specialized focus on HVAC equipment, but we also support production equipment applications.What lubrication-related projects are you currently working on?: I am evaluating the statistical results of the database on oils and refrigerant used in refrigeration compressors. I'm also determining how to set useful and meaningful limits and defining rules that can be used to automate the analysis process.