DuPont’s Nesselroad Paves the Way at Washington Works Plant

Noria Corporation
Tags: lubrication programs, lubricant storage and handling


Name: John Nesselroad

Age: 61

Title: Lubrication Technician

Company: DuPont

Location: Washington, W.Va.

Years of Service: 24 years

John Nesselroad got his start in machinery lubrication in 1989, serving as a production operator, training coordinator and lubrication technician for DuPont’s Washington Works plant in Washington, W.Va. He has also worked as an equipment operator for Universal Glass, as an operator for Shell Chemical and as a production machinist for Gould. Since 2008, he has served as a lubrication technician, helping his team improve the company lubrication program and develop a proactive approach to lubrication practices.


Q What types of training have you had to get to your current position?

A I have received Noria MLT I training and ICML certification, along with on-the-job training. I have also attended several Reliable Plant conferences.

Q Are you planning to obtain additional training or achieve higher certifications?

A At this point, I do not plan on additional training unless something is offered this year. I plan on retiring next year after 24 years of service. However, other folks in our crew are looking at obtaining (ICML) MLT II and MLA II certification training from Noria.

Q What’s a normal work day like for you?

A We have a morning meeting and then check any extra work via work orders, work requests or e-mails. Next, we load the day’s lubrication routes on the PDA, gather up all lubrication materials at the central lubrication shop and proceed to the work area. After lunch, we attend an afternoon meeting to confirm our progress or issues. We then return to the work area and verify that the area has adequate amounts of oil in the satellite shops. At the end of the day, we clean up and unload routes from the PDA.

Q What is the amount and range of equipment that you help service through lubrication/oil analysis tasks?

A Site-wide we service 4,000 to 5,000 pieces of equipment, ranging from small gearboxes or bearings containing 6 ounces of oil up to large equipment reservoirs with 1,500 gallons of oil. We take many samples on equipment that are typically 10 gallons or larger and/or have high criticality. Our site currently has 12,000 lubrication tasks, and we average about 200 to 300 oil samples a month.

Q What lubrication-related projects are you currently working on?

A Currently, we are expanding to pick up the last production area on our site. We also are modifying our sample files to ensure more accurate streamline oil sampling and adding an additional lubrication bulk-storage system.

Q What have been some of the biggest project successes in which you’ve played a part?

A I assisted with the revamping of our lubrication program, set up filtration for all new oils that we use and helped with the expansion of our lubrication program into all of our production areas.

Q How does your company view machinery lubrication in terms of importance and overall business strategy?

A Our company is committed to machinery lubrication. Our site works proactively in dealing with lubrication. We understand the relationship between lubrication and equipment reliability, as well as all of the advantages associated with a solid lubrication program. Our site is getting a good return on its investment with longer equipment life and less money spent on oil and downtime.

Q What made DuPont decide to put more emphasis on machinery lubrication?

A Cost and reliability. It is more cost efficient to maintain equipment than to run until failure. It’s the best practice. Our site wanted to consolidate resources and put a centralized emphasis on lubrication. Operators are assigned these jobs, and it is their only job. There is more attention and detail paid to lubrication tasks with the lubrication group taking the ownership.

Lubrication is an essential element of any reliability engineering program. The Washington Works site has had a lubrication program for decades. The program had been administered through our maintenance organization with the actual lubrication activities being completed by trained mechanics. In many instances, the mechanics performing lubrication would be pulled from their lubrication activities in order to perform other tasks.

We ran a trial in our power division using dedicated operators and found that this worked out great. The operators were dedicated to the lubrication tasks and weren’t continually being pulled to do other work. This set the stage for us to pursue a dedicated lubrication team at Washington Works using operators. The criticality of the lubrication function drove us to pursue this dedicated work team, and the size of Washington Works made it cost justifiable to have a dedicated group that is leveraged across the site.

Q What do you see as some of the more important trends taking place in the lubrication and oil analysis field?

A We see oil cleanliness - all oil filtered before it ever reaches the equipment - as an important trend, as well as better storage of oils (containers, bulk storage, etc.) and changing oil on condition instead of on time because of increased and improved sampling.

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