Training, Certification Are Keys to Success of Cargill’s Rooney

Featured ML reader: Troy Rooney

Employer: Cargill Length of service with company: 12 years Title: Lubrication technician at the company’s grain processing facility in Sioux City, Iowa.

Where else have you worked over the years, and what has been your range of job titles?: “I worked for Jefferson Smurfit Container Corporation as an operator on several machines in a press department that made corrugated boxes. Prior to that, I was in the U.S. Army as a heavy artillery/tracked-vehicle mechanic working on howitzers and ammo carriers. Before that, I grew up on a farm, where I operated and maintained farm equipment.”

What types of training have you taken to get you to your current job?: “I’ve received a great deal of training: Machine Lubrication Technician (MLT) training through Noria, maintenance and reliability training and coupling alignment training through Universal Technologies, Falk’s school on gearbox rebuilding and maintenance training, airborne ultrasound training through UE Systems, Gorman-Rupp pump training, Viking pump training, Durco pump training, Dodge bearing training, Gates belt training, steam and condensate systems training through PSE Inc., fastener training through Kuban Kar, industrial kiln training through Phillips Kiln Services, MRG’s The Reliability Game with our plant operations, lubrication excellence conferences put on by Noria, and all of the training I received in the military on maintenance and lubrication.”

Do you hold any certifications through ICML, STLE or any other body?: “I hold the MLT Level I certification through ICML and have achieved Level I airborne ultrasound and Level I steam examiner certifications through UE Systems. In the near future, I plan on trying to obtain the Machine Lubricant Analyst Level I and MLT Level II certifications.”

When did you get your start in machinery lubrication, and how did it happen?: “I grew up on the farm, and lubrication was a very important task that had to be done before we went to the field in the mornings. When I was in the military, I was in a service company in our battalion. I changed oil, transmission fluid and hydraulic fluids, and did sampling and greasing as part of the daily routine. When I began working at Cargill, I got a job in the maintenance department and everyone had to make rounds to grease and check fluid levels.”

What’s a normal work day like for you?: “I go out into the plant and make the rounds, doing inspections on oil levels and desiccant breathers, performing greasing tasks and deploying filter carts on pieces of equipment that fail to meet our cleanliness standards. I also make sure we maintain our inventories of lubricants. Pulling oil samples is another task that is done, but not on a daily basis; that is usually based off of route at the beginning of each month.”

What is the amount and range of equipment that you service?: “We have nearly 750 pieces of equipment, including pumps, hydraulic systems, compressors, gear drives and lots of bearings.”

What lubrication-related projects are you currently working on?: “I’m currently looking for a solution to safely pull oil samples off of our ammonia compressors as well as provide offline filtration to ensure that they are meeting our cleanliness standards for compressors. I’m also working on a centralized lube system for our flaking mills and a pellet mill.”

What have been some of the biggest lubrication project successes that you have been a part of?: “I helped set up all of our gearboxes, hydraulic systems and compressors for sampling and filtration, and got them equipped with desiccant breathers. I also helped get our equipment above 80 percent in the green for our oil cleanliness standards. I installed offline filtration systems on our most difficult-to-access pieces of equipment. I also upgraded some of our hydraulic systems with better filtration systems instead of the standard 20-micron inline spin-on filters. I’m most proud of the hydraulic filtration system upgrades because the cleanliness standards are some of the hardest to achieve, let alone maintain. We now maintain those standards and are sometimes cleaner than the standards.”

Noria debuts a new editorial feature in this issue of Machinery Lubrication. This feature, titled “Get to Know …”, is a brief question-and-answer session with a Machinery Lubrication reader. “Get to Know ...” articles put the spotlight on industry professionals and detail some of the lubrication-related projects they are working on. This issue includes profiles on Bob Pratt of DTE Energy and Troy Rooney of Cargill. If you know of an ML reader who deserves to be profiled, e-mail editor-in-chief Paul V. Arnold at

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