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Chris Smith, one of the subjects of this issue's "Get to Know ..." section, is certainly a guy on the rise. Chris is a principal engineer for the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. He has worked 11 years at Goodyear, serving as a machine design mechanical engineer and then maintenance engineer at one of the company's North American manufacturing facilities before moving into his current position as a corporate reliability engineer. In this role, he works for the Global Engineering & Manufacturing Technology division in Akron, Ohio, and is responsible for designing, specifying, procuring and installing tire manufacturing equipment at Goodyear facilities around the world. Let's learn more about Chris Smith.
When did you get your start in machinery lubrication, and how did it happen?: It happened around 2001. I was working on the replacement of a slow-speed, 30-inch-ID taper roller bearing set. When the replacement was complete and it was time to pack it with grease, the conversation between the craftsmen went something like this: "I like the red stuff." "Well, I like the green stuff." Then there was the obligatory feeling of the grease between the fingers to determine the "thickness." So, we packed it with the green grease and installed it. That was the start of my lubrication learning journey. I knew that there had to be more science to lubrication than picking colors and feeling it between your fingers. After this event, I started to educate myself about lubrication.
Chris Smith works to make tire manufacturing equipment more reliable at Goodyear plants around the world.What types of training have you taken to get you to your current job?: I've received a lot of training - machinery lubrication, oil analysis, vibration analysis, lean, Six Sigma, failure analysis, reliability principles, fastener application, Lufkin gear school and I'm sure others that I have forgotten to mention.
What do you see as some of the more important trends taking place in the lubrication field?: The most important trend that I see is the understanding and teaching of holistic lubrication programs. It is not enough to do lube procurement, storage, application, analysis or disposal correctly by itself. These and other actions must all be planned and executed with purpose as part of the maintenance strategy to gain the most possible benefit for the plant.
"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.