Gamboa Alvarez Leads Yanacocha to World-Class Lubrication

Name: Juan José Gamboa Alvarez

Age: 33

Title: Condition Monitoring Specialist

Years of Service: 9 years

Company: Yanacocha Newmont Mining Corporation

Location: Cajamarca, Peru

Nine years ago when Juan José Gamboa Alvarez arrived at the Yanacocha Newmont Mining Corporation in Cajamarca, Peru, his first assignment was as a lubrication technician for a new project called “La Quinua Agglomeration.” The training he received on this project was essential in understanding the importance of machinery lubrication and the care of lubricants in the productive process.

In 2006, he took part in the training and commissioning program to support the plant startup of the Phoenix Mill Newmont Operation in Nevada. During this time, he served as a plant mechanic technician, maintenance planner and plant lubrication technician before assuming his current position as a condition monitoring specialist. He previously was employed as a plant mechanic technician at Aceros Arequipa, where he was responsible for maintaining and repairing hydraulic equipment for the iron manufacturing company.

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

A I have had training in maintenance management, predictive maintenance, oil analysis, machinery lubrication, vibration analysis, thermography, reliability strategies for asset management and sigma reliability solutions.

Q What professional certifications have you attained?

A I currently hold Machine Lubricant Analyst (MLA) Level III and Machine Lubrication Technician (MLT) Level I certifications from the International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML), as well as a Vibration Analyst Level II certification.

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

A I am preparing to become a certified maintenance reliability professional (CMRP) through the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP).

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

A The day begins with a briefing with the maintenance team, talking about safety, social responsibility and environmental issues. Then the predictive team reviews any equipment that has been repaired or replaced during the last 24 hours. Whether the defect has indeed been removed and new defects have not been introduced as a result of maintenance activity are confirmed through vibration analysis. Next, we start our route of inspections that were previously planned and scheduled. After finishing the route, I analyze the data collected to generate reports and work requests.

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

A At the process plants, we count 680 lubricated pieces of equipment that are under the strategy of preventive maintenance and 220 pieces of equipment that are under the condition-based maintenance strategy through oil analysis. The main equipment includes crushing, grinding and driving machines for hydraulic equipment such as motors and pumps, conveyor belts for gearboxes, mixers, oil heaters, hydraulic apron feeders, centrifugal pumps, etc.

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

A We are striving to make improvement in our oil filtration system to achieve better ISO cleanliness levels. Currently, in the mill lubrication system, we have a cleanliness of 17/17/16. Our target is to achieve a cleanliness level of 15/13/12. This project involves analyzing the filter performance, its beta factor and hydraulic energy losses, as well as drawing up a guideline as to the source of wear metals detected by oil analysis. The primary aim of the project is to ensure the reliability of the hydraulic equipment, extend the components’ lifecycle and maximize the useful life of the oil.

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

A In 2010 I was on a project team called the Gold Mill Lubrication Program that was honored by the ICML with the John R. Battle Award. This recognition has served as a great motivation and encouraged us to continue with our day-to-day best practices. This is enabling us to continuously improve our machine reliability, maintenance quality and management of a best-in-class machinery lubrication program.

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

A Yanacocha Mining considers lubrication very important to achieve its business strategy. We recognized the importance of training in machinery lubrication and oil analysis as the main factors contributing to world-class lubrication. Each year an internal lubrication audit is performed in all our plants. This is to maintain the best practices and the standards of contamination control.

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

A I think the trends in lubrication involve environmental responsibility. The use of synthetic oils is a good alternative to reduce energy consumption, increase oil life and achieve other benefits. Oil analysis and filtration systems are great predictive tools that complement this labor. At Yanacocha’s process plant, we are promoting the integrated use of condition-based maintenance methods and their benefits. These kinds of methods are part of a new generation of world-class maintenance.

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