Jones Knows the Importance of Proper Lubrication

Noria Corporation

Name: Donald Jones

Age: 62

Title: Predictive Systems Specialist

Years of Service: 33 years

Company: Citizens Energy Group

Location: Indianapolis, Ind.


Having worked in the predictive maintenance field for more than 26 years, Donald Jones has discovered the importance of knowing as much about lubrication as possible in order to achieve greater reliability. He has found that the lubricant types and grades used in machines are often taken for granted. However, with knowledge about the life blood of a machine, proper prevention is possible. Through training and continuous learning, Jones has been able to improve the oil condition in Citizens Energy Group’s systems, protecting the machines and extending the life of the equipment.

Q When did you get your start in machinery lubrication?

A My start in machinery lubrication came in the early 1980s when I was asked to find all the lubrication points on oven battery machinery and make sure they had been greased. I was asked to bring the lubrication schedule up to date for the oven battery.

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

A Citizens Energy Group encourages training of all types to give employees the tools necessary to progress and have more satisfaction in their careers. Over the years, my training has included leadership core subjects, vibration analysis, infrared, ultrasonics, lubrication, machinery maintenance and report writing.

Q What professional certifications have you attained?

A I am a category II vibration analyst and a certified level I infrared thermographer.

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

A I plan to attend classes to prepare for the International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML) Machine Lubrication Technician (MLT) Level I certification. Other training for certification being considered is in ultrasonic technology.

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

A It is common to have a lot of variety from day to day. A work day might consist of responding to vibration analysis requests or routine collection of vibration data for a route-based system, performing infrared or ultrasonic surveys, analyzing collected data, distributing reports with recommended action items, developing oil sampling programs for priority machines, specifying oil filtration systems, inspecting or troubleshooting priority oil filtration systems, staying up to date on plant lubrications, maintaining the lubrication guide, procedure writing, reviewing oil analysis reports, and following up with site supervision about abnormal or critical oil analysis results.

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

A Eventually, we will monitor or inspect more than 1,000 machines. As a utility that provides natural gas, steam, chilled water and water as well as treats wastewater, we have a wide variety of machinery. We have critical pumps as small as 5 horsepower (hp) and turbine generators as large as 18,000 hp.

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

A I currently use every opportunity to train personnel in oil sampling techniques and in developing an oil analysis program for critical machines. Another project I am working on is to improve the oil condition in small critical reservoirs by using a small, portable oil filtration system to polish and dry oil from those reservoirs.

Q What has made your company decide to put more emphasis on machinery lubrication?

A Citizens Energy Group and its sites have gone to great lengths over the past 26 years to seek continuous improvement in machinery lubrication. Citizens encourages areas to continuously improve and become involved to ensure that a safe and reliable system exists for the internal and external customers.

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

A Citizens views lubrication and how lubrication is handled environmentally as a high priority. Lubrication is the life blood of our machinery and must be properly handled not only to extend machinery life but also to be good stewards of our environment.

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

A The development of oil handling processes over the past few years has improved. Portable oil analysis instruments for pre-screening oil are plentiful. Procedures and tools have become more precise as we have all grown to understand the benefits of tracking conditions.

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

A I can think of a few successful projects, starting with a vibration analysis program that has now been in place for 26 years. Like any program, it has had its ups and downs, but it has provided the necessary information to identify faults and to assist in extending machine life.

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