Is Your Company a Good Candidate for the Gill or Battle Award?

Suzy Jamieson, ICML

As part of its mission to dignify the careers of lubrication and oil analysis professionals, the International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML) has developed an awards program dedicated to recognizing excellence in the application of machinery lubrication and oil analysis. The Augustus H. Gill Award is focused on oil analysis programs, while the John R. Battle Award concentrates on machinery lubrication programs.

These photos showcase the lube room at Invista’s plant in Victoria, Texas,
which won the John R. Battle Award in 2009.

The general intent of these awards is to give recognition to the team at each recipient plant, elevating its profile within the company and at a global level. But how do you know if your company is a good candidate for one of the ICML awards? This question can be answered by reviewing the awards criteria and examining the previous winners to see which attributes their programs have in common. Following are five of the most important characteristics of past recipients.

Commitment to Education

Whether utilizing in-house training programs, professional training providers, oil laboratories or lubricant suppliers, the most common trait of ICML-award-winning programs is that their training is extensive. It also is not restricted to technicians and often even includes operators.

Maintenance Culture and Management Support

Another important factor is the maintenance culture in which these programs operate. World-class programs tend to exist where management has demonstrated buy-in and sees excellence as a competitive advantage. These organizations understand that this is a long-term journey requiring a culture change and that a culture change does not happen overnight. Management at these types of facilities also stays with their programs through good and bad times.

Utilizing Metrics

ICML award winners tend to be “metric maniacs,” trending key performance indicators (KPIs) such as the percentage of lubricant used vs. the percentage of lubricant disposed of, cleanliness targets achieved and meantime between failures. These metrics can speak volumes when trying to justify the necessary investments. Remember, what gets measured gets done.

Use of Detailed Instructions

This includes using visuals such as clearly displayed procedure sheets, color-coding of machines and equipment used for storage and transfer of lubricants, as well as specifications targeted to the application.

ICML Awards Criteria

  • Condition monitoring
  • Commitment to education and skills competencies
  • Maintenance culture and management support
  • Preventive, predictive and proactive program design and effectiveness
  • Technology integration
  • Use of information technology
  • Use of standardized procedures
  • Contamination control
  • Performance metrics and reporting
  • Continuous improvement
  • Lubrication management

Previous ICML Award Recipients

Augustus H. Gill Award Winners

Arizona Public Service, Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station; J.R. Simplot, Smoky Canyon Mine; Southern Company, Georgia Power; Rio Tinto, Kennecott Energy Company; Clopay Plastics, Augusta, Ky.; Great River Energy, Coal Creek Station; Energizer Battery, Maryville, Mo.; International Paper, Courtland Plant

John R. Battle Award Winners

Clopay Plastics, Augusta, Ky.; Valero Energy Corp., Port Arthur, Texas; Cargill Corn Milling, Wahpeton, N.D.; Eli Lilly and Co., Indianapolis, Ind.; Invista, Victoria, Texas; Minera Yanacocha, Newmont Plant; Visy Pulp and Paper, Gibson Island Plant; Nissan North America, Smyrna, Tenn.

Improved Filtration

Improved filtration, including the filtering of new oil prior to dispensation, offers a great way to achieve results. With contamination such a significant contributor to lubrication-related failures, this is an area where organizations can get real bang for their buck.

To start your journey, review the ICML awards criteria, identify the areas that need work and find a lubrication coach or contact previous ICML award winners. As you move toward improved lubrication practices, don’t forget to document where you are currently and each step along the way, keeping in mind that a picture is worth a thousand words.

Be sure to celebrate each improved KPI, recognize your front-line team and sell the potential benefits to management. When you believe your program is at a world-class level, submit your nomination for an ICML award. These recognition of excellence awards are free of charge and open to end-user companies worldwide. Simply email your plant information to

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