Smucker's Anderson Utilizing Lubrication Best Practices

Name: Joe Anderson

Age: 36

Job Title: Reliability Leader

Company Name: J.M. Smucker Co.

Location: Toledo, Ohio

Length of Service: 1 year

When Joe Anderson began his career in the maintenance field as a lubrication technician, he started to realize the importance of lubrication. After attending a lubrication basics course, his eyes were opened to the fact that lubrication is not just important, it’s critical. Over the years, Anderson worked for several food-processing companies before coming to the J.M. Smucker Co. in Toledo, Ohio. Although he has been at Smucker’s for only a short time, he is already helping to drive the company culture toward a more proactive, precision-based approach and is proud that his plant now utilizes lubrication best practices on all of its equipment.

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

A: I have had training in lubrication, ultrasound, ammonia refrigeration, boilers, process safety management and total productive maintenance (TPM), to name a few.

Q: What professional certifications have you attained?

A: I have the Machine Lubrication Technician (MLT) Level I certification from the International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML), the Certified Assistant Refrigeration Operator (CARO) certification through the Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians Association (RETA), and the Certified Reliability Leader (CRL) certification through the Association of Maintenance Professionals (AMP).

Q: Are you planning to obtain additional training or achieve any other certifications?

A: Yes. It is my belief that you can and will never stop learning.

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

A: I start by checking emails and my calendar to plan the day. I then have a few conversations to find out how the night shift went and if there are any pressing issues. I meet with my planner/scheduler and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) buyer to see if anything is pressing with them and where we are for the week in our planning/kitting process. After that, the leadership team meets to discuss issues from the day before and sets the agenda for the priorities of the day. I spend the rest of my day looking at key performance indicators (KPIs) and cost savings/avoidance opportunities to help sell value, as well as working on tasks that pertain to the achievement of our goals.

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

A: We are lubricating close to 2,500 assets. We perform oil analysis on all of our mixer gearboxes and grease sampling on all of our robot gearboxes.

Q: On what lubrication-related projects are you currently working?

A: We are currently training operators to take over some of the lubrication tasks. We have almost completed color-coding all of our gearboxes and grease fittings for the type of lubrication used. We have also begun precision lubrication through the use of ultrasound and a grease gun caddy on the mills within our facility.

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

A: Plant rebuild preventive maintenance (PM) was a huge undertaking for me. Being new to the plant and not understanding the operation of the equipment, it was difficult for me to coach, lead and direct without knowing how the equipment needs to be disassembled and reassembled. I have leaned heavily on my team, and they have stepped up and made it very easy for me. We now have restored equipment and procedures in place to maintain the equipment. With everything back to its base condition, PMs optimized and CILs (cleaning, inspections and lubrication tasks) utilized, we are starting to see sustainable efficiency gains.

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

A: Our company views machinery lubrication as a critical part of our overall maintenance program. Through a comprehensive oil analysis program and a well-developed lubrication program, along with the initiatives that drive best practices through the progressive maintenance and autonomous maintenance pillars of our Smucker’s Quality Management System (SQMS), we are able to show significant savings in maintenance costs every year that in return contribute to the company being one of the lowest cost producers of our products in the industry.

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

A: Overall organizational awareness is starting to come to fruition. I believe it is important for everyone in an organization to understand the critical nature of lubrication best practices and how they affect each area of the business.

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

A: Several things have brought machinery lubrication into the spotlight in our company. I would say the largest contributors are knowledge and communication. We have an operations team like no other. This is rare these days. We all work together to execute best practices at the highest level. We have operators who understand and execute lubrication best practices. Our maintenance department is very experienced and understands the criticality of good lubrication practices. The strong leadership and management of our department has been the enabling factor of our successes. We have been able to provide thousands of dollars in both cost savings and cost avoidance, giving us the credibility with senior management to trust and believe in what we do.

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