Nissan's Greear Sees the Benefits of Lubrication Excellence

Noria Corporation

Name: Jason Greear

Age: 34

Job Title: Lube/conveyor technician

Company: Yates Services at Nissan North America 

Location: Smyrna, Tennessee

Length of Service: 6 years

Jason Greear’s career at Nissan North America began in the production department. However, he soon moved into mechanical maintenance as a lube technician while continuing to learn about lubrication and the conveyors in all the plant’s shops. In 2013, Greear was offered a lubrication management role in Nissan’s predictive maintenance (PdM) lab. When it was proven that a large percentage of the plant’s downtime could be avoided and that costs could be reduced by using lubrication best practices, Nissan decided to put a greater emphasis on its lubrication program. The positive results have made it clear to Greear and his team that while these practices may cost some money upfront, the long-term return is worth much more.

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

A: I was given in-house training on our lubrication procedures and attended some one-day lubrication best-practice workshops.

Q: What professional certifications have you attained?

A: I am certified as a Level I Machine Lubrication Technician (MLT) by the International Council for Machinery Lubrication.

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

A: You can never get enough training in a world that is changing every day. I plan to take an exam in the coming months to continue my certifications and further my career path.

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

A: I start my day by checking emails to see if we had any lubrication issues the night before and then looking at our daily lube-fill sheets to monitor which pieces of equipment were our heavy hitters the day before. I next make my way around through the shops, addressing any issues with the technicians and supervisors.

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

A: Being one of the largest automotive plants in North America with more than 5.9 million square feet, we lubricate more than 250,000 pieces of equipment, ranging from bearings and gearboxes to overhead chains, as well as maintain hydraulic systems throughout the plant. We sample and test onsite all critical hydraulic systems, motors and gearboxes plant wide. 

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

A: I am assisting with the installation process of kidney-loop systems on our blank-washing units. We are filtering the washing oil to reduce particle contaminants on our outer-skin panels.

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

A: The kidney-loop system on our blank-washing units has been one of the biggest successes I have been a part of. We have been able to reduce scrap and outer-skin rejects by a large amount by having cleaner oil on the parts during the stamping process. We were also able to reduce downtime and our rework costs as well.

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

A: The supervisors and upper management have taken a long look at lubrication after seeing the results from the positive changes we have made. The reduction in downtime and cost savings have been a great eye-opener for a lot of people. Our managers and maintenance director provide great support in our lubrication management program.

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

A: One of the biggest trends I see is the changing mindset of people, from lube techs and supervisors to upper management. It is important to show them that there is more to it than “grease is grease, and oil is oil.” There is a specific reason why we use the type of grease or oil that we use.

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