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Professional certification offers numerous benefits, which have been detailed numerous times in the pages of Machinery Lubrication magazine. However, certified individuals can often provide a unique perspective on how they continue to profit from their certifications.
Joe Anderson is one such individual. As the reliability manager at the Schwan Food Co. in Salina, Kansas, Anderson has been certified for three years. He decided to obtain his certification because he needed to speak on lubrication best practices and wanted the necessary credentials to back it up.
“Personally, it has helped me with job advancement as well as empowered me to drive our lubrication programs to a best-practice level,” he said.
Much has changed for Anderson in the three years since obtaining his certification.
“As I have grown in my knowledge, it has given me the confidence to walk into any situation and know that I can make it better,” he noted.
Certified personnel can also benefit organizations, as employees gain an improved ability to ensure machine reliability and deliver quality assurance. In Anderson’s experience, this has resulted in reduced downtime, extended asset life and major cost savings on the bottom line.
Gloria Gonzalez’s company also saw the need to put more emphasis on training and certification.
“We wanted our staff to be more up to speed on current practices in the industry as well as with the body of knowledge,” said Gonzalez, who works at a division of WearCheck, an oil analysis laboratory. “This also helps foster a healthy competition among employees to further increase their knowledge and attain more certifications.”
Gonzalez has been certified for 10 years but just recently achieved her Machine Lubricant Analyst (MLA) Level I and II certifications through the International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML).
“The MLA was on my radar for many years, but I never got around to it,” Gonzalez admitted. “Last year I put it on my list of goals for 2015, and it got accomplished. This has given me more self-confidence in my field.”
After obtaining her MLA I and II certifications, Gonzalez has set her sights on ICML’s MLA III and Laboratory Lubricant Analyst certifications. She is now one of nine WearCheck employees who are certified. Like Anderson, Gonzalez has seen the advantages of having certified employees.
“We are seeing an increase in vendors requesting that suppliers have certified personnel, so this definitely helps,” she added. “Our employees also have more knowledge, so they begin to question processes, which leads to continuous improvements in the business.”
Continuous improvement was also something the Mosaic Co. was looking to achieve. A leading producer of phosphate-based fertilizers, the organization was experiencing equipment failures that revealed the need for better lubrication practices. Training and certification would be required to help implement these improved practices.
As part of the training plan, a number of Mosaic team members became certified, including Charlie Fast, the senior reliability engineer. Having been certified now for 16 years, Fast has noticed that individuals with certifications are able to speak a common language. He has also seen how lubrication has been elevated at his company from a low skill to the highest skilled position. More importantly, the organization’s assets are lasting longer.
“More individuals are becoming certified as a measure of their training and qualification,” Fast said. “Having to prepare and take the test allows these individuals to be recognized as having the knowledge to be qualified for these lubrication positions.”
There are many benefits to earning a certification. Certified professionals not only are better able to evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses, but they also have a broader understanding of the skills and toolsets that can be effective. Are you ready for the next step in your career path? Get prepared and become certified today.