Wright Fuels Reliability-based Lubrication Program at Continental

Name: Dr. Nathan C. Wright

Age: 52

Job Title: Maintenance Manager

Company: Continental Building Products

Location: Silver Grove, Kentucky

Length of Service: Less than a year

Although Dr. Nathan Wright has served as the maintenance manager for Continental Building Products for less than a year, he brings 34 years of experience to his job with the world’s largest manufacturer of wallboard. A fourth-generation maintenance man, Wright began his career in machinery lubrication while serving in the U.S. Navy. After leaving the military, he worked for a large mining company that valued lubrication. It was here that Wright started to understand the importance of lubrication. As he advanced through the ranks, he continued to pursue the necessary education to realize plant-wide reliability. Wright’s current focus remains on proper lubrication and the strategies required to achieve it.

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

A: I studied electrical engineering at the University of Arizona and have a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree in business administration and a doctorate. I also have completed the U.S. Navy’s Advanced Electronic Program, as well as a journeyman electrician apprenticeship and a journeyman instrumentation apprenticeship.

Q: What professional certifications have you attained?

A: I recently passed the Machine Lubrication Technician (MLT) Level I exam through the International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML).

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

A: I keep my certifications, licenses and advanced education current with various seminars, workshops and conferences.

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

A: I attend a morning safety huddle and shift start meeting, and then work alongside my maintenance team in the development of maintenance strategies that will enable our organization to deliver our product safely and with the highest quality. My department’s goal is to provide the operation with reliable equipment capable of producing our product without variance.

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

A: We have 105 lubricated assets that we maintain in the highest reliable state.

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

A: I am leading an organization-wide effort to develop and implement a comprehensive lubrication program that will extend the life of our equipment and deliver reliable operation.

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

A: Developing and implementing reliability-based lubrication programs for several organizations that I have worked for or had as clients have had the greatest impact on the overall success of the organizations’ transition from reactive to proactive maintenance.

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

A: The company has an understanding of the importance of lubrication. It has been on a journey of continuous improvement in this respect and is currently working on the next phase in the process. All of the projects we undertake are focused on improving our product for our customers, and we understand that machine efficiency is driven by solid lubrication practices.

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

A: I think the education of organizations using lubricated assets is the foundation to improvement in the field. In a review of corporation leaders, it is evident that the majority do not have any background in asset management. Helping these leaders understand the importance of lubrication needs to be a focus for maintenance and reliability groups if we hope to advance reliability.

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

A: Our company values compel us to continuously improve. We work tirelessly to follow these values in an effort to provide the best product in our industry. The path from reactive maintenance to a reliability-centered maintenance approach has fueled the company’s emphasis on lubrication.

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