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The Ingredion plant in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has been chosen as the recipient of the 2017 International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML) John R. Battle Award for excellence in the application of machinery lubrication. Jeff Mohn, the plant’s maintenance manager, accepted the award during the recent Reliable Plant Conference & Exhibition in Indianapolis.
“I’ve been really blessed to work with this team,” Mohn said. “They’ve worked incredibly hard and have gone through a lot of training. We have worked through our shutdowns and any other available time to get to this point. They have done an incredible job. I also appreciate the support we have had outside the company working with Noria as well.”
A global ingredients solutions company, Ingredion produces sweeteners, starches, nutrition ingredients and bio materials generated from corn, tapioca, sago and potatoes. The Winston-Salem facility was built by Corn Products in 1981. Corn Products later acquired National Starch and changed its name to Ingredion in 2010. Along with the new name, new philosophies and concepts began to be introduced. Consultants were also brought in to help assess what the plant was doing and where it was in its journey to reliability excellence. An assessment performed by Noria Corporation forced the facility to take a long, hard look at its lubrication practices.
“At Winston, we really took that as an opportunity to figure out what we could do better,” Mohn noted. “Everybody’s heart was in the right place. It was just a matter of finding the right tools, the right systems and the right processes to get us moving there.”
Once the opportunities were identified, a lot of changes were made in a short period of time, and things began to get better. George Warwick, the plant’s maintenance supervisor, also decided to learn more about world-class maintenance by attending a number of reliability conferences, including the Reliable Plant Conference & Exhibition. He soon realized a new lubrication building would be needed.
Ingredion had been storing lubricants in an area where they could be kept dry but which could not keep them clean or out of the elements. The new lubricant storage building would ensure that every oil drum would be clean, cool and dry.
“Everything is visual, everything has its place, and everything is labeled, including the floor,” Warwick said of the plant’s current lubricant storage area.
Oil is now filtered both coming in and going out of the facility. There are also dedicated drum dispensers and lube carts. In-house analysis is performed to determine the oil’s particle count, acid number and water content. In addition, every oil drum is checked when it enters the plant and before it is placed into the main lubricant storage area.
“We’ve done a lot in a year and a half,” Mohn added. “We want to keep doing what we’re doing well, and we want to continue to get better at it. We’re going to continue the education.”
The John R. Battle Award was designed to motivate companies to improve machine reliability and maintenance quality through development, implementation and management of a best-in-class machinery lubrication program.
To become an award recipient, an organization must demonstrate a solid lubrication program, supported by multi-disciplinary efforts and approaches, with sustainable results and continued improvements. Among other factors, the John R. Battle Award criteria will include the following:
The ICML awards are open to organizations worldwide. A company does not need to be involved with ICML to receive the award. To submit a nomination for one of ICML’s recognition of excellence awards, email your plant information to firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information, visit www.icmlonline.com.