Lubrication Plays Integral Role for Rehrig Pacific’s Leonard

Name: Ben Leonard

Age: 27

Job Title: Maintenance Manager

Company: Rehrig Pacific Co.

Location: Lawrenceville, Georgia

Length of Service: 1.5 years

Ben Leonard began his career in lubrication while serving as a reliability engineer at a cement manufacturing company, where he was in charge of lube routes, oil sampling and predictive maintenance. He later worked as a maintenance planner and supervisor. Now as the maintenance manager for Rehrig Pacific, Leonard considers lubrication an integral part of everything his company does in the hydraulic injection molding field. He also realizes the importance of continually improving yourself in today’s manufacturing world and sees certification as a pathway to help both him and his plant continue to enhance their oil sampling, analysis and handling techniques.

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

A: I normally work roughly 10-10.5 hours a day. During this time, I am working to plan and schedule large jobs, continuing to capture information regarding job plans, and looking for the most effective ways to improve and add to our proactive and predictive maintenance programs. I also spend a decent amount of time engaging my technicians by asking them for their take on certain issues or projects. I have a fantastic group of guys working with me, so I try to take full advantage of that.

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

A: I plan to achieve both Level I and II Machine Lubricant Analyst (MLA) certifications, and eventually become a certified maintenance and reliability professional.

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

A: I currently have 10 machines on which we perform oil sampling, ranging from hot-plate welders to 880- and 3,200-ton hydraulic injection molding machines (HIMMs). We are currently looking to expand this program if we deem it to be effective.

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

A: I am currently working to remove varnish from some of our larger HIMMs with a company I found during last year’s Reliable Plant Conference & Exhibition in Indianapolis.

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

A: In my previous career, I led and implemented a reliability-centered maintenance (RCM) analysis on a critical piece of equipment that saved the company several hundred thousand dollars in downtime.

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

A: I believe my company views lubrication as a top priority and rightly so, given the amount of hydraulic oil that we use every day for production.

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

A: I see us becoming smarter with oil analysis, proper handling and storage, and prevention of oil contamination. Small details have become the big talking points, especially with oil cleanliness and handling.

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

A: Previously, we were losing pumps frequently. After several root cause analyses (RCAs) were conducted to identify the problem, cavitation and contamination were determined to be the largest problems associated with those failures. Following up on this information has led us down the current path we are on regarding improving our hydraulic reliability, beginning with the life and quality of our hydraulic oil.

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