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Name: Matthew Felix
Job Title: Lubrication Specialist Company: Heartland Pet Food Manufacturing
Location: Richmond, Indiana
Length of Service: 2 years
Although Matthew Felix has only been with Heartland Pet Food Manufacturing for about two years, he has been working on the company’s lubrication program from the very start. This requires him to have his hands in almost everything related to lubrication. It was at Heartland where Felix first was introduced to best-practice machinery lubrication. Of the many projects he has been involved with, Felix has found equipment modification to be the most challenging, as it demands lots of time and parts.
Q: What types of training have you taken to reach your current position?
A: I have taken machinery lubrication, oil analysis and food processing equipment lubrication courses.
Q: What professional certifications have you attained?
A: I have Level I and II Machinery Lubrication Technician as well as Level II and III Machine Lubricant Analyst certifications.
Q: Are you planning to obtain additional training or achieve higher certifications?
A: Currently, I am preparing to take the Machinery Lubrication Engineer (MLE) training and certification. I am eager to learn more and help Heartland meet our goals and potential.
Q: What’s a normal workday like for you?
A: We start our day with a pass-down meeting. Then, I check my preventive maintenance (PM) schedule and get started. There usually are a lot of inspections to be done, including sight glasses, breathers, thermal checks and ultrasound checks. Rotating the kidney-loop filtration carts is another daily activity. There is plenty that keeps me busy.
Q: What is the amount and range of equipment you help service through lubrication/oil analysis tasks?
A: We currently have a little more than 1,300 pieces of equipment that I and my coworker take care of for all lubrication and analysis. We have hydraulic units, pumps, electric motors and gearboxes.
Q: On what lubrication-related projects are you currently working?
A: We are working to install and program multi-line grease pumps for several pieces of equipment that need to be greased often.
Q: How does your company view machinery lubrication in terms of importance and overall business strategy?
A: It is considered part of the foundation of our maintenance plan. It is fully supported from top management down.
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 most exciting thing happening is the growing popularity of utilizing multiple systems together to prevent failures. Using ultrasound, vibration analysis, infrared and oil analysis together to find problems sooner and prevent downtime saves a lot of stress for everyone.
Q: What has made your company decide to put more emphasis on machinery lubrication?
A: Our plant manager is the driving force that made our lubrication program a priority. He had previously been through training and implemented a similar program at another facility and saw the benefits firsthand. He brought that with him and made believers of everyone about the criticality of having a world-class lubrication program.