Viewpoint Gaining a New Perspective

Drew Troyer

I am at the same time both happy and sad to announce that this will be my last contribution to the Viewpoint column of Machinery Lubrication magazine. I’m sad because I’ve enjoyed commenting about the strategic and management aspects of machinery lubrication over the past four years.

I’m excited to take on the challenge of writing my new column, The Exponent. The Merriam-Webster dictionary offers the following definition for the word exponent:

1 : a symbol written above and to the right of a mathematical expression to indicate the operation of raising to a power

2 a : one that expounds or interprets
b : one that champions, practices, or exemplifies

The first definition is, of course, mathematical. It so happens that the exponential distribution based upon the base of natural logarithms (2.718…) is the most fundamental mathematical element of the reliability engineering discipline. The second definition suggests one who a) interprets and b) champions, practices and exemplifies.

In my column, it is my mission to interpret and champion the building blocks of effective reliability engineering. In my view, the juxtaposition of the two primary dictionary definitions perfectly exemplifies my objectives for

The Exponent column. In this column, I’ll discuss how to apply reliability engineering methods, which historically have focused primarily on product reliability assurance, to plant reliability problems and opportunities.

But I’ll also deal with other foundational aspects of maintenance and reliability, such as life cycle costing, including reliability-centered design and reliability-centered procurement, root cause analysis, staffing, proactive management of the interface between in-plant maintenance and reliability engineering with design engineering, staffing and skills management, financial analysis methods for the reliability engineer and a host of other topics. I’m excited about the future.

While my ongoing editorial focus will be The Exponent column, I’m still keenly interested in machinery lubrication and oil analysis for machine condition monitoring. As such, I’ll continue to devote time and energy to writing technical articles for Machinery Lubrication magazine as well as its sister publication, Practicing Oil Analysis magazine.

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