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December 2005

Lubrication Institute

Benchmarking Lubrication Programs

By: John H. Marino
President of Lubrication Institute LLC
Phone: (913) 661-0830
Email: John Marino

See Listing on

Lubrication Institute provides many different types of courses for personnel, the following is a general outline of what we would present in our introductory benchmarking course.

Lubrication schedules matching actual plant and equipment requirements optimize production, minimize downtime, and reduce lubricant and operations costs, achieved through benchmarking your lubrication program.

What is it? What is involved?, Purpose, Outline to consider, Example of a Planned Lubrication Program, Current Situations, Personnel, Education, Skills to achieve � Class recommendation, Survey, Purchasing, Storage, Dispensing, Lubricant Analysis, 5 Rights � Quick review

What is lubrication benchmarking?
The standard for Industry�s best lubrication practices that may be measured and achieve outstanding performance.

What is involved in lubrication benchmarking?
Practices, Procedures, Methods, Equipment and Record keeping.

Purpose for benchmarking:
To increase the knowledge from comparison with other companies because knowledge is force. Also to acquire ideas for improvement and build structure for continues improvement.

The Process for benchmarking:
Similar operations, best practices, comparisons and incorporating best practices equals superior performance. What is involved in benchmarking a lubrication program and what can be expected?

General outline to consider:
Selection of areas for improvement, identify current practices, decide on quality and cost objectives, review safety and environmental hazards, methods to measure savings from improvements, inquire as to the best practices for successful lubrication program, benchmark with other companies or outside advisors, and evaluate the benchmarking results in certain time frames - such as quarterly, employee involvement, reasonable and achievable performance targets, choice of the best performance reporting systems, decide on improvements in your lubrication program to be made, some estimates as to the time, costs and benefits to be achieved, decide on who will be involved and responsible, submit plan of action to top management for their review and approval, get started and move forward.

Example 1 � Planned Lubrication Program:

  • Step 1 � evaluate equipment and grasp present status.
  • Create and update equipment ledger.
  • Create and implement equipment evaluation criteria.
  • Define failures due to lubrication.
  • Grasp present status � number of failures, etc.
  • Set lubrication goals.
  • Example 2 � Planned Lubrication Program:

  • Step 2 � Restore deterioration and improve weaknesses.
  • Restore deterioration and maintain basic conditions.
  • Elimination and improve enforced deterioration environment.
  • Prevent recurrence of serious failures and similar troubles.
  • Improve weaknesses and extend life.
  • Improve process failures and manual work.
  • Other examples that we cover in this course include the following:

  • Example 3 � Build information management system.
  • Example 4 � Build periodic Lubrication System.
  • Example 5 � Building a Lubrication System.
  • Example 6 � Evaluate Planed Maintenance.
    Low esteem by corporate management assuming proper selections and optimum use of lubricants is simple and insignificant, which leads to: No reliable documentation for

  • Lubricant performance unscheduled.
  • Specific numbers and lengths of downtime.
  • >Cost of replacing failed or damaged parts.
  • Operating problems directly related to inadequate lubrication � unrecognized and accepted as normal operation procedures.
  • Too many lubricants.
  • Being sold lubricants � instead of buying lubricants.
  • Lubricants being purchased without specifications.
  • Update lubrication survey � never accomplished.
    (% Arrived at with testing before & after testing),/p>

    68.3% comprehension
    43.9% comprehension
    32.7% comprehension
    29.1% comprehension
    17.3% comprehension
    Group interaction learning with certification
    Internet training with interaction ad testing
    Individual CD training
    Video training
    "Spray and Pray"
    (Compliments of Plant Support & Evaluation Inc., Naples, Florida)

    Who are the employees involved in the lubrication program? How do you choose who is going to be a lubricant technician? Appoint ONE person to be responsible � it is an absolute fact that there can only be one leader. Communicate. Maturity. Physical ability. Decision-making � judgment, Reliable.


  • Determines quality � Final Schedules and Success of Program.
  • Equipment and component parts requiring lubrication � specific location � model � serial number � function � manufacturer � operating instructions.
  • Lubricant recommendation, by machine, components and parts.
  • Determine lubricants presently being used.
  • Identify type of each lubrication point � circulating � grease fittings � manual � automatic.
  • Detailed visual inspection for problems such as leakage, excessive noise, heat, vibration, loose and damaged parts � each machine � each component.
  • Establish lubricating schedules.
  • Check quality of lubricant shipments.

  • Determine who is responsible!
  • Does this person or group have the tools to purchase the correct lubricants?
  • Are being sold instead of buying?

  • Bid process
  • How many suppliers does your company have?
  • How many lubricants does your company have?
  • Bulk � storage tanks, totes, jumbo drums, price.
  • Inventory.
  • Misapplication � greater number of lubricants � higher risk of the wrong product � into wrong component.
    Weather � Temperature � Contamination, Central location, Easy access, adequate separation � avoid drum mixing, Handle drums with care, Avoid outside storage, Guard against contamination (Indoor, Fireproof, Dust, Water, By-products of production, Caps on dispensing cans, Keep dispensing equipment, carts, truck clean and in repair, Bulk � storage � avoids contamination.

    Carts � large enough to prevent numerous return trips for refills (Push, Motorized), Grease Guns, Barrel Pumps, Oil Cans (Not galvanized), Filters, Metering.

    Right Amount, Right Quality, Right Type, Right Place, Right Time.

    John H. Marino is President and founder of Lubrication Institute, LLC. He has had 43 plus years experience in the lubricant business and has seen the incredible impact lubrication can have on a company's profit margin. His international firm specializes in lubricants and lubrication training, cost control, troubleshooting, usage & storage of greases and oils, plus offers guidance to individual lubricant needs, such as formulation, manufacturing, equipment design, testing and specialized certification courses, and serves as Expert Witness. He has formulated over 250,000 different types of lubricants.

    Marino's knowledge of lubricants dates back to his position as Research Chemist, Plant Manager, Vice President of Research and Development, and President at Southwest Grease and Oil of Kansas City, which was the world's largest independent manufacturer of lubricants. Marino's reputation as an expert on lubricants is known throughout the industry. He is frequently a speaker at corporate and technical meetings and has written numerous articles. His educational lubricant courses have been widely received by many Fortune 500 companies. Lubrication Institute is unique and successful because they have no affiliation with any supplier or manufacturer, which enables them to present a completely unbiased view as an educator and an expert witness.

    See his Profile on

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