Reliability Centered Lubrication

Our method works on the principle of the cascade: each step is built on the information collected in the previous step. The result is a planned, standardized and repetitive approach that ensures success while reducing costs and associated manpower.

The different stages of the process can be grouped into 4 phases. The audit phase is a prerequisite for the setup of a lubrication plan.

Phase 0: Assessment

This first step consists in evaluating the performance of the lubrication practices currently in place within the production unit. This evaluation is essential because it allows to set clearly defined progress objectives but also to serve as a reference for the assessment of future improvements.

This analysis is based on interviews (open discussions) conducted with the main actors at all levels of the hierarchy. The report of these discussions will be transposed in our processing tool: list of more than 150 questions, classified in 12 axes. Each question will be assigned a weighting (if necessary) as well as a positive (1) or negative (0) answer. An average value per axis is then calculated.

Below, the list of analyzed axes:

  • Standardization, consolidation and purchase of lubricants
  • Storage and handling of lubricants
  • Lubricant analysis plan
  • Sampling procedures for lubricant analysis
  • Control of solid and liquid contamination
  • Training and knowledge of lubrication personnel
  • Lubrication and re-lubrication practices
  • Program Management
  • Procedures
  • Objectives and evaluations
  • Control of leaks
  • Continuous improvement

Each axis represents a pillar in your lubrication management system, you will have at the end of the audit, a clear and pragmatic view of your strengths, your weak points, objectives adapted to your reality as well as the plan of action to follow in order to achieve these objectives.

Phase 1: Survey

This phase consists in updating the list of all the machines concerned by the lubrication plan, visiting them one by one and evaluating the lubrication of each component in real conditions.

This item includes the statement, in Excel format, of the entire machine park. For each system, the information collected is:

  1. Functional reference (station number);
  2. Location (area, building, room, floor, etc ...);
  3. Number of lubrication points;
  4. Amount of lubricant;
  5. Type of lubricant (manufacturer's specifications).

This inventory makes it possible to determine the basic needs of each equipment.

Each lubricated machine element is then listed as a lubrication point and each point implemented in our database with the following characteristics:

  1. Choice of lubricant;
  2. Frequency of re-lubrication (emptying, grease add, Oil add, etc.);
  3. Lubrication method;
  4. Recommended filtration;
  5. Recommended desiccator;
  6. Sampling frequency.

Note: Not all of these features are required for all lubrication points.


Phase 2: Lubrication plan implementation

The implementation of the on-site plan is the key to the effectiveness of an efficient and cost-effective lubrication program. It integrates newly defined procedures with existing maintenance procedures to ensure a smooth transition between old and new practices.

Note: all our deliverables are written according to Master Data templates in order to facilitate integration in a CMMS.

The implementation of the plan is done by several stages.

1. Drafting procedures

During this phase, procedures based on the best practices of lubrication are generated. This phase is structured according to Icare methods to guarantee efficiency and effectiveness while reducing the time required for its completion.

The purpose of these procedures is to serve as a reference document, detailing step by step how the lubrication tasks will be carried out, and this, to match the best practices of the industry. Photos and illustrations will be introduced in these documents to quickly become familiar with the tasks to be accomplished.

Simplified worksheets oriented towards the realization of the task will be published in parallel. These documents are easily integrated with preventive and predictive work orders.

2. Establishment of procedures

This step allows the integration of complete and abbreviated procedures into existing maintenance management programs. In this way, the workforce can be optimized by eliminating tasks with low added value.

3. Equipment modification

The implementation of a quality lubrication inevitably requires the adaptation of critical equipment for better maintainability and reliability. This step includes, for example, the addition / modification of component to improve emptying, refilling, cleaning, filtration, routine inspection or sampling. All the improvements will be proposed but no modification of the equipment is included in this offer.

4. Lubrication routes and tasks distribution

The final step is to transfer the procedures to lubrication routes to allow work planning. Depending on the habits of the production unit, daily, weekly or monthly routes are created based on the types of tasks to be performed (emptying, refilling, filter replacement ...), the geographical location of the machines, the type of lubricant and the recommended frequencies.

These routes create an estimate of the necessary manpower for each of them.

I-lube : the lubrication service company of I-care. 

I-lube is part of the I-care Group and has been created following increasing requests from customers to ensure lubrication management of their machines. I-care has been offering lubrication services for about 15 years. We decided to set up teams within I-lube to ensure on site lubrication activities, and thus complete our services. 

  • On site lubrication: The availability of an experienced and qualified staff to ensure your lubrication activities on site.
  • Lubrication plan: An audit will help us to establish the actual level of performance of your lubrication plan.
  • Lubricant analysis: More than 40% of bearing failures appear before end-of-life due to bad lubrication (contamination, chemistry, wear).

I-lube also proposes solutions for lubricants storage & handling.

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