How does a lubrication management program (LMP) save my company money? It’s one of the most common questions we get from plant managers today. That being said, having an LMP in place can significantly reduce your downtime, speed up productivity, reduce costly risks, and also decrease the likelihood of injury — all things that contribute to a healthy return on investment.
As someone who’s written a lot about LMPs in the past, we thought it’d be helpful to provide some concrete evidence and explanations of how this kind of program can positively impact your operations. If you’re curious about how having an LMP can improve your ROI, the two cases below should provide all the details you need.
Case #1: Paper Packaging Company
This company’s main lubricant — paper machine oil — was being brought into the facility in drums. Once inside, the oiler on staff had to move these drums around to different areas within the facility in order to fill equipment reservoirs. As you can imagine, moving a 55-gallon drum (weighing 400 pounds) using only a dolly was “an accident waiting to happen” and represented a huge liability for the company. After touring the facility, we conducted an audit, and executed a procedure to solve the problem, in which we identified a room in the basement that could be used as an oil room. From this point, a bulk tank was installed and designed so that it could be filled from the outside and, using a series of long hoses, the oiler was now able to fill all major reservoirs without the need to move heavy oil drums around the plant.
This also gave U.S. Lubricants the ability to monitor the level of oil in the tank remotely as part of the LMP. Through sensors and automatic alerts, we’re able to ensure there’s always an adequate lubricant supply. This is a far safer, easier-to-use solution that reduces time, effort and the risk of injury.
Because of the capacity of the tank, the company is now eligible for bulk pricing on their oil, which is a significant savings. Likewise, the potential risk associated with the oil drums was dramatically reduced, improving workers’ safety and efficiency of performing oiling tasks. Finally, the environmental safety risk was also reduced, because the plant’s oil is now contained in one room, reducing the risk of a potential spill.
Case #2: Marine Equipment OEM
This company was manually filling reservoirs on machines where the fluid was stored in a remote location and the topping off of sumps was inconvenient and time consuming. Additionally, with the weight and amount of oil being transported, health and safety concerns and issues had evolved. In order to find a better way to perform these tasks, an audit was needed. We proposed a solution to build a mobile distribution cart that carried lubricants for multiple pieces of equipment, so that trips to the storage room would be significantly reduced. The cost for the audit and the custom cart was dramatically less than the cost of downtime, a safety incident, OSHA penalty, workers compensation claims or other potential costs associated with this type of hazard — making it an easy decision.
While it’s impossible to calculate “what might have been” when it comes to the costs of incidents that were avoided because of this solution, we know that accidents do happen – and they happen every day at workplaces across the country. With the mobile cart in use, the company is now minimizing its risk of an incident that could cost them millions of dollars, while also making their workers’ jobs easier.
As you can see from the examples above, an LMP doesn’t just help you maintain equipment faster and more efficiently. After doing an audit of your practices, we may identify a number of areas where we can save you money and improve production efficiency.
- Proper storage and handling of lubricants
- Selecting the right lubricants, and applying them properly
- Storing lubricants for contamination and condition control
- Planning and scheduling lubrication-related tasks
- Effective, code-compliant waste handling
- Training employees on proper use of lubricants
- Lubricant analysis to determine the most effective products/blends
The benefits of an LMP are undeniable; these cost-effective solutions help reduce the risks of injury, improve overall productivity, and ensure safety of workers and the environment. If you don’t have one in place already, contact Tony Springer at TSpringer@uslube.com or by phone at (800) 490-4900 ext. 8823 to talk about how we can help develop a program that’s right for your needs.