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Intelligent Lubrication Solutions™

Intelligent Lubrication Solutions™

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5 Traits of an Effective Maintenance Manager

Posted by Jeff Muellenbach on Apr 5, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Effective-Maintenance-Manager.jpgWhen it comes to maximizing the effectiveness of your lubrication program, figuring out which fluids work best in your machines isn’t the only part. It’s how you apply those fluids, respond to problems, and manage your resources that also determine your success as a maintenance manager. Being organized, well trained, and having a proactive mindset are all key traits a maintenance manager should possess, not to mention being good at building relationships.

Your machinery life and productivity are only as good as your maintenance leadership, after all, so it’s important that you demonstrate the right behavior and characteristics that will help your team optimize performance. To help you develop and enhance the skills that will maximize your effectiveness as a maintenance manager, here’s a list of some of the common behavioral and personality traits of other successful maintenance managers:

1. Proactive

Are you the type of person that has to be told to do something in order for it to get done, or do you anticipate what needs to get done next and take matters into your own hands? In order to be a successful maintenance manager, you need to be able to think out potential problems before they occur, and implement the right preventative measures to prevent those problems from happening. Though it might sound like we’re asking you to predict the future, it’s really not as hard as you might think. Predictive maintenance systems have come a long way in being able to predict machine failures. By having a well-defined lubrication standard that outlines the proper steps to take in certain situations, you’ll know exactly how to handle (and prevent!) any problem that arises.

2. Well-Trained & Knowledgeable

When we say “well trained,” we mean that there are two primary areas in which maintenance managers need to have training. First, they have to be knowledgeable about general fluid and machine maintenance. If something happens to your pump, for example, you want someone who can diagnose what went wrong and knows what needs to be done to fix it.

The second way in which a maintenance manager must be well trained is that they have to understand the ins and outs of their plant’s own lubrication program and standards. It won’t matter how much you know about general fluid and machine maintenance if you can’t apply that knowledge to your own equipment. In addition, you also have to be responsible for teaching other team members how to do perform these tasks themselves. As the one in charge of lubrication maintenance, everyone will be turning to you for help, so it’s important that you know the answers to their questions. 

3. Shows Initiative 

If you’re a sports fan, you’ve probably heard some athletes being referred to as “students of the game.” In other words, these players go the extra mile studying film, memorizing the playbook, or looking for openings in defensive schemes so that they can perform at their highest level come game day. No matter how much they already know about the nuances of a sport, they’re always trying to stay ahead of the learning curve and soak up as much information as possible. For maintenance managers, the best ones share this same mindset when it comes to learning about lubrication strategies. They understand the importance of attending training conferences, seminars, and earning various industry certifications, never resting on their laurels. For example, the Plant Reliability seminar by Noria is a great learning opportunity for any lubrication newbies. Likewise, we also recommend potentially looking into the following certifications:

  • MLT-1
  • MLA-1 and MLT-2
  • CLS
  • SMRP

4. Organized and Analytical

In order to be a successful leader at any level, it’s always important to be well organized and have a carefully thought out plan for everything you want to accomplish. Especially when it comes to lubrication maintenance, there’s a lot that needs to be done on a daily basis, and you and your team need to be prepared to handle it. That being said, when your machines need maintenance, the best indicator you’ll get is from the data from your ERP/maintenance scheduling system. However, if you don’t know how to analyze it, it really won’t do you a lot of good. If you want to prevent problems before they happen, you need to know how to get data from your system, and you need to be able to interpret what that data means in regards to maintenance and repair costs. For example finding traces of, or showing higher than normal amounts of copper, tin, and lead in your fluid analysis can indicate that a bearing has already begun to prematurely wear.

5. Maintains Partnerships

You’re probably wondering, “how does maintaining partnerships have anything to do with lubrication maintenance?” Well, without the right vendor or lubricant supplier, you could find yourself in trouble if any unforeseen maintenance problems arise, and your fluid vendor is nowhere to be found. Likewise, if you select a vendor that doesn’t work closely with your team to determine the best fluids for your particular environment, a lack communication there will only lead to bigger problems down the road. As important it is to have well-trained, dedicated staff of your own, you also need to make the most of your outside partnerships and maintain reliable relationships.

That being said, if you’re looking to increase the effectiveness of your lubrication program, U.S. Lubricants offers a wide variety of products and services that can help make your program more efficient. Not only can we formulate a wide variety of custom lubricants to fit your plant’s specific operating requirements, but we’ll also work closely with your team to develop the ideal lubrication program and answer questions that you might have. In fact, think of us as an extension of your maintenance team!

To find out more about how U.S. Lubricants can help you optimize your plant’s lubrication, please contact Tony Springer at TSpringer@uslube.com and (800) 490-4900 ext. 8823.

Hydraulic Systems Maintenance Checklist

Topics: Lubrication Maintenance