The CMRT exam is the leading credentialing program by the Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals (SMRP) for the knowledge, skills and abilities of maintenance and reliability technicians.
The CMRT exam tests competency and knowledge of specific tasks within 4 domains: Maintenance Practices, Preventative and Predictive Maintenance, Troubleshooting and Analysis, and Corrective Maintenance.
And that’s all well and good! But, why should you have your technicians certified? What are the benefits of having them pass the CMRT?
Here are 5 reasons why you should have your technicians certified:
- Validates the individual’s knowledge on maintenance and reliability best practices within the 4 domains.
- Confirms your commitment to advancing your team’s professional development.
- A globally recognized certification provides a personal level of satisfaction and pride of accomplishment.
- Encourages people to move beyond the status quo and achieve more for the organization.
- Determines strengths and opportunities by subject area to provide a development plan road-map.
Get certified today! Click here to learn more about the CMRT certification.
Learn about People and Processes’ Maintenance and Reliability Technician Core Concepts Course
by Yolanda Lopez
As Published by Solutions Magazine March/April 2018 issue
by Ana Maria Delgado, CRL and Shon Isenhour, CMRP CAMA CCMP, Founding Partner at Eruditio LLC
During the many root cause analysis (RCA) investigations we facilitate and coach, we notice some themes that continue to manifest themselves in the findings. Often, they are grouped under the heading of precision maintenance or lack thereof. Let’s take a look at some of them and determine if they are also killing your reliability.
The six killers are grouped into three areas: Lubrication, Misalignment and Undiagnosed Wear.
Click here to read the full article.
by Ana Maria Delgado, CRL
1. A Change in the Quantity of Grease Consumed
Maintenance departments track their grease consumption to monitor and control costs. A change in consumption is a sure sign that your lubrication program is on the right track.
Most organizations are guilty of over-lubricating. Expect lower grease consumption as your program matures. Bad procedures lead to bearings routinely receiving more grease than they’re designed to handle. The excess ends up being pushed into the motor casing or purged onto the floor.
Over lubrication happens when re-greasing intervals are scheduled based on time instead of condition. Control lubrication tasks with ultrasound to monitor condition and maintain optimal friction. The time between greasing intervals increases, resulting in less grease used per bearing.
2. Fewer Lube-Related Failures
Do you track failures and perform root cause analysis?
Organizations with optimized greasing programs experience fewer lube-related failures. Less fixing and fire-fighting translates to more creative time for maintenance. Use that time to bring more machines into the greasing program.
Additionally, with ultrasound you find many non-trendable defects. For example, broken or blocked grease pipes and incorrectly fitted grease paths prevent grease from reaching the bearing.
3. Optimized MRO Spares Management
Your new and improved lubrication program is delivering wins; better control of grease consumption, fewer failures, and more productivity for maintenance. Use this time to study trends and better manage your storeroom.
A decrease in bearing related failures improves spares optimization. Share your ultrasonic lubrication data with your MRO Stores manager to create a plan to reduce the number of emergency parts on hand.
Since you’re taking stock, why not shift some burden to your suppliers? Ask them to confirm your emergency parts against their own stock. If it can be supplied on the same day then it doesn’t need to be on the balance sheet.
4. Increased Number of Machines Monitored
One benefit of an effective lubrication program is time.
• Time allotted to monitoring machines instead of fixing them.
• Time allotted to correctly assessing the real needs for lubrication.
• Time to look at the big picture.
Take for instance, criticality assessment. Many lubrication programs begin with small steps. All the “A” critical machines receive priority, rightly so. But what about the rest? With more time to plan, organize, and schedule, the number of machines acoustically monitored for optimal lubrication increases.
5. Save Time. Combine Acoustic Lubrication and Condition Monitoring
You worked hard for these results. It’s time to use your data for more than just lubrication.
Acoustic lubrication is the proven method to ensure precise bearing lubrication. New technology from SDT, LUBExpert, combines the power of on-board lubrication guidance with Four Condition Indicators for bearing condition assessment.
The time savings from assessing bearing condition during the lubrication process is beyond valuable and another sign your acoustic lubrication program is on the right track.
6. Inspector Confidence at an All-Time High
Reliable machines are the product of an effective lubrication program. You have:
• Managed grease consumption
• Fewer grease related bearing failures
• Optimized MRO spares
• More machines under watch
• Increased data collection intervals
The power of adding ultrasound to your greasing program delivers win after win for reliability. Reliability breeds confidence. More confident inspectors making the right calls and infecting a positive culture throughout the organization.
by Allan Rienstra - SDT Ultrasound Solutions
Simon is a condition monitoring specialist from a local oil refinery. He contacted my office for advice about predicting flexible coupling failures. Currently, they perform basic vibration analysis on their pumps and motors using an overall meter. They have some success predicting bearing failures but the same cannot be said for couplings. Several unexpected failures shut them down this year.
Within the facility they identified 58 pump systems considered “A Critical”, meaning if they go down, the plant goes down. I suggested ultrasound as a fast, safe, and affordable solution. Specifically, the SDT270DU offered him best value. Not only could Simon use it to monitor couplings with ultrasound; it also takes vibration measurements, thus eliminating the need for Simon to carry two data collectors.
By placing an airborne sensor near to the coupling Simon can quickly trend an evolving defect. The SDT270DU gives Simon the choice to either spot check for defects – good – or integrate all 58 couplings into his established bearing routes – best.
I explained to Simon how several clients already trend couplings using the Flexible Wand. The SDT270 collects a STATIC ultrasound measurement that gives four indicators of condition. The first two – Overall RMS and Max RMS – indicate the level of friction produced by the defect. When these indicators rise, maintenance may consider corrective alignment during a planned shutdown. The second two – Peak and Crest Factor – identify the emergence of impacting. Together, all four indicators establish a life cycle trend for each coupling.
Once impacting appears, the Peak indicator increases in step with Overall RMS. Crest Factor (CF) is a comparative ratio between Overall RMS and Peak. As CF trends higher it warns that the window for simple maintenance has narrowed. Inspectors may choose to collect a DYNAMIC measurement when CF alarms are triggered. The DYNAMIC measurement provides a visual representation of friction and impacting severity. For both STATIC and DYNAMIC measurements it’s important to define the signal acquisition time.
User defined signal acquisition time, available exclusively on SDT instruments, is a luxury that lends ultrasound technicians the highest level of precision. Without the ability to set the sample time, inspectors must guess when to pull the measurement trigger, and question the validity of their data. Simon explained that all 58 pumps turn at speeds above 1800 RPM. Accordingly, he should set his SDT270’s signal acquisition time to between one and three seconds. One to three seconds at 1800 RPM samples the coupling for 30-90 revolutions.
Shaft couplings are guarded for safety. Any ultrasound inspector working around rotating equipment must be required to demonstrate an understanding of company safety policies. Safety considerations are engineered into SDT sensors. The Flexible Wand’s 10mm diameter sensor is designed to access the coupling with the safety guard in place (see figure 2). The 21” long sensor sports a comfortable, ergonomic grip that allows an inspector to collect danger-free data.
Simon seemed convinced but wanted to Hear More. Since this solution was already working well at a nearby paper mill, I introduced Simon to the plant manager, Sunil, and invited them both to lunch. Sunil and Simon connected on so many common reliability issues that afternoon. He confirmed the affordability of this solution based on coupling failures alone but went on to explain how their mill was rolling out ultrasound for acoustic lubrication, steam trap monitoring, electrical inspection, and air leak management. Simon and Sunil continued their conversation well into the afternoon. They agreed that ultrasound, with its 8 primary applications for reliability, represented a fast, safe, and affordable technology with the potential to revolutionize reliability culture. I sat back, happily watching two impassioned specialists strategize about reliability culture. I love my job!
by Allan Rienstra - SDT Ultrasound Solutions
Belts are a critical part of the design and function of belt-driven equipment. The majority of belts never reach their intended design life due to improper selection, storage and installation. Unfortunately, this results in compromised equipment operation, lost capacity and increased costs. Do not condemn your equipment to death through improper belt installation practices. Below are some guidelines to help your facility ensure belt-driven equipment reliability:
- Follow all site specific safety procedures.
- The same basic installation steps are required for both synchronous and V-belts.
- Loosen motor mounting bolts or adjustment screws.
- Move the motor until the belt to be replaced is slack and can be removed easily without prying or any other means of force. Prying off a belt or chain can damage a sheave or sprocket and increase the risk of injury. Never use a screw driver to remove belts, because this may damage belt cords, sheaves and sprockets.
- After removal, inspect old belt for unusual wear that may indicate problems with design or maintenance issues.
- Visually inspect and replace sheaves or sprockets that have excessive wear, nicks, rust, pits or are bent. Grooves that appear “shiny” or polished could indicate heavy wear and should not be ignored. Never sand or scrape groves. Doing so will insert points of wear leading to premature belt or sheave failure.
- Sheave gauges should be used to measure for excessive wear and determine if sheave replacement is necessary. Total wear should not exceed 1/32 in or 0.8 mm.
- Sheaves and sprockets should be checked for proper alignment. A laser alignment tool is the recommended means. Most major belt manufacturers recommend a nominal tolerance of 0.5 degrees. However, better alignment tolerances should be achieved if possible. The table below can be used to determine proper alignment.For maximum resolution, always mount the laser alignment tool on the smaller sheave and the targets on the larger sheave. Ensure that the alignment tool being used can indicate misalignment in all three degrees of freedom (axial offset, horizontal angularity and twist angle).
Note 1: Check and correct any run out conditions prior to belt installation. Tighten bolts in the proper sequence to prevent axial run out.
Replace all belts on multiple belt drives with new belts from the same manufacturer. Never replace a single belt or a portion of a multiple belt drive. Mixing old and new belts will create unevenly shared loading and lead to premature belt failure and/or sheave wear.
- When installing the new belt, ensure that enough clearance is available to slip the new belt(s) over the sheave or sprocket. Never pry or use force to install the belt(s). Never use a screw driver to roll belts into position, because this may damage belt cords, sheaves and sprockets.
- Adjust the motor base until the belts are tight. Motor should be checked for soft foot conditions using a feeler guage or other suitable means and corrections made if required. No reading of soft foot should be greater than 0.002 inches or 0.05 mm.
- Use a tension gauge or sonic tension meter until the correct tension is measured according to specifications.
- Rotate the belt drive by hand a few revolutions and re-check and adjust belt tension as necessary.
- Re-check the sheave or sprocket alignment and re-adjust if necessary.
- Secure motor mounting bolts to the correct torque specifications.
- Replace equipment guards and follow any other site specific safety requirements to return the equipment to operation.
- Upon equipment startup listen and visually inspect for any unusual vibration, noise or heat. Other corrective actions may be required (lubrication, tension adjustment, etc.) to ensure equipment is ready for proper operation.
Note 2: Contact the belt manufacturer and provide the drive information to receive the most accurate tension information for the required operating loads. Belt tension charts may specify more tension than is required by the application. The proper tension for the belt is the minimum tension required to prevent the belt from slipping at maximum load. A good guideline in the absence of any other information is to use a spring scale, and press down on the belt in the approximate center of its span (on the tight side), to deflect the belt 1/64″ per inch of span length and observe the force required to do so. If you are not sure of the belt span length you may also use the center-to-center distance of the pulleys, which will be similar. Tension the belts until the force required for this deflection equals the belt manufacturer’s maximum recommended force values for the specific belts you are using.
Note 3: Belts should not squeal on startup when adjusted to proper tension. This can be an indication that the drive is not proper for the application.
Note 4: A run-in procedure may be required for V-belt drives or other installations to ensure optimal belt life and equipment reliability. It is recommended to check and adjust belt tension under full load after 20 minutes, 24 hours and 48 hours of operation to properly seat the belts in the sheave grooves. Consult belt manufacturer and engineering specifications to determine if a run-in period is required and length of time.
by Trent Phillips CRL CMRP - Novelis
Unfortunately, proper storage of belts is often overlooked. I visit a lot of plants and almost always see equipment belts improperly stored to the detriment of optimal reliability. Ensuring that the belts used in your equipment are properly stored will result in:
- Fewer failures upon startup
- Longer belt service life
- Better equipment performance
- Improved safety
- Preservation of belt warranty coverage
Below are some belt storage tips to help ensure that your equipment functions as healthily and long as possible:
- Belts should be stored in a cool and dry environment with no direct sunlight. Storage temperature should be below 85°F/29.5°C with a relative humidity no higher than 70%. Belt performance is reduced by 50% for every 15°F / 9.5°C above 115°F / 46°C.
- Do not store belts in areas exposed to:
- Airborne chemicals
- Heat sources
- Direct sunlight
- Airflow from heat sources
- Transformers, refrigerators, motors or other sources that create ozone
- It is not recommended to store belts on the floor. If floor storage is required, the belts should be stored in a protective container and never exposed to foot traffic.
- Never twist, bend or crimp belts during storage and handling. Doing so will damage them.
- Do not hang belts from pegs as they will distort over time. Do not store belts under any state of tension.
- V-belts may be stored by hanging on a wall rack only if hung on a saddle with a diameter at least as large as the minimum diameter sheave recommended for the belt cross section. If coiling a V-belt for storage, consult the supplier for limits. It is always best to store belts flat on a shelf.
- Store belts in the original box. Stacking of belts on top of each other should be limited. Ensure that the belts on the bottom are not damaged by the weight of the belts on top.
by Trent Phillips CRL CMRP - Novelis
As Published by Maintenance Technology Magazine September 2017 issue
If greater reliability and uptime are of any concern to you, then precision maintenance is a key component in achieving it. This means having clear and simple, yet meaningful, procedures in place for the different tasks involved. Two such tasks are precision alignment and balancing. LUDECA’s 5-Step Procedures will help guide your facility and maintenance staff to achieving precision maintenance.
The alignment and balancing procedures lay out the basic steps required to align and balance machines safely, reducing risk of injury and increasing likelihood of a quality outcome. Checklists simplify the workflow and serve to remind employees of the processes required to consistently and safely perform the precision maintenance task.
Well-aligned and balanced machines run more reliably, with a greatly reduced probability of failure. This allows for better maintenance planning, greatly reduced repair and maintenance expenses, increased uptime and more profits.
A good alignment procedure ensure that machines are aligned to the proper tolerances for the running condition of the machines, taking into account such things as thermal growth and anticipated positional changes. This ensures that the greatest efficiency is achieved in your running machinery, prolonging their health and reducing power consumption. Studies have shown that well-aligned machines result in a 3% to 10% reduction in power consumption. Noise and heat generation is reduced, producing a safer work environment.
- Production Quality
Good alignment and balancing result in better product quality since vibration is minimized, resulting in a more uniform and higher product quality. Unexpected breakdowns in production machinery may lead to costly waste from scrappage and high restart costs for the production line.
- Training & Procedural Consistency
Once implemented, a procedure ensures all employees involved in the activity face clear and consistent expectations and processes, leading to a better understanding between all staff in the facility. Training expense can be reduced since often only refresher training is required to update understanding of the technology utilized as updates are rolled out. Records should be kept that document employee training.
The next step in precision maintenance and reliability is the Implementation of formal specifications that detail every step in a task from safety to activity process to documentation, to ensure that anyone involved can follow the procedures and guidelines without confusion, and reach the desired outcome for all machinery types in the plant. Such specifications typically take from two to three months to develop and a further two to three months to roll out and fully implement. LUDECA has written a number of these specifications for customers worldwide. Let us help you as well.
by Alan Luedeking CRL CMRP
The word “thrashing” can mean many things. Words like flogging, whipping, beating, head banging and many more are always included in the definition. Do you constantly feel these effects when trying to manage or participate in a reliability project? As a result, does the project become overwhelming, or lack support, or have steps and goals that keep changing and a desired outcome that is never reached?
One of the most overlooked ingredients for a successful project is overcoming resistance to change by key individuals. These individuals may resist because they do not agree with the project steps, the outcome, or simply believe they will not benefit. You must look at things through their eyes! You cannot wait until the project is near completion to let these individuals “thrash” it and for you to “see” it from their perspective. Schedule time and welcome thrashing at the beginning of the project. As a result, you will be able to better convey project value, identify crucial things that should be included in the project design and then focus on the target completion date (ship date) and returning value back to your company.
The unfortunate fact is that we cannot stop our reliability projects from being flogged, beat up and whipped. Take advantage of this reality and understand key aspects from everyone’s viewpoint early in the project. Otherwise, you run the risk of having your project delayed and yourself beaten to death at the end.
by Trent Phillips CRL CMRP - Novelis
In order to determine what a Reliability Engineer should be, we must first look at the definition of Reliability. Reliability can be defined as the probability that a device, system or process will continue to perform its given function without failure for a known time in a known environment. Based upon this, the role of a Reliability Engineer can be easily defined as increasing the probability that assets will operate when required by determining and driving strategies that prevent failures. In order to do this, the Reliability Engineer must apply analysis techniques that identify causes of failures, apply practices which prevent these failures and determine strategies which mitigate the consequences of failures that cannot be prevented. In other words, keep equipment and processes running well. When they do not, find out why and do something about it. If you cannot do anything about it, then find a way to protect the processes or mitigate the consequences.
Reliability Engineers have a strategic and tactical role within an organization. This means being a leader, mentor and teacher. Developing, supporting and maintaining a reliability roadmap in accordance with clear reliability targets that contribute to the operational goals of the company. Support efforts that ensure the reliability, operability and maintainability of equipment and processes. And provide education and analysis that contributes to all of the above.
A Reliability Engineer should be many things, but definitely not a part time position, a firefighter, parts expeditor or reactivity manager when a failure occurs.
As an interesting exercise, write down how you define the role of a Reliability Engineer. Ask several people to write down the top five things they believe define the role of a Reliability Engineer within your company. The answers may be quite surprising and very telling about the real reliability culture within your company.
by Trent Phillips CRL CMRP - Novelis
Bearings are a critical part of the design and function of most mechanical equipment. The majority of bearings never reach their intended design life due to improper selection, storage and installation. Unfortunately, this results in compromised equipment operation, lost capacity and increased costs. Do not condemn your equipment to death through improper bearing storage practices. Below are a few storage tips to help your facility ensure bearing reliability:
- Store bearings in a clean, dry and low humidity environment (moisture from environment, gloves, etc can result in corrosion and/or etched sections creating fatigue on the bearing.) Avoid storage near direct sunlight, air conditioners or vents.
- Eliminate shock/vibration.
- Do not store bearings on the floor (will introduce contamination, moisture and vibration/shock.)
- Store bearings on a pallet or shelf in an area not subjected to high humidity or either sudden or severe environmental changes.
- Store bearings flat and do not stack them (lubrication and anti-corrosion material may squeeze out.)
- Do not remove bearings from carton/crate or protective wrappings until just prior to installation in the machine (be careful of bearings in wooden crates as these could attract moisture – perhaps best to remove them from those cases.)
- Do not clean bearings with cotton or similar materials that can leave dust and/or contamination behind (use lint free materials.)
- Do not handle bearings with dirty, oily or moist hands.
- Do not nick or scratch bearing surfaces.
- Always lay bearings on clean, dry paper when handling.
- Keep bearings away from sources of magnetism.
- Do not remove any lubrication from a new bearing.
- Lubricant in stored bearings will deteriorate overtime. The bearing manufacturer should specify shelf-life limits. These dates should be noted on the packaging and monitored to help ensure bearings are fit for use when needed.
- The following visual inspections of bearing integrity should be completed periodically and just prior to use:
- Examine packaging for indications that the bearing could have been damaged during shipment or storage. The bearing should be discarded or returned to the supplier if signs of damage are found.
- Examine the grease or oil for evidence of hardening, caking, discoloration, separation, etc. Re-lubrication for continued storage or replacement maybe required.
Miss Part 1 of 2? Here it is: Has your Equipment Been Condemned to Death? Proper Lubrication
by Trent Phillips CRL CMRP - Novelis