January 2022

Columns

Reliability: Try solving—instead of managing—equipment problems

Good managers manage people who solve problems.

Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Good managers manage people who solve problems. Average managers keep problems in check—i.e., they “manage” problems but often allow these problems to persist. An actual example involving mixers will drive home the point. Blaming the wrong part It is not unusual for mechanical seals in mixers to get blamed for failures that were preceded by lubrication-induced bearing distress. Such was the case for years on about a dozen large 200-rpm/160°F mixers with massive rolling element bearings costing well over $12,000 each. The owner company had an anti-oil mist bias for reasons that defied logic and disregarded the fact-based experience of its leading competitors. Chances are the company allowed

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