Technology Committees

Maintenance & Reliability Technology Committee Activities

Jeff Blankenship (right) presented the MRTC service plaque to Cory Mecham (left).

The MRTC met 6 May 2015, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
The following officers were elected:

  • Chair — Jeff Blankenship, Maintenance Reliability Solutions Inc.

  • Vice chair — Jeffrey Johnson, Nucor Steel–South Carolina

  • Technology Training Conference chair — Rob Sensel, Dover Hydraulics Inc.

  • Paper chair — Nizar Amarsi, ArcelorMittal Dofasco Inc.

Meeting Highlights:
Jeff  Blankenship  discussed  the  current status  of  the revision  of  the  Lubrication  Engineers  Manual.  A  request was made for additional information to support the updates needed for the Maintenance and Reliability section. Specific needs include hydraulic fluid information.
Rob Sensel reviewed the 2015 Maintenance Solutions Technology Training Conference, which will be held in Indianapolis, Ind., USA, on 20–23 September 2015

The MRTC met 10–11 March 2015, Charleston, S.C., USA. Each year, the MRTC holds its winter meeting at the location of the gold Reliability Achievement Award winner. Typically, the MRTC’s winter meeting is one of the largest attended by the MRTC membership because of this award presentation. This year’s winner was Nucor Steel–Berkeley, and the award was presented during the MRTC’s tour of the Nucor beam mill.  
MRTC chair Jeff Blankenship reviewed the AISTech technical sessions and filled open slots for session chairs.
John Schlobohm of the Lubrication & Hydraulics Technology Committee (LHTC) was present to solicit input and volunteers for the revision to the Lubrication Engineers Manual. The LHTC’s goal is to have a new version ready for publication by AISTech 2016.
Nominations for committee officers for the 2015–2016 term were confirmed. The nominations were then announced at AISTech 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
Rob Sensel reviewed the current details for Maintenance Solutions  — A Practical Training Seminar, which is scheduled for 20–23 September 2015 in Indianapolis, Ind., USA.
Jerry Herrmann gave presentations on the Nucor Steel–Berkeley facility in addition to a presentation on the project that won the gold Reliability Achievement Award. There were discussions and a tentative agreement to have the 2016 Maintenance Solutions training conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., USA, if the details can be worked out.
The meeting concluded with the solicitation of nominations for the Carol Anne Yates Award (an award sponsored by the MRTC), with the winner to be announced at Maintenance Solutions  — A Practical Training Seminar.

The MRTC met 12–13 February 2014, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. The meeting began with Cory Mecham, MRTC chair, asking for a moment of silence in honor of the recent passing of Carol Yates, former MRTC member. There were 22 MRTC members in attendance. 
Jeff Blankenship, MRTC papers chair, reviewed the final details of the MRTC sessions for AISTech 2014.
Allan Scott, MRTC specialty conference chair, presented the program outline for the upcoming AIST Maintenance Solutions training conference to the group and solicited final comments.
Nominations for committee officers were conducted. Final voting will take place at AISTech 2014. The meeting concluded with a safety roundtable discussion concerning root cause analysis and corrective action techniques.
Terry Larson from Nucor Steel–Utah presented a safety video and discussed the plant tour scheduled for the next day. On Thursday, 14 February, attendees proceeded to the Nucor Steel–Utah facility. The MRTC officers presented the Gold Reliability Achievement Award to the team at Nucor Steel–Utah. The group was then given a plant tour of the facility. 

The Maintenance & Reliability Technology Committee (MRTC) met on Tuesday, 8 May at AISTech 2012 in Atlanta, Ga. Colleen Reeves, MRTC chair, opened the meeting and welcomed the group. The minutes from the previous meeting were reviewed and approved. The main agenda items included discussions of AISTech 2012 regarding technical sessions, the specifics of the Reliability Achievement Award (RAA) sessions and the exhibit. Plans for the 2012 Specialty Conference (held jointly with the Lubrication & Hydraulics Technology Committee) were reviewed. The conference will be held on 24–26 September 2012 in Charleston, S.C. The program will be three full tracks (Lubrication, Maintenance and Predictive Technologies) and will include a keynote speaker and a tour.
Cory Mecham presented an overview of the RAA for the new members. Submissions are due by 30 June with the audits to be complete by August. At the time of the meeting, there were eight submittals expected. The group of auditors included 17 members from the committee. The MRTC officer elections for 2012–2013 were: Sig Johansen, chair; Cory Mecham, vice chair; Tim Kuzmicky, papers chair; and Jeff Blankenship, specialty conference chair.
A plaque was presented to Colleen Reeves for her service as a member and officer on this committee. The next MRTC meeting will be Thursday, 27 September at 8 a.m. following the Specialty Training Conference in Charleston, S.C. The meeting will focus on the RAA submissions and the audit procedure.

The Maintenance & Reliability Technology Committee (MRTC) held its winter meeting on 16–17 January 2012 in Charlotte, N.C. The agenda of the two-day meeting included the initial planning for the 2012 Maintenance specialty training conference. The conference will be two days in length and will include a plant tour. It is scheduled to include three separate tracks: Mechanical, Electrical, and Hydraulic and Lubrication. This year’s conference is being planned together with the Lubrication & Hydraulics Technology Committee. The tentative location for the conference is Charleston, S.C., and it will be held during the last week in September.
The committee’s mission statement was reviewed at the meeting. Other discussions included updates on the 2011 AIST Leadership Conference and defining the objectives of the 2012 Reliability Achievement Award (RAA) task force. Sig Johanson from Nucor Corp. will chair this task force for 2012.
The MRTC presented two of its Reliability Achievement Awards at the AIST Midwest Member Chapter meeting on 7 February 2012 in Merrillville, Ind. MRTC chair Colleen Reeves, along with RAA subcommittee chair Jay Ondrovic, made the presentations.

The Maintenance & Reliability Technology Committee (MRTC) held their summer meeting on 8–10 August 2011 in Milwaukee, Wis. There were 20 attendees at the three-day session. The session commenced with the Reliability Achievement Award subcommittee meeting to review the nominations submitted for the 2011 Reliability Achievement Award. All the nominations had previously been audited by members of the subcommittee, and presentations were prepared and given to the members of the group for each of the nominees. The next step is for the subcommittee to rank each of the nominated projects in several distinct categories. The resulting weighted average will be compiled, and the results will yield the Gold, Silver and Bronze award winners for 2011. Committee chair Colleen Reeves began the second day of the meeting by focusing on some final details of the 2011 Maintenance and Reliability specialty training conference, which was held in Nashville, Tenn, 19–21 September. A committee recruiting task force was created. Ideas on how to kick off this effort were outlined, and a subcommittee was formed. The initiative will be led by Carol Yates. After discussion of new business items, Mike Shapiro, vice president and CFO of Rexnord-Falk Co., gave a company overview. A technical presentation on gearbox reducers by Mike Thiel, product service specialist, followed. After lunch, a plant tour of Rexnord-Falk’s manufacturing and technical service and repair facilities was given to the group. The meeting concluded on Wednesday with presentations by Joe Dougherty and Allen Scott from Gallatin Steel regarding Gallatin Steel’s safety program, and Brian Hagaman from IBM Global Business Services, whose presentation was entitled “Tech Toys.” The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for the first week in January 2012 in Charlotte, N.C.

The Maintenance & Reliability Technology Committee (MRTC) met on 3–4 May 2011 at AISTech in Indianapolis, Ind. Jay Ondrovic, the committee’s 2010–11 chair, welcomed everyone and presented the agenda for the next two meetings. The items included election of the 2012 committee officers, a presentation by Kevin Knavis, Timken Steel Reliability, entitled “Developing a Sustainable Culture From the Ground Up — Beginning Stages,” committee member introductions and a review of the minutes from the Mobile, Ala., meeting. Mike Thiel was appointed to take minutes, and the AIST Antitrust Guidelines were reviewed by AIST staff representative Shannon Kiley along with the AIST staff announcements. Cory Mecham said that the committee’s upcoming specialty training conference will be held in Nashville, Tenn., 19–21 September 2011; with Senator Paul Campbell (R-S.C.) as the keynote speaker and a session focus on mechanical and electrical specialty areas. Establishing a membership recruitment position was discussed. Dr. Carol Yates volunteered to lead this initiative. 2012 elected officers are: Colleen Reeves, chair; Sig Johansen, vice chair; Cory Mecham, papers chair; Tim Kuzmicky, specialty conference chair. The Reliability Achievement Award nominations were reviewed and discussed. Future topics regarding general maintenance and reliability topics and case studies were discussed. Colleen Reeves presented the service award to outgoing chair Jay Ondrovic. The next MRTC meeting is planned for 8–10 August and will include a tour of the Rexnord facility in Wisconsin.

The HSRTC, the MRTC and the Rolls Technology Committee (RTC) held a three-in-one-joint meeting on 26 Jan in Mobile, Ala., with a total attendance of 115. The joint meeting started with a safety presentation by Bernie Quinn of AM Health and Safety Inc. Jay Ondrovic of Nucor Steel then gave a presentation on the operator’s role in reliability. John Ballani and Tom Weiler led a discussion on Technology Committee best practices. The Reliability Achievement Awards were presented. The Gold Award was presented to Jeffrey Kroner of USS POSCO Industries for their implementation of a combustion reliability program within the framework of an established reliability-based improvement model, the Silver Award was presented to Scott Piech of ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor for the implementation of the WCER (World-Class Equipment Reliability Program) on the finishing stands of the hot strip mill, and the Bronze Award was presented to Tim Kuzmicky of USS POSCO Industries for their implementation of a spares consolidation process and facility modifications. Francesco Auteri of Pomini presented the new Pomini roll shop at the ThyssenKrupp Steel hot strip mill. Scott Posey of ThyssenKrupp presented an overview of their new facility. On Wednesday, 26 Jan 2011, all three committees toured the newest ThyssenKrupp facility.

The RTC held a separate meeting Thursday, 27 Jan 2011 following the three-in-one joint committee meeting. As one of the committees that took the lead in organizing the three-in-one meeting, they began with a discussion on the value of this combined meeting and tour. The general consensus was that it worked well and gave the opportunity for networking, learning what practices are working for other committees and sharing what has worked within their own committee. This was followed by a discussion on the RTC sessions for AISTech 2011, including an update on their joint session, identifying session chairs and expectations for these chairs, and finalizing their panel discussion. They then reviewed the topics for their Call for Papers for AISTech 2012 and decided to leave them as is since they still serve their purpose. This was followed by a technical presentation on “Differences Between Sealed and Non-Sealed Bearings” by Walt Kusnier and a presentation on “Environmentally Friendly Ways to Dispose of Grinder Sludge” by Joe Porter. Following the presentations, attendees held a general discussion on future RTC activities before adjourning.

The Specialty Training Conference Task Force of the Maintenance & Reliability Technology Committee (MRTC) met 24 Jan 2011 in Mobile, Ala. This committee is developing a Specialty Training Conference to be offered 19–21 Sep 2011 in Nashville, Tenn., and the task force met to finalize the program. It was decided to break the program into three tracks focusing on mechanical, electrical and management. A workshop format will be used and will include presentations along with short and long workshops ranging from one to four hours. The presenters were finalized, and a representative was identified to contact the presenters in order to shape the workshops toward the preferred end product. The following day, 25 Jan, began with a meeting of the full MRTC. Jay Ondrovic welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked them for their participation. They then went through a round of introductions and began a safety roundtable discussion. Some topics discussed were the OSHA VPP (Voluntary Protection Program) and mobile equipment–related injuries. From here, Sig Johansen updated the members on the status of the MRTC’s technical sessions for AISTech 2011. He identified a couple areas where committee members could assist in filling in a paper and solicited volunteers to chair the sessions. He then requested new topics the committee should consider for their Call for Papers for AISTech 2012. Terry Ryan provided an update on the efforts being undertaken to increase membership on the MRTC. After completing the AIST business, several technical presentations were made, including an update on the SMRP test by Dave Schrader and “Clearing the Road to Reliability Excellence Through Culture Change” by Randy Heisler. Sean Cochran presented “New HSM at Thyssen Krupp Steel USA: Maintenance Perspective,” and Tim Kuzmicky, Sig Johansen and Chuck Kooistra presented a rough draft of “The Operator’s Evolving Role in Reliability” as a preview for AISTech 2011. After reviewing the Call for Entries for the committee’s Reliability Achievement Award and establishing the deadline of 31 May 2011 for submission, the meeting was adjourned for the day.

The Maintenance & Reliability Technology Committee (MRTC) met 13–15 Sep in Philadelphia, Pa. The Reliability Achievement Award Task Force met on 13 Sep to review the audits of the entries submitted. Presentations of the audits were made by those who made the audits and, after all factors were considered, the winners of the gold, silver and bronze awards were determined. The next day, a meeting of the entire MRTC took place at the Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades. Margaret Kingham, career counselor, gave a presentation on the history, charter and curricula of the school, followed by a tour showing the different trades at work. The MRTC recognizes that, in a few years, the industry will suffer from a shortage in the crafts and trades, and they used this as an opportunity to explore a relationship with Williamson. Following the tour, Chad Smith and Colleen Reeves provided an update on the Reliability Achievement Award selection process, notified the committee that the process was completed and that the committee will be informed once the winners are notified. The winners will be invited to present their entries at AISTech and at the Maintenance Specialty Training Conference. This was followed by an update on sessions for AISTech 2011 from Sig Johansen. The MRTC is planning their next Specialty Training Conference for 19–21 Sep 2011, in Nashville, Tenn. Initial planning and brainstorming took place with the development of their planning worksheet. Following this discussion, several technical presentations were made, including a presentation from ITR on their company’s capabilities and predictive maintenance in the steel industry, a presentation from Chuck Kooistra on the PAS-55 standard, and a Chalmers and Kubek Inc. presentation on pump troubleshooting. Mike Lynch, John VanSchaick, Jon Parker and Patrick West, students at Williamson, sat in on the presentations. This was followed by a presentation the MRTC is developing related to the operator’s role in asset reliability. A subcommittee was formed to further develop this presentation, and Tim Kuzmicky agreed to chair the subcommittee. An energy roundtable discussion followed,with a lead-in presentation by Ted Leczo on an electric arc furnace door sealing and cleaning system. Jay Ondrovic gave a presentation on energy savings in thin slab casting and EAFs, and the program closed with Colleen Reeves speaking about energy savings in pumping system optimizations. After discussion on this topic, the meeting was adjourned and was followed by tours of Chalmers and Kubeck Inc. and Kingsbury/Messinger Bearings.

The Maintenance & Reliability Technology Committee (MRTC) met 4-5 May in Pittsburgh, Pa., during AISTech 2010. The meeting began with an overview of the MRTC sessions that were already complete. Discussion then turned to a review of their Specialty Training Conference, which was held 24–26 Mar , with the overall consensus that the conference was successful. Regarding the 2010 Reliability Achievement Award, MRTC members were encouraged to solicit submissions. The timeline for the award process was reviewed, and volunteers were solicited to perform audits on the entries that were received. They identified lead volunteers to prepare for the August MRTC meeting, where the task force will present the recommendations for the award winners. This meeting is also being planned to target students and expose them to the opportunities available within the industry. A lead person was also identified to develop the technical content for this meeting. Election of officers for the coming year took place, and a new slate of officers was elected. It was determined that the MRTC mission statement still fit the purpose of the committee. Jay Ondrovic presented the outgoing chair, Chuck Kooistra, with a plaque of appreciation for his commitment to the MHTC over the past year.

The Maintenance & Reliability Technology Committee (MRTC) held a meeting in Greenville, S.C., on 2–3 Feb. There were several new members in attendance, so the meeting began with introductions. From here, the committee reviewed the status of the MRTC sessions for AISTech 2010 and identified areas where follow-up was needed. Chairs were also confirmed for the sessions. They then reviewed the program for their upcoming Specialty Training Conference, Operations and Maintenance Total Asset Reliability Workshop. Some minor changes were made to the program to improve the flow, and additional panelists were identified to strengthen the panel discussion. This Specialty Training Conference is typically held in the fall, and although this year’s conference was moved to the spring because of the economy, the preference is to hold it in the fall. Plans were discussed for themes and locations for the fall of 2012. The MRTC also reviewed topics for the AISTech 2011 Call for Abstracts. Plans were then developed to target specific companies that they feel ought to be involved with the committee. A membership chair was elected, and committee members were identified to make contacts within the targeted companies. The MRTC decided to have a representative at the AIST Technology Committees booth at AISTech 2010 in Pittsburgh, viewing this as an opportunity to recruit members. Auditors were identified to audit the Reliability Achievement Award entries, and the timeline for this process was set. Technical topics for the upcoming meeting in August were also identified. Technical presentations were then made on “Systematic Failure Elimination — A Critical Business Competency,” by Jim Humphries of Fluor; an overview of The Cline Co. by Bob Buchanan of The Cline Co.; an overview of MRSI by Jeff Blankenship of MRSI; and “IDCON Good to Great” by Christer Idhammar of IDCON Inc. These presentations were followed by a tour of the BMW plant.

The Maintenance & Reliability Technology Committee (MRTC) met on 20–21 Aug at AIST headquarters in Warrendale, Pa. Committee chair Chuck Kooistra noted that the attendance for this meeting was very good and attributed this to the value gained through the technical exchanges made at such meetings. The MRTC reviewed the status of their upcoming Specialty Training Conference and decided to move it from the originally scheduled September date to the end of March 2010. Committee members who could not attend in person were able to participate in the meeting via teleconference and WebEx. Randy Heisler of Life Cycle Engineering made a presentation on the A3 System and how the forms help justify a project’s return. Tim Kuzmicky provided an overview of USS-POSCO. Jim Wharrey provided an overview of TMK IPSCO Koppel Tubulars Corp., including the company’s structure and products produced at their facilities. Alan Wood of Elwood City Forge discussed the company’s equipment processes and capabilities, ending with a discussion on the need for educated maintenance personnel in the industry and the stigmas that need to be overcome to keep these talented personnel. Bob Miller of IVC Technologies reviewed the value of vibration analysis, the diagnostic tools available and the benefits of predictive monitoring. A preview of the presentation on gearbox maintenance, which was to be a part of the Specialty Training Conference, was provided by Terry Ryan of Chalmers & Kubeck. Mr. Kooistra followed this with “Performance of Human Resources Within the Maintenance Organization” and the increasing role of reliability. These presentations were followed by a discussion on providing Webcasts on a regular basis, possibly making them available in the AIST Members Only area as another valuable resource for committee members. Each year the MRTC presents a Reliability Achievement Award, and the results from the audits of this year’s projects were presented. Following the presentation of the results, the winners were determined and plans were developed to notify the award winners. The winners will be recognized in the December 2009 issue of Iron & Steel Technology.

The Maintenance and Reliability Technology Committee (MRTC) met on 5–6 May in St. Louis, Mo., in conjunction with AISTech. In addition to their own sessions, they held joint sessions with the Lubrication and Hydraulics Technology Committee. The papers presented prior to the meeting were reviewed, and the MRTC encouraged support of the upcoming sessions. A status update was provided on the committee’s Specialty Training Conference, “Operations and Maintenance Total Asset Reliability Workshop,” which will be held Sept. 16–18 in Michigan City, Ind. Everyone was encouraged to make contacts to help promote the conference. Gino Palarchio will be the keynote speaker at the dinner for this conference. Session chairs for the conference were also identified. Plans were then made for evaluation of the 2009 Reliability Achievement Award. To date, three entries had been received, and a conference call will be scheduled to review the evaluation process and identify auditors. The MRTC then identified options for their August meeting, where the audit results will be presented and the 2009 winners will be determined. This will also provide an opportunity to finalize any last-minute details for their Specialty Training Conference. The MRTC unanimously elected their new slate of officers for the upcoming year, with Chuck Kooistra as chair, Jason Roche as vice chair, Colleen Reeves as papers chair and Sig Johansen as Specialty Training Conference chair. They amended part of their mission statement from “developing maintenance leadership” to “developing maintenance and reliability leadership.”