Past Events


Maintenance & Reliability for the Next Generation

Conference Details: 10–12 September 2019, Indianapolis, Ind., USA
No. of Attendees: 103

Panelists at the seminar included (left to right): Randy Heisler, Life Cycle Engineering; Cory Mecham, Rexnord Industrial Services; John Accurso, Quaker Houghton; and Marc McLeod, ArcelorMittal Dofasco G.P.

Of the 103 attendees, 55 represented steel-producing companies. The conference opened with a welcome from Carl Garringer, who offered attendees an overview of the conference and how the lessons to be learned can help the attendees in their careers. As an icebreaker, he led a group activity by first dividing everyone into eight working groups where each group had to build a structure out of spaghetti noodles and tape. The team that built the tallest structure which was able to hold a marshmallow was declared the winner.
A thought-provoking keynote presentation, “Maintenance and Reliability: What Does Good Look Like?” was delivered by Randy Heisler of Life Cycle Engineering. He challenged the attendees to keep an eye on the big picture and be proactive while utilizing all the tools at their disposal.
The purpose and meaning of AIST’s Reliability Achievement Awards were explained by Ken Flowers of Butech Bliss, who serves as chair of the Maintenance & Reliability Technology Committee. This conference gives the winners of the AIST Reliability Achievement Award a forum to spotlight their projects. The Gold winner was Worthington Industries Columbus Steel Processing for their improvements to their maintenance program. Don McDaniel and George Miconi from Worthington discussed the project, titled “From Firefighting to First-Class Maintenance.” There were two silver winners: Steel Dynamics Inc. for their “Burner Reliability Improvement and Optimization” project, which was presented by Kyle Tew; and ArcelorMittal Dofasco G.P. for their project titled “Chemical Cleaning at the Acid Regeneration Plant,” which was presented by Marc McLeod. The attendees were encouraged to submit projects for next year’s consideration.
Recruiting new talent and training was a topic of a few presentations by steel producers, which detailed their programs. Don McDaniel presented his progress with working with local high schools and his success with the new recruits so far. Jim Sberna presented AK Steel – Middletown Works’ program and successes of their journeyman training program.
Like in so many other areas, digital transformation is an important topic in maintenance. There were six separate presentations on digital transformation, starting with Patrick Gallagher of Management Science Associates, who gave an informative overview of the definitions and subjects involved to transform the manufacturing facilities for the future of digitalization. Wireless sensors and cloud computing in lubrication management was discussed by Ben Hugo of Redlist. Bob Miller of IVC Technologies and Robert Jennings of HydroAire Inc. each gave presentations on condition monitoring and how it is becoming more essential in the preventive maintenance of the equipment. Eric Almquist of Star Tool & Die Works demonstrated how augmented reality can be used as an effective tool in maintenance procedures.
The seminar also featured content for more specific groups of equipment where experts were able to share their experiences for more effective troubleshooting and general knowledge. Cory Mecham of Rexnord Industrial Services did this with gear reducers, while Howard Lockhart of Klueber Lubrication described gear lubrication fundamentals.
A coupling refresher was presented by Tiffany Ceputran of Timken Lovejoy, and Brian Kusak of Quaker Houghton went through the proper lubricants for them. David Rosenthal of American Chemical Technologies discussed air compressor lubrication maintenance and reliability. Denis Poirier of Eaton Hydraulics Corp. talked about closed-loop control fundamentals, followed by Shawn Waggoner of RelaDyne, who gave a presentation on fluid compatibility and the importance of cleanliness.
Included in the programming was the attendees’ choice of either a plant tour of Steel Dynamics Inc. – Engineered Bar Products Division or a site visit at Indianapolis Indians Victory Field.
AIST would like to thank the SuperBooth group of companies for serving as the event sponsor, and thanks the following event contributors: The Timken Co., Butech Bliss, Falk PLI, Quaker Houghton, American Chemical Technologies Inc. and Dover Hydraulics.

Tim Pettigrew was presented with a plaque of appreciation for hosting the attendees’ tour of Steel Dynamics Inc. – Engineered Bar Products Division.