Technology Committees

Maintenance & Reliability Technology Committee Activities

The MRTC met 6 May 2019, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
The following officers were elected:

Chair: Ken Flowers, Butech Bliss

Vice chair: Carl Garringer, Steel Dynamics Inc. – Flat Roll Group Butler Division

Papers chair: Bijay Prakash, ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor

Technology Training Conference chair: Jeff Kusnier, Maintenance - Reliability Solutions Inc.

The MRTC and LHTC met jointly 26–27 February 2019, Columbus, Ohio, USA.
The MRTC and LHTC reviewed the latest AIST Steel Industry Fatalities report.
The winning project for the 2019 AIST Reliability Achievement Award – Gold was presented, titled “From Firefighting to First-Class Maintenance.” Presenting the project were Worthington Industries – Columbus Division maintenance team members Don McDaniel and George Miconi.
Because both committees received many abstracts for AISTech 2019, they took the time to carefully finalize their respective sessions.
The election of committee officers for the 2019–2020 term was discussed. 
The recipient of the Carol Yates Award was selected, conducted via secret voting of all registered members of the MRTC in attendance.
Jim Smith, Tom Wojtkowski and Rachel Schmidt volunteered for the AIST Digital Transformation Task Force, which will meet during AISTech.
A significant amount of work is now being coordinated for the Lubrication Engineers Manual Fifth Edition, and Mrinal Mahapatro led the committees through an extensive update. 
For the tour of Worthington Industries – Columbus Division and the presentation of the RAA – Gold, the mill chose to stop production for about 2 hours to celebrate. The company’s president and chief executive officer, John McConnell, and general manager Geoff Klinger were in attendance.

The team at Worthington Industries – Columbus Division was presented with the 2019 AIST Reliability Achievement Award – Gold at their facility on 27 February. In the top photo, Don McDaniel (left) and George Miconi (right) accepted the award.
Randy Heisler (left) presented Bill Bennett (right) with the MRTC service plaque at AISTech 2018.

The MRTC met 7 May 2018, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
The following officers were elected:

  • Chair: Randy Heisler, Life Cycle Engineering

  • Vice chair: Ken Flowers, Butech Bliss

  • Papers chair: Jeff Kusnier, Maintenance - Reliability Solutions Inc.

  • Education chair: Carl Garringer, Steel Dynamics Inc. – Flat Roll Group Butler Division

The MRTC and LHTC met jointly 20–21 February 2018, Gary, Ind., USA. Both committees reviewed officer nominations for the 2018–2019 term.
There was a discussion of merging the two committees. Both groups see value in specializing, and would prefer meeting jointly regularly, but also maintaining independent status within in AIST Technology Division structure.
The LHTC seeks to publish advances in the lubrication and hydraulics field through training seminars, and most importantly publishing newer editions of The Lubrication Engineers Manual.
Sal Rea and John Accurso, LHTC papers co-chairs, will be working to develop a separate lubrication track for the Maintenance Solutions course.
Rea gave an update on The Lubrication Engineers Manual. He presented a worksheet for identifying modules with progress points to indicate status of completion in each chapter of the newly rewritten book.
David Lunceford asked at this meeting for status on every line item, with attendees commenting on the specific modules with which they are familiar. Walt Kusnier volunteered to work with Rea until completion of the Fourth Edition. A separate spreadsheet from John Haspert will identify images that are in need of computerizing and revitalization.
Shannon Kiley, AIST’s manager — events, indicated a separate training seminar could be dedicated to the new content added to the Fourth Edition and that the attendees would each receive a copy of the manual as part of the seminar.
There were three Young Professional attendees at the meeting and there was discussion about recruitment for a subcommittee.
Ken Flowers gave an update on the Maintenance Solutions course.
The 2018 Gold and Silver Reliability Achievement Awards were presented. The Gold award went to
ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor for “Minimization of Hot Mill Losses Originating From Downcoiler.” A successful project working with a large set of historical data, on a 80-inch hot strip mill, the ArcelorMittal team determined which loss-of-production incidents could be attributed to the downcoiler equipment, and established their root causes. Once average lifespans for the equipment could be satisfactorily established, upgrade projects brought the coil defect rate down to one-third of the original rate, in eight years, significantly adding a positive contribution to the annual operating budget in the multi-million-dollar range.
The Silver award went to Nucor-Yamato Steel Co. for “Improvements of Self-Maintaining Air Cleaners.”

The following presentations were given:

  • “Safety Glass and New Rolling Glare Shield,” by Jane MacPherson, MacPherson Engineering Inc.

  • “Common Causes of Hydraulic Cylinder Failure in Steel Mills: Case Study Analysis,” by Gene Brown, Perfection Hydraulics.

  • “Endless Rolling Technology,” by Tom Wojtkowski, Primetals Technologies USA LLC.

Members of the ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor 80-inch hot strip mill management team were presented with the 2018 Gold Reliability Achievement Award (right to left): Brian Warnock, division manager; Mehul Patel, equipment technology manager; Max Brunt, operations technology manager; Rebecca Evans, equipment technology engineer mechanical — coiler; Curtis Mattull, equipment technology engineer electrical — coiler; John Tessling, equipment technology engineer mechanical — finishing mill and coiler; Matt Dazzell, production shift manager; Blake Sleicher, maintenance supervisor — coiler; Chris Zeller, reliability engineer — furnace.
William Bennett (right) presented Robert Sensel (left) with the MRTC service plaque.

The MRTC met 8 May 2017, Nashville, Tenn., USA.

The following officers were elected:

  • Chair: William Bennett, Melter S.A. de C.V.

  • Vice chair: Randy Heisler, Life Cycle Engineering

  • Papers chair: Ken Flowers, Butech Bliss

  • Technology Training Conference chair: Kyle Tew, Steel Dynamics Inc. – Structural and Rail Division

Rob Sensel (left) presented Joe Crawford (right), Steel Dynamics Inc. – Roanoke Bar Division, with the 2017 AIST Gold Reliability Achievement Award.

The MRTC met 7–8 February 2017, Roanoke, Va., USA. The MRTC held its winter meeting at Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI) – Roanoke Bar Division. This plant was the winner of the 2017 Gold AIST Reliability Achievement Award for its project titled “EAF Process Improvement from EMS (Electromagnetic Stirring) Implementation.” The plant hosted the two-day event for the MRTC meeting and tour.
The group finalized recruitment letters for future MRTC members.
The MRTC’s technical sessions for AISTech 2017 were finalized.
Nominations for the 2018 AIST Reliability Achievement Award were discussed, along with the pros and cons of adding safety to the overall rating of the nominations. A task force was formed to evaluate this proposal.
The group reviewed the current status of the 2017 Maintenance Solutions Specialty Conference planned for 6–8 November 2017 in Charleston, S.C., USA.
A technical presentation was given by Banner Engineering Corp. on wireless technology for condition monitoring of motors. SDI presented its Reliability Achievement Award-winning project.
This year’s Dr. Carol Yates Award was discussed, and the recipient will be announced at AISTech 2017.
The MRTC’s fall meeting will be held on 26–27 September 2017 in Myrtle Beach, S.C., USA. A tour location is yet to be determined.

Scott Story (right), MSCTC chair, presented Bob Heil (left), steelmaking metallurgist at Charter Steel – Saukville, with a plaque of appreciation for hosting the MSCTC’s tour during its 28–29 September 2016 meeting.

The MRTC met 28–29 September 2016, Milwaukee, Wis., USA.  The MSCTC reviewed the 2016 Steel Industry Fatalities report, followed by a safety roundtable discussion.
Roger Maddalena led a discussion on AISTech 2017 technical session development. For the MSCTC’s six sessions, 29 abstracts were selected. The MSCTC reviewed instructions for session chairs, who were also selected during the meeting, and papers chairs.
Bill Jones, chair of the Internal Quality Rating System Subcommittee, provided an update on the status on the inclusion engineering and clean steel practice publication. Papers from Peter Glaws, Ron O’Malley, Lifeng Zhang, E. Buddy Damm and Scott Story will be included in the publication.
The MSCTC unanimously voted to establish the Kent Peaslee Best Paper Award, which will be presented to the best MSCTC paper presented at future AISTech conferences. This proposal will be submitted to the AIST Board of Directors.
The MSCTC will hold a 2017 Japan Caster Study Tour. Details of this program were discussed.
Presentations are needed for the MSCTC’s joint meeting with the Ladle Secondary Refining Technology Committee, which will be held in February 2017. Those interested in presenting should contact Scott Story and Sunday Abraham.
The following presentations were given:

  • “Macrosegregation Evaluation Using Micro-XRF Large Area Scanning,” by Thinium Natarajan, U. S. Steel Research and Technology Center.

  • “PDA-OES,” by Jean-Marc Bohlen and Brad Cooley, Thermo Fisher Scientific.

  • “Quantitative Assessment of Slab Internal Quality,” by Sunday Abraham, SSAB Iowa.

  • “The Effect of Sulfur Wire Additions to Calcium Treated Aluminum-Killed Fine-Grain Steel,” by Troy Kaczorowski, Charter Steel – Cleveland.

  • “Use of Thermodynamic Models in Steelmaking,” by Stephano Piva and Mauro Elias Ferreira, Carnegie Mellon University.

The MRTC met 27–28 September 2016, Grand Rapids, Mich., USA. The MRTC reviewed the status of the committee recruitment and appreciation letters sent to participant supervisors for sending colleagues to Maintenance Solutions — A Practical Training Seminar.
The MRTC discussed its technical session development for AISTech 2107. Abstracts were reviewed, session titles and session chairs were identified, and additional papers were solicited from the committee. The instructions for both papers chair and session chairs were reviewed with the group.
There was a discussion regarding the Reliability Achievement Award (RAA) judging criteria, which was to be reviewed at the Maintenance Conference.
Preliminary details for next year’s Maintenance Conference were established. The conference will tentatively be held on 6–8 November 2017 in Charleston, S.C., USA.
Technical presentations were given by HECO and Andronaco in the afternoon. 
On the second day of the meeting, the MRTC toured Andronaco Industries, which specializes in the manufacture of fluid handling and sealing products specifically designed for chemical, pharmaceutical, and ultrapure-related industries.

Rob Sensel (right), MRTC chair, presented Colleen Reeves (left) with a plaque of appreciation for hosting the MRTC’s tour of Andronaco Industries.
Rob Sensel (left) presented the MRTC service plaque to
Jeff Blankenship (right).

The MRTC met 18 May 2016, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

The following officers were elected:

  • Chair: Rob Sensel, Dover Hydraulics

  • Vice chair: Nizar Armarsi, ArcelorMittal Dofasco Inc.

  • Specialty Conference chair: Bill Bennett, Steel Dynamics Inc.

  • Papers chair: Randy Heisler, Life Cycle Engineering and Consultants


The MRTC met 1–2 March 2016, Fort Wayne, Ind., USA. The MRTC’s technical sessions for AISTech 2016 were reviewed. Papers chair and session chair responsibilities were also discussed.
MRTC officers were nominated for the 2016–2017 term.
This year’s winner of the Dr. Carol Ann Yates Award was decided and will be announced at the Maintenance Conference in November.
Auditor teams were established to review incoming Reliability Achievement Award nominations.
The Maintenance Solutions — A Practical Training Seminar program outline was reviewed and updated. Maintenance Solutions — A Practical Training Seminar will be held on 6–9 November 2016 in Scottsdale, Ariz., USA, in conjunction with the AIST Leadership Conference.
Two technical presentations were given:

  •  “Use of Hydraulic Torquing Equipment,” by Hytorc.

  • “Newest Technology on Hoses and Sealing,” by Rubber & Gasket Co. of America.

A presentation was also given on Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI) – Bar & Structural Div. in Columbia City, Ind., USA. On Wednesday, the group visited the SDI facility for a tour and the 2015 AIST Reliability Achievement Award Gold was awarded to its plant general manager, Rob Simon.

1. Rob Simon (left), Steel Dynamics Inc. – Structural & Rail Div. plant general manager, accepted the 2015 AIST Reliability Achievement Gold Award from Jeff Blankenship (right), MRTC chair. 2. The MRTC met in Fort Wayne on 1–2 March 2016.
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.