A CULTURE OF RELIABILITY: WHY LUBRICANT RATIONALISATION IS THE NECESSARY BUT DIFFICULT FIRST STEP TOWARDS OPTIMISATION

Systems and services surrounding lubricants are various so as to address a multitude of bottlenecks in the lubricant life cycle. These include automated application systems, bulk storage and identification programs, and lubricant consolidation to facilitate bulk buying. All of these are highly effective tools to ensure that your lubricants, the lifeblood of your equipment, are purchased, applied, and maintained properly. However, the successes that these tools seek to achieve cannot be achieved without taking the first step of rationalisation.

Lubricant rationalisation refers to the task of assessing your equipment population and its lubricant needs. This task is seldomly carried out objectively. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) often prescribe the necessary lubricants and these prescriptions are not devoid of brand preferences. As you rationalise your lubricants, you have to standardise definitions and identify commonalities. 

True, objective lubricant rationalisation requires an assessment of lubricant requirements by compartment of equipment based on specification that can be standardised and codified to allow for continuous identification from procurement to application. Lubricant rationalisation in this matter gives power and objectivity to the consumer by ensuring that they are not reliant on suggestions made by OEMs and Oil Marketing Companies. Approaching suppliers with this knowledge also puts the consumer in a position to yield more value from their supplier. 

An example of rationalisation by compartment of equipment using the unique ISLS faceted codification system
However, once this specialist knowledge is utilised, all other lubricant tasks become easy. If your lubricants are standardised and codified generically based on specification and each component of equipment is matched to the coded lubricant it becomes straightforward to assess what lubricants can be consolidated and bought in bulk. If you have a common thread of codified identification throughout your operation, from procurement to application, your storage and labelling practices are simplified. The process of rationalising lubricants can reduce line item data from the thousands to the hundreds and can provide easy product identification regardless of branding to make purchase and comparison easy.
Without rationalisation, lubricant data remains messy and excessive making the tasks of consolidation, supplier comparison, purchasing, and monitoring each monumental.