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What NASCAR Can Teach Your Operators and the Maintenance Department

By Robert Glancy, Asset Management Technician, Life Cycle Engineering

One of the greatest tools any maintenance person can rely on is the equipment operator. As an asset management technician, I create equipment maintenance plans based on FMEAs. I can look at the possible failures of a piece of equipment and tell if we need to create predictive maintenance (PdM) or inspection tasks to prolong its life cycle. Many of these plans are based on time or cycles: change the oil every four months or grease the bearings after 200 hours of run time. A lot of the PdM tasks are also time-based: use vibration analysis every four months or monthly, depending on the trending patterns of the equipment. There are also condition-based tasks that depend on readings or analysis of PdMs. 

As I watched the last NASCAR race I thought about how the crew chief sets the car up according to his plan for the type of track, the distance of the race, the weather factors, and the style of the driver. The real information comes from the driver, or the operator. Just listen on the radio: “The car is tight in the corner and loose off the straight. I have a vibration in the rear quarter panel.”

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