Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Best Practices for Section Leaders - Join us at #STLE2012

Panel Discussion on Best Practices for Local Sections
Sunday May 6, 2012, 5-6:30 p.m., Room 230, America's Center, St. Louis, Missouri (USA)
We've previously hosted 2 sessions to get a feel for what local sections are doing: here is an article with a summary of those two presentations, and below, you'll find some extracted ideas to try at your section this coming year. The panelists for the session include Robert Austin (Philadelphia Section), Jerry Byers (Cincinnati Section), Charles Paxton (Detroit Section), and Kuarlal Rampersad (Caribbean Section). We will also have input and ideas from sections unable to participate in the panel, including the Toronto, Hamilton, Portland, and Central Illinois Sections.
  1. Try a new schedule. If you find attendance is dwindling at your monthly meetings, try mixing it up: try a different day of the week or a different time of day. You have lots of options - just be sure to check with your membership to see what they'd prefer. You can try a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday evening; try a morning meeting ("Early Bird" session), a lunch option, if you're close to many members and their offices; or try a mid-afternoon meeting, giving them flexibility on having a meal, but staying within the work day if they have social plans or wish to get home to their family. A mid-afternoon meeting could work on a Friday when members might head home early, so it works within their schedule.
  2. Utilize social media. Set up a group on LinkedIn (as a subgroup to STLE's LI group). It's easy to setup, and a great way to get started online and on social media. You can also set up a Facebook page, but some companies do not allow their employees access to that site.
  3. Find new and reward current members. Contact HQ and get a new membership list for your area each month - that way, you can update your list and reach out to potential new members. You can also keep track of long time members (5, 10, 15, 25, 50 years), and those who have recently obtained their certification. Once members have reached one of these milestones, have gifts planned and announce it at your meeting as part of your member recognition.
More ideas like this will be covered in this session and we'll soon have a resource that is chock-full of new ideas. If you're interested in viewing the past two sessions we conducted on best practices, as well as some other administrative resources (on how to conduct meetings/committees), see below.

Click here to view the recorded "Best Practices" presentations:
Large Sections Panel Discussion (<100 members)
Small Sections Panel Discussion (>100 members)
Other resources available:
Keys to Leading Productive Committees: Part I & Part II

Need something specific or have suggestions for how we can better assist you to administer your section? Tell us! Email us at

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What's it like to be an STLE Member?

Wondering what it's like to be an STLE member?
Hear it directly from new STLE members that joined in the last MGAM Campaign.

The 2012 MGAM Campaign starts in just a few days, and all the resources with the campaign allow you to explore STLE membership and make the decision if joining is right for you.

And if you're already a member, use these few days to get ready for the launch of the MGAM Campaign - start creating a list of people you think would be good STLE members and benefit from being a member, and get the recruiting materials you need.
[Click here] for an overview of the campaign
[Click here] for MGAM campaign resources
If you're looking at STLE to see if you'd like to join, take a look at these resources:
[Click here] to see what you can do once you join
[Click here] to read about how you can get involved
[Click here] to read current member testimonials
[Click here] to hear it directly from current STLE members

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Things to Do in St. Louis

If this is your first time visiting St. Louis (STL), be sure to look over the Visitor's Guide and get an overview from the destination video.

If you're traveling by plane: The public transportation options are great - their MetroLink (light rail line) is only $3.75 outbound from airports and $2.25 for everywhere else. To get more details on the MetroLink or MetroBus, visit the website. So you may not need to rent a car. Plus, most attractions are very close to the hotel and convention center - just a short walk.

If you're driving into STL, parking is available in garage and surface lots throughout downtown STL. The closest facilities to the America's Center are the garage and lot located on Seventh Street between Washington Ave and Convention Plaza - see the map for more detail.

Also, there is a lot of signage for attractions that you can utilize while you're driving in the city. Colorful new signs point the way to neighborhoods and “must-see” venues. “Attraction Corridors” signs are located along major thoroughfares that access a high concentration of visitor amenities, including:

  • Broadway – Downtown, Gateway Arch, Busch Stadium, City Museum, Edward Jones Dome, Scottrade Center, casinos, Soulard neighborhood

  • Grand Avenue – Grand Center Arts and entertainment district,

  • South Grand neighborhood, Missouri Botanical Garden, Chaifetz Arena

  • Kingshighway Boulevard – Saint Louis Zoo, Science Center, Art Museum, Missouri History Museum, Central West End and The Hill neighborhoods
Full lists of things to do while in STL:

Events Calendar (5/5-5/12) - you can filter the results based on your tastes, but events during the AM include the following and a lot more:
Star Trek Exhibition, Civil War Exhibit at the MO History Museum, OMNIMax Film - Space Junk & To the Arctic, Ansel Adams Exhibit (through May 6), In the Still Exhibit (Picasso, Matisse, etc.), Warhol's Polaroids, Microfest (craft beer tasting festival, May 4-5), Cinco de Mayo (May 5), Grant's Farm/Anheuser Bush Brewery (Clydesdale Camera Day - May 5), Grapes and the Garden (May 5 wine tasting) @ MO Botanical Gardens, STL Symphony - Beethoven 5 (May 5-6), 2012 Chess Championship (spectators welcome, May 7-20), Mary Poppins (May 8-13), The Fray (May 8), Art Fair (May 11), Cardinals Baseball Game (May 11).

If you're a foodie, here are some features that appeared on the Food Network and the Travel Channel: Rachel Ray's Tasty Travels, Food Finds, Road Tasted, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and Man v. Food (Adam is also in this video on Thin Crust Pizza - at 1:45 he recommends checking out Imo's in STL). STL is known for their unique pizza - a cracker thin crust with provel cheese. And, for those who like lists, here's a complete list of unique STL foods. Fair warning: all the links will probably make you hungry.

If you're on a budget, here is a list of free things to do in STL, as well as a link to St. Louis On the Cheap - a website that has discounts, coupons, and deals for the area.

Finally, we wanted to include staff favorites, from STLE staffer, Karl Phipps. He knows STL very well, since he grew up there, so he's got some good advice on places to eat and places to visit.

Places to Eat

Places to Visit

  • Grant’s Farm – Historic farm, which was once owned by the 18th U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant.

  • Anheuser-Busch Brewery – Daily brewery tours (with tasting).

  • Gateway Arch – Visit the nation’s tallest monument at 630 feet with a spectacular view of the St. Louis city skyline.

  • Saint Louis Zoo - One of the few zoos open to the general public that’s still free! Note: some special attractions cost a nominal fee.

  • St. Louis City Museum – Fun-filled exhibits and unique attractions.
We hope you enjoy your time in the meeting, as well as outside - get out and explore this unique and entertaining city!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Proper Bearing Lubrication to Avoid a Slippery Slope Towards Damage with Ryan Evans

Join us this week as we talk to Ryan Evans, one of the interviewees for this month's feature article that appears in TLT: "The Future of Bearing Lubrication."

Ryan D. Evans is the Manager of Bearing Fundamentals & Tribology at The Timken Company. He joined Timken in 2002, first contributing as a researcher in the areas of wear, surface engineering, thin film coatings, lubrication, and advanced surface characterization. Since 2009, he has lead a team of engineers that apply expertise in bearing fundamentals and tribology to enhance Timken’s analytical methods and products.

The article covers key issues like when to use an oil or a grease, main reasons for premature bearing failure, advances in bearing technology and bearing lubricants, advantages and disadvantages of self-lubricating bearings, and future types of bearings.

In the interview, Ryan covers the different types of bearings, how to approach lubrication of these components and how it differs with the type of bearing, best practices and tips in greasing or lubricating a bearing including the role that additives play, identifying failures and the reason behind the failure, and how to prevent failures. He argues that a large portion of bearing damage is caused by improper lubrication and he goes into detail on how that happens. He also provides some insight into what he thinks the future looks like for bearings and their lubricants, as well key take-aways.

If you're looking for more information on bearings, visit our website - we have a newly introduced Weekly Technical Feature, which provides articles, podcasts, webinars, and a number of other resources in one place for easy reference. Each week has a different topical focus and the month of April will focus on bearings. Check back each week for more information and feel free to submit resources you think should be included or make suggestions on which topic we should cover next.

Monday, April 9, 2012

AM Tech Session Update: MWF Hot Topic Panel Discussion

Metalworking Fluids "Hot Topic's" Panel Discussion REVISED Agenda
Based on the highly successful "Hot Topics" in metalworking fluids class, that was presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting, it was decided to give an update this year via a panel discussion in the Metalworking Fluids II Session on Monday afternoon (May 7), beginning at 1:30p.m.

Some recent government activity has caused us to modify the original agenda. In March 2012, OSHA revised the Hazard Communication Standard to align it with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. It must be fully implemented by 2016, and imposes new hazard definitions for safety data sheets (SDSs) and labels and pictograms to be used on labels and in the workplace.

Based on the implications of this new rule for all chemical manufacturers, including metalworking fluids, the "Hot Topics" panel discussion agenda has been revised to devote time to this very important and timely topic. The first hour will be devoted to providing information on how this new GHS rule impacts fluid manufacturers, including ingredient classifications and requirements for exact percentage disclosure of hazardous ingredients. That will be followed by updates on biocides (including the current situation with formaldehyde) and chlorinated paraffins along with a review of the SCAQMD's Rule 1144 in California. Time will be allowed at the end for discussion. Plan to attend to get updated on the industry, ask questions of industry experts, and take part in the discussion.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

AM Education Course Feature: Condition Monitoring 301

STLE asked the course instructors and chair to provide some detail on the course, and you can read on to get a preview of the course itself. You can register for the meeting and the course, or get some more information on our Annual Meeting page.

First, can you give us an overview of the field and how this course got started?
“Condition Monitoring” is a relatively new term, perhaps 20-25 years old. I founded this course on the observation that CM was going to be a very important concept as equipment and lubricants continued to get more sophisticated. It was also the first practically-oriented STLE course that dealt with in-service lubricants.

How does this course differ from last year or previous courses offered on CM?
This course is significantly more advanced and is targeted to persons who already have experience in oil analysis and CM. Basics are mentioned in passing but the objective is to provide a more technical program.

Are there are any prerequisites for attending this course?

Attendees should have a good basic understanding of oil analysis and the CM concept, generally: the notion of preventive action triggered by CM data, evaluated by knowledgeable people.

What can one expect to learn and be able to bring back to their workplace?

Whether data evaluation and rendering opinions is the goal of the attendee, an appreciation of what an oil analysis or other CM report provides should be gained. If the attendee is a manager of those involved in data evaluation and opinion rendering, then he/she will have a good appreciation of the process so as to facilitate the team in accomplishing CM goals. The theme of this course is "21st Century Condition Monitoring," and this is the crux of what our team is presenting: cutting edge approaches to this valuable, necessary concept.

The short answer is that CM, properly done by competent people in a competent system, saves or earns money by early detection of potential problems and/or increasing component availability, respectively.

Meet the instructors, and see what they're teaching:

Evan Zabawski: Advanced Data Interpretation
A successful condition monitoring program requires the right data coupled with the right interpretation. Obtaining the right data can be relatively simple, but getting a decent interpretation often relies on setting appropriate alarm limits or properly identifying abnormal trends. Leveraging historical data from the same asset and other similar assets is ideal, but the execution often produces sub-par results. This presentation will critique a variety of techniques used for both setting alarm limits and trending data, and then offer a model which uses an amalgamation of the best concepts. Examples will be used to illustrate key concepts. This presentation is aimed at any individual involved in the interpretation of data or decision-making resulting from condition monitoring data (e.g. Reliability Engineers, Maintenance Planners, etc.)

Chad Chichester: Condition Monitoring (CM) Techniques Complementary to Oil Analysis

Many companies elect to employ a multitude of condition monitoring techniques. The nature of failure analysis and prediction is becoming more complex and each technique offers insight to root causation of failures, and impending failures intended to be mitigated. Isolating techniques to confines of their own data, interpretation, and topical experts may prevent reliability and maintenance practitioners from realizing the full potential of using multiple techniques. Integration of data and information from multiple techniques can improve asset owners’ ability to succinctly identify root cause and/or impending failures. This module will focus on CM techniques like, vibration analysis, infrared thermography, and acoustic emissions and how such methods can be aggregated and synergistically complementary to oil analysis.

Allison Toms: Impact of Machinery Configuration and Operations on Monitoring Techniques and Data

Over the past decade, changes in machinery configuration and operational demands have had a profound impact on oil analysis condition monitoring. Machinery and lubricant OEMs and government research have invested in improvements in both the design and materials used in manufacturing and production as well as in lubricant formulation. Many of these improvements have not been adequately reflected in current testing practices. Testing equipment and methodologies have also improved and new monitoring tools have been introduced to address new problems. This presentation will touch on some of the changes to oil analysis over the past decade such as lubricants and additives; component design, configuration and alloy compositions; improved and new testing equipment, technology, techniques; operational and environmental factors; and customer desires. The presentation will include on-line sensors and at-line applications to meet some of these changes as well as the means to achieve improved machinery condition indicators and estimates on remaining useful life through integration of monitoring techniques. Examples and case histories will be presented.

Jack Poley (also Course Chair): Condition Monitoring International and Kittiwake Developments - Changing Paradigms in CM: Online Oil Analysis, Extended Particle Analysis, Software and More

Oil Analysis has changed rather radically in the last decade. The advent of dependable, effective online sensors for metallic wear debris is probably the most obvious such change, leading to a ‘3-tiered’ system of oil analysis: Online, Onsite, Offsite, each having its own advantages. Practitioners can employ one or all avenues. Particulate analysis, especially those near the visible range, is increasingly more advanced. Computerization has provided us with the ability to set limits and plot trends, but nowadays that’s not news. The use of Intelligent Agents in resolving increasingly complex data sets that can include streaming data from online metallic debris or vibration sensors makes it possible, given strong domain expertise, to auto-generate very sophisticated and accurate opinions AND get them to the right stakeholder for timely intervention as may be needed via selective report recipients,. The notion of humans poring over data one sample after the next is on its way out. Information needs to be specific, relevant , consistent and tidy, delivered quickly and effectively to the right parties.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Keynote at #STLE2012: Margaret Stack Discusses the Tribo-Corrosion Network

In this episode, we get a chance to talk to Dr. Margaret Stack, keynote speaker for the 2012 STLE Annual Meeting (#STLE2012). Margaret's talk, entitled "Exploring the Tribo-Corrosion Network," will take place on Monday, May 7, 10:30 a.m. to noon in the America's Center, St. Louis, Missouri (USA). See below for an abstract of her talk, her bio, and some more resources.

Professor Margaret Stack, BE MSc PhD DSc, has served in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, since January 2001. She was awarded a DSc from UMIST the University of Manchester in 2003 based on her published work. She is the author of 140 papers on wear (solid particle erosion, sliding wear and micro-abrasion) of materials in corrosive environments and has presented the work at more than 50 national and international conferences. Much of her work has focused on the development of mechanistic maps to describe materials behavior in tribo-corrosion conditions (in dry and wet environments) and on the development of mathematical models of these processes. Professor Stack is a member of several editorial boards including Tribology International and Open Applied Physics. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and is the U.K. representative to the EFC working party on tribo-corrosion.

Tribology can lead to corrosion and also interact with corrosion processes. The possible mechanisms involved and the variables which contribute to the degradation are many. Hence, description of such interactions presents a major challenge for researchers in this area.In recent years, various mapping methodologies have been proposed in an attempt to define tribocorrosion mechanisms. These assign regimes of material behavior based on the tribology and corrosion contributions to the wastage. They also are used to identify synergies between the processes and material wastage levels which can be tolerated for the exposure conditions.In this presentation, tribo-corrosion maps for erosion-corrosion, microabrasion-corrosion and sliding wear-corrosion are discussed. Mathematical models, which have been developed in this area, will be presented. In addition, some typical examples of how such maps can be used to solve important tribo-corrosion scenarios in Industry will be addressed.

To find out more about the topic, you can read the abstract of the co-authored paper in the journal Wear, entitled: "Tribo-Corrosion Mechanisms of Stainless Steel in Soft Drinks."

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Tribology Words of the Week

Starting this month, we'll be offering one tribology "word of the day" for all you tribology buffs out there. Follow the list by using the hashtag #tribology on Twitter.

Interested in more? Check out our glossary - accessible for free. Follow us on Twitter @STLE_Tribology, or you can follow me and I'll follow you back! My handle is @karalemar.