How To Design Your Lubrication Organization

by | Articles, Leadership, Workforce


A successful lubrication program must have the proper organization in place. The correct lubrication functions help implement and sustain a robust precision lubrication program that provides value to the maintenance organization and the company. It is about more than assigning dedicated lubricators to perform the different lubrication activities. It’s also about designing the lubrication activities workflow, which eventually allows for streamlining the various lubrication tasks and workloads.

The first thing to think about is how to have the right and dedicated people to implement and sustain your lubrication program. This allows the lubricators to focus on performing their lubrication activities rather than distracting them with other day-to-day maintenance activities.

The lubrication team organization is highly dependent on the size of the site. For larger sites, it is highly recommended to:

  1. Centralize the lubrication function into the reliability group.
  2. Have a dedicated lubrication technician/s with the correct job descriptions, who are trained in modern lubrication skills and standards, and act as the champions of the lubrication program.

For small or medium-sized organizations that cannot hire a dedicated lubrication team, any of the following solutions may be considered:

  1. Dedicated resources (when neither combined nor outside resources are possible)
  2. Combined roles (For example, a mechanic is also the lead lubrication technician)
  3. Use outside resources (e.g., lubrication service provider)

How to Measure the Staffing Requirements of your Lubrication Team

Now that you have set up your initial lubrication organization, how do you validate that you’ve done it correctly? Maintenance management may be able to help by preparing a report which includes annual lubrication working hours data to help measure staffing requirements. There are multiple ways to achieve this, including:

  1. Use a set of duration values for lubrication tasks. This table may be generated from your CMMS database for previous lubrication jobs. Or use a benchmark for lubrication tasks duration that a specialized organization recognizes.
  2. Use specialized lubrication management software (if any) to tabulate the work hour requirements and generate reports to show annual assigned hours and annual hours required to accomplish the lubrication work.

Designing a lubrication organization correctly can take time and effort, but if done correctly, it will pay dividends long into the future.



  • Khaled Zanoon

    Khaled is a Rotating Equipment and Reliability SME in the Mechanical Tech Service (MTS) Group of Albemarle Corporation. As a Mechanical Engineer, he has more than 20 years of experience in maintenance, reliability, and project management. He serves as the Albemarle corporate subject matter expert on the design and maintenance of all types of rotating equipment. He has vast experience in developing and implementing mechanical seals, alignment, lubrication, and vibration analysis best practices.