Two ways maintenance professionals can broaden their skill set for 2017

With most things in life, this saying holds true: If you’re standing still, you’re going backwards.

This is as true in the world of maintenance and reliability engineering as anywhere else. After all, your facilities won’t ever rest in creating new issues for you to address or fresh challenges to tackle. That’s why continuing education and training programs for both management and staff are so important. Fortunately, there are a number of interesting options to get certified, trained, or otherwise educated in various aspects of the industry.

The new year is always a good time to think about expanding your skill sets and resolving to work better, smarter, and more efficiently. UE Systems offers a variety of training modules online that can help you toward this goal.

Mechanical Inspection

One of UE Systems’ most popular offerings is our Online Course in Mechanical Inspection and Lubrication. Available online and taking about three hours to complete, this education module integrates videos, slides, and text material with testing to measure how well its participants retain the most critical information. Topics covered by the course include strategies for mechanical inspection, proactive and predictive maintenance, trouble-shooting methods, and how to manage and report the data created by these inspection processes.

The training dives into specific practices and techniques for inspecting compressors, fans, gears, motors, and pumps. With ultrasound technology, it’s important for technicians to learn how to isolate and identify various sound sources within the relevant systems. Identifying baseline decibel levels is the first step in employing an ultrasound gun to locate problems with your equipment.


Included in the mechanical inspection course is a sub-module on lubrication, examining various problems like lubrication starvation and over-lubrication, as well as the principle of condition-based lubrication. The use of ultrasound technology and modern standards can pay massive dividends when it comes to optimizing your machines, as most bearing failures are ultimately traceable back to lubrication problems. When adhering to traditional, time-based lubrication methods, it’s easy for bearings to end up improperly lubricated, UE’s own Adrian Messer wrote for Plant Services a few years back. By implementing condition-based monitoring using ultrasound technologies, one maintenance manager was able to go from 30 rotating equipment failures annually to none at all over a three-year period.

Clearly, there’s a compelling commercial and practical case for keeping up with the latest developments and trainings related to mechanical inspection and lubrication technology.

Compressed Air

Another popular UE Systems offering is our Compressed Air Survey course. Compressed air is, contrary to some perceptions, one of the most expensive utilities in manufacturing facilities, and everywhere it’s wasted, you’re effectively bleeding money. A single air leak with a quarter-inch diameter can cost you $11,904 annually, according to some calculations. Multiply that number by dozens or even hundreds of potential leaks, and the stakes become clear.

The online course covers a number of key topics, including:

  • How to locate & confirm leaks.
  • How to tag leaks.
  • How to measure leaks.
  • How to download leak information.
  • How set up your ultrasound instrument.
  • How to use Ultratrend DMS and Compressed Gas Survey software.

As with the Mechanical Inspection and Lubrication, this is a series of six educational modules comprising video, slides, and text combined with web-based quizzes. After completion, UE Systems will issue a certification of successful completion.