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MLA - LEVELS

Level I Machine Lubricant Analyst (ISO 18436-4, I)

REQUIREMENTS

To become certified, an individual must meet the following requirements:

  • Education and/or Experience - Candidates must have at least 12 months experience in the field of lubricant-analysis-based machinery condition monitoring.  The months of experience are based on 16 hours minimum per month of sampling and analysis experience.
  • Training - Candidate must have received 24 h. of documented formal training as outlined in the Body of Knowledge of the MLA I.

Note: 

ICML does not require, recommend, endorse or authorize any specific training course as official or approved. It is the responsibility of each candidate to research the training options available in his/her area and make a decision as to the training provider of his/her choice. ICML recommends the outline of the course of choice be compared to the exam's Body of Knowledge. It is in the person's best interest and their responsibility as an ICML candidate to ensure they are being trained in the same subject areas in which they will be tested. ICML's Bodies of Knowledge are of public domain and can be utilized by companies in the development of courses, as well as by any prospective candidate for evaluating the appropriateness of chosen training.


  • Examination - Each candidate must successfully pass a written, 100 question, multiple-choice examination that evaluates the candidate's knowledge of the topic. Candidates have three hours to complete the closed-book examination. A score of 70% is required to pass the examination and achieve certification. Contact ICML about the availability of the exam in other languages.

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE

The Level I MLA Body of Knowledge is an outline of concepts that a candidate shall have in order to pass the exam, in accordance with ISO 18436-4, Category I, Annex A.

References from which exam questions were derived can be found in the Domain of Knowledge.


I. Maintenance Strategies (10%)

   A. Why machines fail

   B. The impact of poor maintenance on company profits

   C. The role of effective lubrication in failure avoidance

   D. Lube routes and scheduling

   E. Oil analysis and technologies to assure lubrication effectiveness.

   F. Equipment tagging and identification.


II. Lubrication Theory/Fundamentals (18%)

   A. Fundamentals of tribology

   B. Functions of a lubricant

   C. Hydrodynamic lubrication (sliding friction)

   D. Elasto-hydrodynamic lubrication (rolling friction)

   E. Mixed-film lubrication

   F. Base-oils

   G. Additives and their functions

   H. Oil lubricant physical, chemical and performance properties and classifications.

   I. Grease lubrication

      1. How grease is made

      2. Thickener types

      3. Thickener compatibility

      4. Grease lubricant physical, chemical and performance properties and classifications.


III. Lubricant Selection (10%)

   A. Viscosity selection

   B. Base-oil type selection

   C. Additive system selection

   D. Machine specific lubricant requirements

      1. Hydraulic systems

      2. Rolling element bearings

      3. Journal bearings

      4. Reciprocating engines

      5. Gearing and gearboxes

   E. Application and environment related adjustments.


IV. Lubricant Application (18%)

   A. Basic calculations for determining required lubricant volume.

   B. Basic calculations to determine re-lube and change frequencies.

   C. When to select oil; when to select grease.

   D. Effective use of manual delivery techniques.

   E. Automatic delivery systems.

      1. Automated deliver options.

          a) Automated grease systems

          b) Oil mist systems

          c) Drip and wick lubricators

      2. Deciding when to employ automated lubricators.

      3. Maintenance of automated lubrication systems.


V. Lube Storage and Management (10%)

   A. Lubricant receiving procedures.

   B. Proper storage and inventory management.

   C. Lube storage containers

   D. Proper storage of grease-guns and other lube application devices.

   E. Maintenance of automatic grease systems.

   F. Health and safety assurance.


VI. Lube Condition Control (10%)

   A. Filtration and separation technologies.

   B. Filter rating.

   C. Filtration system design and filter selection.


VII. Oil Sampling (10%)

   A. Objectives for lube oil sampling

   B. Sampling methods

   C. Managing interference

      1. Bottle cleanliness and management

      2. Flushing

      3. Machine conditions appropriate for sampling


VIII. Lubricant health monitoring (10%)

   A. Lubricant failure mechanisms

      1. Oxidative degradation

          a) The oxidation process

          b) Causes of oxidation

          c) Effects of oxidative degradation

      2. Thermal degradation

          a) The thermal failure process

          b) Causes of thermal failure

          c) Effects of thermal degradation

      3. Additive depletion/degradation

          a) Additive depletion mechanisms

          b) Additives at risk for depletion/degradation by the various mechanisms.

   B. Testing for wrong or mixed lubricants

      1. Baselining physical and chemical properties tests

      2. Additive discrepancies

   C. Fluid properties test methods and measurement units - applications and limitations.

      1. Kinematic Viscosity (ASTM D445)

      2. Absolute (Dynamic) Viscosity (ASTM D2893)

      3. Viscosity Index (ASTM D2270)

      4. Acid Number (ASTM D974 et al)

      5. Base Number (ASTM D974 et al)

      6. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) analysis

      7. Rotating Pressure Vessel Oxidation Test (ASTMD2272)

      8. Atomic Emission Spectroscopy


IX. Wear Debris Monitoring and Analysis (4%)

   A. Common machine wear mechanisms


DOMAIN OF KNOWLEDGE

  • Landsdown, A. (1996) Lubrication and Lubricant Selection, Mechanical Engineering Publications, Ltd., London.
  • Ludema, K. (1996) Friction, Wear, Lubrication: A Textbook in Tribology, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
  • Hodges, P. (1996) Hydraulic Fluids, Arnold Publish, London and John Wiley & Sons, New York.
  • Landsdown, A. (1994) High Temperature Lubrication, Mechanical Engineering Publications, Ltd., London.
  • Lubricating Grease Guide, The National Lubricating Grease Institute, Kansas City, MO. Fourth Edition, 1996.
  • D. M. Pirro and A. A. Wessol (2001) Lubrication Fundamentals, Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York.
  • Bannister, K. (1996) Lubrication for Industry, Industrial Press, Inc., New York.
  • Leugner, L. The Practical Handbook of Machinery Lubrication, Maintenance Technology International, Inc., Edmonton, Alberta.
  • Troyer, D. and J. Fitch (1999) Oil Analysis Basics. Noria Publishing, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA.
  • Bloch, H. (2000) Practical Lubrication for Industrial Facilities. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, USA.
  • The Lubrication Engineer's Manual - Second Edition (1996) Association of Iron and Steel Engineers, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. 
  • Roylance, B. and T. Hunt (1999) Wear Debris Analysis. Coxmoor Publishing, Oxford, UK..
  • Denis, J., J Briant and J. Hipeaux (1997) Lubricant Properties Analysis & Testing. Editions TECHNIP, Paris, France.
  • Hunt, T. (1993) Handbook of Wear Debris Analysis and Particle Detection in Liquids. Elsevier Science Publishers, LTD, Essex, UK.
  • Toms, L. (1998) Machinery Oil Analysis. Coastal Skills Training, Virginia Beach, VA, USA.
  • Standard Practice of In-Service Monitoring of Mineral Turbine Oils for Steam and Gas Turbines, American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D 4378-92.
  • Standard Practice for In-Service Monitoring of Lubricating Oil for Auxiliary Power Plant Equipment, American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D 6224-98.

These references can be purchased from the following organizations:  



Level II Machine Lubricant Analyst (ISO 18436-4, II)

REQUIREMENTS

To become certified, an individual must meet the following requirements:


  • Education and/or Experience - Candidates must have at least three years education (post-secondary) or on-the-job training in one or more of the following fields: machinery lubrication, engineering, mechanical maintenance and/or maintenance trades.
  • Hold Level I Machinery Lubrication Technician (MLT) certification.
  • Training - Candidate must have received 32 hours of documented formal training in machinery lubrication as outlined in the Body of Knowledge of the MLT II.

Note: 

ICML does not require, recommend, endorse or authorize any specific training course as official or approved. It is the responsibility of each candidate to research the training options available in his/her area and make a decision as to the training provider of his/her choice. ICML recommends the outline of the course of choice be compared to the exam's Body of Knowledge. 


It is in the person's best interest and their responsibility as an ICML candidate to ensure they are being trained in the same subject areas in which they will be tested. ICML's Bodies of Knowledge are of public domain and can be utilized by companies in the development of courses, as well as by any prospective candidate for evaluating the appropriateness of chosen training.


  • Examination - Each candidate must successfully pass a written, 100 question multiple choice examination that tests the candidate's mastery of the body of knowledge. Candidates have three hours to complete the closed-book examination. A score of 70% is required to pass the examination and achieve certification. Contact ICML about the availability of the exam in other languages.



REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE

The Level II MLA Body of Knowledge is an outline of concepts that a candidate shall have in order to pass the exam, in accordance with ISO 18436-4, Category II, Annex A.

References from which exam questions were derived can be found in the Domain of Knowledge.


I. Lubricant roles and functions (4%)

   A. Base oil

       1. Functions

       2. Properties

   B. Additive functions

       1. Surface active additives and their functions

       2. Bulk oil active additives and their functions

   C. Synthetic lubricants

       1. Synthetic lubricant types

       2. Conditions dictating their use

   D. Lubrication regimes

       1. Hydrodynamic

       2. Elasto-hydrodynamic

       3. Boundary


II. Oil Analysis Maintenance Strategies (4%)

   A. Fundamental aspects of Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM)

   B. Fundamental aspects of Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM)

       1. Predictive maintenance strategies

       2. Proactive maintenance strategies


III. Oil Sampling (29%)

   A. Objectives for lube oil sampling

   B. Equipment specific sampling:

       1. Gearboxes with circulating systems

       2. Engines

       3. Single and multi-component circulating oil systems with separate reservoirs

       4. Hydraulic systems

       5. Splash, ring and collar lubricated systems

   C. Sampling methods

       1. Non-pressurized systems

       2. Pressurized systems - Low

       3. Pressurized systems - High

   D. Managing interference

       1. Bottle cleanliness and management

       2. Flushing

       3. Machine conditions appropriate for sampling

   E. Sampling process management

       1. Sampling frequency

       2. Sampling procedures

       3. Sample processing


IV. Lubricant health monitoring (21%)

   A. Lubricant failure mechanisms

       1. Oxidative degradation

           a) The oxidation process

           b) Causes of oxidation

           c) Effects of oxidative degradation

       2. Thermal degradation

           a) The thermal failure process

           b) Causes of thermal failure

           c) Effects of thermal degradation

       3. Additive depletion/degradation

           a) Additive depletion mechanisms

           b) Additives at risk for depletion/degradation by the various mechanisms.

   B. Testing for wrong or mixed lubricants

       1. Baselining physical and chemical properties tests

       2. Additive discrepancies

   C. Fluid properties test methods and measurement units

       1. Kinematic Viscosity (ASTM D445)

       2. Absolute (Dynamic) Viscosity (ASTM D2983)

       3. Viscosity Index (ASTM D2270)

       4. Acid Number (ASTM D974 et al)

       5. Base Number (ASTM D974 et al)

       6. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) analysis

       7. Rotating Pressure Vessel Oxidation Test (ASTMD2272)

       8. Atomic Emission Spectroscopy


V. Lubricant contamination measurement and control (25%)

   A. Particle contamination

       1. Effects on the machine

       2. Effects on the lubricant

       3. Methods and units for measuring particle contamination

       4. Techniques for controlling particle contamination

   B. Moisture contamination

       1. Effects on the machine

       2. Effects on the lubricant

       3. States of coexistence

       4. Methods and units for measuring moisture contamination

       5. Demulsibility measurement

       6. Techniques for controlling moisture contamination

   C. Glycol coolant contamination

       1. Effects on the machine

       2. Effects on the lubricant

       3. Methods and units for measuring glycol contamination

       4. Techniques for controlling glycol contamination

   D. Soot contamination

       1. Effects on the machine

       2. Effects on the lubricant

       3. Methods and units for measuring soot contamination

       4. Techniques for controlling soot contamination

   E. Fuel contamination (fuel dilution in oil)

       1. Effects on the machine

       2. Effects on the lubricant

       3. Methods and units for measuring fuel contamination

       4. Techniques for controlling fuel contamination

   F. Air contamination (air in oil)

       1. Effects on the machine

       2. Effects on the lubricant

       3. States of coexistence

       4. Methods for assessing air contamination

           a) Air release characteristics (ASTM D3427)

           b) Foam stability characteristics (ASTM D892)

       5. Techniques for controlling air contamination


VI. Wear Debris Monitoring and Analysis (17%)

   A. Common wear mechanisms

       1. Abrasive wear

           a) Two-body

           b) Three-body

       2. Surface fatigue (contact fatigue)

           a) Two-body

           b) Three-body

       3. Adhesive wear

       4. Corrosive wear

       5. Cavitation wear

   B. Detecting abnormal wear

       1. Atomic emission spectroscopy methods

           a) Inductively coupled plasma (ICP) spectroscopy

           b) Arc-spark emission spectroscopy

       2. Wear particle density measurement

   C. Wear debris analysis

       1. Ferrogram preparation

       2. Filtergram preparation

       3. Light effects

       4. Magnetism effects

       5. Heat treatment

       6. Basic morphological analysis

DOMAIN OF KNOWLEDGE

    • Roylance, B. and T. Hunt (1999) Wear Debris Analysis. Coxmoor Publishing, Oxford, UK..
    • Denis, J., J. Briant and J. Hipeaux (1997) Lubricant Properties Analysis & Testing. Editions TECHNIP, Paris, France.
    • Troyer, D. and J. Fitch (1999) Oil Analysis Basics. Noria Publishing, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA.
    • Hunt, T. (1993) Handbook of Wear Debris Analysis and Particle Detection in Liquids. Elsevier Science Publishers, LTD, Essex, UK.
    • Toms, L. (1998) Machinery Oil Analysis. Coastal Skills Training, Virginia Beach, VA, USA.
    • Bloch, H. (2000) Practical Lubrication for Industrial Facilities. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, USA.
    • Standard Practice of In-Service Monitoring of Mineral Turbine Oils for Steam and Gas Turbines, American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D 4378-92.
    • Standard Practice for In-Service Monitoring of Lubricating Oil for Auxiliary Power Plant Equipment, American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D 6224-98.

These references can be purchased from the following organisations:  

Amazon.com  

ASTM  

Barnes and Noble  

Noria Corporation 



Source: ICML



Level III Machine Lubricant Analyst (ISO 18436-4, III)

REQUIREMENTS

To become certified, an individual must meet the following requirements:

  • Education and/or Experience - Candidates must have 36 months experience in the field of lubricant-analysis-based machinery condition monitoring. The months of experience are based on 16 hours minimum per month of sampling and analysis experience.
  • Hold Level II Machine Lubricant Analyst (MLA) certification.
  • Training - Candidate must have received 32 hours of documented formal training in oil analysis for machine condition monitoring as outlined in the Body of Knowledge of the MLA III.

Note:

ICML does not require, recommend, endorse or authorize any specific training course as official or approved. It is the responsibility of each candidate to research the training options available in his/her area and make a decision as to the training provider of his/her choice. ICML recommends the outline of the course of choice be compared to the exam's Body of Knowledge. It is in the person's best interest and their responsibility as an ICML candidate to ensure they are being trained in the same subject areas in which they will be tested. ICML's Bodies of Knowledge are of public domain and can be utilized by companies in the development of courses, as well as by any prospective candidate for evaluating the appropriateness of chosen training.  


Examination - Each candidate must successfully pass a written, 100 question multiple choice examination that tests the candidate's mastery of the body of knowledge. Candidates have three hours to complete the closed-book examination. A score of 70% is required to pass the examination and achieve certification. Contact ICML about the availability of the exam in other languages.

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE

The Level III MLA Body of Knowledge is an outline of concepts that a candidate shall have in order to pass the exam, in accordance with ISO 18436-4, Category III, Annex A.

References from which exam questions were derived can be found in the Domain of Knowledge.

I. Lubrication Fundamentals (20%)

   A. Lubrication Regimes

       1. Hydrodynamic

       2. Elasto-hydrodynamic

       3. Boundary

   B. Base oils

       1. Common mineral oil characteristics

            a) Paraffinic

            b) Naphthenic

       2. Common synthetic oil characteristics, advantages and disadvantages

            a) Synthesized hydrocarbons

            b) Phosphate esters

            c) Dibasic acid esters

            d) Polyglycols

   C. API and other base oil classifications

   D. Basic lubricant additive functions

       1. Antioxidants/oxidation inhibitors

       2. Rust inhibitors

       3. Corrosion inhibitors

       4. Demulsifying agents

       5. Viscosity index (VI) improvers

       6. Detergents

       7. Dispersants

       8. Pour-point depressants

       9. Foam inhibitors

       10. Anti-wear (AW) agents

       11. Extreme pressure (EP) agents

II. Fundamentals of Machine Wear (15%)

   A. Common Machine Wear Mechanisms

       1. Abrasive wear

            a) Two-body abrasive wear

            b) Three-body abrasive wear

       2. Adhesive wear

       3. Surface fatigue

       4. Corrosive wear

       5. Fretting wear

       6. Erosive wear

       7. Electrical wear

       8. Cavitation wear

            a) Gaseous cavitation

            b) Vaporous cavitation

   B. Common Machine-specific Wear Modes

       1. Gearing

       2. Plain bearings

       3. Rolling element bearings

       4. Hydraulics

III. Wear Debris Analysis (21%)

   A. Analytical ferrography

       1. Wear debris analysis techniques

            a) Light effects

            b) Magnetism effects

            c) Heat treatment

            d) Chemical treatment

            e) Morphology

            f) Surface detail

       2. Wear particle types, origins and probable causes

            a) Cutting wear particles

            b) Spherical particles

            c) Chunky particles

            d) Laminar particles

            e) Red oxide particles

            f) Black oxide particles

            g) Corrosion particles

            h) Non-ferrous particles

            i) Friction polymers

   B. Atomic emission elemental spectroscopy

       1. Basic determination of wear particle metallurgy from elemental composition

       2. Evaluating sequential trends

       3. Evaluating lock-step trends

       4. Particle size limitations of common atomic emission spectrometers

       5. Advanced techniques

            a) Acid/microwave digestion

            b) Rotrode filter spectroscopy

       6. X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and other advanced elemental spectroscopy methods

IV. Analyzing lubricant degradation (25%)

   A. Oxidative base oil failure

       1. Causes of oxidative base oil failure

       2. Recognizing at-risk lubricants and applications

       3. Strategies for deterring or mitigating base oil oxidation

       4. Recognizing the effects of base oil oxidation

       5. Strengths, limitations and applicability of tests used to detect and troubleshoot base oil oxidation

            a) Acid number

            b) Viscosity

            c) Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) analysis

            d) Rotating Pressure Vessel Oxidation Test

            e) Sensory inspection

   B. Thermal failure of base oil

       1. Causes of thermal degradation

            a) Hot surface degradation

            b) Adiabatic compression induced degradation

       2. Strengths, limitations and applicability of tests used to detect and troubleshoot thermal failure of the base oil

            a) Acid number

            b) Viscosity

            c) Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) analysis

            d) Thermal stability test (ASTM D 2070-91)

            e) Ultracentrifuge detection of carbon insolubles

            f) Sensory inspection

   C. Additive depletion/degradation

       1. Assessing risk for common additive depletion/degradation mechanisms

            a) Neutralization

            b) Shear down

            c) Hydrolysis

            d) Oxidation

            e) Thermal degradation

            f) Water washing

            g) Particle scrubbing

            h) Surface adsorption

            i) Rubbing contact

            j) Condensation settling

            k) Filtration

            l) Aggregate adsorption

            m) Evaporation

            n) Centrifugation

       2. Strengths, limitations and applicability of methods for measuring additive depletion/degradation

            a) Atomic emission spectroscopy

            b) Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy

            c) Acid number

            d) Base number

            e) Viscosity index (VI)

            f) Rotating Pressure Vessel Oxidation Test

            g) Blotter spot test

   D. Detecting wrong lubricant addition

       1. Viscosity

       2. Neutralization number (AN/BN)

       3. Elemental spectroscopy

       4. Fourier Transfer Infrared Analysis

       5. Other Tests

V. Oil analysis program development and program management (19%)

   A. Machine-specific test slate selection

   B. Optimizing frequency of analysis

   C. Setting alarms and limits

       1. Setting goal-based limits for contamination

       2. Statistically derived level limits

            a) Editing data

            b) Calculating averages

            c) Calculating standard deviation

            d) Setting upper and lower limits using the mean and standard deviation

            e) How changes in system operation or maintenance influence statistically derived inferences

       3. Rate of Change Limits

            a) Calculating rate of change

            b) Slope-based alarms

            c) Statistically derived rate of change limits

       4. Setting aging limits for fluid properties

            a) Physical properties

            b) Chemical properties

            c) Additive properties

   D. Managing oil analysis information

   E. Creating and managing oil analysis procedures

   F. Scoping oil analysis training for reliability technician, trades people and management

   G. Performing cost/benefit analysis for oil analysis and contamination control programs

       1. Calculating program costs

       2. Estimating program benefits

       3. Calculating return on investment metrics

       4. Generating an effective business proposal

   H. Quality Assurance

       1. Of onsite oil analysis

       2. Of offsite oil analysis providers


DOMAIN OF KNOWLEDGE

  • Roylance, B. and T. Hunt (1999) Wear Debris Analysis. Coxmoor Publishing, Oxford, UK..
  • Denis, J., J. Briant and J. Hipeaux (1997) Lubricant Properties Analysis & Testing. Editions TECHNIP, Paris, France.
  • Troyer, D. and J. Fitch (1999) Oil Analysis Basics. Noria Publishing, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA.
  • Hunt, T. (1993) Handbook of Wear Debris Analysis and Particle Detection in Liquids. Elsevier Science Publishers, LTD, Essex, UK.
  • Toms, L. (1998) Machinery Oil Analysis. Coastal Skills Training, Virginia Beach, VA, USA.
  • Bloch, H. (2000) Practical Lubrication for Industrial Facilities. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, USA.
  • Standard Practice of In-Service Monitoring of Mineral Turbine Oils for Steam and Gas Turbines, American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D 4378-92.
  • Standard Practice for In-Service Monitoring of Lubricating Oil for Auxiliary Power Plant Equipment, American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D 6224-98.


These references can be purchased from the following organizations:  

Amazon.com  

ASTM  

Barnes and Noble  

Noria Corporation 












The 10 steps to implement Lubrication Reliability™

Assessment
1. 

Assessment


Plan-Manage-Organise
2. 

Plan, Manage, Organise

Oil sight glass (3D BullsEye)
3. 

Identification and Inspection

Lustor on steel bund
4. 

Lube storage by cleanliness control

Oil dispensing is an art..?
5.

Oil dispensing is an Art..?

Grease Lubrication
6.

Grease Lubrication


Breather Z-series
7.

Contamination Control

FanPro - Fluid analysis program
8.

Measure Quality by oil analysis

Environmental control
9.

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Feed the brain and train
10.

Feed the brain and train