Kenneth Aucoin with Shell

Industrial Talk is onsite at the 30th Annual SMRP conference and speaking with Kenneth Aucoin, Learning Advisor at Shell about “Consistent learning is essential to optimal asset management performance”. Get the answers to your “Reliability” questions along with Kenneth's incredible insight on the “How” on this Industrial Talk interview!

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Welcome to the industrial talk podcast with Scott Mackenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots, and let's go


Alright, once again, thank you very much for joining industrial talk a platform that is celebrates industry professionals all around the world, because you are bold, brave, you dare greatly you innovate, you collaborate, you solve problems, you make my life better, and you make the world a better place. Thank you very much. That's why we celebrate you on this industrial talk. Now we're broadcasting this is day two, at SMRP. This is in Raleigh, North Carolina. Tonight is the night that I'm going to go out and sort of figure out what's going on in Raleigh. So wish me luck. All right. In the hot seat, we have Kenneth Shell is the company rocking lubrication, right?


Yes. Well, not just lubrication. We're transforming our name as we speak. So we're we move from Shell lubricants to Shell lubricants solutions, right? Yeah. So I have a theory that, you know, eventually we're just going to be Shell solutions, right? Because, you know, we're not just going to be focusing on lubrication. Problems. Yeah.


See, that's interesting. Because, I mean, yeah, but but that's different. You know, everybody, just FYI, I'm not I'm not gonna cause any problems. But majority people just no Shell as well. There I am. I'm filling up my tank. But Shell us are more than that.


That's yeah, that's exactly right. And it's funny, because when I started in my career with Shell about 15 years ago, it was an oil and gas company. Right? That is not a moniker we use anymore. We are an energy company, right? Because, you know, oil and gas. And, you know, as we seen it, and they have a history, it's, it's changing, right? It's evolving. So we needed to expand and broaden our, our energy solutions. So we can keep up with this transition of energy into the future. Because, as you've seen in the news, and shale has been pretty active in our sustainability play, and how that and that it really has driven kind of the behaviors for a lot of the businesses and how we do business. Right. So we're thinking beyond what we can sell. And we're trying to, instead transition to what value can we deliver?


How long has that been going on? I mean, how long is that transition? I? I don't even know. I don't even know how you market it. I mean, again, you know, there's this, there's this population out there. That is just, it's show, right? Yeah. So show, but, but how do you? I mean, how long is this transition going? Because it makes sense.


Yeah, you know, it's funny, I think, you know, I'm a low guy on the totem pole. So I don't know too much about the inner workings on Shell. But I know that the pandemic definitely accelerated our paths, right. Yeah. And so I know this, I think this this transition was in the works well, before the pandemic, but the pandemic accelerated it. So about two years ago, that's when we started to reshape our company. And, and that's where, you know, you're seeing a lot of the changes in our lubricants business as well, because we're trying to reflect that restructuring and refocus on what we should be doing in the future.


So let's talk a little bit about that. Because you're here at SMRP. Having to go to conferences again, yes. And great. And, and really, it is lubricants. You've been you focus in on that. Can you sort of help the listeners understand this shift is focused this this, this? Why lubrication is so important? Yeah. So


it's something we, you know, I talked about every day lubrication. And it's, it's, I find it interesting, because the lubricant itself is something I talk probably the least about, because it's all the things around the lubricant, how you handle it, how you utilize it, how you maintain it, how you monitor it, right? All those things are going to have a much more significant impact to your operations. Obviously, the lubricant itself is is a it's a big part, but it's only one piece of the puzzle. And so what we've been doing in, you know, Shell has been lubricants has been focused on is that that kind of overall reliability approach, right? So, a big term that we use in almost all our work and our reporting is total cost of ownership. Right? To see, yeah, total cost of ownership. So, we go in and we help our customers, obviously, we try to get them to use the correct lubricant, but we're helping them with all the other aspects of lubrication. So the handling the storage, the applying that maintaining and monitoring, and that's the big thing that we're talking about here at this conference. Is that monitoring side because, you know, we you know, It's funny, we, we have no brochures, they care on our lubricants. It's all around our services and our old condition monitoring technologies.


See, this is interesting, because I get it. I understand I, what always, I always struggle with is one. Where does that conversation begin? Hi, I have lubricants. And I have a machine and I lubricates and, and I don't even know I have a problem, right? That's right. It's got assets that possibly are failing. And somebody said, I wasn't lubricant. Oh, okay. But you're absolutely right. There's, there's so many other components associated and the physical lubrication is just like, Okay, it's over here.


Yeah, I came up at a refinery. And this is something I had a struggle with constantly being in the rotating and reliability group. Every time we had a new initiative, or a new, best practice, like, get our operators to do it. Oh, my God, Raiders are doing 100 different things. And if we expect them to do those things, well, we can't give them 100 things to do. Right? You can't give them 101. Exactly. And so and so I learned that from that experiences, and I've been able to convey to our customers the importance of, you know, it takes a a qualified person, a qualified trained person to understand how to properly run a lubrication program. And if you don't have that on site, we can help you, we can provide that expertise, we can provide the training to your personnel to help them. And that's the focus we have when we go in and work with the customer, you present to them, we want to review your program and find opportunities. And I think the difference from US versus some of our you know, some there's a lot of great companies out there providing similar services. But we don't give you a 100 page report saying everything you need to do to be the best program, we say, here are three things you can do today, to have a step change and your reliability and total cost of ownership.


So that's interesting, because I'm all about sort of achieving some, but But you have to go in and you have to look at what they have. Yes. Like they're shoving those things over there, whatever it might be, it might not be the best solution. But but you have to have those real conversations. And if you can share, here, here are three things. That's a good thing. Yes. And then, but what's the economic benefit? What's what's the value? If I'm just over here in my business, and then all of a sudden, you come on in and say, Hey, share three things? And then what what are the benefits? I can see?


Yeah, so I mean, obviously, a lot of is around either reduction of waste, right? Or increase in optimization or performance. And so the things that we commonly see in terms of just initial savings is around. The first thing it's most visually obvious is storage and handling. Right? So many customers have multiple products, and multiple conditions. And just the when we go out there, it's only a matter of time before that product gets into it, and it fails, we see it all the time. And then to highlight that, that's the chain of reaction, to make them aware, you're talking about a single drum boil might be several 100 bucks, and cause multimillion dollars and failure because just the way you've been handling it, you know, so we're constantly finding, value. And and, and like said all the aspects of the lubrication, cradle to grave cycle. So in the storage and handling and the application in the product selection itself, you know, it can we optimize the life of the oil, the performance of the oil. So it's funny, because my mentor always said, I can take lubricants from the turn of the century, right? And outperform, you know, the person using the latest and greatest technology, because I know how to use them. Right? And that's a huge thing. And then none of that's really changed, the technologies is getting a little bit better parks are getting better, but what you need to do to handle them and take care of them and get the most out of them. It's always been the same.


How do you deal with the continuity? There seems to be just based off of what I've heard you say that there's a lot of education that goes into it. And it's not just, you know, the oil and it is put it into whatever. There's there's a lot of education, a lot of I mean, there's just a lot that goes into it. And if you train me, yeah, and don't store it there, store it over there. This has a life expense or whatever it might be whatever. And then I leave. I mean, it turns that whole program upside down quickly.


Yeah, you know, and that's that's a great point that you said about training because you just said oh, if you train me well, how did I train you? Because this is what I also learned working with the operators and and maintenance personnel. If you're not telling them why they should be doing something and the value of it, they're not going to do it, or they're going to forget about it or it's not going to stick, right brain science, you need to give context, you need to have it, you have to have it resonate, you know, they have to know the feeling, right. So. So I found that when you're providing providing training in that way, you have multiple people who may not be doing the activities, but they understand the value of it. So if that one person that leaves, the other people can fill in the spot, or at least know that what the value of that action was, right? That's the thing we see. While doing it, we've always done it this way. And that's a problem. People should people should know why they're doing things and what value it's bringing,


do you ever come in contact? And and this is also a conversation is that proper lubrication of assets? And how to do that properly? Like, it's not just Alright, go out there and lube it up. And yeah, that's it. And that's, that's, it's far more than that as well, right?


Yes, it is. Because we, you know, we, we will do what we call like a system check where we'll go and follow the all through the entire system. And we're looking at, you know, what is influencing the oil? You know, where is the where is it? Picking up energy? And where is it dissipating energy? And where does it have contact with components? And do you have the right components in place? Do you have the right monitoring in place? It's funny, because you go out there, and I am always surprised to see the lack of, of just local indicators, right? temperature, pressure. And then in the end, if they do have those things, I also rarely see any type of guidelines about where it should be. Right. So it's those little things, too. It's not, we're not talking about major, like, we're not going to Oh, you need to completely remove this reservoir and add this or that it's little little things, because most of the fundamental stuff is there, right? It was engineered, it was designed, but it's just a tiny little things like, how are you draining? How are you checking this? How are you maintaining the temperature? Temperature is king for oil, right? Viscosity is highly dependent on temperature. So how are you maintaining your temperature in the system? And so many systems out there, either they don't have a way to maintain it? Or they don't know how to, like, maintain it? Right? So no,


I mean, you could pull on that thread all day long, I would be just looking for some quick wins some victories, and and at least begin to change that that mindset. Because, again, we let's just recognize what you know, the elephant in the room, there's a lot of churn happening out there. There's a lot of individuals that don't have that, that would like to learn, but have not learned whatever it is, and and so it, it's always there's the optimal level. And then there's the real level and does shelf with your services help provide some sort of continuity, like, Hey, you're, we've got the lube lubricants that you're purchasing from us, and so on and so forth. We're going to come in, and we're just going to constantly sort of make sure that you get the most


out of it. Yeah, absolutely. So when we work with a customer, we go into a partnership. That's what it is. Yeah. And we have to because if we are just dropping off oil, we are not doing our job. Right. Right. And like I said, that's, that's only one aspect. And so it is it is in our benefit to get in there to help them run better. It's the approach that I think a lot of our technical people take is every piece of equipment is my equipment. How do I want that equipment to run? You know, if I'm the owner of that equipment, so you know, how can I get the most out of it? So that's the approach that we go into a partnership we do we do regular reviews of the program, we prioritize the opportunities in that program, like I said, the capacity of most customers, they can only handle one thing at a time. So we are really active in that regards to like said continue that dialogue throughout the year. And then at the end of the year, we try to you have to look back, you have to say what went well, what didn't go well, what do we accomplish? So that continuous improvement side is always there as well.


When when let's say I enter into that partnership with Shell and we start down this lubrication road, and you look at it from a holistic perspective. And what can you sort of share with listeners of the benefits of that asset life what what what, what are some sort of financial bottom line values? Yeah,


so I have some, you know, obviously TCO you know, we can we can we have a lot of documented value from either avoid failures, extension or performance. But I think one of my, I guess prouder kind of accomplishments was working with refinery where we were able to tie increase a significant increase in Mt. MTTR. mean time between repairs. I think they went up almost two years across the board as a result of the of the active changes in their lubrication.


No, no, that's bottom line value.


Yeah, it's huge. And the thing is, that was, you know, that MTTR, across the fleet was a huge value, but we're also saving individual pieces of equipment, you know, those individual savings, you know, add up quite significantly soon.


So, if just from the last question here, when, if I just hear what you have to say, is it just as simple as high limit? And let me let me call shall and and let's sort of begin this journey? Yeah.


Yeah, you know, you can look on our website and find kind of your local Shell contact. And yes, we are actively trying to engage, we're, we're trying to go into our, these customer sites proactively and say, Hey, let us bring you some value. But, you know, they can always reach out to us, and we will be happy to


help them. With that said, how do they get a hold of you?


Well, they can get a hold of me, I can be found on LinkedIn, and under my name, Kenneth Copeland, so feel free to send me a message and I like it.


I like the simplicity, I like the I like the solution. I like the problem solving. And it's just seems like a no brainer, at least a no brainer. I don't know how to add to it. All right, we're gonna have all the contact information for Kenneth out on industrial So fear not, you'll be able to reach him with no blammo. Alright, once again, we are broadcasting from the 30th, annual SMRP conference, full of problem solvers here. And if you're in the maintenance and reliability space, this is a must attend event, you will not be disappointed. All right, we're gonna wrap it up on the other side, thank you very much for joining industrial talk, we will be right back.


You're listening to the industrial talk Podcast Network.


All right, Kenneth folk, when is his name, Shell is the company. He is the learning advisor at Shell and we were talking about the necessity to constantly not just train but train properly so that the information sinks in that lubrication is such an important component to any reliability program. And doing it right is key. When you're talking to Kenneth, when you're talking to others about lubrication, you're quickly identify the fact that not all lubrication is the same, there's really specific times for specific applications. And again, it speaks of the necessity to educate, but not just educate. also collaborate, you got to reach out to Kenneth and others to just get it done and get it done. Right. Because that could just create or, or remove a lot of headaches, which, that's what we want to be able to do. As you can tell it was at the 30th annual SMRP conference. And you're in the maintenance and reliability space, you need to be there. So look for the SMRP conference, 3031 years, right? And I think it's in Orlando. So look out there, go out to And find out all that information, because you need to be there. And you get great people like Kenneth and others that that are really passionate about delivering solutions that can solve your or help you with your reliability challenges, because you need to be around you need to have that business that is resilient and at the center of that. Reliability. Absolutely. All right. You know, we're building a platform, a platform that is dedicated to industrial professionals, participate, be a part of it, be a part of the community, just go out to industrial and just say, Scott, I want to be a part of it. Well, there you go. You just let me know. You need to be a part of it. You need to be a part of this expanding community. All right, be bold, be brave. I say it all the time. dare greatly hang out with Kenneth and you're not going to you're going to just change the world. So we're gonna have another great conversation coming from SMRP shortly so stay tuned.

Scott MacKenzie

About the author, Scott

I am Scott MacKenzie, husband, father, and passionate industry educator. From humble beginnings as a lathing contractor and certified journeyman/lineman to an Undergraduate and Master’s Degree in Business Administration, I have applied every aspect of my education and training to lead and influence. I believe in serving and adding value wherever I am called.

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