ICMLThe International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML) is a vendor-neutral, not-for-profit organization founded to facilitate growth and development of machine lubrication as a technical field of endeavor. Among its various activities, ICML offers skill certification testing for individuals in the fields of machine condition monitoring, lubrication and oil analysis. ICML is an independently chartered organization consisting of both paid professional staff members and volunteer councils.

ICML's Scope of Service

Lubrication and Oil Analysis Standards Development Support. Activities are under way at ISO and ASTM to develop used oil analysis standards. There is a clear need for additional standards in the areas of lubricant selection and application, contamination control, etc. ICML will serve as a rallying point for machinery lubrication practitioners to speak with a common voice by supporting the development of lubrication-related standards and guides, including the support of efforts at ASTM, ISO and other organizations. With ISO's expected adoption of QS 9000 in place of the existing ISO 9000 standard, more rigor will be demanded to assure quality control over every aspect of running a plant, mine, mill or construction site, including lubrication functions. ICML plays an important role in supporting these activities.

Skilled based testing and Certification. Certification is the mark of a professional. It helps to ensure that individuals who practice a craft, be it lubricant analysis or medicine, have a defined measure of skills. For the field of machine lubrication, formal certification serves the following three vital purposes:

  • Create a formal framework of knowledge
  • Raise the profile of those working in the field
  • Provide managers with assurance of skills

ICML currently provides certification for the Machine Lubricant Analyst (MLA), Machine Lubrication Technician (MLT) and Laboratory Lubricant Analyst (LLA). ICML is honored that these ICML certifications have been pioneered into ISO 18436-4 and 18436-5 Standards. ICML also regarded the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) guidelines in the development of its certification programs.

Recognition of Excellence. When individuals and organizations accomplish the extraordinary, or perform ordinary tasks extraordinarily well, they contribute to the development of best practices and the advancement of the industry. ICML seeks to recognize these individuals formally with awards of excellence. The first of these awards was the Augustus H. Gill Award, which recognizes excellence in oil analysis, followed by the John R. Battle Award, which recognizes excellence in machinery lubrication. Other awards are planned for the future to recognize laboratories and possibly, new products.

Organization of ICML

ICML is organized into committees of industry volunteers who focus on one or more of the organization's strategic initiatives, such as certification, recognition of excellence, reviewing applications and selecting award recipients, etc. As new initiatives arise, interested and qualified individuals will rally into the specific committee organized for that initiative.

An important aspect of the organization is the recruitment of Sustaining Members. A sustaining member is an individual or company that contributes financially to the efforts being carried forth by ICML. All of the important efforts ICML undertakes require resources. These sustaining members may contribute to the development of individual projects, or they may be at-large Sustaining Members who are supportive of all of ICML's efforts, allowing their contributed funds to be utilized where required.

We recognize that practitioners in any field may wish to belong to ICML as individual members and join their compatriots and create a sense of community. A committee has been assigned to the task of investigating changes to membership. Regardless, ICML's web-site www.lubecouncil.org is intended to serve as a virtual meeting place for the lubrication industry.

In conclusion, it is time for the machine lubrication industry to have a unifying body that is focused on the needs of people who practice the art and science of machinery lubrication. Our industry needs a vehicle by which to exchange ideas and best practices, assure the skills of those who work in our field, recognize excellence and accomplishments and invite new participants to join our industry. The International Council for Machinery Lubrication is proudly committed to play this role.

ICML offers Lubrication Skills Certification

Increasingly, managers are looking to third party organizations to verify that their staff members are competent and ready to perform in the roles to which they are assigned. This is largely due to razor thin margins that demand mistake-free production, and to the fact that cutbacks have spread managers thin. Their increased span of control makes it difficult for them to obtain and maintain technical expertise in all the fields over which they are responsible. Third-party certification offers a means by which they may assure that those that report to them are competent. For some managers, it may also serve as the mechanism by which pay levels are determined.

ICML certification is a peer-review process whereby individuals may prove their skills. It is not a licensing process like that for physicians or attorneys that is required by state law to practice in a field. To become certified by ICML, individuals are first required to apply for candidacy. Candidacy requires a combination of experience and formal training in an approved course of study. ICML will comply with the minimum training requirements being set forth by ISO/TC108/SC5 as defined in the pending ISO 18436. Once accepted into candidacy, an individual must achieve a satisfactory score on a multiple-choice examination covering the body of knowledge as defined by ICML. If successful, the individual will be certified by ICML, receive a wall certificate and a wallet card providing proof of certification. Certified individuals may identify themselves in correspondence with their certification (i.e., John Q. Doe, Level II MLT).

ICML offers industry the following three certifications. Other certification areas may be added in the future. Likewise, if required levels may be added to any certification area.

Machine Lubricant Analyst (MLA) - These individuals must demonstrate skills in the area of used lubricant analysis for machine condition monitoring. Level I certification is oriented toward the basics of lubrication and sampling, Level II focuses on sampling, test selection and fundamental data interpretation. Level III is directed toward advanced diagnostics and troubleshooting, integration with other technologies and program management.

Machinery Lubrication Technician (MLT) - These individuals must demonstrate skills in the day-to-day activities associated with proper lubrication of machinery. Level I is oriented toward lubrication basics and the proper application and storage of lubricant. Level II is directed toward advanced understanding of lubrication fundamentals, lubricant selection and lubrication schedule and program management.

Laboratory Lubricant Analyst (LLA) - These individuals must demonstrate skills in the performance of oil analysis activities typically required of a laboratory technician working in the used lubricant analysis field. Level I is oriented toward the basic aspects of performing common tests in the lab and assuring data quality. Level II is directed toward advanced diagnostics, troubleshooting instrument error and managing lab processes, including testing and service quality.