Suzy Hitchcock: Sharing Experiences is Basic for Learning

Australia´s representative was present at the 7th World Congress for Maintenance and Assets Management, giving a speech about the experience of Gibson Island Plant – Visy Paper, where a simple lubrication program obtained the John R. Battle Lubrication Award First Prize, given by ICML.

Sometimes, going back to the basics and returning on what has been learned is as important as innovating and making new proposals in such a dynamic field as asset management. Engineer Suzy Hitchcock, specialist in lubrication, supported this statement during her participation in the 7th World Congress for Maintenance and Assets Management, which took place in Cartagena, Colombia, on May 20 – 22, hosting the best of the best in the assets management discipline around the world. During her speech about Improvements in Operational Reliability of Equipment, Hitchcock demonstrated how to apply simple and safe techniques to obtain good results, taking as reference the study case of Gibson Island plant – Visy Paper, in Australia, winner of the international lubrication award given by ICLM international organization. Predictiva21 talked to this brilliant consultant, who came from Australia but was born and raised in Brazil.

Predictiva21: What is your opinion about the congress? What has meant for you to be part of this event as a lecturer?

Suzy Hitchcok: I think it is a very good conference, very well organized. I was quite surprised to see the number of countries that are represented here, not only the organizations that were responsible to make the congress possible but also in the exhibitor hall, with a lot of international companies as well. So, it’s very good to see the exchange of ideas between Colombia and the rest of the world.

P21: What do you think about the evolution of this congress? What short-term benefits do you think it will bring?

SH: It’s crucial, because more and more we see that in the world economy we can´t operate alone, and the idea that you have different countries coming together to share their best practices and avoid the mistakes that somebody else has already done is very beneficial. It will save Colombia, in the long run, a lot of the growing pains that other developed countries have already had and other existent companies in Latin America have experienced as well.

P21: What did it mean to you as an enterprise to receive the John R. Battle excellence award in lubrication, given by the International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML)?

SH: Indeed, that is very important for us at Gibson Island Plant. ICML is a non-profit international lubrication organization that has a global mission of dignifying the careers and improving the life of the practitioners of industrial lubrication and oil analysis. So we are very much in line with ACIEM in terms of being in the same industry. We’re attending a very specific need in terms of maintenance, an area that is very much a cornerstone of maintenance because it has a tremendous impact in the reliability of the companies, that is, the best practices in lubrication.

P21: What would you say to those who are new in this profession? What advice would you give them, according to your experience?

SH: I would say: Don’t stop learning and don’t be afraid to ask questions. And don’t be afraid to expose to the world, and be proud of your roots. I was born and raised in Brazil. A lot of the problems regarding reliability and maintenance around the world are pretty much the same, so I’m actually proud to share the experiences. I know that ethics is something very sensitive to Latinos, to myself, and I was very glad to hear the message from the president of ACIEM yesterday, talking about the need for us to change that at root, and basically grassroot levels in our home, our companies, and all that. I think we can be a great element of change to the world, because we are leading the desire to change. So, don’t be afraid of what you have experienced in your companies and share that with the rest because chances are they know exactly your pain.

Text: Alimey Díaz M de Skinner
Translation: Richard J. Skinner
Photos/Correspondent: Miguel Guzmán

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