4S3: Eli Lilly’s Lubrication-driven Global Reliability

Leslie Fish, Executive Director, Professional Development & Operations, ICML Rendela K. Wenzel, CMRP, Global Associate Senior Consultant Engineer, Eli Lilly and Company


When reliability and predictive maintenance in general were not improving as quickly as desired, Eli Lilly’s management realized that some areas were better than others in the reliability space and as a result started to integrate these improvements into their business plans. Lilly’s vice president of corporate engineering has become a major supporter of reliability and has made this a priority for the overall corporate agenda.

Since winning the 2008 John R. Battle award for excellence in machinery lubrication, Eli Lilly and Co. has continued to develop its lubrication program not only in the United States but around the world. The company operates more than 20 manufacturing sites internationally, with each having its own goals, objectives, culture, challenges and reliability journey.  In 2009, Rendela Wenzel took the reins of Eli Lilly’s corporate lubrication technical team. She has continued to grow the lubrication program and has recently taken on a new role to further drive reliability globally.

This paper will outline Eli Lilly’s journey into a lubrication-driven global reliability organization. The presentation will highlight strategies applied by Wenzel for Lilly’s policies and direction for reliability and predictive maintenance (PdM) and discuss the results achieved from the program.

Leslie Fish Bio

Leslie Fish is the Executive Director of Professional Development and Operations for the International Council for Machinery Lubrication (IMCL) and has extensive experience in testing and certification.  She is a member of and ICML’s representative to SMRP and MACRON. Leslie was a former Senior Executive in the trades education industry to include HVAC, Automotive, Welding and Medical.  She has presented and provided training to large groups within this industry.

Rendela Wenzel Bio

Rendela is currently a Global Associate Senior Consultant Engineer for Eli Lilly and Company. Rendela has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University and an MBA in Business Administration. She is currently the Global Reliability Leader for the Engineering Technical Center. Her role includes providing technical leadership and oversight of the Global Reliability Technical Team, coordinating reliability initiatives around the world, and leading the Corporate Lubrication Program. She has extensive Relaibility and Maintenance experience developing and implementing successful PdM programs, leading RCA activities, and driving maintenance execution initiatives. Prior to Lilly, she was a Reliability Engineer supporting the Crankshaft Steel Business Unit at Navistar, an Operations and Maintenance Manager at Chrysler overseeing the cleaning and core rooms, and as a Process Engineer supporting the mixing lines at Pillsbury. She is the SMRP Indiana Chair and also serves on the ICML Board of Directors. Rendela is a Level 2 Machinery Lubricant Analyst, Level 2 Vibration Analyst, a Level 1 Infrared Analyst, and a Level 1 Ultrasonics Analyst. Rendela is a Six Sigma Greenbelt, RCM facilitator, and a Certified Maintenance & Reliability Professional. She has also attained the rank of Captain in the United States Army.