Case Study: Autonomous Ultrasound-guided Condition-Based Lubrication System

Haris Trobradovic, SDT Ultrasound Solutions


Ultrasound-guided Condition Based Lubrication has been with us for some time, being an option, “one of the ways”. But over the past several years, extensive technology development and huge efforts in promoting and driving culture change placed it on the Reliability map as a must.

Moving forward, onboard analysis and instructions to the operator, coupled with mature strategy, removed subjective assessment and changed the game entirely.
The next step is obvious; Permanently mounted, Automatic, Ultrasound-guided, Condition-based Lubrication.
Really confusing description.

The simple way to do it is to install a permanent Ultrasound sensor and a single-point auto-lubricator, connect them to software and get the data/push the button to grease.  Not good enough as there are questions to be answered first;

  • What is the “as found” condition?
    • We rarely have the luxury to start a program on a brand new asset or asset with extensive documented Condition Monitoring and Lubrication history
    • That needs to be determined before the greasing attempt, right?
  • How to control the lubrication process itself?
    • Look at the screen during the injection process and decide?
    • Trust calculations?
    • That is not an improvement, that is back to where we were a long time ago
  • Where is the alarm?
    • Alarm settings are a critical part of the process, no guessing is allowed
    • Alarm is not carved in stone during the asset lifecycle
    • Defining alarm level/trigger is often very challenging

Three critical questions, and three major challenges-resolved and implemented
The system now assesses the asset, sets the alarms, triggers the lubrication, controls the lubrication process, continuously analyses data, and adjusts the strategy.
Game-changing technology, and less confusing description:
As a friend of mine said: “So this thing will be On Guard, and I can go fishing?” Exactly.

Co-presented by end user.



• Learn about Lubrication 4.0 technology, autonomous Ultrasound guided Condition Based greasing
• Work with a system live, and test it under different operating conditions to learn how it performs
• Learn how to integrate the autonomous system in your Lubrication strategy through example from the industry co-presented with user


Haris Trobradović is a certified ultrasound inspector with 20 years of experience in product design and set-up. As a Certified Reliability Leader (CRL) and Accredited Reliability Practitioner (ARP) Haris understands the interconnectivity between asset condition management and effective reliability culture. Active in more than 40 countries, Haris helps implement ultrasound programs and Lubrication practice improvement in all types of industries. Throughout continuous work in the field, Haris got deeply involved in additional areas that affect industry the most; Work Culture, Ownership & Commitment and that led him to more deep study of Operational Excellence, Culture change, Operator driven Reliability, all areas where technology fits in motivated human forces. Haris’s activities are directed to the implementation of technology and proper approach to the role of each team member, from strategist to “grease guy.” When Haris is not abroad supporting customer’s reliability programs, he lives in Croatia with his wife and two sons.