ICML 55® Standard for lubricated asset management now includes expansive Overview and Guideline documents


The complete series fully brings ISO 55000 concepts to lubrication-specific levels, providing a blueprint for designing and implementing audit-ready lubrication management systems

 The International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML) is pleased to announce completion of the ICML 55 Standard for Lubricated Asset Management with the addition of two new documents: ICML 55.0: Optimized Lubrication of Mechanical Physical Assets Overview and ICML 55.2: Guideline for the Optimized Lubrication of Mechanical Physical Assets. These documents augment the ICML 55.1:2019: Requirements for the Optimized Lubrication of Mechanical Physical Assets.

“The completion of ICML 55 advances our authoritative mission in support of lubrication practitioners, managers, and programs around the world,” notes ICML Executive Director Leslie Fish. “With the ICML 55.2 Guideline now in place, this standard enables them and their departments to systematically support broader, company-wide asset management goals, all while impacting their work environments in positive ways that can help them achieve their personal career goals, as well.”

Collectively known as ICML 55, these three standards are strategically aligned to the ISO 55000 Asset Management Standard. By providing a structured framework for developing lubrication management system (LMS) plans that can be audited and certified, ICML 55 is intended to support an organization’s broader physical asset management plans.

“Simply put, ICML 55 signifies the birth of a new era for industrial lubrication,” says Ken Bannister, ICML 55 Program Director, best-selling author and Managing Partner at ENGTECH Industries Inc.

ICML Marketing Manager Paul Hiller concurs, saying, “The completion of this world standard is definitely an industrial game-changer, opening a new door of opportunity for all participating companies and lubrication professionals who want to gain a demonstrable advantage in the marketplace.” 

“This occasion sets ICML on a new trajectory to lead the world in lubrication asset management,” says Jim Fitch, ICML Founding Director and CEO of Noria Corporation. “ICML 55 is rock solid, a crowning achievement. I personally am thrilled to have been a part of it and congratulate the ICML and all those who played a role, large or small, for their efforts.” 

“ICML 55 is a fantastic way to merge best practices globally into one readable document,” says Rendela Wenzel, Associate Senior Consultant Engineer at Eli Lilly who serves as chair of ICML’s board of directors. “This standard provides a ‘how to’ guide for lubrication excellence and represents best practices by subject matter experts from all over the world.”

ICML has contracted with River Publishers to publish and distribute the new ICML 55 Standard Series in print and digital formats.

“This important release not only builds upon the global presence of ICML’s thought leadership but also marks the beginning of key technological and practical collections for the industry in collaboration with River Publishers,” notes Rajeev Prasad, Founder and CEO, hinting at future collaborations with ICML.

ICML 55 Origin

Development of the ICML 55 Standard began years ago in response to market needs.

“It was roughly ten years ago when the idea of a global lubrication asset management standard emerged at an ICML board meeting,” recalls Fitch. “I think it immediately struck a chord with everyone who was around the table that day. The thought of it was unprecedented, yet necessary and overdue.”

ICML’s commitment was bolstered with the 2014 release of International Organization for Standardization’s all-encompassing ISO 55000 Asset Management Standard. ICML’s leaders were confident that a highly tactical, lubrication-specific document would help make holistic concepts accessible, adaptable, and applicable to lubrication practitioners and managers of machinery assets—that is, to ICML’s primary audience.

Fitch continues: “We realized it would be a tall order to assemble experts in all facets of lubrication on a global scale, and then to harness their time and focus to create such a document.  Getting experts to agree on anything is a monumental task in itself.”

ICML 55 Structure and Purpose

The resulting ICML 55.1 Requirements Standard would eventually be written by a consensus of 45 subject matter experts and thought leaders from all over the world. Their contributions were organized into twelve interrelated areas that describe and define requirements to be considered when developing any successful, sustainable lubrication program plan. To be clear, ICML 55.1 does not replace, compete with, or technically conflict with ISO 55001 requirements. Rather, it is an enabling standard, so users will find that sections of ICML 55.1 align with the ISO 55001 structure:

  1. SKILLS:  Job Task, Training, and Competency
  2. MACHINE:  Machine Lubrication and Condition Monitoring Readiness
  3. LUBRICANT:  Lubricant System Design and Selection
  4. LUBRICATION:  Planned and Corrective Maintenance Tasks
  5. TOOLS:  Lubrication Support Facilities and Tools
  6. INSPECTION:  Machine and Lubricant Inspection
  7. LUBRICANT ANALYSIS:  Condition Monitoring and Lubrication Analysis
  8. TROUBLESHOOT:  Fault/Failure Troubleshooting and RCA
  9. WASTE:  Lubricant Waste Handling and Management
  10. ENERGY:  Energy Conservation and Environmental Impact
  11. RECLAIM: Oil Reclamation and System Decontamination
  12. MANAGEMENT:  Program Management and Metrics

ICML self-published the requirements standard in 2019 and then proceeded to develop the ICML 55.0 Overview and ICML 55.2 Guideline. These are the two documents that brought the ICML 55 Standard to fulfillment this year.

“Essentially, the Overview establishes why a LMS plan is necessary and relevant,” explains Hiller, “and then the Requirements document defines what to do to build that LMS plan. Finally, the Guideline shows how to implement the requirements and bring that plan into reality.”

The ICML 55.0 Overview lays groundwork that connects ICML 55 to matters of asset reliability, maintainability, throughput (work), quality, safety, energy reduction, carbon footprint reduction, and cost/profits. As an executive summary, it can help an organization’s stakeholders to understand the relevance of lubrication management, and about how ICML 55 dovetails into and aligns with numerous other corporate, asset, and work management systems.

The ICML 55.2 Guideline goes in-depth as a blueprint for implementing and maintaining ICML 55.1 requirements in all twelve interrelated areas. Its content demonstrates value with examples that are relevant to implementation, including punch lists of typical requirements that an auditor would look for.

Eventually, any participating organization will be able to arrange for a qualified ICML 55 auditor to certify its compliance across all twelve areas. Such certification will publicly validate that a company’s lubricated asset management program has been set up for success, to achieve optimum performance at the highest levels of machinery reliability. ICML expects to roll out this auditing component (to be dubbed “ICML 55.3”) in 2025.

Even if program certification is not the goal of a participating company, the ICML 55 Standard can still be used as a series of practical go-to manuals for implementing a world-class LMS that will benefit the company’s management and employees.

Ordering ICML 55

The complete, English-language ICML 55 Standard is currently available in hardcover or PDF formats through the River Publishers website. Additional points of purchase will be established in coming months. Translation to other languages will proceed based on market demand.

Read more about ICML 55 at ICML’s website here.