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Level I Machinery Lubrication Technician

To become certified, an individual must meet the following requirements:

  • Education and/or Experience - Candidates must have at least two years education (post-secondary) or on-the-job training in one or more of the following fields: machine lubrication, engineering, mechanical maintenance and/or maintenance trades.

  • Training - Candidate must have received 16 hours of documented formal training in machinery lubrication as outlined in the Body of Knowledge of the MLT I. For online or recorded training, exercises, practice exams, and review exercises may be included in the training time total but shall not exceed three hours of the required course time. Candidate shall be able to provide a record of this training to ICML that shall include the candidate’s name, the name and signature of the instructor, the dates of the training, and the number of hours spent in the training.

Note: ICML does not require, recommend, endorse or authorize any specific training course as official or approved. It is the responsibility of each candidate to research the training options available in his/her area and make a decision as to the training provider of his/her choice. ICML recommends the outline of the course of choice be compared to the exam's Body of Knowledge. It is in the person's best interest and their responsibility as an ICML candidate to ensure they are being trained in the same subject areas in which they will be tested. It is also the candidate’s responsibility to ensure each instructor is currently certified at the level of instruction. (Candidates can do this by checking for an instructor’s name in our real-time directory of certified professionals.) ICML's Bodies of Knowledge are of public domain and can be utilized by companies in the development of courses, as well as by any prospective candidate for evaluating the appropriateness of chosen training.

  • Examination - Each candidate must successfully pass a 100 question, multiple-choice examination that evaluates the candidate's knowledge of the topic. Candidates have three hours to complete the closed-book examination. A score of 70% is required to pass the examination and achieve certification. Contact ICML about the availability of the exam in other languages.

The Level I MLT Body of Knowledge is an outline of concepts that one should have in order to pass the exam.

References from which exam questions were derived can be found in the Domain of Knowledge.

I. Maintenance Strategy (5%)
   A. Why machines fail
   B. The impact of poor maintenance on company profits
   C. The role of effective lubrication in failure avoidance

II. Lubrication Theory (10%)
   A. Fundamentals of tribology
   B. Functions of a lubricant
   C. Hydrodynamic lubrication (sliding friction)
   D. Elasto-hydrodynamic lubrication (rolling friction)
   E. Mixed-film lubrication

III. Lubricants (15%)
   A. Base-oils
   B. Additives and their functions
   C. Oil lubricant physical, chemical and performance properties and classifications
   D. Grease lubrication
       1. How grease is made
       2. Thickener types
       3. Thickener compatibility
       4. Grease lubricant physical, chemical and performance properties and classifications

IV. Lubricant Selection (15%)
   A. Viscosity selection
   B. Base-oil type selection
   C. Additive system selection
   D. Machine specific lubricant requirements
       1. Hydraulic systems
       2. Rolling element bearings
       3. Journal bearings
       4. Reciprocating engines
       5. Gearing and gearboxes
   E. Application and environment related adjustments

V. Lubricant Application (25%)
   A. Basic calculations for determining required lubricant volume
   B. Basic calculations to determine re-lube and change frequencies
   C. When to select oil; when to select grease
   D. Effective use of manual delivery techniques
   E. Automatic delivery systems
       1. Automated deliver options
           a) Automated grease systems
           b) Oil mist systems
           c) Drip and wick lubricators
       2. Deciding when to employ automated lubricators
       3. Maintenance of automated lubrication systems

VI. Preventive and Predictive Maintenance (10%)
   A. Lube routes and scheduling
   B. Oil analysis and technologies to assure lubrication effectiveness
   C. Equipment tagging and identification

VII. Lube Condition Control (10%)
   A. Filtration and separation technologies
   B. Filter rating
   C. Filtration system design and filter selection

VIII. Lube Storage and Management (10%)
   A. Lubricant receiving procedures
   B. Proper storage and inventory management
   C. Lube storage containers
   D. Proper storage of grease-guns and other lube application devices
   E. Maintenance of automatic grease systems
   F.  Health and safety assurance


Domain of Knowledge

  • Bannister, K. (2007) Lubrication for Industry, Industrial Press, Inc., New York, USA.
  • Bloch, H. (2016) Practical Lubrication for Industrial Facilities. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, USA.
  • Hodges, P. (1996) Hydraulic Fluids. Arnold Publish, London, England, UK and John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, USA.
  • Landsdown, A. (1994) High Temperature Lubrication. Mechanical Engineering Publications, Ltd., London, England
  • Landsdown, A. (1996) Lubrication and Lubricant Selection. Mechanical Engineering Publication, Ltd., London, England, UK.
  • Scott, R., Fitch J., & Leugner, L. (2012) The Practical Handbook of Machinery Lubrication, Noria Publishing, Tulsa, OK USA
  • NLGI, (2017) Lubricating Grease Guide, 6th ed., The National Lubricating Grease Institute, Kansas City, MO USA
  • Ludema, K. (1996) Friction, Wear, Lubrication: A Textbook in Tribology. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, USA.
  • Pirro, D. M., & Wessol, A. A. (2016) Lubrication Fundamentals, Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, USA
  • The Lubrication Engineer's Manual, (2010) Association of Iron and Steel Engineers, Pittsburgh, PA USA
  • Troyer, D., & J. Fitch (2010) Oil Analysis Basics. Noria Publishing, Tulsa, OK USA

These references can be purchased from the following organizations:  

Barnes and Noble
Noria Corporation