Engineering Institute of Technology


Unit Name


Unit Code

BME 301S


Unit Duration



Bachelor of Science (Engineering)


Duration 3 years

Year Level


Unit Creator/Reviewer


Core/ Sub-discipline



BSC105C, BME206S

Credit Points



Total Program Credit Points 81 (27 x 3)

Mode of Delivery

Online or on-campus.

Unit Workload

(Total student workload including “contact hours” = 10 hours per week)

Lecture : 1.5 hours

Guided study – 2 hours (readings, assessments, video, case studies) Tutorial : 1.5 hours

Personal Study : 5 hours

The objective in presenting this unit is to provide students with a thorough overview of Tribology fundamentals, comprehension of the key lubricant properties and types, and the knowledge to select the right lubricant for a particular application. The emphasis is on enabling students to get the most up-to-date information on lubrication related issues and best practices.


Students will also be instructed on the many aspects of maintenance, the latest maintenance techniques and technologies, be equipped with the skills to perform condition monitoring tasks, and to recognize and solve precision maintenance issues in a structured manner towards improved reliability and performance.


The subject matter covered in this unit will include: the fundamental Tribology concepts; lubricant and additive properties; the identification of the different lubricant types; lubricant storage and stability; preventive and predictive maintenance strategies; condition monitoring tasks; and, precision maintenance programs. Students will also undertake project work involving a sample preventive maintenance strategy for a given application and carry out failure analysis for a given equipment/system.


Detailed knowledge of Tribology concepts and lubricants is key to effective and efficient maintenance. Many operational problems can be traced to inadequate knowledge of lubricants, lack of basic maintenance, and poor asset management skills. It is through the detailed knowledge of Tribology concepts, lubricants, and timely implementation of maintenance practices, that failures can be averted and/or their symptoms can be accurately identified, and corrective measures initiated well in time to prevent unscheduled and sometimes even catastrophic failures. At the conclusion of this unit, students will have been imparted with the requisite knowledge of lubricants and maintenance issues to appreciate this and ensure that effective products and effective maintenance strategies, plans, and programs are utilised, established, and perpetually sustained.


Learning Outcomes


On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Explain the fundamental Tribology concepts.

  2. Examine lubricant and additive properties.

  3. Identify the different lubricant types.

  4. Deal with issues related to lubricant storage and stability.

  5. Optimise preventive and predictive maintenance strategies.

  6. Perform condition monitoring tasks.

  7. Manage your precision maintenance program.

    Completing this unit may add to students professional development/competencies by:

    1. Fostering personal and professional skills and attributes in order to:

      1. Conduct work in a professionally diligent, accountable and ethical manner.

      2. Effectively use oral and written communication in personal and professional domains.

      3. Foster applicable creative thinking, critical thinking and problem solving skills.

      4. Develop initiative and engagement in lifelong learning and professional development.

      5. Enhance collaboration outcomes and performance in dynamic team roles.

      6. Effectively plan, organise, self-manage and manage others.

      7. Professionally utilise and manage information.

      8. Enhance technologist literacy and apply contextualised technologist skills.

    2. Enhance investigatory and research capabilities in order to:

      1. Develop an understanding of systematic, fundamental scientific, mathematic principles, numerical analysis techniques and statistics applicable to technologists.

      2. Access, evaluate and analyse information on technologist processes, procedures, investigations and the discernment of technologist knowledge development.

      3. Foster an in-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge, computer science, engineering design practice and contextual factors applicable to technologists.

      4. Solve basic and open-ended engineering technologist problems.

      5. Understand the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds associated with sustainable engineering practice.

    3. Develop engineering application abilities in order to:

      1. Apply established engineering methods to broadly-defined technologist problem solving.

      2. Apply engineering technologist techniques, tool and resources.

      3. Apply systematic technologist synthesis and design processes.

      4. Systematically conduct and manage technologist projects, work assignments, testing and experimentation.

The Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologists, approved as of 2013. This table is referenced in the mapping of graduate attributes to learning outcomes and via the learning outcomes to student assessment.


Stage 1 Competencies and Elements of Competency


Knowledge and Skill Base


Systematic, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the technology domain.


Conceptual understanding of the, mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the technology domain.


In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the technology domain.


Discernment of knowledge development within the technology domain.


Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the technology domain.


Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the technology domain.


Engineering Application Ability


Application of established engineering methods to broadly-defined problem solving within the technology domain.


Application of engineering techniques, tools and resources within the technology domain.


Application of systematic synthesis and design processes within the technology domain.


Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of projects within the technology domain.


Professional and Personal Attributes


Ethical conduct and professional accountability.


Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.


Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanour.


Professional use and management of information.


Orderly management of self and professional conduct.


Effective team membership and team leadership.

Successfully completing this Unit will contribute to the recognition of attainment of the following graduate attributes aligned to the AQF Level 7 criteria, Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologists and the Sydney Accord:


Graduate Attributes

(Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Professional and Personal Development)

EA Stage 1 Competencies

Learning Outcomes

A. Knowledge of Science and Engineering Fundamentals

A1. Breadth of knowledge of engineering and systematic, theory-based understanding of underlying principles, and depth of knowledge across one or more engineering sub- disciplines


1.1, 1.3


1, 2, 5, 6

A2. Knowledge of mathematical, statistical and computer sciences appropriate for engineering technology




1, 4

A3. Discernment of knowledge development within the technology domain


6, 7

A4. Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the technology domain





B. Problem Solving, Critical Analysis and Judgement

B1. Ability to research, synthesise, evaluate and innovatively apply theoretical concepts, knowledge and approaches across diverse engineering technology contexts to effectively solve engineering problems


1.4, 2.1, 2.3



B2. Technical and project management skills to design complex systems and solutions in line with developments in engineering technology professional practice


2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.2



C. Effective Communication

C1. Cognitive and technical skills to investigate, analyse and organise information and ideas and to communicate those ideas clearly and fluently, in both written and spoken forms appropriate to the audience




5, 6, 7

C2. Ability to engage effectively and appropriately across a diverse range of cultures



D. Design and Project Management

D1. Apply systematic synthesis and design processes within the technology domain

2.1, 2.2, 2.3


D2. Apply systematic approaches to the conduct and management of projects within the technology domain





E. Accountability, Professional and Ethical Conduct

E1. Innovation in applying engineering technology, having regard to ethics and impacts including economic; social; environmental and sustainability


1.6, 3.1, 3.4


E2. Professional conduct, understanding and accountability in professional practice across diverse circumstances including team work, leadership and independent work


3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6



This table details the mapping of the unit graduate attributes to the unit learning outcomes and the Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for the Engineering Technologist.




Graduate Attributes














Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologist

























































































































































































Unit Learning Outcomes












































































Student assessment

Assessment Type

When assessed



(% of total unit marks)

Learning Outcomes Assessed


Assessment 1

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: Tribology concepts, properties of lubricants.

Students will complete a quiz with MCQ type answers to 30 questions to show evidence of their comprehension of Tribology principles and lubricant properties.


Week 3




1, 2


Assessment 2

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: Lubricant types, additives, stability, and storage.

Students will answer descriptive type questions and provide solutions to simple problems on the above topics.


Week 6




2, 3, 4


Assessment 3

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation / Project

/ Report

Example Topic: Maintenance basics, Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM), predictive maintenance.

Students will provide short answers to questions on maintenance techniques and procedures, RCM and predictive maintenance.


Week 9




5, 6


Assessment 4

Type: Exam or project Word length: NA

Example Topic: Preventive maintenance and failure analysis.

Students will provide a sample preventive maintenance strategy for a given application and carry out failure analysis for a given equipment/system.


Final Week




5, 6, 7


Attendance / Tutorial Participation

Example: Presentation, discussion, group work, exercises, self-assessment/reflection, case study analysis, application.






1 to 7

Prescribed and recommended readings



Machinery Vibration Analysis and Predictive Maintenance, IDC Technologies, Perth Practical Lubrication Engineering for Engineers and Technicians, IDC Technologies, Perth Reliability Centred Maintenance, IDC Technologies, Perth


Rao, BKN 1996, Handbook of Condition Monitoring, 1st edn, Elsevier Science Ltd, ISBN- 13: 978-1856172349


Mohanty, AR 2014, Machinery Condition Monitoring: Principles and Practices, CRC Press, ISBN-13: 978-1466593046


Journal, website


Notes and Reference texts

IDC Technologies

Other material advised during the lectures


Unit Content

One topic is delivered per contact week, with the exception of part-time 24-week units, where one topic is delivered every two weeks.


Topic 1


  1. Cause and effects of friction

  2. Fluid and hydro-dynamic lubrication

  3. Boundary lubrication

  4. Lubricant characteristics under varying conditions

  5. Lubricant types and applications


Topic 2

Properties of Lubricants

  1. Viscosity

  2. Flashpoint and volatility

  3. Oxidation and thermal stability

  4. Demulsibility

  5. Foaming and gas solubility

  6. Corrosion prevention

  7. Compatibility


Topic 3


  1. Oxidation inhibitors

  2. Rust and corrosion inhibitors

  3. Pour point depressants

  4. Viscosity Inhibitor (VI) improvers

  5. Anti-wear additives

  6. Extreme Pressure (EP) additives

  7. Anti-foam additives

  8. Detergents and dispersants additives

  9. Demulsifiers and emulsifiers

  10. Tackiness additives


Topic 4

Lubricant Types

  1. Greases and grease lubrication

  2. Internal combustion lubricants

  3. Hydraulic systems and fluids

  4. Miscellaneous lubrication – pump, motor, turbine, compressor


    Topic 5

    Stability and Storage

  5. Fluid contamination

  6. Leakage stability

  7. Fluid chemical stability

  8. Temperature stability

  9. Wear stability

  10. Safety issues

  11. Shelf life

  12. Contamination potential


Topic 6

Maintenance Fundamentals

  1. Purpose of maintenance

  2. Maintenance objectives

  3. Evolution of maintenance processes

  4. Maintenance types

  5. Reliability in maintenance


Topic 7


  1. Introduction to RCM

  2. Steps in RCM process

  3. Identification of functions, failures, effects, and causes

  4. Failure patterns

  5. Selecting maintenance tasks


Topic 8

Predictive Maintenance

  1. Introduction and overview

  2. Benefits of predictive maintenance

  3. Role of predictive maintenance in effective asset management

  4. Introduction to predictive maintenance technologies and techniques


Topic 9

Preventive Maintenance (PM)

  1. Development of a PM program

  2. Reasons for a PM program

  3. Risk involved in a PM program

  4. Planning and scheduling in PM

  5. PM implementation


Topic 10

Condition Monitoring Tasks

  1. Tighten, Lubricate, Clean (TLC)

  2. Chemical and particle analysis

  3. Ultrasonic inspection

  4. Temperature monitoring

  5. Performance monitoring

  6. Failure analysis


Topic 11

Managing Your Precision Maintenance Program

  1. Criteria for choosing baselines

  2. Trending

  3. Which machines to monitor?

  4. Managing data

  5. Software for trending

  6. Scheduling maintenance

  7. Interruptive and non-interruptive


Topic 12

Unit Review

(Distribute Case Study in Week 9). In the final week students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far. Opportunity will be provided for a review of student work and to clarify any outstanding issues. Instructors/facilitators may choose to cover a specialized topic if applicable to that cohort.

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