While we all know it is important to keep equipment properly lubricated, it is equally important to make sure that clean lubricants are being applied to your assets. I recently attended the Des-Case Distributor Conference in Nashville, TN where I learned that 70% of all machine breakdowns are due to surface degradation. Of those surface degradation breakdowns, 82% are a result of particle contamination in the lubricant. By implementing a precision lubrication program, you can reduce or eliminate these failure modes which will decrease maintenance costs and increase the productivity of your assets. There are six key categories that need to be addressed in order to have an effective precision lubrication program:
FILTER & PURIFY
Did you know that new oil is typically 4-8 times dirtier than recommended for critical applications? If you are lubricating your critical assets with oil straight from the barrel, you are almost certainly contaminating your equipment. Filtration Systems are ideal tools to clean new oil, remediate contaminated systems, flush new equipment during commissioning, or periodically decontaminate systems to meet target cleanliness levels.
STORE & TRANSFER
Now that your lubricants are clean, they must be appropriately stored and transferred to the assets. Simply exposing your clean oil to plant air can substantially affect its cleanliness. It is recommended to use a system of Storage Tanks and Transfer Containers with quick connects to transfer your oil through a closed system, isolated from outside contaminants.
SEAL & PROTECT
Once the clean oil has been transferred to the equipment, it is still at risk for contamination. As your industrial equipment heats up and cools down, it expands and contracts. In order to prevent pressure build up, equipment OEMs include vent caps on the fill port to allow expanded air to escape. However, these simple caps do not prevent small dirt particles and moisture from entering the tank. By installing Desiccant Breathers to the tank, you can be sure that outside contaminants cannot compromise your oil.
VIEW & ASSESS
It is important to observe the health and level of your lubricants so that you can take proper actions to protect your critical assets. Most OEM viewports can become foggy and dirty preventing you from effectively assessing the condition of your oil. By installing Visual Oil Analysis Products made with durable materials you receive a 360°view of oil clarity and color, sediment, and water contamination in the oil.
MONITOR & DIAGNOSE
A state-of-the-art precision lubrication program will utilize Oil Monitoring Systems to continuously monitor the health of their oil in real time. Doing so provides early detection of system upsets, avoidance of equipment failures, and unplanned downtime. This saves you money, maintains operational efficiency and provides one less headache for you and your organization. These sensors can monitor oil degradation, water ingress, oxidation levels, moisture and temperature levels, particulate contamination.
TRAIN & EDUCATE
In order to effectively take advantage of the tools described above, the people in your organization must understand the importance of precision lubrication. It is recommended that those directly involved with your lubrication program be ICML certified.
By integrating solutions from each category, you will be able to reduce breakdowns, increase your productivity, and ultimately increase your bottom line. If you would like a clear picture of how your lubrication program ranks, click here to take the Des-Case Self-Assessment.