Cleaning up your oil storage and using clean and correctly labelled storage containers is the first step in gaining control of your lubrication programme.
Care should be taken when handling lubricants. Incoming and used oils should be checked for contamination and to ensure that the correct oil is being used. Many problems may occur with wrong, mixed or contaminated oils throughout the plant.
At the least:
- Label all your oils correctly with dielectric and viscosity.
- Clean up.
- Correctly label containers and equipment.
- Accurately label sample bottles.
- Store lubricants in a clean, dry location and use desiccating breathers.
- Transfer lubricants using dedicated, tagged totes.
Contamination can best be controlled by learning what the contaminant is and identifying where it has come from. Contaminants may have many sources, including moisture, acquired when sampling oil. Dirty or hazardous environments such as coal handling or chemical refineries have their own problems, as do cement plants and wet environments.
Proper storage and handling of lubricants is a necessary first step, but this is often not enough. Exclusion technologies such as ensuring proper sealing of lubrication reservoirs on machinery is often the right solution. Filtration systems such as exclusion breather systems can greatly reduce contamination of particulates as well as moisture. Regardless of what solution is successful for your application, regular monitoring is necessary to maintain the integrity of your lubrication programme.