Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication Sept Oct 2015

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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Page 46 of 71

re you a lubrication techni- cian (lube tech), oiler or lubricator? Are you respon- sible for performing lubrication tasks for your company, such as topping up machines with oil, regreasing bearings or even deter- mining if a machine might have a potential health issue? If so, you have a direct influ- ence on how lubricated machines are maintained. But are you equipped with the right tools and skills to perform this job effectively? The following tools of the trade are what world-class lubrication programs have readily available. Essentials for Machine/ Lubricant Inspections One of the most important jobs for any lube tech is making smart inspections, and specific tools will be required for this task to be done correctly. A quality flashlight is a simple but essential tool that can be used to inspect the lubricant through a sight glass, level gauge or bottom sediment and water (BS&W) bowl. A strong flashlight not only will enable you to verify the oil level but also to visually analyze the fluid for solid contamination, wear debris, water, color change or other unusual signs. The design of the sight glass plays a role as well. The best option is a protruding (3-D) design that allows the flashlight to illuminate from one side of the glass to the other. It is also crucial that the flashlight shine through without a significant amount of refracted light. Various types of flashlights and optical viewing aids may be able to provide other advantages for machine and lubricant inspections. These include a blue-light LED flashlight, a laser pointer, a borescope, a quality camera with a flash, an oil color gauge, pipettes, a telescoping magnet, a telescoping mirror and a spatula to inspect grease consistency. Being able to view the oil in a machine through a sight glass is necessary because it's not practical to take frequent oil samples in most cases. When a sample is collected, it is imperative to examine the oil in the bottle to quickly determine if any action should be taken. Of course, there are many ways to inspect an oil sample other than through a visual inspection. Measuring the tempera- ture of the machinery can be very useful in indicating potential issues. If a machine does not already have an oil temperature monitor, a simple temperature gun or thermal camera can provide a quick reading. This should be part of the machine's inspec- tion route, especially for critical assets or those with a history of overheating. Effective Oil Sampling and Quick Oil Analysis Taking a representative oil sample requires specific sampling hardware and tools, including a vacuum sampler, plastic HOW TO EQUIP LUBE TECHS FOR SUCCESS A L u b r i c a t i o n P r o g r a m s Benne t t Fi t ch | Nori a Corpor at ioN LESSONS IN LUBRICATION 68% of lubrication technicians do not have the necessary tools to perform their jobs effectively, according to a recent survey at 42 | September - October 2015 |

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