Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication July-August 2019

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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www . | July - August 2019 | 29 ML ML distributes the workload and allows for more departments to become involved in the lubrication program. Regardless of who conducts the inspections, there is a tendency to overlook or "pencil-whip" the inspection round. When you do the same task every day, it's easy to become complacent and simply fi ll out the checklist or document as if everything is OK, rather than taking the time and being cognizant as to what is actually happening. To combat this, create metrics based on the inspection results or reward those who catch abnormalities during an inspection round. is keeps each member honest and can help make those performing the inspections more diligent. On-Condition Tasks On-condition work usually is associated with abnormal fi ndings from an inspection or test. Depending on how severe the abnormality is, other departments may be called in to fi x the issue. Among the most common on-condition task is the topping up of a reservoir with oil. In this case, the inspector has checked the sight glass and determined the oil level is too low for proper machine function. is in turn creates an on-condition task of topping up the reservoir to the optimum level. e inspector may be the one who adds the oil or may simply note this in the inspection checklist to generate a task for the lube team or department that handles the lubrication. Top-ups must be performed in a manner that restricts the ingress of contamination, while certain devices must be in place to ensure the right lubricant is used. is is where the greatest risk of cross-contamination occurs, as it is very easy to grab the wrong oil container and fi ll the reservoir. Training and labeling can help to mitigate this from being an issue. Other examples of on-condition work in a lubrication program include changing breathers and oil fi lters that have become saturated. An inspection can identify saturation by either a gauge reading or a color-change indicator. e inspector typically will change a breather since this is a minor task. However, a lube technician or maintenance person may need to change a fi lter, depending on how the system is set up and whether the fi lter is a simple spin-on version or a more complex drop-in style. Another on-condition task is decontaminating a reservoir by utilizing a fi lter cart. e trigger for this task comes from an oil analysis test result. An oil sample has been extracted and sent to the lab, with the results indicating a high particle count. e lube tech now must take the fi lter cart to the system, attach it and fi lter the oil until the desired cleanliness level is achieved. Using fi lter carts and attaching them to a system generally is regarded as a task best done by the lubrication or maintenance team. On the surface, this task may seem relatively easy, but there are complexities that require a high level of knowledge to ensure it is being performed properly. Without training on utilizing a fi lter cart and determining clean-up rates for the equipment, the task may not be completed with the desired level of accuracy. Routine Work e routine work of periodic relubrication is sometimes divided into diff erent departments based on what is being relubricated. For instance, many plants rely on electricians to regrease electric motors, while others believe this is best done by the lube team. Some facilities prefer that operators carry out all regreasing tasks, with maintenance or lubrication personnel performing all the oil changes. ese tasks can be distributed to diff erent teams, but the best results often are when a single team owns the work. is allows more accountability to ensure the work is accomplished and makes it easier to train those who are involved. For routine work, the simplest relubrication task is the lubrication of total-loss systems. ese typically are chains or slideways which require a simple spray of oil or grease. Since the total charge of lubricant even- tually is lost to the machine and these devices are completely exposed to the environment, cleanliness generally is not much of a concern, as it is not controllable. ese tasks may be sent to operations to perform as part of their daily rounds. Regreasing can be highly technical depending on the component and how grease is applied. Utilizing a feedback technology such as ultrasound will help identify how much grease to add as well as how often to apply it. is technology requires training and experience, so it usually is left to the lube team. A condition monitoring team may also complete this work, as they will be charged with all types of predictive maintenance, including vibration, infrared, ultrasound and oil analysis. e changing of oil in a system may demand a high degree of skill and for the machine to be removed from operation. ese tasks normally are left in the hands of the lube team, as they will be

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