Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication Jan-Feb 2021

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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26 | January - February 2021 | www . CONTAMINATION CONTROL & LUBRICANT RECONDITIONING the "why" behind new procedures, they will have more investment and confidence in their daily work. Don't just tell them how to do it the right way, tell them why. After everyone involved is trained on the "why," then it's time to outline strict procedures for how lubricants are transferred from the lube room or bulk storage into the machines. Once your team is equipped with the right knowledge, they need the right lubricant transfer equipment. Using tools like sealable and reusable containers, transfer carts and modifying equipment with quick connects will allow you to add or subtract oil without ever opening equipment to the environment and the possibility of contamination. Keeping the machine parts and transfer equipment clean during the entire prosses will mitigate the chance of contamination while filling containers or transfer carts. Set strict stan- dards for proper storage procedures and for how clean transfer equipment should be. Make signs and post notes reminding people of what is expected. is includes storage lockers, lube areas and even workstations. Manage the condition and level of cleanli- ness of the lubricant by performing weekly or monthly inspections of all lubricant transfer equipment. Periodically replace any transfer equipment that becomes damaged or worn out so the level of lubricant cleanliness can be maintained on its way through the plant. Lubricant cross-contamination, or mixing two lubricants that are not compatible with each other, can be catastrophic to machines. Managing lubricant cross-contamination can be difficult when you have a large amount of people performing lubrication tasks. is is another reason that everyone involved needs the proper training on lubricant identifica - tion and proper uses. Labeling machines and transfer equipment to match each other is one way to help people identify which lubricant is used where. Modifying machines and transfer equipment to only accept one type of fitting is another way. Controlling traffic by limiting who has access to lubricants is always recom - mended as well. Locking cabinets and lube storage areas will prevent cross-contamination because only trained professiona ls can access lubricants. Step 4 – Environmental Conditions Environmental conditions are the condi- tions surrounding a machine. is could be excessive heat due to nearby steam, dripping water from cooling water lines or excessive product buildup. Heat and water are catalysts for lubricant failure. Add in some outside contaminants, and you have a recipe for lubricant failure or oxidation that could damage most equip - ment. is is where being creative and doing research comes into play. Figure out ways to eliminate or mitigate the amount of contam- inants entering machine parts. Managing this can be a never-ending battle for some industries like paper & pulp or mining, where everything is wet or covered in dust. Deter - mining how to exclude contamination takes time, resources and requires diligence from all those involved in the process. Machine or structure modifications might be necessary to truly protect your assets. For example, I had a customer who was experiencing repeated bearing failures on a conveyor. e bearing was only lasting about six weeks before failing. I verified lubrication procedures on the bearing, and everything looked good. When I looked at the bearing itself, it was off the shaft and what grease remained looked cooked. e next morning, I went out to the newly installed bearing and noticed steam shooting out of the bearing itself. That explained the cooked grease. Somehow, steam was traveling down the shaft and directly into the bearing, cooking any grease inside. I did some research and found a double-wall, greaseable seal that could be installed between the conveyor and the bearing, blocking any steam from coming in contact and cooking the grease. is is a great example of how unexpected contaminants could be killing your lubricants before they even get started working. Another example: I was dealing with a customer who had water continuously contaminating a 100-gallon turbine reservoir. e customer explained they were constantly running a filter cart trying to remove water – so much water that the reservoir overflowed at times. When I went to look at the turbine, I noticed it was skid-mounted with a catch basin built in to redirect cooling water or prevent oil from going on the ground. e catch basin was full of water, or what looked like swamp water mixed with oil. I asked the guy showing me around, "How long has the catch basin been full of water?" "It's always like that," he replied. "I think the drain is plugged or something." I reached down and pulled a heap of garbage from the drain, and the basin started draining. I explained I think this is the cause of the issue. Water was seeping into the reservoir some- where because the water was not allowed to flow out of the drain. Over time, water will always find a way in if allowed to sit stagnant. I also explained that the seal water lines could be fixed so less water is spraying on top of the reservoir. A week later, the oil had been suffi- ciently filtered and the problem was solved.

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