Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication Sept Oct 2013

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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Page 3 of 67

Maintenance and Reliability AS I SEE IT JIM FITCH NORIA CORPORATION 5 FACTORS to Consider when SETTING Oil Cleanliness TARGETS Every plant should have the goal of achieving reliability at the lowest possible cost. The reliability we seek is "optimized" reliability. This is attained through human intervention. You could say that reliability must be enabled. If left alone, machines evolve to an increasingly greater state of disrepair. It's like the second law of thermodynamics — things naturally move from a state of order to disorder. Let's look at some common examples: •• Rocks wither and crumble. •• Iron rusts. •• Anything that can go wrong will go wrong (Murphy's law). •• People grow old (as do machines). •• Modern maintenance practices age and become outdated. •• Cleanliness evolves to dirtiness. Without human intervention, the progression to machine failure advances undeterred, but don't be discouraged. A 2| September - October 2013 | 77% of lubrication professionals set cleanliness targets for machine reliability, according to a recent poll at machine doesn't have to end its life as a bucket of bolts. Lubrication is a reliability enabler. Contamination control is an essential enabler for lubrication excellence. Cleanliness is one of the silent assumptions of bearing reliability (and most other machine components, too). For the others, see the sidebar on page 3 or visit http:// bearing-reliability. Dirty lubricants should be viewed in the higher context of opportunity. It's the lucky break that many in the reliability profession have waiting for them, i.e., the low-hanging fruit waiting to be harvested. Defining Cleanliness Cleanliness is almost a state of mind. One person's cleanliness can be another person's impending disaster. If you see no evil and hear no evil, is it still possible to have evil? If you see no dirt and feel no dirt, are your lubricants and machines to be considered clean? The cleanliness we want is purposeful. It's not for the sake of godliness but rather for a heightened state of reliability. Achieving cleanliness is almost always costly, yet the benefits gained are usually multiples of this cost. Just like we seek the optimum state of reliability, we should also seek the optimum state of cleanliness as a subset of reliability. Some machines require filters, but others do not. Some machines need 40-micron filters, while others aren't optimized with anything less than 1-micron filtration. For most filtered machines, contamination levels evolve to a stable state. They rise or fall on their own until stability is reached. This assumes a constant ingression rate, a constant filtration capture efficiency and a

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