Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication Jan Feb 2014

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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Page 24 of 79

ML 20 | January - February 2014 | lubE -tiPs Finding Hidden Oil Leaks Sometimes oil leaks on large machines such as those used in the paper industry can be hard to find. When the oil level in the reser- voir drops but no puddles appear, look for a leak that is running directly into a U-drain or other sewer openings. If you use oil coolers and the oil pressure is higher than the water pressure, disconnect the water side of the cooler, turn on the oil pumps and see if oil drains from the water lines, indicating a blown cooler. Identifying Potential Sources of Contamination It is difficult to identify potential sources of contamination in a harsh, dirty industrial environment. As a matter of good house- keeping, it is important that the system owner ensures high localized cleanliness around the reservoirs, system components and pipelines. With this clean and clear area around the systems, it is easier to iden- tify the presence of leaks, spills and abnormal system conditions. (A pin on a glass table is easier to see than in the proverbial haystack.) The first step in identifying a system fault is often to observe and register the abnormalities. Maintaining a simple, clean site policy makes this practical. The perception of a clean site can also lead to greater pride and ownership of systems onsite. Aim for best prac- tice, commit to improvement and drive solutions to completion. Advice for Using Sight Glasses When inspecting equipment oil levels or performing oil changes, pay close attention to the sight glasses. There have been cases where the sight glasses have been stained, thus giving an appear- ance of lube oil from a few feet away. This false reading has resulted in lack of lubrication failures. In the case of a liquid level gauge, remove the glass tube and clean it using an appropriate cleaner. If the stain cannot be removed from the glass, replace it. In emer- gency cases when a new liquid level gauge cannot be located, simply flip the glass tube and install the clean side down. How to Manage High Oil Temperatures In many plants, it is common for some machines to have high oil temperatures. However, if a high temperature persists higher and longer than expected and you are certain that the oil used matches the equipment manufacturer's specifications, check the water supply to the cooler. Don't overly depend on the accuracy of the water flow. To check for water flow, close the return line and open the drain on the return line to see how much water flows out in a set time, e.g., a minute. Compensate this flow by 5 to 10 percent for the back pressure offered by the return line. Compare this measured flow to the required flow rate. Improve Your Oil Sampling Procedure After taking an oil sample and wiping the bottle clean, put it in a zip-lock sandwich bag, squeeze the air out, close the bag and put it in the shipping container. Do not put the paperwork in the sand- wich bag. The bag will contain any leakage from atmospheric pressure changes or damage during shipment. The laboratory will still have enough sample to work with providing there was not a total failure of the container. Analyzing Engine Oil When using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy analysis to determine the condition/degradation and combustion efficiency of an engine, test the new unused oil so you have a base- line from which to work. Certain FTIR readings are affected by the type of base used to blend the oil. For example, some synthetic bases have the effect of high starting oxidation readings for the new unused oil. It is imperative to know this when analyzing the FTIR results of the used engine oils so you can make an informed, educated diagnosis. This holds true for most oil analysis readings. However, it is extremely helpful to have an analysis of the unused oil to use as a baseline. The "Lube-Tips" section of Machinery Lubrication maga- zine features innovative ideas submitted by our readers. Additional tips can be found in our Lube-Tips email news- letter. If you have a tip to share, email it to us at editor@noria. com. To receive the Lube-Tips newsletter, subscribe now at

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