Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication May June 2014

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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10 | May - June 2014 | a matrix of machine criticality, lubricant volume and environmental severity to systematically decide which machines should be included in its oil analysis program (predictive maintenance) and which ones should be maintained in more of a preventive manner. Every machine deemed critical enough to be included in the oil analysis program had to be reviewed to ensure that samples could be taken from the correct zone. To do this, the refinery had to retrofit sample valves into each system so the maximum data density could be achieved, thus providing a consistent best-practice sample location. For some machines, this involved the addition of a valve on existing piping. For others, it meant installing a valve with a rigid tube assembly to allow the tube to be bent into the turbulent area of the oil. Oil analysis data from these sample valves is used in tandem with vibration data to ensure as many predictive tools as possible are utilized to draw conclusions about the equipment's life cycle. Some predictive maintenance methods are still performed on machines not included in the oil analysis program to obtain feedback on equipment health. For example, vibration analysis is used on some greased components that cannot be readily sampled for wear debris. In addition, the vast majority of equipment has external sight glasses and bottom sediment and water bowls to allow for visual oil inspections. These predictive visual inspections are completed by operators with reports of the findings triggering actions by the lube team or mechanics, based on the severity of the issue discovered. Every piece of equipment in the facility benefits from proactive maintenance strategies. Prior to any oil being placed into service, it is tested to ensure it meets performance criteria as well as cleanli- ness and moisture target levels. Countless studies have shown that cleaner oil leads to longer machine life, and Sinclair has taken this to heart with its current practices. Decontaminating incoming oil and outfitting machines with upgraded contamination control accessories provide the machines with everything needed to operate at peak efficiency while running more reliably. Other proac- tive practices deployed at Sinclair include laser alignment, balancing and optimal lubricant selection. Preventive maintenance (PM) is used to round out the rest of the program. Some examples of these tasks include periodic oil changes based upon equipment runtime and the routine regreasing of bear- ings and motors. Most of the machines being maintained with preventive methods are less critical and contain less lubricant. Therefore, it is more cost effective to change the lubricant than to analyze the current state of the lubricant and the machine to guide the schedule of events. As the refinery's machines continue to age and new machines are installed, Sinclair updates its records and procedures to ensure each machine receives proper maintenance. By continually reviewing its procedures and practices and staying current with the most up-to-date technology, the facility is poised to carry the lubri- cation program into the future. Tracking the current status of the lubrication program is done on two fronts. Day-to-day operations, including sampling and installing tracking hardware, are performed using a spreadsheet CoVer story From Top: Previously, grease guns and cabinets were unorganized and dirty. Oil totes were stored outside with no protection. Top-up containers were left by the equipment and were highly contaminated. SINCLAIR WyOMING REFINERy Location: South-central Wyoming in the town of Sinclair Year Started: 1923 Size: One of the largest high-conversion refineries in the Rocky Mountain region Crude Processing Capabilities: In excess of 80,000 barrels per day Awards: Received the 2013 John R. Battle Award for excellence in the application of machiner y lubrication from the International Council for Machiner y Lubrication and the 2005 Gold Award for achievement in safety from the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association Among its future plans, the Sinclair team intends to procure a new field-services lubricant truck to maximize the efficiency of its lube staff.

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