Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication May June 2014

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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16 | May - June 2014 | CoVer story different size fittings on the cart's inlet and outlet. This ensures lube techs hook up the cart correctly every time to avoid damaging the cart or machine due to backward oil flow. The same quick-connects are found on some top-up containers for adding small volumes of oil without opening up the equipment. This enables the refinery to have completely sealed equipment and still maintain it properly. Filters in the filter carts are matched to target cleanliness goals as well as to the fluid type. Higher viscosity fluids utilize a 6-micron filter with a beta rating of 1,000. This guarantees that the maximum amount of particles is captured in a single pass. For lower viscosity fluids, a tandem filter setup is used consisting of a 6-micron beta- 200 filter and a 3-micron beta-200 filter. The tandem filters permit oil polishing and cleaning down to the cleanest of targets. An ideal asset would include all the devices mentioned previ- ously in order to service the machine without ever having to expose it to the atmosphere. This ensures the machine is operating to the best of its ability while reducing the amount of contaminants entering the system from the environment. To decrease the amount of wear debris produced in the machine, cleaner oil is delivered to the system, and the machine's needs are matched to the oil's performance characteristics. This results in the machine generating less wear and lasting much longer. By utilizing sealable and refillable containers, the refinery is able to store small volumes of oil in satellite cabinets without the risk of them becoming contaminated. This further enhances the ability to provide clean oil to equipment. With these containers, operators and mechanics can top-up small volumes of oil without introducing large volumes of contaminants as they did previously. The containers are color-coded and labeled to match the equipment's lube tags. Hoses attached to the pumps on the containers have reduced the facility's dependency on funnels and have won over personnel with their ease of use and cleanliness. Sinclair also replaced all of its grease guns. The old grease guns had varying output amounts, which made proper greasing difficult. The new color-coded grease guns have clear barrels, which allow the installed grease cartridge to be seen. The refinery also standardized on a single grease gun type to accurately dispense the proper volume of grease to bearings and electric motors. Understanding how much grease volume per stroke is being applied has reduced overgreasing issues, and bearings now run at a lower temperature. Automatic lubricant-dispensing systems are now utilized as well. Currently, four processing units employ oil-mist systems on pump and turbine bearings. The mist systems are the preferred oil application systems because they are low maintenance and provide longer bearing life than tradi- tional oil baths. As the refinery continues to improve its lubrication processes, it will look to further expand the use of these mist systems. In applications that are hard to reach or where manual greasing could potentially cause bodily harm, the facility uses automatic grease applicators. These systems are set to dispense the calculated volume of grease required by the bearings and are monitored to ensure they are working properly. Training Personnel As new hardware was deployed at the refinery, training individ- uals who would be using these devices became increasingly important. By hosting lubrication awareness training onsite, Sinclair was able to instruct all personnel on the function and maintenance of oil and grease application systems. This training has proven invaluable. To avoid slipping back into mediocrity, the facility developed a plan for continuous improvement of its lubrication program. Training is an ongoing task to ensure all workers in the plant stay current with their understanding of lubrication fundamentals and techniques. Key members of the lubrication program further their education with advanced lubrication and oil analysis courses as well as advanced lubrication certifications. The refinery soon realized a need for more lube techs and began to fill these roles to reduce the demand on operations and mainte- nance for lubrication-related tasks. It is also exploring the possibility of more laboratory personnel to enhance the capabilities of the in-house lab and to eliminate shipping samples offsite. Future Plans With the current lube storage building filling up with equip- ment, a new facility is being planned for lubricant storage. Sinclair also intends to procure a field-services lubricant truck to maxi- mize the efficiency of its lube staff while maintaining strict cleanliness targets. As it ventures into the future, the refinery is constantly looking for areas of improvement within its own processes and through new technologies. By being vigilant with its lubrication practices, the plant not only will become more profitable but also serve as a model for the rest of the refining industry. Sealable and refillable containers are now the plant standard for all oil top-ups. Assets are completely sealed against all contaminants and are properly labeled as to which lubri- cant goes into the reservoir.

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