Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication May June 2014

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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ML 24 | May - June 2014 | Lube -tips Taking a Better Oil Sample After a plant set stringent lubricant target cleanliness levels for its equipment, the facility experienced problems repeating and main- taining the appropriate levels. The environment was extremely dusty and dirty. After numerous attempts to eliminate the variables (procedures, types of bottles used, filtering, etc.), a solution was discovered: sealing the vacuum pump and both the line flush and final sample bottles in a zip-lock bag, leaving only the sample tubing with the sample port quick-connect exposed. While it is a little tricky to remove the lid and bottle from the pump, after a few tries it becomes easier. Housekeeping Advice for Cleaning Oil Drums Removing dust and dirt from the top of a drum should be an easy task, until you try it. A rag merely pushes the dirt ahead of itself. When you reach the edge of the drum, you have to push the dirt over the edge, and getting it all off is a chore. An effective tool for this task is a new car duster, which is avail- able at most auto-parts stores. Use the largest size available. A couple of quick wipes will lift the dirt into the duster. It may become black after months of use, but the duster should continue to work as well as when it was new. How to Extend Breather Life Run gearbox vents/breathers high and away from air flow produced by electric motor fans. These fans can blow dirt into the breathers and plug them prematurely. In general, the higher you run breathers in the air (pipe extension), the longer they will last. Quick Test Confirms Oil Type This simple test can verify that an oil is a polyalkylene glycol (PAG), which is a fluid commonly used in brake systems, compres- sors and some gearboxes. Mix a small sample of the fluid in question with a mineral-based turbine oil. If it fails to blend into the turbine oil, it is probably a PAG. Tip for Air-in-Oil Problems If the needle on a pressure gauge downstream of a pump is jumping around, there is probably air in the oil. Spray oil on the shaf t seal of the pump as a test of air ingress past the seal. You should hear a change (quieting) in the pump sound indicating less aeration. keep Lube Tools Clean Keeping equipment clean for use is a challenge in a dirty plant environment. Putting parts inside a protective covering like a 1-gallon zip-lock bag provides for an easy barrier to ambient dirt. Throw a clean rag or absorbent towel in the bag to soak up oil left on the equipment. The bags are also handy for covering compo- nents (such as an auto-luber) to protect from ambient dust and washdown water. Just zip most of the closure to secure them. For larger parts, find a larger, clean, clear plastic bag. How Oil Level Affects Foaming Before adding anti-foam agents to get a handle on a foaming problem in a circulating system, one of the first things to check is the oil level. Both too much and too little oil can lead to a foaming problem. If there is too much oil, a piece of the machinery may touch the surface of the oil that shouldn't, churning and slinging the oil. If there is too little oil, a vortex can form inside the reser- voir at the inlet for the circulating pump, sucking in air. If you cannot tell the level due to the foam, you may be able to stick a clear piece of tubing straight down to the bottom of the reservoir. Cover the end of the tubing to create a seal and pull it out to observe the actual oil level. However, don't put anything into an oil reservoir unless you are certain of its internal configu- ration and components. 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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