Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication May-June 2017

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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Page 58 of 76

fter visiting and working in various plants across the nation, I've noticed that most small reservoirs just don't receive the attention they deserve. At one facility, we focused heavily on larger equipment that was deemed critical. Typi- cally, these were also high-dollar items to replace or rebuild, so we made sure they were retrofitted with breathers, sight glasses, quick connects, inspections, etc. When smaller equipment failed, like a pump or gearbox, it usually was a firefighting situation because it was holding up one of our processes. At that point, we took the time to review the application and added preventive maintenance (PM) and inspections into the system. Eventually, everything was fed into our database, and some type of PM or inspection took place. All new equipment was also reviewed thoroughly to ensure past troubles were not repeated. The result was a huge increase in uptime, productivity and machine availability. The ultimate goal with larger equipment is to predict and schedule when it will need to be replaced or repaired before a catastrophic failure and costly downtime occur. But what should be done with smaller pieces of equip- ment, those with reservoir capacities of only a few ounces to 10 gallons, or machines on which oil analysis is not conducted? How do you keep these systems in good condition? Regular inspections will make it easier to detect early warning signs of future problems. For example, a simple oil level check can be the difference between a piece of equipment failing prematurely and running five to 10 years or more. It doesn't end there. If the oil level is recorded as low, the reservoir must be topped up, but how is this top-up performed? Everyone has a slightly different way of completing this simple task, which can have negative effects on your machinery if not done correctly. Bad Practices Let's start by examining some of the wrong ways to top off your reservoirs. Please note that these practices also apply to changing out the oil in your equipment regardless of whether it is a gearbox, pump or other oiled component. Funnels I have seen funnels used everywhere and anywhere. Now I'm not saying that utilizing a funnel will kill your machinery, but how you treat the funnel and how the funnel is used may. Funnels often collect dust and debris while stored in lockers or the back of utility vehicles. Frequently after use, they are drip-dried and thrown into a storage location until needed again. Someone then pulls out the funnel to top off a reservoir and may or may not give it a quick wipe before pouring oil through it. You can imagine how much dirt is distributed into the reservoir just from the funnel alone. Open and Galvanized Containers I cannot count the number of times I have spotted open oil-transfer containers in a plant. In my first maintenance job, these types of containers were the only ones used to transfer oil. I've actually witnessed 5-gallon buckets with visible dirt and oil A TOPPING UP Small Sumps AND RESERVOIRS Best Practices for 54 | May - June 2017 | L u b r i c a n t S t o r a g e a n d H a n d l i n g BACK PAGE BASICS G a rre t t Ba pp | Nori a Corpor at ioN If handled correctly, a sealable and reusable container is great for topping up equipment. However, problems can occur if the container is left in the field next to equipment, not cleaned or has spouts that are not kept closed.

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