This section is currently under development with more content expected later in the year.
The idea is to have an easy to use list of actions and activities aimed at utilising the oil analysis results, improving lubrication practices and overall reliability.
These will cover some basic oil room and oil handling recommendations, filtration basics, discussion of oil changes (and of when not to do them), etc.
We would be happy to receive and publish any advice that our customers and colleagues may have. Please get in touch if you have any specific stories or recommendations to share.
Majority of gains can be achieved by getting the basics right.
A well functioning machine that is correctly sized for the job, has been installed and aligned correctly, is lubricated with an appropriate lubricant that is kept in good condition and free from contamination, should in theory operate reliably until its components start reaching their fatigue limits.
The reality is typically very different, with opportunity for faults and deviations at every stage. A poorly aligned machine may shake itself to bits within days of going into service. Oil that’s full of abrasive contaminants may wear the bearings out within weeks. An incorrectly selected lubricant or one topped up with the wrong oil may not have the necessary load carrying capacity (e.g. too low viscosity or unsuitable additive pack) or may not reach all of the surfaces requiring lubrication (e.g. too viscous) and lead to oil starvation and severe wear. A combination of adverse factors can lead to manifold reduction in useful life.
Oil analysis and other condition monitoring techniques can be used to identify any such deviations from the ideal and to achieve as close to 100% useful life as possible. The starting point can be as low as 10% of useful life or less – doubling remaining life from there is fairly easy with much larger gains also attainable. The basic actions are:
Improving your oil stores may not seem a very important task in the great scheme of things, but it is a fairly low cost and straightforward way to improve reliability throughout the plant.
Focus on cleanliness, order and clarity. There are big gains to be had from preventing contamination and avoiding oil mix up.
Rationalise your lubricant use. Dozens of lubricants from multiple suppliers may be reduced to a fraction of that from a single source. Increased discounts from larger order quantities may help fund use of higher quality lubricants, each suitable for more tasks.
Build up an arsenal of oil handling tools and store them safely and securely, and away from contamination.
For more advice on designing the optimum lubricant storeroom see this article from Machinery Lubrication Magazine.