In order to have a comprehensive and effective lubrication program that provides the most return on investment, industries have to ensure the best practices throughout the process starting from receiving to the final application. Most companies miss the opportunity to improve equipment performance and reliability by implementing a professionally designed lubrication process. The absence of a proper lubrication handling and storage program is one of the reasons why facilities go through operational inefficiency and downtime.
Unfortunately, many companies do not pay due attention to proper lubricant handling and storage which causes consequences in terms of equipment reliability and productivity. A lubrication strategy is not all about oiling equipment, it also outlines steps to keep lubricants clean, cool and safely stored. Poor in-plant storage is probably the leading reason why lubricants get affected by contaminants such as water and moisture.
When a machine is lubricated, the lubricant becomes one of the working components in a mechanical system just like bearings, valves, and gears. Applying contaminated lubricants is an activity similar to installing a dirty or damaged bearing on a piece of equipment. The following are the best practices for lubrication handling and storage that will help you keep your lubricants clean:
Maintenance personnel package lubricants in many different forms to facilitate a broad range of consumption rates. Bulk tanks, pails, drums, and totes are four major lubricant packages used by most industries. You can select the right packaging based on your unique needs and requirements such as the average consumption rate. Maintaining a safety stock is also critical when considering the need for emergency refills and delivery delays.
It is important to determine the average delivery time when estimating lubrication storage volume. The space available for storage is also an important consideration when determining package types and volume. First-in/first-out (FIFO) inventory system is ideal when you have to deal with space limitations.
It is absolutely vital to store drums, pails, etc. in a dry and clean environment where the temperature is maintained at all times. The storage facility must be free of Industrial contaminants such as humidity and dust. Drums should be covered whenever they have to be placed in an upright position. The best approach is to store lubricants in a horizontal position on storage racks so that containers can be easily rotated and used on a FIFO basis.
Lubricants are subject to contamination ingression when topping up the system even when you take all the precautionary measures during packaging and storage. It is, therefore, necessary to filter the lubricant with an appropriate filtration system prior to filling up your equipment. In addition, use proper transfer equipment to dispense filtered lubricants.
About Micro Lube
Micro Lube is an established lubrication and filtration company based in Edmonton which delivers high-quality lubrication, oil filtration, storage, and dispensing products. Visit our website for more information!