Growing preventive maintenance backlog is one of the major issues maintenance personnel have to deal with. In large facilities, it becomes difficult to avoid preventive maintenance backlog. When uncompleted work starts piling up, it leads to work being put on the back burner. While removing backlogs can be challenging, having a proactive strategy toward your equipment can help you resolve lubrication-related problems.
Many production plants repeatedly experience many failure-related issues. However, properly identifying and addressing recurring issues eventually leads to minimal equipment downtime and reduced maintenance costs. If we look at the stats, lubrication issues are the leading cause of equipment failure in the industrial environment.
We can divide these issues into three main categories: Temperature, particle contamination, and moisture. It’s important for you to understand these problems and the steps you need to take to improve each failure mode. If your facility has to reduce equipment failure or improve equipment reliability, you should focus on implementing an effective contamination control system.
Simply put, particle contamination is any form of dirt that gains access to your lubrication systems. Elements such as metal, silica, soot, or other insoluble materials can seriously damage the lubricant and lubricating surfaces. When particle contaminants become a part of your lubricants, they affect the additive depletion rate and cause various types of wear which can occur on the lubrication surfaces through surface fatigue, mechanical and chemical wear.
When a particle becomes lodged between two surfaces, it leads to mechanical wear: cutting, ploughing, and gouging of the component’s surface. Particle ingression also causes erosion wear which happens when solid particles rapidly strike the component surfaces. So far as chemical wear is concerned, it can appear on various components depending on the environmental surroundings.
Particle contamination significantly affects the rate of additive depletion. When the additive count starts diminishing, the component surfaces become inadequately shielded, and fewer particles can be removed. In such a situation, particle contamination turns out to be a serious threat to your equipment.
How To Eliminate Particle Contamination
Component and hardware modifications are two of the strategies for minimizing or eliminating contamination. These modifications come in the form of filters and breathers which can have a huge impact on particle contamination. When you select a filtration system, make sure to consider important factors: flow rate, beta ratio, operating pressure, micron size, location, and configuration.
Using the right modification will help you ensure oil cleanliness in a cost-effective way. If properly outfitted, breathers also provide protection against particles. Make sure to evaluate your system pressure, reservoir access point, and bearing type before modifying your components.
When it comes to visually inspecting lubricants on a large scale, reservoirs are ideal. However, when hatches and seals are left open, it allows particles to enter the system. So, be sure to properly seal hatches to reduce particle ingression. Adding electrostatic separators is also helpful in removing opposite-charged and ferrous particles.
Micro Lube is a full-service maintenance company in Canada where we deliver a broad range of contamination control solutions across multiple industries. We sell high-quality filtration systems from widely recognized brands such as Harvard and Kaydon Filtration. Browse through our site to learn more about our lubrication products!