Effective lubrication programs are a necessity in industries these days. Without a properly planned and executed lubrication program, your machines' downtime increases, significantly reducing their efficacies. This costs factory owners millions of dollars and a whole lot of stress and pressure. For this reason, it is crucial to have a comprehensive lubrication program that provides the most return on investment.
One way to achieve the best lubrication program is to ensure the lubricant storage and handling is done in the most efficient way possible. Lubricant storage and handling matter more than one would think, and if companies want to improve their lubricants' performance and services, they must carefully store and manage them. Here is how you can ensure proper lubricant storage and handling.
The Three C's
You're managing and handling your lubricants properly if you are concerned about three of the following C's.
- Contamination: Your lubricants must not get contaminated with other products. If you're making sure that your lubricant is safe from all sorts of contamination, then your handling and storing it well.
- Confusion: There should be no confusion between different kinds of lubricants proposed for different functions. The disorder and confusion can ruin your lubrication program.
- Containment: Lubricants should adequately be stored to avoid their contamination with the environment. Containment is important to prevent environmental pollution.
Don't Store Your Lubricants For Too Long
Most lubricants can stay on the shelves for a substantial amount of time without an issue, but they won't stay in perfect condition forever. If a lubricant is stored for too long, even in optimal conditions, it eventually loses its performance capabilities and may become useless by the time it is used. This wastes oil and your money.
This problem can be solved by rotating inventory on a first-in, first-out basis where one will be required to use the old lubricants first, and the new lubricants can be put to the back of the shelves until their turn comes. This process will ensure that new purchases are placed in the back, and the older inventory moves forward for use before its shelf life ends.
Buying lubricants in suitable package sizes can also help. As un-opened and factory sealed lubricants can be stored for longer than lubricant containers that have already been opened.
Furthermore, the delivery time and supply chain also affect the storage time of the lubricants. Vendors such as Micro-Lube will help you meet your demands on time while keeping your inventory fresh with a fast turnaround time.
Store Your Lubricant In A Clean, Dry Environment
The environmental conditions in which your lubricants are stored can also reduce their shelf life. The oil inside the containers is vulnerable to contamination by dust and dirt. If the temperature fluctuates inside your storage facility, it can cause a reaction with the container known as thermal siphoning. Thermal siphoning causes the atmospheric air to move in and out of the container's headspace and causes moisture and airborne particles to travel inside the vessel and contaminate the lubricant. Extreme hot or cold temperatures can also cause chemical degradation of the lubricant.
To avoid this problem, you must store the lubricants in a clean and dry place. Ideally, lubricants are stored indoors, where the temperature is controlled, and the lubricants are kept at a stable and moderate temperature. Do not store lubricants near sources of heat and steam.
Make Sure The Lubricants Are Clearly Labeled
Lubricant mix-up can prove to be disastrous. The use of incorrect lubricant can cause machine failure and is also dangerous for your workers' health. Proper labeling is essential to ensure that each lubricant is used for its dedicated purpose and is always used in the right component.
Whatever labeling system you develop, make sure it is easy to understand and maintain and is used invariably. Also, ensure that it stays current with all lubricants stored at your facility.