To understand the importance of a perfect lubrication program
we first need to understand why machines fail. The simple answer is that they fail because they wear out. Functional machine parts come in contact with each other twice or thrice every machine cycle. The continuous frictional force can damage the machine parts making them non-functional. Lubricants save them from this frictional damage and enable them to perform their function properly for a long time. Hence you need to understand the types of industrial lubrication and their uses
to have better machine maintenance and protection.
However, what happens when the lubricant you use is not pure and contaminated? In Simple words, your equipment will wear out. Lubrication contamination makes up almost 90% of the mechanical wear of your industrial equipment
. Therefore, to avoid sudden breakdowns, and machine downtimes you need to have an efficient contamination control program for your lubricants.
The following blog post provides a comprehensive guide on how you can develop a balanced lubrication contamination prevention program.
Common Oil Filtration And Lubricant Contaminants
Poorly maintained and unmonitored machines will usually end up failing due to contaminated lubricants. Particle contamination is the most common type of contamination and leads to almost all lubricant-related machine wear and failure. So, you need to keep your lubricants safe from possible contaminants to get full effectiveness.
Knowing the ways your lubricants can become contaminated will help you a lot in developing a balanced contamination prevention system
. Some of the common sources of lubricant contamination include;
There are several ways debris can enter your lubricant. It can be the result of unsafe atmospheric conditions, an improper transfer, or infrequent filter changes.
Poor machine maintenance, design, and improper opening and closing of nozzles can give access to extra air into your lubrication system contaminating it.
Leaks from faulty storage reservoirs, leaking cooling filters or heat exchangers, infiltration from direct water, and vapors from the air can all lead to water being added to your lubricants, making them ineffective.
Thermal changes from water contamination and oxidation changes the chemical composition of lubricants causing long-term machine breakdowns.
Lubrication System Contamination Control Solutions
A predictive and proactive approach works best when it comes to developing a lubricant and oil filtration contamination control strategy. This requires you to better understand your machines, their component tolerance, and formulate a plan based on reliability.
Some of the measures you can take to avoid lubrication contamination include:
Scheduling Lubrication Changes
Adding a lubrication change program to your work schedule decreases the chances of forgetting to change the lubricant at the required time. However, know that changing the lubricants too often increases the chances of debris introduction in the lubricants. While changing the lubricants infrequently can decrease the functionality and cause damages. So, proper lubricant change can help you avoid the adverse effects of too often or infrequent lubricant changes.
Excessive air in your lubrication system is considered the worst for your equipment. Therefore, the system should be monitored and tested for any signs of foaming in the lubricants to avoid air contamination and particle damage.
Make sure that the atmosphere in your working area is filtered and well-ventilated. You can install a facility air-filtration system and design the facility so that the ventilation is effective. This will help you avoid debris contamination coming from the atmosphere.
Used oil analysis can be used as the very first indication of a looming contamination threat within your lubrication system. The analysis tells you a lot about what is happening in the system and helps you take preventive measures to have better lubrication system health in the long run.
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