What if lubrication program managers and technicians take the same amount of care with their lubricants as food manufacturers do with their food? Certainly, significant improvement in the dependability and level of safety will be observed.
While many organizations choose to forego the establishment of a good lube room to save on costs, it is important to note that choosing to do nothing is a decision that can have costly implications. Take for example when lubricant dispensers are interchangeably used due to wrong or missing labels. Chances are, you are adding the wrong oil into your machine. Additives from the wrong oil that are incompatible with the seals can cause damage which can lead to failure.
So what are the requirements of a good lube room and how do you maintain and manage this program to be sustainable? Before a lubricant is accepted, a great deal of work goes into deciding the right consistency, base oils, and added substance bundles. In case a lubricant isn't appropriately handled and stored, it invites contamination which defeats the overall purpose of purchasing a fresh lubricant. We should investigate how oil sampling and lifecycle stage might help your program by going through every one of the following three levels: the platform, the management, and KPIs alongside the components that influence each level.
These levels incorporate rules on how lube rooms ought to be constructed, implemented, and the best practices for oil upkeep. These standards have a lot of subtleties that require a great deal of commitment.
Quality Control Process
Machines must run longer, quicker, and in some cases both at the same time in difficult circumstances with as little downtime as possible due to the enormous demand for products these days. Many modern lubricants are still too contaminated to be used in any equipment. Quality control should begin before lubricants arrive on a site's receiving dock.
Many plants have problems with lubricant storage. They don't understand the true benefit of creating a dedicated lube room to house all new and used lubricants, as well as lubrication-related equipment like filter carts and grease guns. The design of a proper storage facility is always the first step in proper storage practices. The next key challenge is to build a plant-wide labeling system for all lubricant-related objects. Proper air handling, fireproof cabinets, and designated filter cart storage areas are essential. The labeling system should be designed around the lubricants used in the lube room. Using codes, colors, and forms, and labels should be recognizable and readable.
Improper lubricant handling is the next main error-inducing factor in a lubrication program. The use of proper transfer mechanisms, such as washable, sealable, and refillable top-up containers with dispensing pumps and nozzles, and grease guns that are readily filled and cleaned, ensures correct lubricant handling. A filter cart is strongly recommended for big top-ups and drain-and-fills. A cart may be used to not only disperse oil but also to decontaminate it.
Dirt and water may be removed using correct decontamination processes, which can dramatically prolong drain-and-fill times. Oil is frequently changed for the purpose of change or because it is assumed that the oil is contaminated. Only if the physical qualities of the oil have changed or if it has oxidized, should it be replaced. Make sure all barrels, totes, storage systems, and machinery are decontaminated before use. Decontamination will be accurate and efficient if things are equipped with quick-couplers. Machine decontamination should be conducted on an "on condition" basis. This indicates that machine cleaning may or may not be necessary. It is determined by your oil analysis report and the oil's present cleanliness level compared to that of the reservoir. Using a condition interval rather than a time-based interval allows for resource optimization by avoiding tasks that aren't required.
An outstanding lubrication program, as well as the general reliability of any facility, needs training and specific protocols outlining how duties should be completed. Crucial players such as the lubricant supplier, warehouse staff, and lubricant technicians must all be considered in order to achieve this. Training allows your personnel to be more aware of what they are doing wrong and helps them attain the level of unconscious competence where doing the right thing becomes easier and second nature to them.