3 Ways to Improve Your Lubricant Storage & Handling Program

Lubricant cleanliness can be increased through the improvement of your storage and handling program. By improving storage and handling, you can eliminate the ingression of contaminants into new lubricants and therefore eliminate ingression of contaminants into a component through new lubricant additions. 

Here are 3 general ways to improve your Lubricant Storage & Handling Program:

1. Create a Lubrication Specification and Tagging System

GOAL: 

  • Ensures lubricants are color and textually identified at each point the lubricant is used, stored, or transferred. Increases potential for applying the correct lubricant in the correct place and minimizes risk of cross-contamination. Tagging lubricants affects how they are handled.

Lubricant Tagging Label.jpg

Lubricant Tagging System

KEY STEPS:

Review your current lubricant list.

  • If lubricant list contains multiple manufacturers (Exxon Mobil, Shell, Chevron, etc.), select a single source provider to help consolidate multiple similar products. Follow this up by procuring a lubricant survey.
  • If more than 1 year old, have list reviewed by lubricant provider to ensure product names are up to date with currently available products.
  • If more than 5 years old, arrange for a lubricant survey to determine what individual product characteristics are required.

BENEFITS:

  • A tagging system codes lubricants by the product specifications which are developed during a Lubrication Survey.
  • A combination of text and color is used to identify a lubricant’s properties and its potential compatibility or incompatibility with other lubricants.
  • Because this system is not product specific, it does not need to be replaced if a lubricant supplier should change. If a facility changes from ExxonMobil to Chevron, they would simply select a Chevron product that matches the specifications without having to conduct an additional survey.

2. Invest in a Custom Designed Lube Room

GOALS:

  • Keep new lubricants clean
  • Keep new lubricants cool
  • Keep new lubricants dry
  • Keep lubricants isolated from untrained personnel
  • Do not exceed lubricant shelf life

Lube Room 4.jpg

Lube Room

KEY STEPS:

  • Determine the inventory requirements and select lubricant packaging and storage tank sizes that meet inventory requirements.
  • Outfit storage tanks and drums with dedicated offline filtration to filter the new oil and with desiccant breathers to stop moisture from entering the storage containers as lubricants are dispensed.
  • Install HVAC systems in Lube Room to maintain a constant temperature. Lube Room/Building should be well insulated.
  • Equip lube room with some level of security to minimize traffic through the room. Access should be limited to key, trained lubrication personnel.
  • Implement a system for identifying the date received and rotating inventory based on these dates using a First In, First Out (FIFO) inventory rotation.

CHARACTERISTICS OF A QUALITY LUBE ROOM:

  • Equipped to filter new oil
  • Keeps lubricants isolated until needed
  • Climate controlled

3. Develop Training Programs & Quality Assurance Procedures

GOAL: 

To develop new procedures from maintaining a quality lubrication program and provide an avenue for delivering these new procedures to those responsible for executing them.

KEY STEPS:

Identify and document how the lubrication storage and handling should be carried out. With new storage and handling equipment installed, procedures for the proper use of the equipment, as well as, general handling should be identified and documented.

Typical procedures to consider:

  • New lubricant receiving
  • New lubricant filtering and filtration system usage
  • New lubricant dispensing and transfer
  • General housekeeping requirements for lube room

BENEFITS:

  • The key benefit of a Quality Assurance Procedures & Training Program is the basic transfer of knowledge to those involved both directly and indirectly with the lubrication program. It outlines the expectations and provides reference documents when questions arise.
  • Documented procedures lead to a consistent message on lubrication practices
  • Delivery of procedures through a training program provides a second medium for delivering the message on lubrication practices

 

 

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