Today’s professional maintenance mechanics work in demanding, fast-paced environments that require an intelligent and informed approach. Do you find that there are not enough hours in your shift to perform the work requested? Most people want to do the best job possible; the trick is learning how.
The solution is simple, work smarter and lessen your workload. Knowing the most common causes of equipment failure and implementing preventative maintenance procedures will reduce the rate of equipment failures and extend the lifespan of the equipment you maintain. That means less work for you, more benefits for your company. You can achieve great results and become the hero of your shop. All you need to do is learn from people who’ve been in your position, and suddenly you are looking like a genius (and that never hurts).
As a trained mechanic, you understand the critical relationship between oil and machinery, but often maintaining high quality oil is the last thing on your mind because of all your other issues. With multiple urgent repairs on your task list, maintaining oil quality is often overlooked resulting in more mechanical breakdowns that must be overcome!
A simple oil quality strategy and proper oil handling can reduce your workload and improve your site’s reliability.
Dirt, metal particles, and water in equipment oil cause equipment downtime. Research shows that contaminants like these cause 80% of equipment failures and breakdowns.
A machine’s lubrication system is often compared to blood in the human body. When our blood becomes dirty, we experience sickness, pain, and fatigue? We don’t perform like we were made to perform. Dirty equipment oil is one of the reasons that machines underperform.
Decreasing oil contamination, reduces equipment failure and extends its life. Contaminants in the lubrication system of a machine can come in the form of:
Many oil suppliers ship oil to their customers that contains contaminants. When you buy oil from a supplier that does not ship clean oil, you may end up putting dirty oil in your equipment.
Clean and dry oil extends the life of your equipment and the oil itself.
There are many ways that dirt and water can enter a piece of equipment and end up in the oil reservoir.
The most common entry point to the oil supply is through the equipment’s breather port. There is a common belief that dirt and water do not enter through the breather port. To save money, people buy inexpensive steel wool breathers or J-tubes. J-tubes are sometimes called candy cane breather vents.
Air flows in both directions through a breather port. To keep dirt and water from entering through the breather port, it is important to use a desiccant breather. This helps prevent any oil and water emulsion in addition to an oils demulsibility.
Many people don’t know how damaging oil contamination can be to equipment. Because of this, they do not follow proper storage and handling procedures. Improper procedures often include:
Improper oil storage and handling contaminates the oil. Contaminated oil reduces the life of the oil and the equipment. 1 drop of water in a quart of oil reduces bearing life by 48%.
The easiest and least costly way to improve equipment reliability is to educate people how to store and handle oil.
Contaminated oil causes extra wear on internal equipment components. This is like throwing gas on fire creates a bigger flame.
Dirt and water in the oil wear down components and create metal shavings. These metal particles speed up wear on the internal components. This increases friction and generates more heat. Higher heat speeds oil oxidization which lessens the effectiveness of the oil.
Ensuring your equipment gets clean and dry oil increases equipment uptime. It also extends the life of equipment components and oil. This improves the return on investment for your equipment. Reducing the need to perform maintenance can also increase safety and reduce accidents.
These 4 steps keep oil clean and dry. They can be the low hanging fruit to increase equipment uptime and improve equipment ROI.
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