Plant lubrication management plays a critical role in asset reliability. This involves areas of inventory management, storage, and lubrication practices. Good lubrication management provides a positive impact to the bottom line in regards to improved equipment health and lubrication costs. Storage, labeling and lubrication practices are key elements to this.
Management starts with ensuring good organized storage and labeling practices. Lubricant storage should include good housekeeping and environmental controls. The environment should keep products free of contamination and minimize extreme temperature changes. There should be no open containers of stored products to prevent contamination. Storage should be organized according to product type and application. Sometimes color coding helps with this. All product containers should be clearly identified. Replace worn or missing product labels. Spill cleanup equipment and material should be organized and readily available. Leaking containers should be replaced, and any size of spill or leaking material should be cleaned up as soon as possible. Where ever possible consolidate inventory by reducing the number of different products stored on site. Your lubricant supplier can assist with this.
New lubricant deliveries should receive some level of inspection. Packaged product should be inspected for packaging integrity and labeling. Prior to using new packaged product when first opened, a visual inspection can occur. Rule of thumb, if it does not look right it probably should not be used and your lubricant supplier should be contacted. A sample should be taken for bulk deliveries in both the initial piping outlet for any residual product from a previous load and from inside the bulk tank carrier for overall product inspection. It is a lot easier for plant personnel and the supplier to return product before it is off-loaded than after it has been transferred to the on-site bulk storage.
David Doyle, CLS, OMA I, OMA II