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Q&A with Lana Robin about Lubrication Contamination

1) Why is oil/lubrication contamination a big issue?

Contamination is a leading cause of machinery damage and reduction in the oil's ability to properly perform. Once contamination is introduced to the lubricant, it starts to degrade and internal components deteriorate pre-maturely. By controlling contamination, the life of the lubricant and machine can be extended greatly. Like any good maintenance practice, the earlier a problem is detected, the cheaper it is going to be to correct.

Furthermore, it is always cheaper to keep the contamination out of the equipment than it is to remove the contamination once it has entered a system.

2) What steps can be taken to minimize the risk of contamination during the lubrication storage and transportation process within the plant?

All new oil should be stored in a clean, controlled environment. Exposing the new oil to extreme weather conditions or unclean environments can easily introduce water contamination or airborne dust and debris. Additionally, all storage containers should be clearly marked for identification purposes.

Containers used to transport the oil to the equipment should be clean and used for only one type of lubricant so that cross contamination does not occur.

Transportation containers should be designed to keep the contamination out and not aid in allowing contamination to reach the oil.

3) Do oil/lubrication vendors address these problems?

Although new oil has not normally been considered as a likely source of contamination, new lubes are often contaminated. Contamination of new lubricants can happen in a variety of ways. The oil itself may be dirty upon receipt from the supplier. The oil may be dirty as it leaves the refinery or contamination can be introduced during the transportation process. Most end-users do not ask their vendors what type of cleanliness levels they will be receiving and most vendors do not automatically provide this information. New oil is one of the most important areas to consider as a source of potential contamination. Most likely the new oil should be filtered before being introduced into the equipment.

4) What solutions does PdMA offer?

PdMA Corporation is pleased to be a U.S. distributor for the Oil Safe product line. Utilizing containers from the Oil Safe product line will help reduce the introduction of contamination while storing, handling and dispensing lubricants. The robust and durable drums that are available in 2, 3, 5, and 10 liter sizes feature a wide opening for rapid, no spill filling, easy cleaning, and will accept any Oil Safe lid. Additionally, there is a wide variety of lids to accommodate various applications. For example, there is a Utility Lid that allows for rapid pouring of oils. The Stumpy Spout Lid is ideal topping off equipment where a high flow is required. The Stretch Spout Lid is ideal for use with lower viscosity oils or where precise pouring is required. The Oil Safe Pump is ideal for those awkward hard to reach applications. The Storage Lid allows pre-filled drums to be easily transported or stored. Furthermore, all of the product lids and drums are interchangeable. This allows you the opportunity to create the combination that best fits your individual needs.

5) What are some of the features of the Oil Safe product line?

These products are made of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) which is a very chemicals-resistant plastic. They have a service temperature range of -40 degrees C to 80 degrees C. They are also manufactured with anti-static additives and state of the art UV radiation stabilizers. This protects the products from the ravages of UV degradation and the accumulation of static electricity, resulting in a product that will perform well under even the harshest of environmental conditions.

6) Are these solutions expensive to implement?

The products are very cost-effective. In fact when properly implemented, these products will start saving maintenance dollars instantaneously. As mentioned earlier, it is always cheaper to keep contamination out of the equipment than to remove it once it has entered a system. These products are specifically designed to keep contamination out during the oil handling and transportation process.

7) What type of improvements can a plant expect when it implements an Oil Safe program?

By utilizing the Oil Safe products, many plants have reduced lube related failures through improving the cleanliness of oils being introduced into machines. Furthermore, productivity has also increased by reducing the oil refill time.

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