A Fresh Look at Equipment Reliability

Many industrial lubricant experts use the analogy of blood in a human body to describe the purpose of lubricants in machinery and how it can enhance reliability.

Contamination is probably the biggest cause of failures in machinery. Similar to blood, oil delivers protection (nutrients) to machine’s parts and removes contamination. We go for annual blood check to ensure that our blood has enough nutrients and that our body is healthy. Similar to a blood test, oil analysis shows us a bigger picture of any faults in oil and equipment before it happens (proactive maintenance). Unlike human body, machine doesn’t have kidneys to clean the oil so it has to rely on external filtration system. It is very important to have an oil management program that includes monitoring of oil and frequent filtration. Oil analysis also enables us to set target cleanliness levels and select right filter size to reach those targets.

How hard is it to breathe during humid, hot, dusty environment? Machines (especially hydraulics) also breathe and they have a similar problem in these environments. Fortunately, the human body is equipped with a nose to bring in filtered air and lungs to remove unwanted carbon dioxide; but machines are not so lucky. That’s why all the critical equipment must be equipped with des-case breathers. All the breathers should be checked and replaced every few months depending on the environment they operate. This will extend the life of the machinery.

Water is needed in human body to keep it hydrated, however, unlike human body, water causes many problems in machines and it is not welcomed in most of the applications. Lubrication Engineers Inc. makes their lubricants keeping this in mind. LE has oil that readily separates from water and grease that has low water spray off properties. Once water separates from oil, there has to be a way to remove that water from the oil. Lubrication Engineers of Canada recommends ESCO sight glass in humid environment and in applications where frequent wash down is involved. This clear sight glass should be installed at the lowest point on the machinery. This will keep water out of the machinery and will further extend the life of the lubricant and your machinery.

Why should you use high performance lubricant such as Lubrication Engineers products instead of other brands? It is like having oil that has perfect synergy of blood cells (base oil), nutrient & vitamins (advanced additives) which will make machinery work longer and healthier.

-Blog by Birju Shah

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