Recently I started wondering about the crux of reliability, where did it originate? Why? Who is truly accountable? I actually left the thought with more questions than answers. The beginnings of reliability came from pumping water. No pump…no water. The timing of said invention and subsequent need for reliability are considered ancient. It wasn’t until the aviation industry started to flourish that reliability became more popular.
Understanding reliability is definitely a challenge like no other. There’s the regimes, those are hard to wrap your head around if you’re not an engineer. There are several methodologies that coincide with the various regimes, which work well or not so well based on applications.
The one thing that is constant is that the operations leaders who must be held accountable for uptime, or the lack of uptime, all seem to be faced with a daunting myriad of issues and an ever growing list of possible solutions.
The overload of information and opportunities are endless it seems. The constant is missing a detail which leaves the most critical of assets open to failure. If knowing is half the battle, I’ve simply stated that operations professionals simply do not know what they do not know.
This not knowing in effect causes the problems.
We’ve been talking with a lot of our customers lately, they explain that there is a lot at stake with each of the end users we support. Critical equipment seems to be getting more complicated and at the same time we are still being forced to do more…with less.
This is a unique opportunity in that in the center of the chaos are the products which are designed to prevent the failures that happen, and in the best way possible at least make them predictable.
In meeting with some of our best customers they’ve expressed a well-known concern about industry knowledge disappearing with the aging workforce. When someone retires there is sometimes no replacement, at least in the short term. The new guy may not be as experienced in lubrication management or even have any real training in this area. What is important here is that the reliability knowledge simply gets stored in people’s heads, where it’s useful to the individual but not the company. How can your organization fill the void?
Lubrication Management Consulting Helps
There are many good resources for maintainers and operations professionals to get the information they can use to make their critical rotating equipment last longer between planned downtime events.
Where is the information? Do you actively study reliability? Who is responsible at your plant? Are you doing everything you can to prevent failure? Who has the answer to the reliability questions?
These critical areas are what separates the reliable operation from those where it’s a daily struggle to stay running.
I assure you there is a better way. I personally talk to people who say that Trico opened their eyes to a better way.
You see, it’s all right here. Lubrication management consulting, training, and products.
We’d love to discuss lubrication management consulting with you and assisting your team with a full plant assessment or possibly provide you the training that will incorporate the best practices into their daily routines. Contact us to learn more!
Trico business development professional Mike Gauthier recently visited a chemical refinery with GCI-Reliability Centered Solutions. Mike was there to assist in installation of a closed loop oiler system with an expansion chamber and a desiccant breather/air dryer. The focus of this type of configuration is to help mitigate contaminants from entering the bearing housing and to also remove/prevent moisture from entering as well. This will extend the life of the oil and subsequently the bearings that the oil is engineered to lubricate. Installing the system prior to service is the most effective way to ensure reliability of this critical asset.
The modern luberoom has built in functionality that assists maintainers in delivering the right lubricant in the right condition to equipment, critical or not. Using simple tools can go a long way to being able to bring your lube room up to world class standards.
Spectrum Oil Storage System
When designing a new lube room or enhancing an existing one, we will:
• Investigate the logistics and space constraints
• Assess the environment and surrounding area
• Outline safety protocol
• Determine oils that need to be filtered, dispensed and stored
• Determine the appropriate dispensing equipment needed
• Set-up lubricant identification with labeling and color coding
• Outline lubricant disposal
• Discuss other possible non-standard requirements of the lube room
You may understand that lubricants are not always delivered in the best condition possible, and more often than not these containers are full of contaminants from cold storage and/or transportation. Knowing is not enough? Best practices in lubrication management require you to do something.
Spectrum Containers are a great way to safely store and transfer lubricants.
Looking at the process of storing bulk lubricants can have a positive impact. The lubricant comes into your facility in a container that’s been stored outdoors for who knows how long, moisture infiltrates the container through the smallest of spaces. Inside that moisture there are often particulates. Utilizing a filter cart in bringing your inbound lubricant to start from a good quality standpoint is a best practice in lubrication management. From there you have to put this lubricant in clean and accessible storage. Lubrication best practices can be found in the color coding of storage so that the same lubricant goes in the same container every time. There are many storage options to choose from. The Spectrum system includes storage tanks, breathers, desiccants, and dispensing spouts which can all be color coded which ensures your lubricant gets to the correct machine. Dispensing is the next opportunity for failure in the chain, by cross contaminating oils, using dirty containers, or even worse. The spectrum system continues as with any good lubrication dispensing solution in color coded containers which are ergonomically designed to be useful and come in a number of sizes from 2 gallons up to 4 gallons. These color coded containers always have the same lubricant in them, avoiding cross contamination. The sealed lids also avoid fallout from environmental particulates during transfer. The spectrum line includes several upgrades as well, you can find these on our storage systems page. A functional lube room also includes some oil matting which absorbs any spilling, and keeps areas safe for foot travel, as well as funnels for accurately pouring lubricants into machines.
Lube rooms also could contain some grease guns for manual greasing. The grease guns get bands which are a low tech, low cost, device which assures you will put the correct grease in the equipment every time.
These simple solutions can become a huge part of extending the life of your lubricant and keeping the internal systems of your equipment free from moisture as well as particulate infestation.
Trico has experts on hand who can help by discussing setting up your new luberoom. Contact us to start to add best practices to your lubrication management.