It Pays to Do Homework Before Changing Oilers

Trico helps chemical giant navigate cost-saving options

For a large chemical processing plant, the time had come to consider a major maintenance change. The global supplier of specialty chemicals for making polymers, detergents and personal care products, among other things, knew its multitude of vented oilers could be upgraded to help reduce contamination ingression, something that would save them tens of thousands of dollars a year. The dilemma was finding a replacement that could work with the equipment’s unique configuration.

At first, simply going to a closed system oiler seemed like the logical approach. However, the major chemical processing plant knew that many of its machines had fluid level requirements that were not easily met. In fact, after trying a number of closed system concepts, the same issues ensued: leaking, overfilling and the inability to adjust fluid levels for certain critical applications. That’s when they turned to Trico’s Opto-Matic Closed System Oiler. After witnessing the chemical processing plant’s situation firsthand, Trico realized why the company’s previous closed system designs had presented problems. The chemical plant was using Durco and Goulds horizontal process pumps with an oil sump to lubricate its bearings. This meant for an oiler that could be adjusted to meet the company’s fluid level requirements and eliminate the propensity to overfill and leak. The use of Trico’s closed system oiler would also allow the personnel to visually inspect the oil’s level and condition at all times, something its staff had been unable to do with the standard vented oilers.

Through the guidance and insight of the facility’s reliability staff, Trico was able to design its Opto-Matic Closed System oiler to allow for visual inspection and external adjustment, which would make it easy for the company’s maintenance technicians to view the oil’s condition and make changes as necessary. For starters, the chemical processing plant decided to equip 100 of its 800 pumps with Trico Closed System Oilers.

Opto-Matic closed System Oiler, with visual oil level indication, installed on a Gould’s pump.

Opto-Matic closed System Oiler, with visual oil level indication, installed on a Gould’s pump.

Big Change
Since Trico Opto-Matic Closed System Oilers were installed, the chemical processing plant has seen a significant reduction in oil changes and equipment downtime due to cleaner oil. Before, the company typically changed oil every eight months, but now the interval period has extended to every two years. Trico calculates that over a two-year period, the company will save $30,000 in oil changes alone. That doesn’t even take into account the cost savings from reduced downtime from cleaner oil or the elimination of leaks and overfills. When the company replaces the remaining 700 standard vented oilers, during equipment overhauls, for Trico’s Closed System Oilers, that savings would translate to approximately $210,000 over a two-year period.