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Why three different colors of Closed Systems?

Dan Freeland


The difference between red, blue, and zinc collar Opto-Matic Closed System Oilers

If you get around to the maintenance of enough equipment, it’s possible that eventually you will run into three different Closed System Oilers by Trico. These three different types are defined by the color of the adjustable collar on the oiler. There is a blue-collar version, a zinc plated version, and a red-collar version. All these oilers function the same way, are mounted below the intended oil level, and use a pressure balancing line to exchange air with the oil sump. The pressure balancing line is what creates the closed system concept. This article will address the reasons for, and the differences in these three oilers.

The Original Blue-Collar Oiler

When spawning the original idea for a closed loop oiler, we started by machining the surge body and collar from 2011-Aluminum. This provided the opportunity to anodize the collar blue. (The blue color has no significance). This original version does not have a sight window for oil level. The bottom edge of the blue collar is equivalent to the internal spout control point, therefor representing the set oil level. The height adjustment of the oiler is possible by the slots in the two sides of the collar and kept in place by two set screws.

The Zinc Die Cast Collar Oiler

The successful pilot of the blue collared closed system was proof enough that hard tooling could be justified. Trico selected zinc die casting as the manufacturing process, just as the vented Opto-Matic Oiler had been made for many years prior. This new version provided an alternative to the aluminum material and also incorporated a sight window for visual verification of the oil level. The bottom edge of the zinc plated collar still represents where the oil level is being set to. The height adjustment is again possible by slots and the set screws. At this point we were ready to obsolete the original blue-collar, but some customers saw the added sight window as an additional leak point, so we decided to keep the original available.

The Red-Collar Oiler

The red-collar oiler was developed in conjunction with a large oil refinery who was on board with the closed system oiler, except for one thing. There was no way to clearly write standard operating procedures on where to set the collar with the sliding slots and set screws. So, the red collar was designed, not with slots, but with seven independent holes, each identified by a letter designation A through G. These holes are on both sides of the collar, offset from side to side by 1/8” increments. This allowed SOP writers to identify a specific lettered hole to adjust the oiler to. The independent holes also provide a positive stop when putting the reservoir assembly back on after filling. Sometimes if the reservoir assembly is slammed onto the surge body of the slotted versions, the collar can slide down depending on how tight the set screws are.

What Options Suites Your Application?

All three versions are still available today in three different reservoir sizes and with or without wire guards. If you have further questions about these products, or any Trico products, feel free to give us a call at 800-558-7008 or drop us an email at