The “Lube-Tips” section of Machinery Lubrication magazine features innovative ideas submitted by our readers. Additional tips can be found in our Lube-Tips e-mail newsletter. If you have a tip to share, e-mail it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. To sign up for the Lube-Tips newsletter, visit www.machinerylubrication.com and click on the “Newsletters” link at the top of the home page.
This tip was sent in by Bill Jacobyansky, a maintenance manager at Guardian Industries: “We found a way to show the effectiveness of our lubrication program to non-maintenance people in our plant. We added up all of our three-part ISO particle count numbers and divided it by the number of pieces of equipment that we routinely sample. This gave us a plant-wide average oil cleanliness. This number means nothing by itself, but every quarter we recalculate it using our latest sample results. We use it to show how our oil has become cleaner as we began to routinely filter it and took other actions to reduce contamination. Everyone can now see that our oil program is having a positive effect.”
This piece of advice was sent in by Augie Mendoza, a machinery lubrication technician at Showa Denko Carbon: “Before greasing motor bearings, install a pressure-sensitive (20 psi differential) grease fill fitting that will not allow the cavity to be pressurized beyond 20 psi. This will minimize excessive pressure on the bearing shield and seal. Also, install a grease relief valve fitting to take the place of the grease drain plug. The grease relief valve will open between 1 and 5 psi and will minimize the over-pressurization of the grease cavity. This also saves time in removing and reinstalling the grease drain plug.”
This tip comes from Mark Speirs, a FLAC (fuel, lubricant, air and coolant) champion at BHP Billiton: “In the process of placing high-speed, oil-filled bearing housings back together, if an anti-seize compound is used for the bolts, be extra careful not to apply too much. If an excessive amount is applied, it can enter the housing faces during torquing and make its way into the oil bath. This, in turn, can bring about early bearing failure due to the incompatibility of the oil and anti-seize compound mixing and subsequently making its way into the load zone.”
This idea is courtesy of Spencer R. Anderson, a predictive maintenance technician at TLNA: “If your plant has large equipment with accessible openings inside the gearbox or reservoir, consider placing bar magnets inside the unit to capture damaging particles. Although magnetic plugs are good, they won’t always capture all metal particles. We’ve found that between sampling, filter changes and filtering that bar magnets capture a large amount of wear debris that may accumulate from large equipment with pinions and bull gears. When a large amount of wear metal is found, we know that we may have a problem and can correct it before it causes more damage.”
This neat trick was supplied by Ian Kirton, a hydraulic specialist with Princess Auto: “Paint a magnet white and permanently attach it to the dipstick of the reservoir. It allows a better visual inspection of the color of the oil; and if particles are stuck to it, you know that you need to investigate further.”
This advice comes from Veera Anantaratikun, a business manager for asset management services at SKF: “Spherical roller bearings with a lubrication groove and three lubrication holes in the outer ring should be oriented correctly when mounting inside the machine. This is to ensure that there is an adequate amount of lubricant in the outer ring raceway of the bearing. Make sure the lubrication hole is not located at the 6 o’clock position; otherwise, the lubricant will drain out from the bearing and reduce the level of lubricant inside of it.”