Lubricant Storage Best Practices

Noria Corporation
Tags: lubricant storage and handling, contamination control, lubrication programs

A necessary step to achieve lubrication excellence is designing a best-practice lubricant storage and dispensing room.

One plant transformed its lubricant dispensing methods to achieve a world-class lube room. P&G Paper Products in Mehoopany, Pennsylvania participated in the Lube Room Challenge, and its efforts to improve its lubrication program are discussed below.

Lubricant Storage Area

Figure 1

Shey Sterling, a technician at P&G Paper Products, took on a project to implement best-practice equipment and procedures to improve the lubrication station and to convert the shop into a world-class lube room. Figure 1 shows the original lube room where contamination was abundant, lubricants were not filtered and desiccant breathers were not used.

Figure 2 shows the transition period of the project. The bulk oil rack was moved and the area was cleaned.

Bulk Oil Rack

Figure 2

The new, improved lube station is shown in Figure 3. It is constructed of stainless steel using pneumatic pumps, three-micron filtration and a programmable logic controller (PLC) to keep the refill containers from overflowing. Each fluid has an individual nozzle and is labeled with fluid type including hazmat coding. Instructions are posted on how to operate the station as well as lockouts for the pneumatics and electrical components.

Improved Lube Station.jpg

Figure 3

In the back of the station, each fluid is pumped using a Lincoln pneumatic pump through a three-micron filter, which ensures delivery of clean top-off fluid. The yellow ball valves enable the totes to be refilled from the drums (Figure 4). Air is regulated to each pump, so that all pumps operate effectively regardless of the fluid's viscosity.

Lubricant Dispensing Station

Figure 4

Figure 5 shows the back side of the lube station. The totes incorporate sight gauges and desiccant breathers and the yellow dyke was installed for spill containment. Spill response procedures are displayed on the frame. The cubby holes located on the side of the frame are available for keeping slips for each fluid, which ensures users are able to mark their containers properly.

Back of Lube Station

Figure 5

In the future, Sterling plans to enclose the dispensing station to further reduce contamination.