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International Paper's mill in Georgetown, South Carolina, has begun the process of installing lube rooms throughout the mill as part of its lubrication excellence program. The "Powerhouse" area was the first to complete its lube room. Prior to building the new lube room, barrels of oil were stored in an open building under turbine generators. This area of the building was impossible to keep clean due to large roll-up doors that remained open and the close proximity of ash-handling conveyors. Transferring oil from drums to portable containers was not possible without introducing contamination.
While the lubrication technicians did an excellent job of keeping the drums covered and the oil as clean as possible, everyone knew that a lube room was essential in achieving the company's goal of world-class lubrication.
Previously, oil drums were stored in an open
building with covers or plastic bags to keep
Many hours were spent researching what was available and how to build and equip a lube room based on the limited funds and space. Eventually, the decision was made to use self-contained pump and filter assemblies which have the same components as the filter carts that had been used previously. The same filter unit has also been installed on hydraulic tanks in this area of the mill. The company plans to utilize this work to standardize lube rooms across the mill as much as possible.
Filters, grease and other supplies are now
stored in a nearby storage room, which doesn't
require the same controlled environment.
The filter units in the lube room are supplied with 55-gallon drums of oil as opposed to the more expensive and bulkier tanks that are available. This helps to keep costs down and makes the best use of the limited space while achieving the cleanliness goals. The drums have been outfitted with adapters, which are sealed with O-rings to prevent contaminant ingression.
Two different contractors were employed to erect the concrete-block building and fabricate the custom stainless-steel sink, shelves, etc. Everything else was completed with mill labor, from the ceiling and equipment installation to the painting, lights, electrical and HVAC installation. The total time to complete the lube room from when construction began was approximately one year.