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Machinery Lubrication recently issued its annual Lube Room Challenge for readers to submit exceptional lube rooms that incorporate best-practice features. Several readers met the challenge with evidence of how their lubricant storage and dispensing methods have been transformed. The following entries showcase how designing a proper lube room is one of the first steps to achieving lubrication excellence.
Tim Johnson at Agrium’s Conda phosphate operation in Soda Springs, Idaho, was just waiting for a chance to show the improvement that had been made to his plant’s lubrication program. The photos below illustrate just how far the company has come in a relatively short period of time.
Cargill’s facility in Newark, Calif., follows best practices by filtering and dispensing in designated containers. Previously, lubricant was dispensed in whatever container was available. Now color-coded containers with like-colored tags are posted at each piece of equipment.
The Cargill facility uses color-coded containers with like-colored tags that track when the oil and filters were last changed.
The Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB), Oregon’s largest public utility, is no stranger to promoting sustainable practices. Its lube room is no exception. It consists of two double-walled storage tanks that are used for synthetic-blended motor oils. It also entails a modified IFH storage and dispensing system that handles hydraulic and transmission fluids, as well as Rhino Tuff poly tanks for coolant and washer fluids. The room features concrete walls, a sealed floor, a fire sprinkler system and an automated climate-control system that maintains the room at a consistent temperature throughout the year.
Through lab testing of incoming oils and fluids, EWEB identified that in many cases the oil and lubricants that were purchased were filthier than the fluids that were being removed. Because of this, EWEB equipped all of its storage tanks with quick couplers, enabling all the new oil and fluids to be filtered. Hydraulic fluids are filtered to an ISO 4406 cleanliness standard of 17/15/13. Motor oil and transmission fluids are kidney-looped with 10-micron filters for a period of up to 24 hours. Fluids are then dispensed through Graco pumps and separate 10-micron filter assemblies. Transfer carts are also equipped with the same quick couplers, and they receive the same filtering process before they are used.
To minimize contamination, the vents from the IFH tanks are independently plumbed to a centralized overflow container system, which is vented with a desiccant filter. Transferring the fluids consists of a sequence that uses different types of pumps specific for a type of fluid being pumped. Hydraulic and specialty fluids are dyed to specified colors for easy identification. EWEB uses a series of containers that are also color-coded and labeled for the same specific fluids. Spill containment is utilized for all storage tanks and racks. The lube room also includes spill clean-up materials, spill dikes and absorbent wipes.
The room has been equipped with an emergency shower and eye-wash station. The facility is certified in Oregon as an Eco-Biz facility, meaning that it has reached the highest standards in minimizing its environmental impact. EWEB employees have taken pride in implementing proper material-storage methods and hazardous waste-management techniques within the lube room.
EWEB’s lube room consists of two double-walled storage tanks for synthetic-blended motor oils, a modified storage and dispensing system that handles hydraulic and transmission fluids, as well as tanks for coolant and washer fluids.
The EWEB lube room also has an emergency shower and an eye-wash station.
Initially, the oil storage room at the Georgia-Pacific mill in Muskogee, Okla., needed a lot of attention.
When the room was overhauled, an HVAC unit was installed to maintain room temperature, the entire room was cleaned and repainted, new lighting was installed, new cabinets for equipment filters and oil transfer pumps were put in, press filters were added to clean the oil before it enters storage totes, new oil containers were purchased and proper labelling was instituted.
The plant’s next steps toward achieving lubrication excellence will be to change from a 10-micron filter to a 5-micron filter to improve particle counts, implement monthly preventive maintenance, train all operations and maintenance staff on the fundamentals of lubrication, revise the sampling program and install proper oil sampling ports on the equipment.
Before overhauling its lube room, the Georgia-Pacific mill faced a significant challenge to meet its cleanliness objectives.
After the lube room was modified, the condition of the storage room and its contents were dramatically improved.
MillerCoors first upgraded its lube room in Golden, Colo., several years ago with some significant changes. Although the more recent upgrades are minor in comparison, they are still important in the company’s journey to world-class lubrication. The MillerCoors lube room now has an exhaust ventilation system, fire-protection system and explosion-proof lighting fixtures. A training room has been created specifically for lubrication with a 3-hour class offered. A bi-weekly “Lube-Tips” style e-mail is sent out to all the packaging teams on best lubrication practices and lubrication safety issues. The e-mails provide a great way to keep people thinking about lubrication and its importance to the reliability of the equipment.
Power Partners Inc. in Athens, Ga., never really had a lube storage room, but company officials thought they were fine until they read a few articles in Machinery Lubrication and attended a Reliable Plant Conference. They quickly realized they had a big problem.
The company has come a long way over the last 14 months. While there are a few more things they want to accomplish, they are extremely proud of their efforts.
With the new lube room and enhanced policies and procedures that go with it, Power Partners has realized an annual cost savings of more than $28,000. Factor in the other reliability programs they have implemented in the shop, and the annual cost savings total more than $46,000.
The original Power Partners lube room featured metal funnels out in the open along with buckets and barrels everywhere.
The company’s new lube storage room has dedicated storage totes, a communications corner, clear grease guns with calibration stickers, an oil matrix that details which oil goes in which machine, and oil transfer jugs that are tagged and color-coded.
The lube room at Rio Tinto Minerals in Boron, Calif., was built in 2007 and has been maintained thanks to the hard work of the lube crew and support from upper management. The company transfers oil from 55-gallon barrels into totes using dedicated filter carts. The totes are then filtered to achieve the desired ISO standard and fitted with desiccant breathers. Oil samples are taken monthly to verify continued compliance. All oil is dispensed into color-coded containers, which are cleaned after being used.
Rio Tinto transfers oil from 55-gallon barrels into totes, which are then filtered and fitted with desiccant breathers.
At the new Rio Tinto lube room, all oil is dispensed into color-coded containers, which are cleaned after use.
The Temple-Inland lube room in Cumberland City, Tenn., boasts drums with air-powered pumps and 5-micron filters, sample ports and quick disconnects on the drums and Oil Safe containers. Oil is filtered as the Oil Safe containers are filled, and the lids do not need to be removed to fill. The pumps can also be utilized to polish the oil before use.
These photos show the Temple-Inland lube room before changes were made.
At Temple-Inland’s new lube room, oil is filtered as the Oil Safe containers are filled.
The initiative to modify the lube room of Cerveceria Bucaramanga, a SABMiller plant in Colombia, began after company personnel read an article in Machinery Lubrication on the advances of Clopay Plastics’ lube room. They felt encouraged to improve their lube room and received advice from Noria Latin America as well as a lot of training, which was important to their success. They also have included several practices from the Oil Analysis Basics book by Noria Corporation.
With the improvements, Cerveceria Bucaramanga now has an oil cleanliness level of ISO 4406 (14/12/8) on its oil storage tanks. The lube tasks also are ergonomic and easier to perform, having been optimized by more than 15 percent. The workers feel proud of this and take great care to maintain this goal and even improve upon it.
These photos show the old Cerveceria Bucaramanga lube room before the improvement project began.
After strategic improvements were made, the new lube room at Cerveceria Bucaramanga in Colombia includes a used oil storage area and dedicated filters for intermediate oil containers.