Here’s a question I ask many engineers – “How clean is your NEW oil?”
And the answer that I usually get is ‘its new oil, of course it’s clean’.
New….. does not necessarily mean clean.
Here are several reasons and questions you should ask yourself, why your new oil might not be as clean as expected:
- Oil manufacturing facilities are on a large industrial scale and deal in millions of litres at any one time.
- At the manufacturing / blending / storage / filling facility, are the storage tanks, containers and drums, hoses, clean to start with?
- Are the storage tanks and transport dedicated to one product and cleaned at any time?
- When oil is transferred from manufacturer to distributor how many times is it moved from one storage container to another?
- Is it filtered to a set cleanliness after every move?
- When transferring the oil from drum to machinery or storage, are your pump, hoses, storage tank, jugs and dispenser’s contaminant free?
- How is your oil stored? Inside or outside? Dry or damp area?
- Atmospheric air is not clean, it is full of dust and moisture and doesn’t come close to meeting any fluid power or lubricant system ISO code. The tank, barrel, system is also ‘breathing’ the same air.
- Always filter ‘new’ oil before use.
- Try to have new oil analysed before use.
- If no time for lab analysis, then carry out a patch test on new oil.
- After ‘breaking’ into a system it is advisable to filter the oil in use to the required specification.
- Fit desiccant breathers to all open ports on machinery, storage tanks and barrels etc.
- If barrels are stored outside, then store correctly on their sides to prevent moisture ingress.
- Dedicate funnels/jugs etc. to individual oils to prevent cross contamination.
- Try to use dispensing jugs with sealable lids.
- Educate and train your staff about the importance of keeping contaminates out of oils.
Interested to know your opinions and ideas?
What do you do to prevent contamination entering your new oils?