Oil contamination prevention: Three housekeeping rules to live by


Oil contamination prevention

Oil contamination is often one of the main causes of component and equipment failure, with 70-80% of all hydraulic failures tracing back to contaminated oil[1]. Maintaining high levels of oil cleanliness can go a long way towards keeping machine failure, unplanned downtime and unexpected repair costs to a minimum. Of course, starting off with the right oil for your equipment will build a solid foundation for your machine reliability. However beyond this it is often the basic housekeeping rules which are most commonly overlooked – and where contamination prevention falls down.

With this in mind, we share our three housekeeping rules to live by when taking control of oil contamination prevention.

1. Clean up your oil storage act

Your lubricant distributor will have stringent processes to eliminate any chance of oil contamination during transportation. Many times, then, it is the way in which oil is received and subsequently stored that introduces the first traces of contamination. To reduce the likelihood of contamination during storage, applying some basic procedures will help clean up your oil storage act…

  • Implement a lubricant control process for receiving new lubricants – this will significantly reduce the possibility of costly mistakes!
  • Construct a dedicated lubricant handling area – this should protect lubricants from environmental storage risks and remove any chance of cross-contamination
  • Take note of lubricant shelf life – and adopt a ‘first in, first out’ stock management process

2. Handle with care

Contamination due to lubricant mis-handling is a common problem. If lubricants aren’t properly handled not only will they be more prone to contamination, but could also impair their protective properties or simply become unusable. Luckily, there are some simply guidelines you can follow to ensure your oil is being handled with care. For example:

  • Avoid topping up oil dispensers in exposed areas
  • Repair any oil leaks at the first sign of damage – if oil can get out, contaminates can get in!
  • A comprehensive lubricant labelling system will help eliminate the risk of cross-contamination
  • Only use sealable re-usable containers for equipment top-up

3. Introduce ongoing condition monitoring to your maintenance strategy

Although you can do everything you can to keep you oil free from contamination, implementing a successful oil analysis programme will not only give you peace of mind that it is staying that way, but can also provide essential data regarding your overall equipment health. This means that you can be sure you’ll avoid any nasty surprises – and unplanned costs.

Looking for more advice on proper lubricant storage and handling? Take a look at our unique range of storage, handling and application solutions or speak to one of our experts (0800 980 6172; ).

[1] https://www.industrialtechnology.co.uk/products--oil-contamination-identified-as-a-major-cause-of-machinery-failure.html

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