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How To: Lubricant Dispensing and Transferring

transferring-lubricants

Learning to properly dispense and transfer your lubricants is an essential skill for any maintenance professional. Following the correct process to complete this task is necessary to avoid contamination and keep your lubricants well organized.

Organizing Lubricants
When dispensing or transferring your lubricants, you can avoid cross contamination by labeling all containers. Color coding your containers with labels and tags can help you ensure lubricants are not mixed. Once your lubricants are labeled, you can color code equipment with a lubricant tag.

Choosing the Right Container
When choosing a container, do not use a galvanized container to transfer the lubricants. Using this container can cause zinc to leach into the lubricant or oil. Using clean sealed plastic containers and assigning one container per lubricant type will also help you ensure that no cross contamination occurs. This is where strong lubricant organization comes in handy.

Filtering
It’s important to remember to filter all lubricants that are put into your equipment. That goes for new oil as well! Just because it’s new doesn’t mean it’s clean. It should be filtered along with your other fluids. A lubricant filter cart should also be used when applicable.

Rack Mount
Using a rack mount for your dispensing station is an effective tool to use for proper handling.

Rack Mount

Choosing a dispensing container that was made for lubricant analysis is incredibly important. It is essential that the instruments you use to dispense and transfer your fluids are kept at the highest level of cleanliness and quality. To do otherwise is to welcome contamination into your fluids and your equipment.

To learn more about best practices for lubricant handling and storage, check out my recent blog posts on contamination and lubricant storage.

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Contamination: The troublemaker of oil analysis


Contamination in your fluid can be troublesome. Contaminants are all around us—in the air, water, particulates and, for maintenance personnel, in cleanup and process chemicals. As these elements contaminate your fluid, they can potentially shorten the life of your machinery.

In a study conducted by Oklahoma State University, researchers found that when a fluid is maintained 10 times cleaner, hydraulic pump life can extend by as much as 50 years! So how do we protect our lubricants from these unwanted contaminants?

The first step is understanding the symptoms that arise from different methods of contamination. The following are four common diagnoses as well as symptoms of these contaminants.

  • Symptoms: Spongy operation of hydraulics as air compresses under pressure; excessive wear; premature oxidation (especially in high pressure systems); pump cavitation and vibration; an increasing layer of foam.
  • Diagnosis: Air contamination
  • Symptoms: Premature failure or excessive wear due to reduced lubricating ability; corrosion of bearings or other machine elements; premature filter plugging; premature oxidation of lubricants.
  • Diagnosis: Water contamination
  • Symptoms: Increased wear
  • Diagnosis: Particulate contamination
  • Symptoms: Unexplained contamination
  • Diagnosis: Cleanup and process chemical issues

Performing oil analysis can help you identify exactly what type of contamination your machine is experiencing. From there, you can begin to decipher what could be causing it and how to change your maintenance practices to avoid high levels of contamination in the future.

In a recent blog post, I discussed how to best store your lubricants to avoid contamination. You can find the article here.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can improve your oil analysis program, check out our training page to learn more about our training programs.

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