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Your regular lubricant storage checklist

For many machines, excluding contamination is the only way you can keep them running properly. Regular monitoring guarantees your liquids will do the job they should for as long as they can.

By Shell on Mar 15, 2018

These top tips are brought to you as part of our Spotlight on Shell Experts series. Seven specialists from Shell's Lubricants division were on hand to deliver their tips and tricks. Scott Kwas, Gary Roberts, Siva Kasturi, Greg Paluska, Praveen Nagpal, Robert Profilet and Raghavendran Madhavarao give with their best practise tips on for optimum lubricant health:

1. Horizontal positioning

Are all containers kept horizontal to keep dust and debris from settling near openings? Just making small tweaks like this can reduce the chance of contamination set-backs and set you on the way to perfecting lubricant storage, remember better lubricants can lead to less machine downtime.

2. Storage

Are all containers kept inside? Storing lubricants inside keeps them away from dusty industrial workings, particularly if you’re in mining or construction. Water is also a problem so cover from rain and flooding is important. It also helps control their temperature.

3. Temperature

For best practise lubricants should be stored out of direct sunlight in ambient temperatures, that is, below 40C. Moderate temperatures should extend shelf life when combined with proper lubricant storage.

4. Bungs

Check that the bungs for your breathing holes and opening holes are at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions. This stops the seals drying out and moisture getting in.

5. Take a tour

Make it a habit to take a regular tour of lubrication sites, electronic monitors and storage. It’s easier to pick up things that are out of the ordinary if you know your site as well as possible. Even just the colour and smell of oil or sound of machinery can tell you if something’s not right.

If you allow dirt, dust or water to enter your oil, the cost to your operations can be surprisingly high. Treating the cause rather than the symptoms can help ensure a lower TCO (total cost of ownership), and increase the overall life of your machinery. Consider lubricant storage best practise and make these simple checks a regular habit within your company and you’ll see the differences quickly.

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