Once the bulk storage system is properly set up, one should consider the method for transporting oil and filling machines. The best top-up method utilizes a proper top-up container, one that is sealed from the environment, has a built in spout, hand pump, etc. If short cuts are taken at this stage, all of the time and effort spent building and designing the bulk storage system and ensuring the quality of the bulk oil with filtration will have been wasted. Too many times oil is highly contaminated from the time it is dispensed into the top-up container to the time it is added to the machine.
Using washable and re-usable top-up containers allow for easy cleaning and maintenance. Typically, non-sealable top-up containers that are re-used introduce large amounts of containments to the system, which could counteract any effort of removing or excluding contaminants, and also can have a slight lubricant cross-contamination effect.
For top-ups of larger sump volumes, such as large gearboxes, circulating system reservoirs, etc., the use of filter carts is the preferred method for transferring the new oil from the storage container to the machine.
8. Proper Top-Up Container and Grease Gun Storage
Storage for top-up containers, grease guns, rags, etc., is another important step to ensure contaminants are not introduced to the lubricants as a result of poor housekeeping. These tools should have their own dedicated fire-proof storage cabinets for easy access and organization.
Grease storage is simpler than oil storage but also must not go overlooked. Open grease tubes and drums are magnets for attracting airborne contaminants such as lint and dust. Securing used grease tubes that will be re-used in sealable washable containers is considered the best practice. The containers will hold one tube of grease and allow for great contaminant exclusion. Used drums of grease are at an even higher risk of contamination. These drums are often opened and used over a greater period of time, leading to more and more opportunities for contaminants to enter. If not using a sealed air style grease dispensing unit for drums of grease to fill grease guns, some of the best methods for contaminant exclusion are to use Velcro style covers or snap-on caps. Using these types of contaminant exclusion devices will keep the grease cleaner and prolong its life.
Grease guns should be stored in a clean, dry and controlled environment. They are precision tools that must be taken care of in order for them to provide the maximum degree of accuracy and reliability. Grease guns should be regularly cleaned and inspected for proper function and an annual calibration should be performed. This calibration will ensure the same volume of grease is still being dispensed with one shot as when the gun was new. The best method for grease gun calibration is to use a postal scale to measure how much grease is dispensed with one pump.
Lubrication tools should be stored in a fire-proof storage cabinet for easy access and organization.
(by Stephen Sumerlin)
to be continue...