Category: Storage & Handling of Lubricants

ICML 55 – the revolution in the lubrication sector

ICML 55 – the revolution in the lubrication sector

What is ICML 55? ICML 55 is revolutionizing the lubrication industry! It is so exciting to be around at this time when it has... ...
Lubricant Deterioration Identifications

Lubricant Deterioration Identifications

What the difference between Shelf Life and Service Life? There’s a major difference between Shelf life and Service life especially when it concerns lubricants!... ...
Conditions that affect lubricants

Conditions that affect lubricants

What conditions affect lubricants? How are your lubricants currently stored? Are you storing lubricants under the correct conditions? These questions have come up a... ...
Colour Coding

Colour Coding

What is the importance of Colour Coding? Quite often when we are correcting or helping companies set up their lubrication storage areas, we get... ...
Lubrication Audit?

Lubrication Audit?

Audits usually get people nervous! They are worried about what the auditor may or may not find. When we perform lubrication audits, we’re trying... ...

ICML 55 – the revolution in the lubrication sector

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What is ICML 55?

ICML 55 is revolutionizing the lubrication industry! It is so exciting to be around at this time when it has started its implementation. For those who aren’t aware of ICML 55, here are a couple of notes on it.

ICML 55 was born out of ISO 55000 which speaks to Asset Management. From this standard, 3 standards were developed to guide the lubrication industry since no previous standards existed within the lubrication industry.

  • ICML 55.1 - Requirements for the Optimized Lubrication of Mechanical Physical Assets
  • ICML 55.2 - Guideline for the Optimized Lubrication of Mechanical Physical Assets
  • ICML 55.3 - Auditors' Standard Practice and Policies Manual

ICML 55.1 has already been completed, while 55.2 should be done at the end of this year and 55.3 scheduled for 2020.

These are exciting times!

Here’s the official press release:

https://info.lubecouncil.org/2019/04/04/icml-introduces-icml-55-asset-management-standards-mle-engineer-certification/

While ICML 55.1 was only launched in April of this year, it is a standard that the lubrication industry has been in need of for several years. It addresses the “Requirements for the Optimized Lubrication of Mechanical Physical Assets”.

What exactly are the assets covered? Here they are:

  • Rotating & Reciprocating Machines, Powertrains, Hydraulic Systems and lubricated subcomponents
  • Assets with lubricants that reduce friction, wear, corrosion, heat generation or facilitate transfer of energy
  • Finished products from API categories I-V
  • Non Machinery support assets (Personnel, policies, procedures, storage facilities and management)

 

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Photo Credit: https://info.lubecouncil.org/icml-55-standards/
Photo Credit: https://info.lubecouncil.org/icml-55-standards/

ICML 55.1 speaks to the “Requirements for the Optimized Lubrication of Mechanical Physical Assets” it also describes and defines 12 interrelated areas that can be incorporated in a lubrication program. This has never been officially documented before, nor has any standard been published as a guideline for lubrication programs.

The 12 areas are outlined below:

  1. SKILLS: Job Task, Training, and Competency
  2. MACHINE: Machine Lubrication and Condition Monitoring Readiness
  3. LUBRICANT: Lubricant System Design and Selection
  4. LUBRICATION: Planned and Corrective Maintenance Tasks
  5. TOOLS: Lubrication Support Facilities and Tools
  6. INSPECTION: Machine and Lubricant Inspection
  7. LUBRICANT ANALYSIS: Condition Monitoring and Lubrication Analysis
  8. TROUBLESHOOT: Fault/Failure Troubleshooting and RCA
  9. WASTE: Lubricant Waste Handling and Management
  10. ENERGY: Energy Conservation and Environmental Impact
  11. RECLAIM: Oil Reclamation and System Decontamination
  12. MANAGEMENT: Program Management and Metrics

As per ICML's website, here's a list of people that the new standard can benefit:

Photo Credit: https://info.lubecouncil.org/icml-55-standards/

 

Check out the ICML 55 standards today and apply it to your organization!

Lubricant Deterioration Identifications

What the difference between Shelf Life and Service Life?

There’s a major difference between Shelf life and Service life especially when it concerns lubricants!

No one wants to put expired lubricants into their equipment! This can cause unexpected failures which can lead to unplanned downtime which can continue to spiral down the costly path of unproductivity!

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Shelf Life

The Shelf life is usually what is stamped by the Manufacturer indicating the length of time the product can remain in its current packaging before being deemed unsuitable for use. These can typically be found on the packaging.

Service Life

The Service life however is determined by the application and conditions under which the lubricant is being used. Usually, estimated running hours / mileage are given by the equipment manufacturer in the maintenance section of the manual. (Condition monitoring can also be used to determine appropriate service intervals.)

However, how will someone know if the product has deteriorated while still in its original packaging?  What should someone typically look for?

Above are some tips for identification of deterioration in lubricants. Take a note of these for the next time you are unsure of the integrity of your lubricants.

Conditions that affect lubricants

What conditions affect lubricants?

How are your lubricants currently stored?

Are you storing lubricants under the correct conditions?

These questions have come up a dozen times during audits and countless warehouse meetings!

conditions
Conditions that affect lubricants

To answer these questions, there are five main conditions that can affect lubricants. We have detailed them along with the effects of these conditions on the lubricant.

  • Temperature – if incorrect can lead to oxidation. For every 10C rise in temperature above 40C the life of the lubricant is halved.
  • Light – too much can lead to oxidation especially for light sensitive lubricants such as transformer oils. Hence the reason that most packaging is opaque.
  • Water – this usually works with additives to cause their depletion or contamination of the product. Water in any lubricant is bad (especially for transformer oils as they are involved in the conduction of electricity.
  • Particulate contamination – contamination can occur by air borne particles if packaging is left open or if dirty containers/vessels are used to transfer the lubricant from its packaging to the component.
  • Atmospheric contamination – this affects viscosity and promotes oxidation and can occur if packaging is left open. For instance, if a drum is not properly resealed or capped after usage or the most common practice of leaving the drum open with the drum pump on the inside.

Different types of lubricant degradation

Why is it important to know the types of lubricant degradation?

It’s important since it helps us to figure out why or in some instance how, the lubricant degraded! Usually degradation is the change that occurs when the lubricant can no longer execute its five main functions:

  • the reduction of friction
  • minimization of wear
  • distribution of heat
  • removal of contaminants and
  • improvement of efficiency.

 

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Types of lubricant Degradation Mechanisms

There are 6 main types of Lubricant Degradation as detailed below. Each type produces various by products which can enable us to understand the reason for the degradation and eliminate that / those reasons.

Here are the 6 main types of Lubricant Degradation:

1. Oxidation
2. Thermal Breakdown
3. Microdieseling
4. Additive Depletion
5. Electrostatic Spark Discharge
6. Contamination

As discussed, each mechanism produces distinct results which help us in their identification! Check out our article on why lubricants fail for more info!

Colour Coding

What is the importance of Colour Coding?

Quite often when we are correcting or helping companies set up their lubrication storage areas, we get asked a lot of questions regarding colour coding.

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Ideally, the concept of colour coding is to allow field personnel to easily identify and associate particular lubricants with their applications.

However, like most things in reliability, this can be customized to suit your organization. There are no hard and fast rules of using only yellow to represent hydraulic oils.

What if we had someone that was colour blind?

Usually, when we start colour coding lubricant storage containers, we include symbols and actual names of the lubricant. This helps to assist personnel in having a 3 point verification system.

First they can verify the colour, then the symbol and of course the name of the lubricant.

Names are crucial! Especially for varying viscosities (such as gear or hydraulic oils). For instance all gear oil would have the same colour and symbol but you wouldn’t want to put an ISO 100 gear oil in a gearbox suited for ISO 680.

Lubrication Audit?

Audits usually get people nervous! They are worried about what the auditor may or may not find. When we perform lubrication audits, we’re trying to ensure that your equipment is using exactly what it should to perform efficiently.

Why is that necessary? We’ve found that in most organizations, there may have been a time when the OEM recommended lubricant was not readily available and a substitute was used instead. Once the substitute has been used, it magically becomes the recommended lubricant for the rest of the life of the component.

However, if proper checks were not done initially, then the component could be using the wrong lubricant for most of its life. This can contribute to downtime and replacement of parts before their actual useful life has been reached.

Once, we found a gearbox using an ISO 680 gear oil when it should have used an ISO 320 oil. This gearbox used the wrong oil for 30 years! It greatly impacted the efficiency of the gearbox and they experienced numerous breakdowns throughout its life but they never understood or dared to look at the lubricant.

Always ensure that you have the OEM recommended lubricants for your components!