Archive | September, 2008

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September 1, 2008
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The Fundamentals: How to Begin Maintenance Scheduling

Many maintenance efforts have come up short due to ineffective scheduling.

Imagine that you are planning a trip. You select a destination and decide upon the route to take. You tune up the car, rotate the tires and send the dog over to stay at your sister’s. You figure your expenses, develop a travel budget and withdraw money from the bank. You ask your neighbor to keep an eye on your house and notify the post office to hold your mail. In other words, you plan your trip to the last detail. Because of this attention and preparation, you are expecting a trouble-free vacation. Not so fast!

If you don’t take the next logical step—and properly schedule the trip—you probably won’t arrive at your destination in a timely and efficient manner. In fact, you might not even get there at all! Most of us know that if we want to have a pleasant and successful journey, we must first decide who else is going with us, who will be driving, when the trip will start and how long it should take. Alas, even the best-planned trip in the world can go awry if it is poorly scheduled.

1008-how-to-begin1Many maintenance organizations find themselves in the same situation as many disappointed vacationers. They are planning their work to some extent, but they are not reaping the full benefit of planned maintenance because they are neglecting scheduling, which is one of the most important functions of control available to maintenance managers. It doesn’t matter how well a job is planned if it is assigned to people who do NOT have the necessary skills to complete the work…or if the maintenance team is sent out to perform maintenance or repairs on a machine that is slated to run product that day…or if a crane is required to complete the task and one has not been scheduled.

Uncontested facts
If you are going to succeed as a maintenance manager, you must plan your work—that is an uncontested fact. Furthermore, if you are going to succeed at planning, you must properly schedule that which you have planned. Planning and scheduling are actually two sides of the same coin. It is not possible to do either properly without taking the other into account.

In a sluggish economy, upper management may be hesitant to approve the additional expense associated with adding positions. The answer to that argument is elementary, but it seems that it must be restated again and again—usually every time the economy takes a downward turn. Positions such as planner, scheduler, maintenance clerk and reliability engineer pay for themselves in very short order. As such, they are an investment, not an expense. It isn’t a case of stating that a maintenance department really ought to have these positions staffed. Rather, it is an often documented fact that no maintenance organization can be successful without people filling these roles.

When you schedule work, you ensure that the right people are performing the correct tasks at the proper time in the most expeditious manner. That sounds simple, but it is often the obvious truths that tend to evade us. Once you have received the green light, there are some factors that must be kept in mind as you go about the business of scheduling, particularly if you are new to the task.

A good candidate for the scheduler position will be a person with excellent organizational skills who can envision the big picture. He or she should be familiar with the manufacturing process, but the candidate does not necessarily have to come from the maintenance organization.

Each millwright, multicraft, electrician or other maintenance professional should be scheduled an amount of work equal to 110% of his/her paid time. Thus, if your maintenance personnel work a 40-hour week, they should be scheduled 44 hours of work. It is human nature to tend to slack off once it appears an assigned task will be completed in the allotted time. If, however, there’s always one more job in the queue, you may avoid this loss of efficiency late in the day. Moreover, if the jobs go exceptionally well on a given day, or if the planning times were pessimistic, the maintenance professional will not be faced with having to kill time because there are no more jobs ready to assign.

Work should be scheduled at least a week in advance from a planned backlog no smaller than the number of man-hours available in your full crew during a -to-six week period. In addition, daily adjustments to the schedule will be required as unfinished work is turned back in and newly-discovered issues are written up.

Work should be scheduled from most important (highest priority) to least important. This means that PMs and safety-related work orders take precedence work and must be done first. Then, if time runs out later in the day, the jobs that are left for rescheduling are of a lower criticality.

The cardinal rule of scheduling is that PMs always must be performed before corrective work is commenced. This sounds like an easy rule to follow, but you will be often you are tempted to break it when a previously-undiscovered maintenance issue crops up. Just remember that more than one good maintenance effort has been brought to its knees by not adhering to the PM schedule. A conscientious and well-meaning millwright will encounter a situation that seems to require immediate attention, so the PM he has been assigned will be postponed to allow time for the corrective work to be performed. Then, because the PM was not performed when it was scheduled, another situation is encountered at the next PM interval that again seems to require immediate attention, thus forcing the postponement or cancellation of another PM. Before long, no PMs are being performed because the machine seems to be in a constant failure mode. And, as long as no PMs are performed, the machine will continue to fail. It is a classic case of cause-and-effect.

All work must be scheduled. This means that the correction of any potential mechanical failures that are discovered must be worked into the schedule. It is the scheduler’s responsibility to see that the time for this unexpected work is secured by postponing other, less-important corrective work.

All planned and ready job packets should be filed according to estimated completion time. Thus, the scheduler will have a backlog of one-hour jobs, two-hour jobs, jobs by estimated time allows the scheduler to see at a glance if a particular packet will fit into a millwright’s schedule.

When the schedule isn’t met, there is a reason—and it is the scheduler’s responsibility to determine the cause. As an example, suppose a job was expected to take two hours apiece to complete, but by the time the work was finished, those two millwrights each had four hours on the project, and a third helper had been brought in for the last hour. Consequently, a job that had been estimated at six man-hours came in at nine—adversely affecting the work schedules of three separate individuals. A variety of factors that could explain the time overage are bad time estimates, an incomplete job plan, employee attitude and motivation, wrong parts, undiscovered maintenance issues, inadequate training or improper scheduling of personnel or machinery. Thus, if the scheduler does not determine the cause of the time overage and address or at least make note of it, the job could be 50% over budget the next time it is performed as well.

There are many methodologies that may be employed when it comes down to the actual task of scheduling an individual’s workday. Most of the better CMMS programs have scheduling functions. If you are lucky enough to have access to one of these, for you the job is already half done. Another favorite and time-honored method is the load board, which is a large dry-erase or bulletin board on the wall that allows the scheduler to schedule for and keep track of the entire maintenance crew for a given period of time (an example of a load board can be found at http://www.magnatag.com/page/MF/board/maintenance-schedule-board.asp) Other methods to physically segregate jobs include hanging files, bins, or just piles of work packets arranged by day and employee name. The important thing is not how you separate and schedule the work. The importance and the payoff derive from the fact that you are scheduling your assets for maximum efficiency. Work should be scheduled by the day. Thus, if an individual works a five-day, 40-hour week, he or she will have five separate daily assignments of work packets, each totaling hours (remember the 110% rule).

Work must be prioritized daily. Accordingly, the first work order that the millwright executes on any given day will be the most critical or important job of the day. Generally, or a safety work order. The next work order that the millwright tackles will be the second-most critical of that day’s work. This criticality ranking will continue until the millwright runs out of time or runs out of work.

Work that is not completed on a given day must be rescheduled for the following day, ideally with a higher priority so that the project is not likely to be continuously rescheduling is a permanent and unavoidable requirement of a successful maintenance organization, it is recommended that the scheduler work slightly different hours than the millwrights. The scheduler should either stay later than the maintenance workers or start earlier—so that there is time to reschedule the workloads on a daily basis according to unfinished jobs or newly-discovered maintenance issues. One advantage to staying a little later is that the scheduler can preview the following day’s work with the millwrights so that those individuals can began to think about the jobs they will be performing during their next work shifts.

Scheduling success
For scheduling to be successful in your organization, it must become part of your maintenance culture. Your maintenance professionals must come to understand its function, its purpose and its importance. They must realize it is the company’s expectation that the daily workload they have been given is to be done in the assigned order of priority—in a timely manner and correctly. This enculturation cannot occur if it appears that scheduling is only occurring when it is convenient for management. So, the scheduler cannot be pulled away from his or her duties for days or weeks at a time and assigned other tasks. Scheduling will fail under these conditions.

Remember, scheduling is actually asset control. It is the company deciding what work will be done by whom, when. What company can afford to neglect this important function? Ray Atkins, CPMM, CMRP, is a veteran maintenance professional with 14 years experience in the lumber industry. He is based in Rome, GA, where he spent the last five years as maintenance superintendent at Temple-Inland’s Rome Lumber facility. He can be reached at raymondlatkins@aol.com or throughout his Web site, www.raymondlatkins.com

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September 1, 2008
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The Fundamentals: The Reports We Produce

Getting through to management in the right way is critical to the health of your PdM program.

When someone talks about his/her predictive maintenance (PdM) program, we commonly hear about great saves and machinery problems that have been resolved. This would lead most of us to believe that these programs are thriving and well-funded with well-trained, happy personnel. Unfortunately, more often than not, this simply isn’t the case.

Today many PdM programs are dying on the vine—with staff either retiring or returning to the shop floor to perform their previous jobs as tradesmen. In some cases, this exodus seems to be associated with plant management not responding to machinery trouble calls generated by the program. As a result, frustration percolates within the PdM program staff over a perceived lack of appreciation by maintenance or plant management for the usefulness of the PdM program and the value of the results it produces. Interestingly, one of the main contributors to this situation is the type of reports that the typical PdM program produces.

1008-reports-we-produce1Who wants to know and how? Technical reports can range from simple raw data output to complex documents that are so detailed they defy understanding. Seldom do the authors/providers of these reports consider the needs and capabilities of their readers. It is, therefore, very important to ask the question: “What kind of report will be responded to best?” The first step in answering it is to determine what type of person the reader is and to what that person responds to.

Human behavior shows us that there are four basic personality types* we may encounter. Even though these types may blend together in most people, there typically will be a dominant type that can be used for our purposes. By understanding the type of person you are dealing with, you can create reports that will be better received. Let’s look at these four types and what they want to see in a report.

Driver…

The first and most common type of personality that you may see in management can be described as a “Driver”—a no-nonsense multitasking person that many consider to be a type-A personality. Drivers don’t have time for details! They want to know what’s wrong, what to do, when to do it and why. Time is the big factor here. If you can get more than 10 seconds of a Driver’s attention for your 20-page report, you are lucky. As a result, detailed multi-page reports with pictures and graphs are not the right things for these people. Raw data that has to be examined also will probably go directly into the trash can or, at best, the filing cabinet.

Drivers want simple precise reports that tell them what needs to be done and in what order. Data and long descriptions are not necessary. This does not mean that you don’t need to be prepared to answer questions now and then. When asked, provide the Driver with brief and specific answers. He/she may be testing you to be sure your recommendations can be trusted. Once this person is convinced that you are providing valid information that is helpful to his/her job, you probably will have a strong supporter.

When dealing with a Driver, remember that simple, to-the-point and valid are best. Large print helps as well.

1008-reports-we-produce2Amiable…

The opposite of the Driver is the type of person we can refer to as “Amiable.” These people are easily recognized by their desire for personal contact.

Amiable people like forming relationships with those they work with. They will want you to go over the report with them and take the time to answer questions to their satisfaction. Trust is very important with Amiable types.

A simple report—similar to what is used for the Driver— is fine, but again it is important to be prepared to go over the report with them. Amiables will appreciate the time you spend in making them comfortable with your recommendations. If there is any doubt about the report format, sit down with these people and design the report to their satisfaction. It also is important to show that you care about how they respond to your reports.

Expressive…

The third type of person you may run into can be described to as “Expressive.” These people are very active, animated, multitaskers who are interested in the “BIG PICTURE.” Colorful reports that include charts and graphs along with the overall department and plant condition are essential. Excessive detail should be avoided, but you should be prepared to provide data and artwork that can be used for presentations and wall hangings. When given the right kind of reports, Expressives will be among your biggest and most vocal supporters.

On the other hand, it is important to keep control of the report process. Expressive managers may ask for more than they need or can digest. Another word of caution is to take special care to establish a process to ensure that the work is done and results are measured as a result of report recommendations. In short, Expressive people sometimes have short attention spans. Enough said.

Analytical…

The fourth and final personality type can be referred to as the “Analytical.” Surprisingly, this may be the most difficult type of person for whom you ever will generate reports.

Analyticals like lots of data to study. In many cases, these individuals are successful engineers and technicians who have advanced into management. You may notice that their offices are cluttered with prints, spec. sheets, parts and—unfortunately—reports. They enjoy technology and processes. They always will want more data to examine. Yet, they may not decide what do with your recommendations. This can drive you crazy. As a result, Analytical types may be the hardest to work with.

The reports you provide to Analytical managers should include the basics coupled with some supporting data to back up you recommendations. Let them ask you for more information as needed—then meter out additional details to them sparingly. By doing this, perhaps you can get them to take action. Good luck!

For all types, a simple report generally is best. Too much data challenges the reader to join in the analysis. This can be annoying to a Driver (who typically doesn’t want to waste time); intimidating to an Amiable (who wants you to talk to him/her); confusing for an Expressive (who only wants to see the “BIG PICTURE”); and downright self-destructive for an Analytical (who will immerse himself/herself in the data, never to be heard from again).

In the end

Keep in mind that it is useful to form a “supplier/customer” relationship with those who receive your reports. In essence, your report is the product of your work. To be successful, though, this product must meet the reader’s needs.

Just like a good newspaper or a well-developed Website, a report should communicate the right message to the right people to evoke the desired action—i.e. a response that results in your recommendations being acted on. If this helps create a better running, more efficient and profitable workplace, your PdM program has a good chance of being successful.

 

Bob Martin is a district manager for Emerson Process Management’s Machinery Health Management Division. He is a CMRP, a category three vibration analyst and holds a level two lubrication certification. He has been supporting predictive maintenance practices for nearly 20 years, primarily working with industries in Detroit and surrounding areas. His experience with spectrum analysis extends back over 30 years, beginning with his work in the US Navy as an anti-submarine warfare systems operator, flying as aircrew on P-3 Orion patrol aircraft.

E-mail: bob.martin@emerson.com

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*Personality Types

Social Styles, Driver, Expressive, Amiable, Analytical were developed by Wilson Learning Corporation. For more information, contact Performance Technologies, a distributor of Wilson Learning Programs at (937) 890-1243.

 

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152

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September 1, 2008
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Problem Solvers

ext-Generation Turbine Oils
ConocoPhillips has introduced its next-generation Diamond Class™ Turbine Oil to meet the complex performance demands of power plant gas turbines. According to the manufacturer, this highly advanced turbine oil, a tribranded offering featuring the Conoco, 76 Lubricants and Phillips 66 brands, is formulated from exclusive ConocoPhillips hydrocracked base stocks and offered in three different viscosity grades—32, 46 and 68—to provide significant varnish protection. Gas turbines operate at temperatures as high as 500 F, which can quickly break down oils and produce corrosive acid and sludge build-up. This, in turn, could lead to increased maintenance costs for plant operators. The higher oxidative stability and varnish protection these new Diamond Class Turbine Oils provide directly correlates to a cost savings through reduced maintenance activities. (Editor’s Note: A ConocoPhillips spokesperson points to 35,000 hours of laboratory testing with no varnish deposits as confirmation of this enhanced durability of this next-generation turbine oil product.) Diamond Class Turbine Oil is filtered to an ISO Cleanliness Code of 18/16/13 for use in circulating systems with tight tolerances where particle contamination can cause operational problems.

ConocoPhillips 
Houston, TX


Advanced Food Grade Technology

Inolex’s new line of ester-based H1 lubricants remain stable when operating temperatures reach up to 550 F, eliminating the need to use multiple lubricants along a production line. The Lexolube® FG-OCL product series remains liquid after long exposure to high temperatures and, according to the company, shows minimal evaporation or deposits. Lexolube® FG-OCL series can be used in many medium- to high-temperature applications, and most significantly in the lubrication of conveyor chains for baking ovens.

Inolex Chemical Company 
Philadelphia, PA

 

1008_problem_img1

 

High-Viscosity Drum Pumps 
The FPUD500 series of high viscosity drum pumps from OMEGA Engineering comes with TEFC or air driven motors and has the ability to empty a variety of containers in numerous applications. The pump tubes are constructed modularly and supplied separately for maximum flexibility. This series of pump tubes is rated up to 200 F, 15,000 cps viscosity and 1.8 specific gravity. It is also available in 316SS or sanitary polished 316SS.

OMEGA Engineering Inc. 
Stamford, CT

 

 

 

New Thermal Imager Allows Complete Radiographic Measurement Of Processes 
LumaSense has announced the release of its new Mikron MCL-160 thermal imaging camera. This cost-effective, fast-response product is well suited for environments where quick, accurate temperature measurement is required of fast-moving targets, such as high-volume manufacturing processes. With the flexibility that the MCL-160 offers, users no longer have to rely on just a single-point temperature or questionable measurements to control their critical processes. Process control in many applications typically means measuring a single point temperature and applying control that is based on only one data point. That data point may or may not be the critical parameter needed. This means that something can be missed. Another option would be to install several (and sometimes even hundreds) of pyrometers on the process to understand what is going on. The new Mikron MCL-160, though, allows for complete radiometric measurement of the process.

 

1008_problem_img2Stainless Bearing Alternative 
Made from high nitrogen corrosion resistant steel, MRC® “HNCR” steel bearings have superior corrosion resistance and fatigue life compared to conventional stainless steel bearings. They offer an ideal specialty solution in the aftermarket for equipment operating in excessively harsh and demanding conditions, including food and beverage processing equipment, paper mill machinery and industrial pumps. The bearings are available as custom, made-to-order products.

SKF USA Inc.
Kulpsville, PA

 

Plant Asset Protection 
The SmartSignal Plant Availability and Performance Solution (APS) predicts, diagnoses and prioritizes equipment failures. SmartSignal advanced asset analytics develop unique operating profiles for critical equipment across all known loads and ambient conditions. After linking to a plant’s data infrastructure, the solution analyzes the data and delivers an informationrich portfolio of reports and real-time notifications of impending problems that mesh closely with a plant’s O&M processes. Through its Internet collaboration features, SmartSignal works with plant personnel until the problems are investigated and resolved.

SmartSignal Corporation 
Lisle, IL

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September 1, 2008
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Environmentally Considerate Lubricants

Increased awareness of the environment and tighter legislation have led to increased use of environmentally considerate lubricants. When operating in environmentally sensitive areas such as mines, forests, lakes, rivers, harbors and ski-slopes, equipment may require lubricants that help reduce environmental risks.

Environmentally considerate lubricants should combine a number of important properties, including high biodegradability, which means it is rapidly removed from the environment by natural processes in the event of a leak or spill (fate) and low ecotoxicity (effects). Furthermore, such lubricants should provide effective lubrication with performance meeting the needs of operators (function).

Biodegradability: Lubricants and other organic materials are broken down in the environment by micro-organisms in a process called ‘biodegradation’—biodegradability is the ease with which this can occur. There are a number of ways in which biodegradability can be measured. To meet the internationally recognized requirement for ‘ready biodegradability,’ lubricants must be at least 60% CO2 evolved after 28 days when tested according to OECD guideline 301B.

Ecotoxicity: The effect that a material may have on the environment usually is assessed by measuring its toxicity toward plants and animals that represent different levels of the foodchain (‘ecotoxicity’). For example, in the aquatic food chain there is determination for toxicity towards algae, water fleas (Daphnia) and rainbow trout. Lubricants must meet the limits for ‘not harmful’ when tested by independent laboratories using OECD 201, 202 & 203 Test Guidelines for ecotoxicity.

A considerate solution 
Shell Lubricants has been working to develop environmentally considerate lubricants that are formulated and tested to the highest standards to help keep equipment running efficiently while protecting against premature wear and breakdowns.

Shell Naturelle is a range of lubricants specially developed for applications operating in environmentally sensitive areas. Their biodegradable qualities mean that any accidental spillages or leaks are readily broken down by natural processes in soil or water; their low eco-toxicity means that their impact on the environment is reduced should a spillage or leak occur. Shell Naturelle lubricants offer a more environmentally acceptable alternative to conventional industrial lubricants without compromising performance.

In the U.S., Shell currently offers Shell Naturelle HF-E and HF-M hydraulic fluids, which are well suited for use in environmentally sensitive areas. Both formulations are readily biodegradable1 with low ecotoxicity2.

  • Shell Naturelle HF-E uses a special blend of synthetic esters and a tailored additive system. It offers multi-grade performance, good shear stability and good oxidation resistance.
  • Shell Naturelle HF-M is blended with a mixture of synthetic ester and vegetable oil. Shell Naturelle HF-M has low deposit-forming tendency and stable lowtemperature viscosity, providing benefits over products formulated from natural based esters only.

 

In the future, Shell Lubricants is planning to introduce additional products to its portfolio in the United States. Currently, Shell Lubricants is considering adding a gear oil, expanding the viscosity grades for the hydraulic fluids, and possibly adding a grease. Dates are not yet set for distribution.

1 as measured by OECD 301B test 
2 as measured by OECD 201-203 test

Shell Lubricants
Houston, TX

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September 1, 2008
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Boosting your bottom line

Start With The Basics

Motors drive the industrial and commercial sectors, and therefore contribute significantly to their electric load and your electric bill. However, motors often are overlooked as an energy efficiency opportunity. Management sees computers, lighting and refrigerators every day, but is usually unaware of the contribution motors make to overall operating costs or how more efficient NEMA Premium® class motors immediately can reduce the electric bill.

Motor purchasers have a choice between standard efficiency EPAct class motors or NEMA Premium® class motors, which are typically 0.4%-3% more energy efficient. While this may seem small, consider the Department of Energy’s estimates that upwards of 85% of an industrial facility’s electric load comes from motor systems—and approximately 23% of U.S. electricity is consumed by these systems alone. Further estimates project potential savings of 11-18% in this sector (62-104 billion kWh per year) from motor system optimization. Commercial office facilities typically see 20-25% of their electricity consumed by electric motors; in healthcare operations, such as hospitals, it’s more like 25-40% because of those facilities’ high, almost 24/7/365 use, of motor driven HVAC and air circulation equipment.

Higher-efficiency NEMA Premium® class motors usually will be more expensive than their less-efficient counterparts. Given the choice, facility managers and purchasing departments, often unaware of the dramatic energy and cost savings that can be achieved, will buy the lower-priced, but less-energy-efficient motor. However, the small incremental, purchase cost difference typically could be overcome in as little as 18-24 months, with continued savings through reduced electricity bills extending for the 15- to 20-year life of such motors.

To help offset this “first cost” barrier, many utilities offer customer incentives on qualifying NEMA Premium® motors. For example, when the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) “New York Energy $martSM Program” recently audited 93 motors at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, it found that 38 of them met the financial requirements to be candidates for immediate replacement with a NEMA Premium® unit. In addition, 42 motors were candidates to be replaced with a NEMA Premium® motor when they failed. If all the recommendations are followed, Roswell Park could save more than 3 million kWh—or $256,620—over 10 years.

Roswell Park is not alone. Overall, in its survey of 90 facilities, NYSERDA found that 11% of their motors were candidates for immediate replacement with NEMA Premium—and another 52% were candidates upon failure. Additional savings from motor system efficiency enhancements, such as installing adjustable speed drives, where appropriate, also were projected.

Motor Decisions Matter (MDM) can help you begin finding energy savings. MDM is a national campaign for raising awareness on motor management and providing support for companies interested in it. A consortium of motor manufacturers, motor service centers, trade associations, electric utilities and government agencies, including NYSERDA, sponsors the MDM campaign. The MDM Website, www.motorsmatter.org, contains information, such as a summary of energy effi- ciency programs throughout the U.S. and Canada, and tools, such as the Motor Planning Kit and the 1·2·3 Approach to Motor Management, you can use to develop a motor management plan that meets your company’s needs. The information also can lead to partnerships with your local sales & service center, vendor, utility or other energy-efficiency representatives who may offer added support. For details, contact MDMinfo@cee1.org

The Motor Decisions Matter campaign is managed by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, a North American nonprofit organization that promotes energy-saving products, equipment and technologies. For more information, contact Kellem Emanuele at kemanuele@cee1.org or telephone (617) 589-3949 x225

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September 1, 2008
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LMT News

News of people and events important to the Lubrication Management community

NOTEWORTHY MANAGEMENT CHANGES 
ConocoPhillips has announced a number of senior management changes. Among them: John Carrig, former executive VP, Finance, and CFO, will now serve as president and COO and continue to report to Jim Mulva, chairman and CEO. Jim Gallogly, who had been executive VP, Refi ning, Marketing & Transportation, has been named as executive vice president, Exploration & Production. His former position will be fi lled by Willie Chiang, former senior VP, Commercial. Greg Goff, former president, Strategy, Integration and Specialty Businesses for Refi ning, Marketing & Transportation, will replace Chiang as senior VP, Commercial. Ryan Lance will remain president, Exploration & Production – Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Emerson Process Management also has announced a number of corporate leadership changes. Steven A. Sonnenberg has been named executive VP of Emerson and business leader of Emerson Process Management, serving as president. John M. Berra, former president of the corporation and business leader since 2000, is taking a new role as chairman of Emerson Process Management to focus on strategic planning, technology, key customer relationships and organizational planning. Michael H. Train, president of Emerson Process Management Asia Pacifi c, is returning to the United States from Singapore as president of Rosemount. Train’s former position is now held by Sabee Mitra, who most recently served as president of Emerson Process Management Middle East. David A. Tredinnick, VP Southeast Asia for Emerson Process Management Asia Pacifi c, is moving to Dubai and replacing Mitra as president of Emerson Process Management Middle East.

The Lubrizol Corporation has announced a number of management changes as well. According to James L. Hambrick, Lubrizol’s chairman, president and CEO, these changes were essential in order for the company to execute its strategy and continue to grow, especially in today’s challenging business environment. Among the promotions that took effect September 26 were that of Steve Kirk, who was elevated to senior VP and COO, in charge of both Lubrizol Additives (LZA) and Lubrizol Advanced Materials (LZAM) business segments. He had been serving as senior VP of the corporation and president of LZA. Larry Norwood was promoted to corporate VP, Operations, leading operations personnel and infrastructure for both LZA and LZAM. Most recently Norwood had served as VP, Operations for the LZA segment. Bob Graf was promoted to corporate VP, Research and Development, leading research strategy and the development of scientifi c resources for both LZA and LZAM. He was previously VP, Research and Development for LZA. Dan Sheets was promoted to corporate VP and president, LZA, where he had been serving as VP of sales since 2005. In his new role, Sheets will be responsible for the day-to-day management and growth of the LZA segment, which will continue to be structured around two major product lines, namely the Engine Additives line and the Driveline and Industrial Additives line.

On a related note, Don Bogus, senior VP of The Lubrizol Corporation and president of LZAM, will retire effective January 2, 2009. Bogus began his career with Lubrizol in April of 2000 as VP of the then Chemicals for Industry division with responsibility for Lubrizol’s paints, coatings and inks additive businesses. During his tenure with the corporation, he played a key role in the company’s M&A growth strategy and was instrumental in integrating the Noveon business into the current LZAM business segment.

INTEGRATED POWER SERVICES ACQUIRES TRICO TCWIND SERVICES 
Integrated Power Services, a leader in the service and repair of electric motors, generators and mechanical power transmission components, has acquired Trico TCWind, a familyowned power-services company, based in Litchfi eld, MN. Trico TCWind specializes in the North American service and repair of wind generators and turbines, as well as the repair of electric motors and other rotating equipment for the Minnesota regional market. The deal marks the third acquisition for IPS in 2008, following the company’s prior purchase of Electro-Mec and The Monarch Group. Terms were not disclosed. Headquartered in Greenville, SC, IPS now has 16 regional service centers across the country, offering coast-to-coast 24/7 coverage to more than 2000 customers across a wide range of capital-intensive industries. Trico TCWind will operate as an IPS company, enhancing the company’s full-service capabilities, particularly in North American wind energy service and repair markets and providing a presence in the upper Midwest.

AZIMA ACQUIRES DLI ENGINEERING BIZ 
Azima Holdings, Inc. has acquired Washington state-based DLI Engineering, a pioneer in vibration-based condition analysis. The resulting new entity, known as Azima DLI, is now one of the PdM market’s largest players, based on geographic and industry reach, customer base and concentration of experienced vibration analysts. Azima DLI provides services to two of the industry’s largest customers, Air Liquide and the U.S. Navy. According to company press releases, Azima DLI’s combined strengths will benefi t its customers with “one stop shopping” for all their condition monitoring needs. DLI Engineering has 42 years of expertise developing automated machine diagnostics that extend Azima’s sophisticated remote monitoring, wireless and web-based portal software and services. It also brings global expertise in markets such as aerospace, automotive, food, military and maritime, pharmaceutical, and wind power that complement Azima’s footprint in the industrial gases, oil and gas, paper, power and steel industries.

association_news_banner

ASHRAE OFFERS NEW FACILITIES CERTIFICATION
Energy use in buildings can be reduced by 10 to 40 percent by improving operational strategies in buildings, according to a study by the Energy Systems Lab at Texas A & M University. A new certifi cation program from ASHRAE helps building owners know they are hiring and retaining employees and consultants who know how to take advantage of such strategies.

The Operations and Performance Management Professional Certification (OPMP) program helps earners demonstrate their knowledge of the management of facility operations and maintenance and their impact on HVAC&R systems’ performance. The program will launch at the ASHRAE Winter Meeting in Chicago in January and will be available via electronic testing centers worldwide starting in March 2009. For more information, visit www.ashrae.org

DEADLINE EXTENSION FOR STLE 2009 CONFERENCE ABSTRACTS 
Abstracts for STLE 2009, which is scheduled for May 17-21, 2009 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, FL, are now being accepted. Please note that the Abstract Deadline has been extended to 5:00 p.m., Friday, October 24, 2008.

According to STLE, this extension accommodates the many individuals who have seen their operations and work schedules disrupted by the recent severe weather and economic problems throughout the U.S. and other countries. Abstracts received after October 24th will be placed on a waitlist.

Note, too, that submission for the Student Poster Competition ends April 5, 2009 at 11:59 p.m., EST. Submission for the 2- to 3-page Extended Abstracts for the Proceedings CD opens December 1 and ends March 16th at 11:59 p.m. For more information, visit www.stle.org

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10786

6:00 am
September 1, 2008
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Understanding Canned Motor Pumps

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Of course, volumes have been written as to why pumps fail. Also, it is no stretch to assert that, when pump fires result from such failures, a mechanical seal is usually involved (Fig. 1).

Mechanical seals often fail as a consequence of prior bearing distress. In some instances, seal manufacturers supply products with close clearances between the periphery of rotating seal parts and the diameter (bore) of stationary seal parts. We believe that users should specify seals for hydrocarbon products to comply with API (American Petroleum Industry) Standards. We also believe that deviations from the user’s specification or applicable guidelines (such as API-682) should be brought to the purchaser’s attention.

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There are, however, other ways to avoid seal failures. One of these would be to specify, whenever applicable, canned motor centrifugal pumps. Also called “hermetically sealed” pumps, they do not incorporate mechanical seals.

History of canned motor pumps A canned motor pump cross-section is shown in Fig. 2. The development of these centrifugal pumps is closely associated with the expansion of nuclear power generation technology. As of the early 1950s, safety considerations led to the development of hermetically sealed operating loops. It was then that the design principle of the canned motor— known since 1914—found practical application.

The chemical industry’s recognition of the advantages of these pumps followed soon thereafter. Indeed, the additional demand created a widespread economic base for the manufacture of canned motor pumps.

By the 1960s, canned motor pumps had evolved to the point of standardization. Expanding populations and rising standards of living in both the industrial and developing countries required innovative technologies to solve the demanding and progressively urgent problems of protecting the environment. Increasingly, canned motor pumps became part of the answer.

We readily acknowledge that, in the last three decades, much progress has been made in the field of mechanical shaft sealing. Yet, beginning with the mid-1970s, environmental considerations, industry consolidation and automation of processes have become increasingly important. It is in this context—in a wide range of fluid movement tasks—that the more traditional types of sealing either provide inadequate safety or present pollution and loss concerns that can no longer be tolerated.

In some instances, the cost of seal support and monitoring systems is disproportionate to the potential success. It is only fair to point out the existence of services that simply cannot be performed using “open” or conventionally sealed centrifugal pumps. Absolutely hermetic transport of fluids using centrifugal pumps is only possible where the torque applied to the pump rotor is generated externally. To satisfy this requirement, a rigid external stator system using either electromagnets or permanent magnets is needed. In some industries, conventionally sealed pumps can endanger human life and physical assets. Thus, traditionally sealed pumps are not always “best available technology.” Accordingly, wherever the state-of-the-art makes this protection feasible, the means employed must be aligned with the results achieved.

And so, keeping in mind the limitations of “open design” pumps (those with packing or mechanical shaft seals) that can contribute to air and water pollution, we should endeavor to be thoroughly acquainted with state-of-the-art of hermetic drive techniques for centrifugal pumps. The facts may surprise us.

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Design and functional description As extremely environmentally sound machines, canned motor “hermetic” pumps are now very widely used in Europe and Japan. While making inroads in the United States, lost ground needs to be recovered in our quest for competitiveness. That said, wherever it is necessary to move dangerous, toxic, polluting, expensive, caustic, potentially explosive, high-temperature or low-temperature fluids, canned motor pumps deserve very close consideration.

The canned motor combines the well-understood hydraulics of centrifugal pumps with the equally wellproven three-phase induction motor. The hydraulic section is directly connected to the drive motor. A pipelike sleeve or “can” is inserted in the magnetically-bridged gap between rotor and stator. The “can” absolutely and hermetically separates the rotor chamber from the pressurized fluid pumping environment. In other words, the “can” is the boundary between the liquid-enveloped pump rotor and the non-wetted stator chamber (Fig. 2). The “can” thus separates the motor into two functional areas; it represents the hermetic sealing element of the pump assembly. In essence, the torque required for shaft rotation is transferred via the can, which consists of a non-magnetic material, by electromagnetic means. This type of drive does not require a shaft aperture through the fluid-containing (usually pressurized) housing; there is thus no need for dynamic gaskets or mechanical seals. The necessary static gaskets are generally problem-free but, in special cases, may be replaced by welded connections.

Canned motor pumps, therefore, are fully hermetic pump units. The pump section can be of single or multistage design. The pump impeller (or impellers on multistage pumps) is mounted at the overhung end of a shared pump-and-motor shaft. The performance parameters of these pumps now correspond to the stipulations of their main areas of application—the chemical and refining industries. At present (2008), the upper power limit is the vicinity of 600 kW. In order to approach as closely as possible the dimensional and performance-related envelopes of large numbers of standard centrifugal pumps (DIN 24256 or, respectively, ISO 2858 used in the chemical industry), many thousands of canned motor pumps in service today are available with the standard hydraulics of this pump range. The identical external dimensions of DIN and ISO hermetic and “traditional” centrifugal pumps allow rapid conversion from conventional to hermetic pumps. Needless to say, this allows reducing the spare parts inventory requirements of any modern facility.

There are, however, substantial additional advantages. These advantages, as well as the impressive efficiency and MTBF statistics of hermetically sealed API-compliant pumps, are discussed in the following Sidebar section, co-authored with George Dierssen, of IndustryUptime.

 

As equipment reliability consultants, we clearly can see at least five (and more likely 10) definable benefits of canned motor pumps over traditional API-610 pumps. These benefits belong to one or more categories that ultimately translate to safe, reliable, low-maintenance, low-installed-cost, as well as environmentally compatible service. To enumerate some benefits:

  • Positive secondary containment, no uncontrolled leaks to atmosphere (even with failed bearings)
  • No mechanical seal
  • No alignment (applies to installation and maintenance activities)
  • No lubrication (no oil)
  • No foundation or grout

At present, each of the five refineries in the San Francisco Bay Area has one or more canned motor pumps in highly satisfactory operation. While representing from near-zero to perhaps 2% of the pump population, we now believe canned motor pumps (CMPs) are probably applicable to 50% of the pumps at a typical refinery site. There are, of course, restrictions (i.e. thermal shock, dry running, slurries, etc.), which, in most cases, can be handled by engineering controls. Nevertheless, it seems that CMPs are the ideal choice for many HP (hydrocarbon processing) services. This is especially so since today’s plants have high expectations regarding plant uptime and operational safety. Although these expectations are reflected in a solid standard—API-685—the meager representation of CMPs in U.S. plants is puzzling.

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Barring any unusual mathematics, one of the co-authors (of this Sidebar section) was surprised to discover that the average mean time between repairs (MTBR) for CMPs—factoring in every one of the many thousands made by two separate major manufacturers—is 7.5 years. This leads us to wonder as to refining industry data overall. Our understanding is that 80-90% of Japanese plants use CMPs (one manufacturer apparently ships 1700 pumps per month!) and 60-70% of European plants use either magnetic-drive pumps or CMPs. Thus, we followed up on the question. Our evaluation and substantial input from a respected CMP manufacturer can be summarized in a number of important points.

  1. A successful European manufacturer has experience with CMP power inputs of 700 hp and more. These are offered in many different configurations, with or without coolers, with or without separate bearing lubrication loops, with one or two (or more!) stages, etc. Space constraints will allow us to show only one of these (Fig. 3). Additionally, rather high fluid pressures are now commonly achieved by CMPs. Although independent, a German manufacturer uses Swiss pump technology for impeller hydraulics. Separate (clean) slipstreams lubricate the sleeve bearings typically installed in CMPs from this company.
  2. In the U.S., industry still has difficulty abandoning the bad practice of installing ill-fitting piping on fluid machines. While it was originally thought a CMP might be slightly more vulnerable than an API-610 centrifugal pump, this is no longer the case for the vast majority of CMPs. In every instance known to one expert, canned motor pumps (CMPs) were designed for significantly higher allowable nozzle loads than the equivalent API-610 pumps. The European CMP manufacturer is in a position to offer allowable nozzle loads three to four times the maximum API-610 allowable loads (remember that there are no alignment issues with CMPs). Flange bolting usually is the limiting factor here.
  3. We recall that decades ago (and in sizes approaching 1000 hp), vertical process pumps equipped with soleplates floating on the pump foundation became the norm at bestof- class facilities. Likewise, the European manufacturer recommends that CMP baseplates (actually, soleplates) not be anchored, but be allowed to float with the piping. Floating soleplates offer significant savings in piping costs. On several recent high pressure projects the piping savings equaled the cost of the pumps! Still, to this day, some purchasers insist on baseplates being furnished.
  4. Years ago, some HPI (hydrocarbon processing industry) locations had been faced with labor union concerns— whether a CMP is an electrical device or a pump was the issue at the time. The CMP expert mentioned that, while this might be a problem, his current recommendation is to return the CMP units to a highly experienced repair facility in Louisiana for any necessary repairs. We believe this approach makes sense in view of the limited availability of qualified field maintenance and machine shops personnel in many plants.
  5. We also made the observation that all too often engineers listen only to the marketers of traditional pumps—“I can’t make a mistake if I just do exactly what my former boss did. He always played it safe and now he’s VP of Engineering!” The national sales manager for a prominent canned motor pump manufacturer agreed and said there is still much real reluctance to try what is perceived as “new technology”—although, of course, CMPs are considered to be a mature technology.
  6. Perhaps, and often quite wrongly, it is assumed that CMPs consume more energy than traditional pumps. A European CMP expert refuted this incorrect belief. He noted that, in over 30 years of applying CMPs, he had never seen one of these units consume more energy than the pump it replaced! While he had once assumed this was due to worn pumps being replaced or better selections (curve fits) being found, he now believes that the original units were overly optimistic on their published effi- ciency and never included many losses—such as those attributable to couplings and seals.
  7. A pump specialist related his experience with one manufacturer of conventional pumps that always tested its units with lip seals instead of braided packing or mechanical seals. Some years ago, this expert was made aware of a company that let it be known they would evaluate quotes (bids received) based on input kW. As a result, the “guaranteed” horsepower went up almost 10% over some bidders’ published curves. The expert advises users’ specifying authorities to request an input kW value for the equipment offered. He noted that prominent CPM manufacturers would be pleased to comply since they, of course, supply both pump and motor.
  8. The average user/purchaser is disappointed that he cannot send trash through bearings and close clearance components. Of course, the vendor must really educate the user on the limitations of the equipment and ask repeatedly about process stream and fluid properties. Many failures that in the past were blamed on “solids” or “dry running” were actually initiated by internal flashing of the fluid. That may have been due to lack of a good heat balance program on the equipment or just plain ignorance of the supplier. Even more important, there often has been insufficient failure analysis or follow-up by the manufacturer to determine the true root cause of a failure. One interesting factor is maximum heat rise; it occurs on a CMP after shutdown due to the latent heat in the motor. This concern always can be addressed by proper motor sizing, purging the motor after shutdown or other methods—provided the buyer and a knowledgeable manufacturer cooperate. What is a concern for some is a non-issue for others.

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  1. Consider it the manufacturer’s responsibility to ask many questions and for both user and manufacturer to provide solid answers. Pursue questions on maximum (short-term) allowable temperature rise of the pumped fluid. The answers to such questions are easy to obtain. If an intelligent user knows what he’s pumping and accurately describes his process fluids, the fact that he’s about to purchase a CMP is of secondary importance.
  2. Decades ago, the superiority of CMPs was described in Kenneth Fischer’s joint Hoechst-Celanese presentation at one of Texas A&M University’s International Symposia. The proceedings of these gatherings are readily available and the earlier editions addressed many user concerns and provided some failure statistics, etc.
  3. All too often, the buyer leaves decisions to the design contractor and then encourages these firms to buy largely on the basis of cost and schedule. The contractor then buys a conventional pump from the lowest bidder. A reliabilityfocused user must step in and take a measure of responsibility for the guidance and direction needed by design contractors and purely purchasing-oriented personnel. Solid life-cycle cost studies are better than preconceived or outdated opinions.
  4. Also, and sadly, CMPs might have gotten a bad name when certain sellers oversold their merits in times past. While the merits of canned motor pumps are indisputable, there is nothing that cannot be mislabeled, misunderstood, maligned or destroyed. There are no exceptions to this rule.

As always, we invite your comments.

Contributing Editor Heinz Bloch is the author of 17 comprehensive textbooks and over 340 other publications on machinery reliability and lubrication. He can be contacted at: hpbloch@mchsi.com

George Dierssen is a principal with IndustryUptime, a firm headquartered in Benicia, CA. Among its many services, IndustryUptime helps its clients improve pump reliability, increase process availability, meet tough new emissions standards for pumps and reduce energy costs associated with pumping systems. It also provides rotating equipment application support to Dupont Corporation for Vespel® CR-6100, a non-metallic wear material that improves pump reliability and efficiency. For more information, e-mail: gdierssen@industryuptime.com

 

 

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237

6:00 am
September 1, 2008
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How Clean Is The New Oil In Your Equipment?

The key link in the chain of fluid cleanliness is the distributor (who also is referred to as a “marketer” by some companies). Most lubricants today are delivered to the end user from distributors. With the growing awareness of the importance of fluid cleanliness to equipment reliability, more progressive distributors are using fluid cleanliness as a marketing tool. Here, we examine several distributors and how they ensure delivery of clean fluids to their customers.

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Amazingly, a large number of distributors don’t have any idea as to the cleanliness of the lubricants they receive from their suppliers—nor do they have any idea as to the cleanliness of the fluids they deliver to the end user! It has been demonstrated, however, that clean fluids extend equipment life. That’s crucial to companies anytime, but even more so in tough economic times. End users, therefore, should no longer accept dirty fluids, especially when critical applications are involved. (Fig. 1 illustrates the distributor’s process in handling and delivering lubricants.)

Larger distributors receive their high-volume lubricants in bulk from tank trucks. These are stored in various size tanks. Larger volume items, such as hydraulic, turbine and engine oils, are usually stored in large tanks. These largervolume items also are packaged by the distributor into smaller sizes, such as drums and pails.

Many potential trouble spots
There are many possible sources of contamination in the transfer of lubricants to the end user, including:

Cleanliness of incoming fluid from lubricant supplier

  • Cleanliness in loading on truck
  • Cleanliness of truck
  • Condition and cleanliness of hoses and fittings when offloading into distributor bulk tank

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Condition of bulk tank

  • Last time cleaned
  • Open spaces promoting rust
  • Gooseneck breathers

Packaging of lubricants

  • Cleanliness of reconditioned drum
  • Storage of empty drum
  • Filling of drum
  • Storage and filling of new pails

Bulk deliveries to end user

  • Cleanliness condition of truck
  • Loading procedures
  • Cleanliness of hoses and fittings
  • Cleanliness of end user tank

The process is marked by one challenge after another. With so many points where contaminants could be introduced, what can a distributor do to ensure that clean fluids are being delivered?

Taking the right steps
The first step a distributor should take is to evaluate the cleanliness of incoming fluids. Very few distributors monitor the fluids they receive from their lubricants supplier. One exception, a large Western distributor, has developed a program where retains are collected when the lubricant is loaded on their bulk truck and samples then taken during offloading. These samples are sent to an independent oil analysis laboratory for particle counts and water. It is interesting to note that this distributor operation goes through this process with all of its high-volume fluids, including engine oils. Table I reflects the average cleanliness of the fluids offloaded to the distributor’s tank truck from the lubricant supplier. Since this is a new procedure, the sample population is low, but it still provided useful information.

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Particle counts were run on the fluid being offloaded in the distributor’s tanks. In some cases the fluid offloaded was two or more ISO codes higher than the fluid loaded at the blend plant. This could be caused by contaminants in the tank truck and/or by the procedures during offloading. This was truer for the hydraulic fluids than for the engine oils. The distributor has the data and is in the process of correcting the problem.

This distributor has installed desiccant breathers on all of its tanks to help control particles and moisture. The operation also is beginning to monitor the cleanliness of the fluids in the tanks.

Some of the more progressive distributors know the cleanliness of their incoming and outgoing fluids especially for turbine and hydraulic fluids. This allows the fluids to meet their customers’ cleanliness standards in the most economical way and in some cases without having to provide a final filtration at the customer site. Some distributors provide final filtration at the customer site but don’t verify the cleanliness of the fluids with a particle count. Anyone paying a fee for clean fluids should demand a cleanliness code rating for the delivered fluid.

Developing a plan

A large distributor in the Southwest is developing a new program to monitor and provide clean fluids to its customers. Evaluation of the data collected in Table II resulted in the planning and implementation of a program to deliver very clean hydraulic and turbine oils to their customers.

Note that several fluid samples obtained from the bulk tanks were not listed because particles could be seen on the bottom of the sample bottle. Analytical ferrography indicated the presence of rust, dirt, fibers and hose material. Based on these results, the distributor cleaned those tanks at the earliest opportunity. (It also should be noted that sampling at different levels in the tank will lead to different results. Therefore, it is important for a distributor to sample at the bottom of the tank to determine if cleaning is needed.) In the meantime, should your distributor(s) be required to clean their tanks? See the accompanying sidebar below.

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Implementation of the plan… 
The following details are part of the Southwestern distributor’s aggressive program to assure very clean and dry fluids for its customers:

  • Bulk tanks will be examined and cleaned if necessary.
  • Desiccant breathers will be installed on all bulk tanks.
  • Particle counts and water measurement will be run on all incoming hydraulic and turbine oils.
  • Filtration systems will be installed for turbine and hydraulic fluids. Both incoming and outgoing fluids from bulk tanks will undergo fine filtration. The target is to achieve a minimum cleanliness of 15/13/10, with a goal of achieving 13/10/08.
  • All bulk trucks will have a cleaning procedure to meet the above standards.
  • All hoses and fittings will be kept clean.
  • Drum and pail packaging operations will be redesigned to maintain the cleanliness standards.

The packaging process
Many distributors do their own packaging both in 55-gallon drums and 5-gallon pails. Typically reconditioned, these units can be a source of contamination. Consequently, they need to be carefully examined before filling.

Most distributors put a mirror with a light at the bottom of a drum to look for rust and debris. The empty drums should also be stored properly without any openings to the environment. The drums evaluated as listed in Table II were relatively clean for general use—but not for critical hydraulic applications. (It should be noted that the gear oil in the table was in a new drum from the lubricant supplier.)

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Most small-volume lubricants in drums are packaged by the lubricant blender and delivered by the distributor. New drums usually can be identified by their bright glossy finish. The 5-gallon pails (in Table II) showed a large variance in cleanliness. This was probably caused by how the pails were stored and the way they were filled.

The previous installment of this series (pgs. 16-21, Lubrication Management & Technology, July-August 2008) evaluated new oils in 5-gallon pails filled by different distributors. The results for the turbine and hydraulic oils are shown in Table III.

As shown in Table III, there is substantial variance among the three distributors. Distributor A had both the cleanest and driest fluids. Based on knowledge of their operation, it is not surprising.

Midwestern lubricant blender/distributor successes 
The road to supplying clean fluids began several years ago when one of this Midwestern distributor’s major customers—a large steel producer—demanded 17/15/12 cleanliness for a high-volume ashless hydraulic oil. In response, the distributor installed an offline filtration system in its hydraulic fluid bulk tank. Over a two-year period, the operation has achieved this goal for its customer 100% of the time.

Data reviewed over a five-month period showed a low cleanliness rating of 14/13/10 to a high of 15/14/12. This was achieved with the help of both the offline filtration system and better lubricant-handling procedures.

Clean fluid can be contaminated quickly if it is not loaded properly in dirty trucks. Accordingly, a cleaning and loading procedure minimizing particle ingression was implemented to maintain the cleanliness goals during transport. The results were documented through the running particle counts during loading and offloading. In most cases cleanliness requirements are for turbine and hydraulic oils. In some cases, though, customers demand other types of clean fluids.

A large public utility required a 18/16/13 cleanliness code for an ISO 460 gear oil for a coal pulverizer. This was achieved by the distributor introducing a portable filtration system into the process. The incoming fluid was 22/20/14 and the goal was exceeded after six hours. Filtration was continued for one day and a 15/13/09 was achieved. This is remarkable for gear oil.

Conclusion
The distributor is the key link in the cleanliness chain, yet many have no idea as to the cleanliness of the fluids they are receiving and delivering.

Supplying clean oils does not have to be expensive—but it can lead to significant benefits for the end user. No wonder that the delivery of clean oil is becoming more of a factor as a marketing tool for distributors.

Clean fluids definitely are achievable—as demonstrated by many of the more progressive distributors. There are two ways in which a distributor can ensure the delivery of clean fluids:

When a distributor doesn’t know the cleanliness of the fluids it is receiving from a lube blender (and loading on a tank truck and filling drums and pails with) cleanliness can be achieved by filtering the product at the end user site. Filtering dirty fluids, however, is expensive and time consuming.

Another method—and a more efficient one—is to implement a program to clean fluids on site and keep them clean up to the point of delivery. This approach, which also leads to the delivery of cleaner packaged lubricants, is being utilized by some of the market’s more progressive distributors.

Acknowledgments
The authors offer special thanks to the following individuals who supplied information for this article:

  1. Mike Skuratovich, VP sales & marketing, Eastern Oil Company
  2. Jim Ferrell, lubricant sales manager, Western Energetix
  3. Mike Boyd, Fluid Solutions

Contributing Editor Ray Thibault is based in Cypress (Houston), TX. An STLE-Certified Lubrication Specialist and Oil Monitoring Analyst, he conducts extensive training in a number of industries. Telephone: (281) 257-1526; e-mail: rlthibault@msn.com

Mark Graham is technical services manager for O’Rourke Petroleum in Houston, TX. Telephone: (713) 672-4500; e-mail: mgraham@orpp.com

 

Coming Up

The next article will involve analysis of the third link in the cleanliness chain: the end user. Very clean fluids can be delivered but they need to be maintained to achieve equipment reliability benefits. Several large manufacturing facilities will be examined and fluids will be evaluated on cleanliness and best practices recommended.

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