Oil Dialysis: Healthcare For Lubricated Machinery
The high pressures, high speeds, close mechanical tolerances and high operating temperatures of hydraulic equipment mean that oil cleanliness is crucial to the life expectancy of these systems. Yet, while hydraulic-systems engineers now include oil-cleanliness levels in their specifications, only a few manufacturers will install the hardware needed to meet these targets. It generally falls to the end-user or the maintenance contractor to retrofit hydraulic reservoirs with kidney-loop filtration on site.
True kidney-loop filtration functions independently of the designed lubrication system of the machine. Like on-demand oil dialysis, it remains the best form of healthcare for extending the service life of lubricated equipment. Also called off-line filtration, it can be added to most equipment in the field. The fundamentals are simple:
- Take the oil out of the reservoir.
- Remove contamination from the oil.
- Return the cleaned oil to the reservoir.
- Do all this without interrupting the normal operation of the hydraulic system.
Things have changed.
To add kidney-loop filtration to most lubricated equipment—and quickly begin capturing the benefits it can provide—you’ll need:
- A high-quality air breather to control airborne contamination in the air space above the oil;
- An oil outlet near the bottom of the hydraulic reservoir for a suction line; and
- An oil inlet above the oil level for the continuous return of recycled polished oil back to the machine.
OILMISER™ Technology offers a family of tools and accessories to help you do it. Delivering all three prerequisites in a single, easy-to-install component, the OILMISER Off-Line Filtration Kit allows you to replace the original filler/breather on the reservoir without shutting down the hydraulic system. For example, the tank-mounted model shown above can add independent kidney-loop filtration to most hydraulic reservoirs in just minutes. Without any tank modifications, the six screws and the existing filler breather are removed, exposing the 2”-diameter opening. Incorporating the same six-hole footprint, the filtration kit can be almost effortlessly inserted into the reservoir and screwed into place. (A 2” NPT male pipe-mounted version of the kit is also available.)
OILMISER Off-Line Filtration Kits are shipped fully assembled and ready for immediate installation. All of these products can be ordered with the following options: an external oil sampling port with an internal sampling tube; a variety of top-end couplers to accommodate alternative air filters, including desiccant air breathers; and quick disconnects with dust covers.
JLM Systems, Ltd.
Richmond, BC, Canada
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Deciding When To Upgrade A Lubrication Program
Gravity lubricators have been a mainstay in industry for decades. The idea is simple: Keep lubricant flowing to gears, chains, bearings and friction points to avoid premature wear and failure. The results can be astounding in terms of machine performance, avoidance of downtime and cost savings. So what’s left
Lubrication technology that goes beyond simple needle-valve controls to deliver a precise amount of fluid is available—now! Does it merit the investment in time and money? Ask yourself these 10 questions:
- Would conserving fluid result in noticeable cost savings?
- Does reduced fluid consumption contribute to your company’s green objectives?
- Does excess lubricant contaminate product?
- Does lubricant end up on machine surfaces or walkways, posing a safety hazard?
- Does the flow rate of lubricant vary with temperature, humidity or the level of fluid in the reservoir?
- Is the lubrication equipment subject to constant well-intentioned adjustments that ultimately result in erratic lubrication?
- Is machinery lubricated only when operators are attentive?
- Does excess lubricant cause dirt to adhere to surfaces?
- Is the flow of lubricant slow to react when activated and shut off?
- Has the lubrication method failed at any time and resulted in expensive breakdowns?
Answering “yes” to any one of these questions could be reason enough to retool your lubrication program. It still can be a risky move, however, to trade an economical and simple gravity oiler for a “lubrication system” with extensive controls and high-pressure connections.
The simple and cost-effective way to take advantage of technology is to opt for a positive displacement pump, such as PurgeX® by Oil-Rite. This 4” pump is powered by bursts of compressed air. Each cycle dispenses a small, precise amount of fluid. Its operation does not vary with environmental conditions, and it can even pull fluid from a reservoir without the assistance of gravity. A timer (or PLC) and 3-way solenoid are the only controls needed. Typical 120-psi shop air is converted to as much as 1080 psi at the outlet—yet the unit can be installed with flexible tubing and nylon barbed fittings.
The precision and reliability of PurgeX eliminates many of the pitfalls of gravity lubrication. It is not complex to understand or install, and is versatile enough to suit a wide range of applications.
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Pro-Grade Products For A Range of Applications
UltraLube® is a complete line of professional-grade greases, oils and spray lubricants and penetrants specifically formulated and packaged for a variety of agricultural, commercial, industrial, manufacturing, marine and transportation uses.
With four times the natural lubricity of petroleum-based oils, UltraLube products instantly penetrate into areas where lubrication is needed most, creating a long-lasting bond to metal and plastic surfaces. Made from crops grown in the U.S., UltraLube has a vegetable-based formula that is eco-safe and non-toxic, making it safer for use in work environments.
UltraLube greases and oils are ideal for environmentally sensitive areas, since they are VOC-free and non-flammable with extremely high flash points.
UltraLube supplies superior lubrication for hundreds of industrial purposes including ball-and-socket joints, bearings, cables, conveyors, cutting tools, drive chains, electric power tools, gears, glides, hinges, hydraulic components, linkages, precision tools, pumps, rollers, valves and many other applications. UltraLube products are also effective rust inhibitors.
Certified by the USDA’s BioPreferred program, UltraLube products can help federal agencies and contractors meet green procurement mandates that require purchases of biobased products within identified categories, such as hydraulic fluids and lubricants. The range of UltraLube products made specifically for heavy-duty applications includes:
- Air Tool Oil
- Disc/Drum Brake Wheel Bearing Grease
- Gear Lube
- H1 Food Grade Chain & Cable Lube
- H1 Food Grade Hydraulic Oil
- H1 Food Machinery Grease
- ISO Hydraulic Oil
- LMX® “Red” Grease
- Moly EP Grease
- Multi-Purpose Lithium EP Grease
- Multi-Purpose Lubricant & Penetrant
- Universal Hydraulic Tractor Fluid
- White Lithium EP Grease
UltraLube.com is a valuable resource for industrial users to research and select the UltraLube lubricants they need. Easy-to-navigate with numerous user-friendly features that can help industrial customers find the ideal solution for virtually any purpose, it features product pages supplying an overview of technical specifications and available package sizes, as well as image previews of all products, including those sold in bulk.
The Ultralube.com Website also offers a full library of material safety data sheets (MSDS), safety data sheets (SDS) and tech data sheets, and a new FAQ section provides answers to the most common questions about lubrication. UltraLube is sold through leading retailers, industrial suppliers and warehouse distributors across the U.S. and Canada.
Plews & Edelmann