Industrial oil filtration as on date, at most of the industries is a job handled at 11th hour. I mean, filtration is done (in most cases) after some brake down or at the point when lubricant is so degraded that it requires to be changed. Rather, oil filtration in industries should be part of their preventive maintenance. This will not only reduce down time of machines but also increase life of critical components of machines. More than 70% machine failure is due to fault in lubricants.
INDICATION OF NEED TO FILTER LUBRICANTS:
What is the right time to get your oil filter? Certainly, all machines and systems ,may it be hydraulic or thermic system, will show some symptoms that oil has some contamination or some fault. For example, in hydraulic systems if oil seals start leaking more frequently, then it means hydraulic oil has contaminated beyond tolerance limit. This is the time to get your hydraulic oil filtered. Same way, there are some indication in all lubricant applications.
Another way to know the right time for filtration is to get your oil tested after every 3 or 6 months. There are some critical tests for every lubricant, and depending on that, one has to decide if it is time for filtration or scraping that oil.
For which lubricants ,Filtration will help ?
Almost all industrial lubricants. To list few,
- Hydraulic oil
- Thermic Fluid
- Quenching Oil
- Direct or Straight cutting oils
- EDM oil
- Gear oil of all viscosity
- conning oil
- Rust preventive oil .Limitation of Oil Filtration – oil filtration can improve physical properties of lubricant and not chemical properties. It means after using oil for long time if it has oxidized, filtration can not help much. But, if you go for filtration on right time, and remove oxidizing agents present in oil in form of contamination, you can remove them and slow down the process of oxidation, and thus you can increase life of lubricants
- Obstacles for oil filtration – Question arises that if oil filtration is so important and profitable, why most industries(in India) are not going for that? Well, most of the time there are no technical reasons to this. Many a times maintenance personnel don’t want to try new things fearing that he will be held responsible if anything goes wrong. Some times, they feel proud to use new oil rather than filtering and re-using the same oil,without thinking about possibilities technically. The other common reason that I have observed is that there is pressure to achieve production target and there is no time for shut down for such preventive maintenance jobs. Well, these are my views based on my experience in field of Lubricant and industrial oil filtration.
You can write to me to discuss more on Industrial oil filtration, or solution for oil filtration.