Lubricant received from suppliers has been shown statistically to contain high levels of contamination. Improper facility storage of that lubricant allows additional particle and moisture ingress. Improper dispensing of this lubricant introduces added contamination as well.  The accumulated water/moisture contamination causes the lubrication film to weaken and allows the rotating surfaces to move closer to each other during operation. The particle contamination then more easily damages gears, bearings, etc., and greatly shortens the life of your equipment. Contaminated lubricant can shorten equipment life by 75% or more.

To prevent this, ensure that lubricants are filtered and clean before entering your equipment. Store lubricants in a clean, dry, and cool (temperature controlled) environment. Don’t leave lubrication containers open and exposed to the environment. Do not allow the containers to become a catch-all for dirt and moisture.
Proper lubrication controls do not have to be expensive. In fact, some of the greatest reliability improvements can be implemented quite inexpensively. Do not introduce equipment defects and condemn your equipment to death through improper lubrication practices and other poor maintenance practices.

Download Oil & Grease Storage Best Practices.

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by Trent Phillips CRL CMRP - Novelis