To understand the value of contamination control, we need to first understand why machines fail. It is a fact that machines fail because they wear out. Most equipment failures are associated with wear and tear. If we go deeper into what causes machine wear, it is found that most wear is related to lubrication; either mechanical or corrosion. Particle and moisture contamination leads to more than 80% of mechanical wear. In most cases, both moisture and particle contamination work together to cause mechanical and corrosive wear.

How to ensure oil cleanliness

If you want to successfully control oil contamination, you need to control the rate of wear in your machines. It becomes easier to extend the useful life of a machine if you're able to control the wear. Proactive maintenance is all about having an effective contamination-control strategy and an efficient process which includes the following three steps:

  • Developing oil cleanliness targets (how clean do you think your oil should be)
  • Measures required to achieve oil cleanliness targets
  • Use of visual inspection and oil analysis to measure results

You can start by establishing target moisture and particle limits for different types of machines: pumps, hydraulics, etc. Each machine should have at least one target particle count and moisture limit. Contaminants can either be removed or excluded. You might need to do both, but excluding contaminants is a more cost-effective way to achieve oil cleanliness targets. Some machines are designed in a way that the maintenance technicians can only exclude contaminants.

Sources of contamination

There are two major sources of contamination: new oils and your environment. It might sound easy to clean new oils, but it can be a difficult task. However, with the right oil filtration systems, you can easily get rid of contaminants. Before you utilize a filtration system, analyze the whole lubrication process from receiving and storage to dispensing and application. The use of breathers can be used to improve the air quality so that particles or moisture don’t enter the sump.

So far as hydraulics or circulating systems are concerned, you might need to remove the contaminants as well. The performance of your filter will play a key role here. Important factors like beta rating, upgradability, and performance of your filter should be analyzed. You can also capitalize on additional ways to filter oils. For example, you can use offline filtration systems both permanent and portable.

Role of filter carts

Many companies use filter carts to meet their oil cleanliness needs. Filter carts are one of the most valuable and versatile tools you can have to improve the efficiency of your lubrication program. You can use carts to decontaminate systems on-demand or you can use them as a permanent source of decontamination. Simply put, filter carts offer a diverse range of applications.

Related: Check out our series of premium quality filter carts available on our site!

Conclusively speaking, don’t forget to add oil analysis to your lubrication strategy. It’s important to ensure that your targets are being met. For this, you need to understand the importance of good sampling, verification, and data collection.

About Harvard Filtration

Harvard Filtration provides a wide range of high-quality oil filtration systems that will help you implement a sound lubrication program. Browse through our website or contact us for more details!