Storage and use of lubricants – ten top tips
The right storage
Store drums and other packs under a roof
– This will keep the drums dry and prevent water from getting in and contaminating the lubricants.
– Cutting fluids should be stored indoors since they will spoil if frozen.
Drums stored outdoors should be kept on pallets
– Store drums lying down to prevent water collecting on top.
– Place the drum openings at ‘a quarter past nine’. This makes sure they are covered by oil, which will provide a seal during storage.
– If drums are stored standing, use a wedge at the base. The gradient will prevent water from collecting on top.
Always reseal an opened pack
– Dust and dirt can get into poorly sealed packs and contaminate the lubricant.
– Contaminants reduce the life of the oil and machine components, and can lead to operational disruptions.
Clean the pack before opening
– The pack may become dirty during transportation and storage. Therefore, always clean around the seal to reduce the risk of contaminating the lubricant.
Clean the filling points before adding new lubricant
– Dirt gathers around filling lids and grease nipples and can contaminate the lubricant.
– Clean all filling points and also check the seal after filling.
Use a clean can when refilling
– Have one can for each oil type and make sure they are properly closed and sealed.
– Always use a filter when refilling; this will remove any particles.
– Avoid using a funnel which may cause contamination. A good modern can will render a funnel redundant.
– If you must use a funnel, store it in a plastic bag to prevent contamination.
Check oil levels regularly
– In some systems, oil should be filled to the maximum level, so find out the recommendation for your particular system.
Check and clean oil and air filters
– Many filters have indicators which show you when it’s time to change them.
– Take the opportunity to fit a new oil filter whenever you change the oil.
– Change air filters as necessary, but at least once a year.
Use the right equipment
– A clean can for each type of oil.
– Properly closed/sealed refill containers and drum pumps for each type of oil.
– Grease guns with gauges which show how much grease is going into the system.
– Use gloves and other protective equipment to avoid skin problems.
– Make sure there are trays or other spill protection wherever lubricants are stored.
– Always clean up any oil spillage promptly. This will help prevent the risk of slipping or harming the environment.