At least 75 per cent of equipment failures occur due to lube oil contamination. So, in order to eliminate equipment uncertainty it is very important that we proactively maintain the lube oil quality.
Contaminants may enter any oil system either through the reservoir air breathers; or maybe present from the start-up of the system; or be introduced into the system through maintenance and top ups of oil. However, major concerns are particles produced through oil oxidation—which is an ongoing process and the main cause for all oil changes.
Oil oxidation is the nemesis of lube oil and ultimately leads to the formation of varnish. This in turn degrades the oil and critical components of any equipment.
Oil Oxidation = Oxygen + Heat + Wear Particles
Heat or oxygen cannot be prevented from acting on the system but if wear particles are effectively removed, oil oxidation can certainly be prevented.
70 per cent of the contaminants in oil is between 0 – 1 micron in size and it is these particles which play the most important role in oil oxidation.
So, the key to eliminate oil oxidation is to remove the chunk of particles lying in the range of 0-1 micron. Once oil oxidation is eliminated, no more oil changes are required, no more in-line filters changes are required, and there is assured increase in service intervals. This leads to reduced OPEX and CAPEX.
Maintaining clean oil is an investment for the future. Lower service costs, less breakdowns, longer machine life and increased reliability in production. Proactive maintenance is not an ‘expense’ it is an investment which always pays off. Reliability is not a ‘cost’ it is a value.
Soumik Ghosh, Assistant Manager, Neptunus Power Plant Services