Up to 19 Times Greater Equipment Life Just from clean oil!
The obvious answer is No, as there are other influencing factors that impact on equipment life such as start-up wear and vibration but equipment life when oil is clean may surprise you.
Clean Oil Really Does Matter

When you order new oil in to stock it typically has an ISO 4406 code of 21/18/16 NAS 10, which is very dirty for close tolerance rotating machinery. Most OEM’s specify a cleanliness code of 16/14/12 NAS 5, which is substantially cleaner than new oil, but if you can reduce that cleanliness code to 15/12/10 NAS 4, you will extend the machinery life cycle by two and a half times. So, if your rotating asset costs $10M with a service life of 20 years, you could expect a service life cycle of 50 years, so $10M for a 50 year service life is a prudent investment compared to $25M for the same service life.


ISO 20/18/16 NAS 10 as delivered ‘new’!


ISO 15/12/10 NAS 4 – Post filtration, clean

The British Hydraulics Research Association (BHRA) conducted a three year field study of a range of more than 100 rotational and hydraulic machines to ascertain equipment life and the results were compelling.
What the survey found was that breakdowns diminished and the life of equipment improved greatly the cleaner the oil was kept. Nearly 20 times longer It proved that if you want to spend less in maintenance and downtime, simply keep your oil clean.


Case Study – Aluminium Smelter
A Queensland aluminium smelter which adopted a proactive condition monitoring program, has changed its hydraulic oil overhaul schedule from annually out to 7 years, by fitting desiccant breathers, servicing the oil with vacuum dehydration and fine filtration. Traditionally, their gearboxes gave 10 years of service life, and now the gearboxes have a service life expectancy of 25 years. Downtime and wear rates have been greatly reduced so they are confident about moving to a synthetic lubricant. Synthetic lubricants do not tolerate moisture or particulate contamination as well as mineral oil but do improve your equipment life when kept clean.

There are many successful examples of this proactive condition monitoring, where operational and maintenance budgets have been greatly reduced and equipment capital budgets are halved.
Take Action with Your Lubricants4244f03a-a81d-4cef-a570-e4ed5110b565

You want to see thumbs up on your Lab reports…

There are many successful examples of this proactive condition monitoring, where operational and maintenance budgets have been greatly reduced and equipment capital budgets are halved.

Fact – Keep your in-service oil clean and dry and unscheduled downtime, failures, hot spots, wear, and breakdowns will reduce.

The Cost Benefit Analysis
As an added benefit, the expenditure for implementing proactive condition monitoring and lubrication filtration servicing is insignificant, compared to the savings in capital and operational up-time. One unscheduled stoppage in a plant could pay for years of lubrication maintenance and service


What are you wanting to see on your lab tests?

Summing Up
It may be naive to suggest close tolerance machinery can last forever, but you can increase its service life cycle by multiples saving you money and maintenance headaches, all by simply keeping your lube oil clean.

So yes, your close tolerance machinery can nearly last forever, if your lube oil is well serviced.
If you would like further information on this article or others, please let me know or visit our website.

Next Article – Case Study – Steam Feed Pump Lubrication Tank
James McAllister
Ph 0466 625 225


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