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Part V: Lubricating Process Fan Systems Protection of what goes around will come around, in terms of reliability and productivity. Ray Thibault, Contributing Editor


©Jeff Timmons—

THE CORPORATE REPORT Profiles Of Leading Suppliers To Industry ■ U.S. Tsubaki Power Transmission, LLC ■ Scalewatcher North America, Inc. ■ Des-Case Corporation


Maintaining Automated Systems This final article in a long-running series discusses some tips to help ensure that your delivery systems perform their jobs for many years to come. Ken Bannister, Contributing Editor


From Our Perspective


Problem Solvers


Supplier Index


Oil Analysis Helps Keep The Trains Running A national railway system got a good look at what state-of-the-art condition monitoring can do for an operation. Special To LMT From Spectro, Inc.

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Subscriptions FOR INQUIRIES OR CHANGES CONTACT JEFFREY HEINE, 630-739-0900 EXT. 204 / FAX 630-739-7967 Lubrication Management & Technology (ISSN 19414447) is published bi-monthly except Mar/Apr by Applied Technology Publications, Inc., 1300 S. Grove Avenue, Suite 105, Barrington, IL 60010. Periodical postage paid at Barrington, IL and additional offices. Arthur L. Rice, III, President/CEO. Circulation records are maintained at Lubrication Management & Technology, Creative Data, 440 Quadrangle Drive, Suite E, Bolingbrook, IL 60440. Lubrication Management & Technology copyright 2012. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without written permission from the publisher. Annual subscription rates for nonqualified people: North America, $140; all others, $280 (air). No subscription agency is authorized by us to solicit or take orders for subscriptions. Postmaster: Please send address changes to Lubrication Management & Technology, Creative Data, 440 Quadrangle Drive, Suite E, Bolingbrook, IL 60440. Please indicate position, title, company name, company address. For other circulation information call (630) 739-0900. Canadian Publications Agreement No. 40886011. Canada Post returns: IMEX, Station A, P.O. Box 54, Windsor, ON N9A 6J5, or email: Submissions Policy: Lubrication Management & Technology gladly welcomes submissions. By sending us your submission, unless otherwise negotiated in writing with our editor(s), you grant Applied Technology Publications, Inc., permission, by an irrevocable license, to edit, reproduce, distribute, publish and adapt your submission in any medium, including via Internet, on multiple occasions. You are, of course, free to publish your submission yourself or to allow others to republish your submission. Submissions will not be returned. Printed in U.S.A.


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Ken Bannister, Contributing Editor

Depending On The Weather


o say that weather is an obsession is an understatement! For example, since 1792, farmers in North America have based many of their decisions on an almanac dedicated to predicting weather a year at a time. Weather-band radios are common items in homes and businesses these days. And who doesn’t pay attention to the constant stream of television, Internet and/or non-weather-radio forecasts around us? We base our wardrobes on the weather. We plan our personal activities around it. Many of us turn to the topic as a go-to conversationstarter with people we know and don’t know. Bad weather is especially compelling. Its effect on the human condition—from extremes in heat and cold to catastrophic events like droughts, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, etc.—is always going to be top news somewhere. Wherever bad weather occurs, it never fails to remind us of Mother Nature’s awesome power. Most of us are accustomed to adjusting and preparing, to some extent, for changes in seasons. This time of year, many in northern climes are into a semi-annual weather-dependent ritual: switching on our heating systems, stowing our outdoor furniture and recreational equipment and tuning up our chosen gear for removing or playing in the snow. In the world of maintenance, changes related to the coming winter can trigger a cascade of work orders (i.e., erecting or taking down window protection or snow-drift barriers, changing out outdoor gearbox lubricants for winter-grade viscosities, lubricating roof fans and HVAC-unit bearings before the snow flies, etc.). Those involved in fleet maintenance are changing to winter tires and lubricant viscosities. Indoors, where most industrial maintenance takes place, the approach of winter plays a subtler role, and isn’t necessarily recognized as a factor in preventive strategies. Those involving lubrication are a case in point.



In spring and fall transition months (and in summer months, in desert environments) warm days followed by cooler-to-cold nights can play unexpected tricks, particularly when lubrication pumping systems are located high in a facility (i.e., those on overhead conveyors systems) or in unheated rooms. Viscosity changes with colder temperatures, thickening a lubricant and making it more difficult to pump. In a pneumatic delivery system, the pump can stall, rendering the system useless until the temperature rises in the mid- to late-morning hours. At that point the pump begins to operate again as if nothing happened. Unless the lubrication system has a no-flow time-out warning device, many maintenance departments are oblivious to the problem until a premature failure occurs due to lack of lubrication (something that’s almost impossible to diagnose when the system seems to be working satisfactorily). Fortunately, the fix for this situation is simple—and inexpensive. Review your facility to assess the potential for this problem by taking lubricant spot temperatures with an infrared thermometer or thermographic camera on an evening or night shift. If you find the pumping system location is subject to large temperature drops, install a thermostatregulated block heater or trace wire (like those used in car engines or hot water heaters in more northern climates) in or around the oil reservoir and plug it in. For grease systems, wrap a blanket heater or trace-wire heater around the reservoir and plug it in. Checking and controlling these units is managed via printed work orders to unplug them in late spring and to clean and plug them back in come early fall. One thing we can depend on is that the weather will change—and possibly impact a maintenance strategy when we least expect it. Don’t be caught off guard. Good Luck! LMT


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Tools and techniques to optimize equipment reliability...

Part V:

Lubricating Process Fan Systems Protection of what goes around will come around, in terms of reliability and productivity. Ray Thibault CLS, OMA I, OMA II, MLT, MLT II, MLA II, MLA III Contributing Editor

(Author’s Note: Much of the information in this series is based on the practical knowledge of real-world lubrication professionals. Once such expert is Mark Kavanaugh, who has over 42 years of experience in large manufacturing operations, and is currently responsible for coordinating the lubrication of thousands of pieces of rotating equipment in a refinery. Mark is certified as a CLS, MTL I and MLA II.)



his final part of a year-long series explores fans from the perspective of lubricant selection and application, and techniques for enhancing equipment reliability. The focus will be on these three fan-system types: 1. Heater fans that provide air in the heating of process streams (i.e., heating crude oil in refining processes).

way of a bath with oil rings. Steam turbines with step-down gears are typically lubricated via circulating systems with ISO 68 mineral oil. When turbine-bearing temperatures are high, PAO synthetic oil is preferable. The bearings and gears are lubricated with the same oil.

Heater fans Air must be introduced into high-temperature heaters for the combustion of natural gas that provides heat to the fluid in heat-exchanger tubes. The fan supplies that air in one of two ways: forced draft (where the air is introduced directly into the heater); and induced, where air is pulled into the heater through a venturi effect. In some cases, both a forced and induced fan is used. Referred to as “balancing,” this method requires less energy from the fan. That’s because bearings on the induced blower will run hotter than those of the forced blower. A heater fan resembles a large paddle wheel—and functions like the impeller in a large centrifugal compressor. It’s connected to an electric motor on one side and a steam turbine on the other side. The electric motor is the primary driver; the turbine is the backup. The speed controller on the turbine is set at 200 RPM lower than the running speed of the motor. In the event of a power failure or if the motor slows down by 200 RPM, the turbine becomes the primary driver and there is no loss of air flow to the heater. Large turbines are stepped down from 3600 RPM, with a gearbox to run fans at up to 1800 RPM.

Troubleshooting heater fans… Heater-fan and electric-motor bearings with circulating systems or oil-bath lubrication are excellent candidates for oil-mist lubrication. The positive bearing housing pressures of these mist systems greatly reduce the ingression of particle and water contamination. All bearing temperatures, no matter how they are lubricated, should be monitored daily: Increased temperature is usually a first sign of trouble. On circulating systems, reservoir water should be drained and the oil-cooler inlet and outlet temperatures should be checked daily. Oil and grease levels should be checked at least weekly—if not daily. Ultrasonic monitoring is the preferred method when it comes to adding the right amount of grease to a bearing. Oil-bath-lubricated pillow-block fan and electric-motor bearings with constant-level oilers usually contain only a quart or two of oil in their housings. It’s wise to drain approximately one-tenth of this amount once a month. This does three important things: 1) Water, debris or wear metal collected in the bottom of the housing will be removed and can be inspected. 2) The constant-level oiler should activate, proving that it is working and its pathway to the bearing is open. 3) Once the oiler activates, the oil level is returned to its preset height with fresh oil. Increased fan vibration can be traced to a number of causes: The two most common are loose fasteners (i.e., foundation bolts, bearing housing capscrews, etc.); and buildup of debris on the impeller from unfiltered air that leads to an imbalance. The fan may have to be water-washed to remove this debris and the balance rechecked.

Heater-fan lubrication… The lubricated components in a heater-fan system include the fan itself and the motor and turbine bearings. Large, slow-speed fans (which have large pillow-block journal bearings) are lubricated with ISO 150 mineral or synthetic PAO oil. Smaller, higher-speed fans (which have pillow-block cylindrical roller or journal bearings) are lubricated with ISO 68 mineral or synthetic PAO oil. The electric motors in these fans usually operate in the 1800 RPM range. Smaller motors are sealed for life. Larger motors (> 75 hp) are lubricated with ISO 68 mineral oil by

Fin fans Fin fans are used in a large number of fluid-cooling applications. The main advantage over cooling with water is that they can be used in plants that aren’t near a supply of cooling water. These fan systems can be very large (i.e., those that cool the turbines in a power-gen facility) or very small (i.e., units that cool car radiators). A bank of fin-fan heat exchangers is shown in Fig. 1 (pg. 10). Representative of the most common type of fin fan, axial-flow, propellerdriven units like these can range in size from three to 60 feet in diameter and incorporate two to 20 blades.

2. Fin fans that cool processes by removing heat from process fluids. 3. Cooling-tower “fan” systems that transfer processwaste heat to ambient air.



Fig. 1. Axial-flow, propeller-driven heat exchangers like these represent the most common type of fin fans.

A fin fan cools by way of a tube bundle—an assembly of tubes, headers, side frames and tube supports. The fins on the tube surface exposed to the air essentially create an extended surface that provides better heat transfer. There are two basic arrangements for air distribution based on the fan location: forced draft when the fan is located below the tube bundle and air is forced over the tubes; and induced flow when the fan is located above the bundle and air is pulled over the tubes. There are advantages and disadvantages to both types. In most cases, induced-draft fan advantages outweigh the disadvantages, including better distribution of air across the bundle and greater process control. Among their disadvantages, induced-draft units are typically less accessible for maintenance; fan blades and bearings are exposed to high effluent air temperatures; and the finned tubes are exposed to sun and rain. Fin fans can be driven by a number of sources, with electric motors being the most common. The most popular speed reducer is the high-torque positive belt-drive used with motors up to 60 hp and fans up to 18 feet in diameter. Gear drives are used for very large electric motors and fan diameters. Two types of bearings are normally used: deepgroove ball bearings with small systems; and spherical roller bearings in pillow-block housings with larger systems. Fin-fan lubrication… Motor and shaft bearings in fin fans are normally greaselubricated. Plants that use pure oil-mist lubrication with their pumps and motors now have the option of using it in 10 | LUBRICATION MANAGEMENT & TEChNOLOGy

the lubrication of their fin-fan and motor bearings. In the past, attempts to use oil mist for fan bearings led to housekeeping issues due to escaping mist. A recently introduced system, however, is capable of capturing the excess/stray mist, thus resolving the housekeeping problem. In addition, a new mist-lubricated motor design has been developed for fin-fan applications. Pure-mist lubrication of this new motor eliminates concerns associated with greasing in a difficult environment and—very importantly—assures that the lubricant will be applied properly. The result is extended bearing life. The bearings can be lubricated with either an ISO 220 R&O or PAO synthetic oil. There are a number of options for the type of grease used on fin-fan bearings. The most effective are syntheticbased greases—with the most common incorporating an NLGI 2 lithium complex thickener with an ISO 220 PAO synthetic lubricant. In some cases, because of the high torque experienced with belt drives, an NLGI 2 thickener with an ISO 460 PAO synthetic lubricant is recommended. Mineraloil-based greases with both lithium and polyurea thickeners are also used. The most common grease for electric motors is a polyurea thickener with an ISO ~ 100 mineral oil. Remember: The application of a lubricant is as important as the selection of the right grease type. The following are options for greasing bearings: n Manual delivery: Accomplished with a grease gun at each

bearing (or with the aid of a divider block at multiple points). Because of the difficulty in manually greasing each point, the preferred method is use of a divider-block system from a remote location. Typically, one divider block can lubricate 30-40 fans—or more, depending on the system. Note that there can be problems with separation of oil and thickener from infrequent greasing. Therefore, it’s better to grease more frequently with smaller amounts of lubricant. n Automated delivery: Accomplished with single-point

lubricators or single-line-parallel centralized grease systems. Single-point electromechanical lubricators have also been used with success. (Some can pump up to a pressure of 350 PSI and lubricate two to six points.) Troubleshooting fin fans… Automated grease systems, proper sheave alignment and correct belt tension are the keys to long fin-fan life. Constant regreasing via an automated system prevents water and particle intrusion into the bearings. These systems should be inspected quarterly to ensure that they’re functioning as designed, lubricating at the correct rates and not leaking. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

n Belts should be inspected semi-annually for wear, tension and sheave misalign-

ment. If a belt is noisy (i.e., squeaking, roaring, etc.), it needs attention. n Induced-draft fin-fans with intermittent duty service should be monitored

closely: Their hot fin tubes can allow grease temperatures to spike when these fans are off and, thus, not pulling cool air across the motor and fan bearings. Cooling-tower fan systems Industrial cooling towers remove heat absorbed by water in circulating systems and transfer it to the atmosphere. Power plants, oil refineries, petrochemical facilities and natural-gas operations are large users of cooling water, as are many food processors. The two major cooling-tower manufacturers are Marley and Amarillo.

Fig. 2. Gearboxes in cooling towers are typically single- or double-reduction units, with rightangle spiral-bevel or right-angle helical gears. (Courtesy: Colfax Corp.)

Cooling-tower fan-system lubrication… The main lubricated components in a cooling-tower system are the gearbox and electric-motor driver. The gearboxes are typically single- or double-reduction units (as shown in Fig. 2), with are spiral-bevel or helical right-angle gears. The spiral-bevel design features intersecting shafts; the shafts in the helical design are non-intersecting. The bearings in these gearboxes are roller types. Tapered roller bearings are used to handle both radial and thrust loads. Cylindrical bearings set an an angle to handle radial and thrust loads can also be used, as can bearing types based on the gearbox OEM. Gears and bearings in cooling-tower systems operate in extremely difficult environments—marked by high moisture content, high-temperatures and high risk of particulate contamination. This makes changing oil and monitoring oil condition quite challenging. Electric-motor bearings are typically greased manually every six to 12 months. While the grease of choice is a polyurea with an ISO 100 mineral oil, a lithium complex thickener with PAO base oil can also be used. Be advised that oil selection differs between Marley and Amarillo cooling towers. Both require non-EP oils. Marley, though, recommends an ISO 150, while Amarillo requires an ISO 220. Some users consolidate for both OEM’s gearboxes and use ISO 220 oil. Because NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

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of the high-temperature/high-moisture conditions in cooling towers, synthetics are recommended (for the important degree of oil/water separation they provide). PAOs also provide good lubricity for protection of gears without using EP. (The oxidative life of a PAO is far superior to a mineral oil.) Cooling-tower OEMs recommend oil changes every six months—and also recommend, with the use of synthetics, that changeouts be based on oil condition. Synthetic oils have been known to last in excess of three years. Splash lubrication is used for cooling-tower gearbox systems, along with an oversized slinger on the input shaft that provides oil to the bearings by way of channels and baffles. Some double-reduction systems can be supplied with a pump for better oil distribution. Facilities with oil-mist systems may want to consider using purge-mist in their cooling-tower gearboxes to keep out contaminants (especially water). To prevent corrosion, cooling towers that sit idle over winter months can be protected with mist lubrication to coat thier internal surfaces. Desiccant breathers are another way to minimize water-vapor intrusion in this equipment. It goes without saying that it’s tough to add oil and sample from a gearbox surrounded by a shroud. Some operations, therefore, choose to run cooling-tower gearboxes to failure without an oil-condition-monitoring system. At a minimum, a sight glass should be installed outside the shroud to monitor oil levels. Some plants use filter carts on a semi-annual basis to sample and clean cooling-tower oil (an approach that calls for the help of a crane). Use of the drain line outside the shroud to collect samples requires draining at least two gallons of oil, depending on the size of the line. Oil is drained of water until warm oil flows. After proper purging, a sample is collected and the purged oil is returned to the gearbox. Another method involves installing an off-line pipe circulation system from the gearbox to outside the cooling tower shroud to connect the fill and drain lines. A pump can then be used to sample the gearboxes. The ability to clean and monitor the oil will contribute to longer gearbox life. For condition of the oil and the gearbox, oil analysis should be performed—preferably on a quarterly basis or, at a minimum, semiannually. The recommended tests include: n Atomic Emission Spectroscopy n Viscosity at 40 C n Acid Number n Water by Karl Fischer n Particle Quantifier or Direct Read Ferrogram n Particle Count (for filtered gear boxes) n Analytical Ferrography (as required)


An effective oil-analysis program will optimize change intervals and identify potential equipment problems at an early stage, thus helping prevent unexpected failures. As with other equipment, clean oil can go a long way toward enhancing gearbox life. Consider the experience of one major steam-turbine power generation plant that installed an offline filter circulation system to remove particles and moisture from its cooling-tower gearboxes. The system also allowed the plant—for the first time—to collect oil-analysis samples. This analysis verified the effectiveness of the offline filtration system and led to longer equipment life. The above options reflect just a few ways ways to lubricate and monitor cooling-tower fan systems. Many innovative end-users have developed their own effective approaches. Be on the lookout for such strategies. Troubleshooting cooling-tower systems. . . By design, cooling towers can have very long driveshafts between motor and gearbox. Precise alignment of driveshaft couplings is a must for long service life. Cooling towers made of wood are not as structurally sound as their metal or plastic counterparts. All types of fasteners—nails, capscrews, mounting bolts, etc.—will loosen over time. If a fan picks up an increase in vibration, check its fasteners first. Newer towers have solid composite plastic fan blades. Older towers may have hollow sheet metal blades with weep holes in the end of each blade to expel condensed water. If these holes become plugged, trapped water will cause severe imbalance and harsh vibration. Gearbox vent lines should be run to the outside of the fan shroud and have desiccant breathers installed to reduce ingressed water. As mentioned previously, cooling-tower oil changes, topoffs and routine analyses aren’t easy. Adding a circulating system with offline filtration and sample ports—or nothing more than a header system to assist with drains and topoffs—can dramatically increase gearbox life. Conclusion Process fans represent critical systems with specific lubrication and troubleshooting issues. Recommendations in this article are just that: recommendations. Always adhere to OEM guidelines regarding lubricant selection and to guidelines from your lubricant supplier regarding correct application. LMT Ray Thibault is based in Cypress (Houston), TX. An STLECertified Lubrication Specialist and Oil Monitoring Analyst, he conducts extensive training for operations around the world. Telephone: (281) 250-0279. Email: For more info, enter 01 at NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

Corporate Report 2012 Profiles Of Leading Suppliers To Industry


Special Advertising Section


U.S. Tsubaki Power Transmission, LLC


.S. Tsubaki Power Transmission is a leading manufacturer and supplier of state-of-the-art power transmission and motion control products and a global leader in roller and conveyor chain production. U.S. Tsubaki is the largest global subsidiary of Japan’s Tsubakimoto Chain Company, which was founded in 1917. Today, Tsubaki products are marketed in over 70 countries. U.S. Tsubaki’s corporate headquarters and main distribution warehouse are just outside Chicago, in Wheeling, IL, and it runs full manufacturing facilities in Holyoke, MA, and Sandusky, OH. It also has strategically located service centers: in Los Angeles, CA, Dallas, TX, Atlanta, GA, Philadelphia, PA, Charlotte, NC, and Anoka, MN. The TSUBAKI name is synonymous with excellence in quality, dependability and customer service. An intense focus on research and development, along with constant modernization of its production facilities, are among the key components in Tsubaki’s ability to successfully meet the ever-changing needs of the marketplace. Leveraging its vast, international network of corporate and industrial resources, U.S. Tsubaki offers customers the finest power transmission products in the world. According to the company, it is well positioned to meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond as it strives to be the “Best Value” supplier in the industry. Tsubaki’s global presence affords the company with unprecedented opportunities to market advanced new products and technologies, and to utilize the intellectual assets of what it characterizes as “some of the brightest minds in business and engineering from around the world.” This strength, combined with its continuous improvement of

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quality and processes, has U.S. Tsubaki poised for lasting growth now, and well into the future.

U.S. Tsubaki’s industrial group is currently comprised of four business units: the Roller Chain Division; Engineering Chain Division; Power Transmission Components Division (which includes Sprockets); and KabelSchlepp Cable & Hose Carrier Division. The Roller Chain Division provides some of the most versatile products on the market. Tsubaki innovations have yielded popular problem solvers such as self-lube Lambda® series chain, corrosion-resistant Neptune® chain, fatigue-resistant Super Chains, and rugged Energy Series™ oilfield chains and attachment chains. The Engineering Chain Division offers heavy-duty chains designed specifically to meet the demanding needs of a vast array of industries and prolong wear life under rigorous operating conditions. These products use various grades of steel, heat-treated to precise specifications and assembled with accurate press-fits to withstand

the requirements of today’s powerful, high-production equipment. Tsubaki Sprockets are built from top-grade, heat-treated carbon steel to offer long wear life, resist abrasion, and withstand heavy shock loads. Precision manufacturing at our ISO-certified* facilities ensures that every U.S. Tsubaki sprocket stands up to critical design specifications and meets the highest quality standards. Tsubaki’s Power Transmission Components line includes all Tsubakimoto products other than chain and sprockets. A partial list includes belts, cam clutches, actuators, dampers, overload protection and reducers. The KabelSchlepp Division produces world-class cable and hose carriers in a wide range of sizes and types for a variety of environments. From our light-weight micro-sized mono cable carriers to our enormous super-duty steel chain designs, Tsubaki KabelSchlepp has the perfect solution for any application. Wherever shorter production times, faster installation, higher machine cycles, longer service life and better overall value are desired, Tsubaki KabelSchlepp can help.

*Tsubaki is an ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14000 registered company. U.S. Tsubaki Power Transmission, LLC. 301 E. Marquardt Dr. Wheeling, IL 60090 Ph: 800-323-7790

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Developed and patented in the Netherlands by Mr. Jan P. de Baat Doelman, Scalewatcher technology was introduced to the European market in the 1980s. With immediate market success, Mr. Doelman brought the technology to the United States and applied for and received a patent in 1991. From that moment, Scalewatcher North America has been on the forefront of environmentally sensitive water treatment. Located in Oxford, Pennsylvania, Scalewatcher North America continues to lead the industry in descaling products that do no harm to the environment. Scalewatcher North America focuses on the elimination of scale and the problems associated with scale build-up. Industries know the costs involved in keeping their capital investments running smoothly. Scalewatcher is there to help. Scaled cooling towers, chillers and associated equipment can negatively impact a company’s bottom line, and not just in cash. The caustic chemicals used to remove scale only create more problems with the environment. Your company can “GO GREEN” and stay within your budget.

If our product does not work for your application, we will buy it back! With our “Performance Guarantee,” you never have to worry about losing cash on a product that does not work.

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es-Case understands the importance of fluid cleanliness and the role it plays in helping equipment investments last longer. For more than 25 years, we’ve pioneered solutions to help maintain lubricant quality specific to your applications. Featuring designs unparalleled in the marketplace, Des-Case products are used wherever lubricant life and performance are essential to daily operations. Industry-Leading Manufacturer of Desiccant Breathers ◆Continuous innovation. We invented the desiccant breather and continue to design new innovations. ◆The widest range of high-value solutions. From small gearboxes to large hydraulic systems and storage tanks, Des-Case breathers are engineered to last and match with your specific needs.

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◆Highly knowledgeable team. Our Lubrication Transformation program is managed by lubrication engineers with years of inplant experience. Visit to learn more about how we can help you take the next step in your best-practice journey.

Lubrication TransformationSM : Putting Best Practices Into Practice ◆Consulting services and in-depth training. We specialize in helping companies pinpoint lubrication issues and identify effective ways to address them, including plant surveys, one-day best-practice overviews and intensive training classes with ICML certification options.

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Whenever you need contamination control, you can count on Des-Case to provide the right products and services to keep you up and running.


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“Industrial Lubrication Fundamentals” 3-Day, On Site, Certification Preparation Training Program

With over 70% of all mechanical failures attributed to ineffective lubrication practices, you will want to have professionally trained and certified lubrication personnel working on your reliability efforts!

Unlock the Secrets that let you Tap your True Maintenance Potential and Maximize Asset Reliability! World Class organizations know that increased asset reliability, utilization and maintainability, reduced operating costs, downtime, contamination, energy consumption and carbon footprint all commence with a best practice lubrication program! Course design is based on ISO 18436-4 and the ICML body of knowledge and exceeds minimum training requirements to write the ICML, MLT1, MLA1 and ISO LCAT1 International lubrication certification exams. Exams can be arranged to take place at your site immediately following the training. For more information on this unique training program developed and delivered by internationally accredited lubrication and maintenance expert Ken Bannister, author of the best selling book Lubrication for Industry endorsed by ISO and the ICML as part of their certification Domain of Knowledge Content. Contact ENGTECH Industries Inc at 519.469.9173 or email For more info, enter 67 at

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*ISO 4548-12 at 30 microns. **Based on proposed USCAR specifications. ©2012 SOPUS Products. All rights reserved.

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Go For It!

Are your innovative juices flowing? Are your light bulbs going off? They better be!

Categories: Š

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Innovative Devices, Gizmos & Gadgets Innovative Processes & Procedures Innovative Use of Third-Party Resources

Presented By

Applied Technology Publications

Details & Entry Forms Available At Grand GrandPrize PrizeWinner WinnerAnd And33Runners-UpAnnounced Runners-UpAnnouncedInInEarly Early2013 2013

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The Anatomy Of A Centralized Lubrication System

Maintaining Automated Systems Ken Bannister Contributing Editor


revious articles in this series have focused on helping your operations implement the correct engineered approaches for specific applications. Once those systems are in place, it’s up to the Maintenance Department to protect your investment. In this final installment of our series, we’ll discuss the minimum maintenance requirements for ensuring that your delivery systems continue to perform their intended functions for many years to come.

Controlling Contamination “Cleanliness is next to godliness” is a mantra to live by when dealing with lubricants and lubrication systems. Induced system contamination is a major factor in premature bearing and lubrication-system wear. When transferring lubricants into a lube-system reservoir, great care must be taken so peripheral dirt is not introduced and passed through to the bearing points. By their design and nature, lube-system components are not dirt-tolerant: Many of these systems employ fine-tolerance pistons and spool valves in their pumps’ delivery blocks and injectors—similar to the fine tolerances found in the bearings they are called on to lubricate. Heeding the following maintenance and setup tips can help you prevent most contamination problems:


New Installations… ■ To avoid cross-lubricant contamination, make sure the

lubricant reservoir tag that identifies the correct lubricant matches the lubricant that’s about to be dispensed into the reservoir. ■ Clean the reservoir-fill area and fill with clean lubri-

cant. When filling with oil, use a filter cart with a clean dispensing nozzle and clean dedicated transfer funnel. When filling with grease, use a fully cleaned positivecoupled air-powered grease barrel pump. ■ Start the pump and purge lubricant through it before

connecting the main delivery lines. | 19


To help your lube-delivery systems do their jobs, remember that cleanliness is next to godliness and keep these tips handy. ■ Check for system leaks and repair ■ them Checkimmediately, for system leaks cleaning and up repair all

Fig. 1. RAG (Red/Amber/Green) systems colorfully indicate when a lubricant reservoir needs to be filled. (Courtesy EngTech Industries)

them tracesimmediately, of leaked lubricant. cleaning up all traces of leaked lubricant. ■ After system runs for a number of ■ hours, After system performruns a second for a leak number check.of hours, perform a second leak check. ■ After system runs for a number of ■ days, After perform system runs a lubrication for a number check of at days, eachperform bearing point a lubrication to ensure check no lubriat each cant bearing has purged pointthrough to ensure theno bearing. lubricant If lubricant has purged is evident, through thethe system bearing. will If require lubricant further is evident, calibration. the system will require further calibration. Existing Installations… Existing Installations… ■ Set up a PM task to regularly clean ■ the Set lubrication up a PM task pump to regularly and reservoir. clean the lubrication pump and reservoir. ■ To avoid cross-lubricant contami■ To nation, avoid cross-lubricant make sure thecontaminalubricant tion, reservoir make sure tagthethat lubricant identifi reservoir es the tagcorrect that identifi lubricant es thematches correct the lubricant lubrimatches cant that’s the lubricant about tothat’s be dispensed about to beinto dispensed the reservoir. into the reservoir.

■ Clean all lube lines of swarf and debris before connecting

them. Use an air-powered “wad” cleaning system to shoot wadding through the lines to ensure no dirt is present prior to startup. ■ Connect lines to cleaned dispensing blocks and purge with

lubricant before connecting and purging the secondary lines prior to connecting to the bearing points.


■ Clean the reservoir-fill area and fill with clean lubri-

cant. When filling with oil, use a filter cart with a clean dispensing nozzle and clean dedicated transfer funnel. When filling with grease, use a fully cleaned positivecoupled air-powered grease barrel pump. ■ Perform a system leak check.


Regular PM/Operator Maintenance Daily checks are essential for ensuring that a lubrication system is operating as designed (and that lubricant is, in fact, in the system). This is often best performed by the equipment operator who visually checks the entire system in a quick system-walk-around each day and only notifies the Maintenance Department when an exception is found. Check functions can include: ■ Checking reservoir fill levels: Is the level between the Lo and

HI mark on the reservoir? Some systems use RAG—Red/ Amber/Green—indicator systems (like the one shown in Fig. 1) that show when to fill the reservoir. Green denotes the high fill-line. Amber means that the reservoir needs filling, but still has a lubricant reserve that’s sufficient for a user-determined number of days. Red indicates that the reserve is only good for a user-determined number of hours before the lubricant runs dry. ■ Checking for/immediately reporting any system leaks. ■ Checking for apparent system damage, including line

crush and any overpressure indicator signal denoting back pressure in the system caused by a damaged or blocked bearing or line. ■ Checking for/immediately reporting controller warning


VERSATILITY Des-Case desiccant breathers provide simple, dependable lubricant protection for many applications.

■ Checking that pressure filters (in recirculating oil and

hydraulic systems) aren’t showing red-flag signals, which would indicate a filter is full and in bypass mode. Of course, the type of lubrication system—as well as the lubricant used in it—will dictate the level of checking required. For example, recirculating oil systems are prime candidates for oil analysis, allowing the lubricant to be changed only when needed (based on its condition). Coming Up In 2013, LMT will carry a new series based on the ICML (International Council of Machinery Lubrication) Body of Knowledge that’s used to certify Lubrication Technologists and Analysts. The focus will be on the basic elements for understanding and implementing a best-practice GLP (Good Lubrication Practices) program in any industrial plant or facility. LMT For ICML or ISO lubrication training and/or more details on automated lube systems, telephone (519) 469-9173; or email: For more info, enter 06 at

Keeping Contamination Under Control.®

Call 615.672.8800 or visit us at For more info, enter 70 at



Oil Analysis Helps Keep The Trains Running


A national railway system got a good look at what state-of-the-art condition monitoring can do for an operation.


Special To LMT From Spectro, Inc.




ased in Tullow, Ireland, T.E. Laboratories ("the Laboratories"), provides oil, fuel and environmental analysis services for a variety of customers, including Irish Rail, Ireland's national railway system. It regularly uses equipment from Spectro, Inc., including the Spectroil Q100 spectrometer. When the analysis of oil samples from a main locomotive showed a large amount of severe wear particles–– indicating that a catastrophic failure was imminent––Irish Rail took the Laboratories’ advice and brought the engine in for repair. An overhaul showed chunks of metal visible to the naked eye in the sump and that the bearings were about to fail. In this case, oil analysis saved the railroad both the expense of a more extensive engine overhaul and potential expenses associated with a breakdown. The tally of these avoided costs more than paid for the cost of oil analysis for Irish Rail’s entire fleet for a year.

The power of oil analysis From a custom, 40,000-sq.-ft. facility, T.E. Laboratories provides a machine-care predictive-maintenance system based on condition monitoring through oil analysis. For machine operators, the process is easy: They need spend only a few minutes to obtain an oil sample and ship it to the lab for identification of potential problems. These include abnormal wear in lubricated metallic components, dirty fuel and coolant contamination. Using oil analysis, machinery can be analyzed over a period of time to identify trends that can be used to plan maintenance based on actual need as opposed to simple intervals of time. The Laboratories’ services include transformer oil analysis, fuel analysis for microbial contamination and water and soil analysis. Regular customers include trucking, rail and marine shipping fleets; mining, quarrying and construction operators; industrial units; manufacturing plants and heavy-equipment operators. “As the only oil analysis lab in Ireland, we handle a large number of samples and must deal with them efficiently,” says Mark Bowkett, T.E. Laboratories’ General Manager. Recent upgrades at the company include implementation of the SpectroTrack laboratory information management system that replaced the company’s former “home-grown” system. SpectroTrack offers the built-in ability to interface with the Spectro, Inc., line of viscometers and spectrometers. It can also integrate with instruments from other suppliers for vibration, thermographic and performance data. The database is configured to track asset information relating to service intervals, maintenance actions, locations, status and other issues. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

Visible chunks of metal in the sump of the disassembled engine

SpectroTrack also provides the Laboratories’ customers with security-protected access to their sample results. “The railroad makes extensive use of SpectroTrack Web access to obtain their test reports and to plan maintenance,” says Bowkett. “However, we don’t wait for customers to notice a problem. When we see something bad, we immediately notify them.” For example, a recent analysis of 18 different wear metals on a liquid-cooled diesel locomotive engine revealed several warning signs. According to the Laboratories’ report, the analysis uncovered “the presence of large | 23


Ferrogram image showing dark metallo-oxides indicative of abnormal wear

In this case, oil analysis helped Irish Rail avoid an extensive engine overhaul, a potential breakdown and much more. A bearing from the engine on the verge of failure

sliding wear steel particles and some dark metallo-oxides,” which indicates “a transition from normal to severe sliding wear and likely due to insufficient lubrication.” Additional problems were also noted. These results “were worrisome, but not necessarily cause for immediate action,” says John McGrath, Sales Manager for T.E. Laboratories. But a closer look at the sample was ordered using the SpectroT2FM Q500 analytical ferrography laboratory. This technology uses a bichromatic microscope, video camera and image capture software for the separation and interpretation of wear and contaminant particles in used oils, hydraulic fluids, coolants and fuels. A bichromatic microscope equipped with both reflected (red) and transmitted (green) light sources was used to view and examine ferrograms so that the ferrogram could be illuminated from both above and below the microscope stage. With bichromatic illumination, metal particles that reflect light 24 | LUBRICATION MANAGEMENT & TECHNOLOGY

Large copper chunk seen in ferrogram image NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012


CUSTOM REPRINTS Use reprints to maximize your marketing initiatives and strengthen your brand’s value. Reprints are a simple way to put information directly into the hands of your target audience. Having been featured in a well-respected publication adds the credibility of a third-party endorsement to your message.

Cast iron fatigue chunk seen in ferrogram image

appeared bright red, while nonmetallic particles appeared green (because light transmits through them). The ferrogram indicated that the problem had, in fact, reached an urgent stage. It showed a moderate to heavy amount of severe copper and white metal wear particles and a moderate amount of dark-metalloxides. These elements indicate lubricant starvation and abnormal wear. Red oxides were also present, which indicates water ingress. The analysis also showed large abnormal sliding wear particles in excess of 20 microns, copper chunks in excess of 20 microns, non-metallic crystalline particles including silica and rust, low alloy steel fatigue particles and cast iron fatigue chunks from a case-hardened part. “The particles seen in the ferrogram were quite large and of a critical nature,” says McGrath. “The engine was on the verge of destroying itself. It needed to be brought in for an immediate overhaul.” When the engine was disassembled, he says, “It was obviously on the verge of a breakdown.” Bowkett believes in the use of cost-efficient oil analysis to prioritize maintenance by avoiding spending money on units that have reached a scheduled milestone, but don’t need maintenance. At the same time, he observes, regularly scheduled oil analysis can point out units like the one described above that urgently need maintenance, even though they’re not due for service. According to Bowkett, while it may not be possible to estimate the total amount of money saved in the above case by oil analysis, “It’s clearly well above the cost of the company’s oil-analysis program for its entire fleet.” LMT Spectro, Inc. Chelmsford, MA For more info, enter 07 at NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

Custom reprint products of articles and features from Lubrication Management create powerful marketing tools that serve as instantly credible endorsements.

REPRINTS ARE IDEAL FOR: Q New Product Announcements Q Sales Aid For Your Field Force Q PR Materials & Media Kits Q Direct Mail Enclosures Q Customer & Prospect Communications/Presentations Q Trade Shows/Promotional Events Q Conferences & Speaking Engagements Q Recruitment & Training Packages For additional information, please contact Foster Printing Service, the official reprint provider for Lubrication Management.

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It Takes One...

An Innovator That Is!


The Innovators At Presented By

Applied Technology Publications

Scalewatcher North America, Inc. Oxford, PA

Developed and patented in the Netherlands by Mr. Jan P. de Baat Doelman, Scalewatcher™ technology was introduced to the European market in the 1980s. Based on its immediate market success, Mr. Doelman brought the technology to the United States, whereupon he applied for and received a patent in 1991. From that point on, Scalewatcher North America has been on the forefront of environmentally sensitive water treatment. Scalewatcher’s innovative products are no-maintenance, environmentally friendly descalers that do not change water composition. Scales and stains disappear gradually and completely, without further action required, guaranteed. The units work by way of magnetic and electric fields and a continuously changing frequency. The process forces dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium to crystallize before mineral ions (the cause of hard scale) can settle on surfaces. This stops or reduces buildup of hard scale, and because the water is better able to dissolve minerals, existing hard-scale layers are softened and eventually disappear. Scalewatcher technology has been used by more than 250,000 satisfied customers worldwide. These maintenance-free products prevent corrosion in pipework; prevent settlement of zebra mussels in plants using sea or river water for cooling; reduce bacterial counts in cooling systems; reduce water and energy bills; extend the life of water-using equipment (especially boilers); can be installed without plant shutdown; and last 20+ years.

The Innovators At Scalewatcher will award individual water-treatment units to the 2012 Maintenance & Reliability Innovator of the Year and 3 Runners-Up For more info, enter 72 at

Don’t Procrastinate! Deadline For Entries Is December 31, 31. 2012...

To Know One

Are You One? You Could Win An All-Expense Paid Trip To MARTS 2013 & More


The Innovators At Presented By

Dreisilker Electric Motors, Inc. Glen Ellyn, IL

Applied Technology Publications

Henry Dreisilker came to America from Germany in 1954 seeking opportunity and gainful employment. Hard work and integrity landed him his first job in a small motor repair and appliance business. Seven months later, he purchased the business, founded Henry Dreisilker Electric Motors and Appliance Service and began by specializing in commercial motor repair and sales. Combining old-world craftsmanship with advanced technology, the company grew steadily from three employees to over 120. Today, Dreisilker Electric Motors, Inc. provides complete electric motor solutions to commercial, industrial and municipal customers nationwide. It distributes new electric motors, parts, accessories and controls from major OEMs and offers a range of value-added, reliability-related services. Among its many offerings is Dreisilker Total Motor Management (DTM2), a comprehensive program that incorporates expert technical coordination of an operation’s motor database, inventory recommendations, energy analysis, repairversus-replacement decisions, exchange motor options and maintenance training on motor systems. Expert field technicians are available for scheduled maintenance or to respond quickly to emergencies 24/7/365. The company’s innovative and exclusive Motor-Safe™ Repair 2.0 process uses special induction technology stripping, accurate and precise rewinding, advanced varnishing, dynamic balancing and thorough testing. Dreisilker never uses the “burnout oven” methods practiced by other motor shops. Motors repaired by Dreisilker improve reliability, increase uptime and save energy. The reliability of your motors, in turn, translates directly into productivity and profitability.

The Innovators At Dreisilker will award individual iPads to the 2012 Maintenance & Reliability Innovator of the Year and 3 Runners-Up For more info, enter 73 at

Get Details & Entry Forms At


Bio-Based Grinding Oil


astrol Performance Biolubes NuCut Grind is a light viscosity, high-performance cutting oil specifically designed for the grinding of ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Formulated with high-quality, plantbased oils and select additives, the product’s high levels of lubricity help it outperform conventional mineralbased grinding oils, according to the company. Intended for general-purpose surface and centerless grinding, it offers reduced levels of mist and improved centricity, accuracy and part run-out. Castrol Industrial Naperville, IL

For more info, enter 30 at

Faster Machinery Alignment Via Onboard Intelligence


he sensALIGN tool from Ludeca combines PRUEFTECHNIK’s new, patented intelligent sensor technology with the ROTALIGN ULTRA iS platform. The result is instantaneous data acquisition and real-time displays, with 100% accuracy, under even the roughest field conditions. The sensALIGN intelligence automatically considers the effects of ambient vibration, acceleration of rotation, backlash, speed of rotation and other factors in determining the Quality Factor (QF) of alignment. According to Ludeca, ROTALIGN ULTRA iS, with its user-friendly interface, is now faster than ever, even while collecting thousands of measurement points with its patented Continuous IntelliSWEEP method. Ludeca, Inc. Doral, FL For more info, enter 31 at

INFORMATION HIGHWAY For rate information on advertising in the Information Highway Section Contact your Sales Rep or JERRY PRESTON at: Phone: (480) 396-9585 / E-mail:

Air Sentry® is a leading developer of contamination control products that keep particulate matter and excess moisture from the headspace inside gearboxes, drums, reservoirs, oil tanks, etc. that hold oils, greases, hydraulic fluids, and fuels. Air Sentry breathers and adapters ensure longer fluid life, better lubrication and lower maintenance costs. For more info, enter 75 at For more info, enter 74 at


U.S. Tsubaki Power Transmission, LLC is excited to announce the integration of KabelSchlepp America into its operations as part of the Tsubakimoto Chain Company’s global acquisition of the German-based Cable & Hose Carrier manufacturer. KabelSchlepp America will now operate as a division of U.S. Tsubaki and will expand Tsubaki’s presence in the U.S. market by adding cable & hose carrier systems to its already extensive product lineup. For more info, enter 76 at

For more info, enter 31 at NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012


Spill-Containing Fluid Storage


FH Group’s Fluid Storage & Dispensing Systems incorporate spill-containing capabilities that can prevent costly clean-ups, make fluid dispensing easier and provide compliance with EPA regulations such as 40 CFR 264.175. All 21 IFH standard centralized systems are equipped with a drip pan, making dispensing of fluids into containers from self-closing faucets quick and spill-free. For all two-, three- and four-container systems with outboard console mounting, a spill containment pan is provided at the base of the system to collect any accidental spills. The IFH Group, Inc. Rock Falls, IL For more info, enter 32 at

Water-Soluble Cutting Fluid


rolong® Super Lubricants’ Ultra Cut 1 Water Soluble Cutting Fluid can help eliminate uneven cuts, reduce power consumption and increase tool life. Designed to maximize results in sawing, grinding, boring, turning or milling processes that require coolants, the product protects metals from corrosion and extends the life of cutting solutions and tools. It also can be used as a flood coolant and for making emulsions in machine shops. Ultra Cut 1 comes in gallon-size bottles, 5-gallon buckets and 55-gallon drums. Prolong Super Lubricants Pomona, CA For more info, enter 33 at

Air-Filtration Systems That Capture Oil Mist


lean Air America’s ScandMist air-filtration systems are intended for the capture and removal of oil mist from manufacturing facilities. The most recent additions to the line, the ScandMist 70D and 100D, are compact solutions for keeping air clean in any size plant. The systems feature fiber-bed technology that allows oil mist to condense on filter fibers, where it collects to drain into a reservoir for future collection. An optional variable frequency drive measures air speed through the filters and helps boost efficiency. Clean Air America, Inc. Rome, GA For more info, enter 34 at


For more info, enter 77 at | 29


NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 Volume 13, No. 6 •





1300 South Grove Avenue, Suite 105 Barrington, IL 60010 PH 847-382-8100 FX 847-304-8603

A.T.S. Electro-Lube Int’l Inc. ................................66 ............ 11 Abanaki Corporation ............ 28

Air Sentry ............ 28


Des-Case Corporation ............................70 ............ 21 Dreisilker Electric Motors ........................................73 ............ 27

OH, KY, TN 135 N. Rocky River Road Berea, OH 44017 440-463-0907; Fax 440-891-1254 JOHN DAVIS

Engtech Industries .........................67 ............ 16 Fluid Defense .............. 7 Foster Printing Services.............................www.fosterprinting ........................................71 ............ 25 Innovator of the ............ 18 LUBE-IT/Generation Systems, ............ 29

AL, DC, DE, FL, GA, MD, MS, NC, NJ, PA, SC, VA, WV 1750 Holmes Drive West Chester, PA 19382 610-793-3093; Fax 610-793-3094 JIM HANLEY

Miller-Stephenson Chemical Co. .............. 4 Pennzoil ............ 17 ..................................64,72 .... 5,26 Shell ..........IFC U.S. Tsubaki Power Transmission, LLC ....................................79 ...........BC U.S. Tsubaki Power Transmission, LLC ............ 28

IA, MN, NE, ND, SD 1300 South Grove Avenue, Suite 105 Barrington, IL 60010 847-382-8100 x116; Fax 847-304-8603 BILL KIESEL

UVLM, Inc. ..............................................63 .............. 4


Access and enter the circle number of the product in which you are interested, or you can search even deeper and link directly to the advertiser’s Website. Submissions Policy: Lubrication Management &Technology gladly welcomes submissions. By sending us your submission, unless otherwise negotiated in writing with our editor(s), you grant Applied Technology Publications, Inc., permission, by an irrevocable license, to edit, reproduce, distribute, publish, and adapt your submission in any medium, including via Internet, on multiple occasions. You are, of course, free to publish your submission yourself or to allow others to republish your submission. Submissions will not be returned.


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LMT Nov/Dec 2012