During the oils/lubricants manufacturing processes, companies use the strictest standards of cleanliness and quality control, ensuring that the product leaving their plants meets the appropriate specifications.
Implementing the best practices for lubricant storage and handling is of fundamental importance for their preservation. Lubricant contamination is one of the most common failure modes in machinery.
It can occur during transportation, storage, handling and application in the equipment, unless you follow some guidelines.
Best practices for oil/lubricant storage and handling
The first step is the selection of a suitable storage space. Ideally, lubricants should be stored indoors, at a relatively constant and moderate temperature.
This facility should meet the following requirements:
- Adequate access for lubricant supply vehicles.
- Sufficient space for forklift circulation.
- Inventory control.
- Separation of areas for new lubricant and used lubricant for recycling.
- Organize containers by product type.
- Stock rotation. Maintain the “First In – First Out” criterion.
- Adequate safety elements.
- It is not recommended to stack drums on more than three levels.
Indoor storage and handling
This is the best option. The best practices for lubricant storage and handling indoor are:
- Cement floors or material to reduce dust.
- Explosion-proof lighting in all areas.
- Adequate ventilation.
- Temperature and humidity control.
- Sufficient space for maneuvering with the products.
- ABC chemical powder extinguishers.
- Leak and spill containment materials.
- Avoid storage next to solvents and other chemicals.
Outdoor storage and handling
You should avoid the storage of lubricating oils outdoors, as the risk of contamination is higher.
When the temperature drops, the product shrinks and, consequently, humid air enters. This humidity in the air causes condensation. In addition, when the temperature rises, this air expels because the product expands, leaving the condensed water inside.
To minimize the effects, the best practices for lubricant storage and handling outdoor are:
- Avoid high and low temperatures.
- Place lubricant containers on wooden or plastic platforms.
- Place containment dikes for spills.
- Store the smallest possible quantities, so that the product exposes for the shortest possible time.