The figures from practice illustrate how important careful handling of lubricants is. Studies by renowned experts have shown that 80 % of damage to hydraulic pumps that fail well before their predicted service life is due to deficiencies in maintenance and operation (Totten, G.E.: Handbook of Hydraulic Fluid Technology). Statistics on early failures of rolling bearings tell a similar story.
The numbers may be frightening, but the triggers of the damage are often homemade. The following factors repeatedly play a major role in this:
■ Solid and liquid impurities
■ Mixing of different oil types
■ Exceeded oil-change intervals
■ Use of unsuitable fluids.
On the way to the machine alone, starting with transport, storage or when filling, refilling or topping up in operation, a lubricant can be contaminated in many ways. Premature ageing can also occur.
Most of these shortcomings can be avoided by following simple rules. This article presents the most important of these rules regarding the storage and handling of lubricants. These should cover the entire life cycle of the lubricants in operation and be embedded in a professional lubricant management system in order to have a truly sustainable effect.