Though pumps are the workhorses of many industries (refining, chemical/petrochemical, and pump and paper), for some reason bearing lubrication is often not considered a high priority. However, concern for pump reliability is growing as a result of record keeping, increasing repair costs, and professional papers that continue to give lubrication issues attention.
Centralized systems have certain advantages that cannot be overlooked when taking into account tight plant production schedules and OSHA safety regulations.
Oil-mist lubrication systems have been used for many years. Properly applied, they also represent a proven and environmentally clean technology for lubricating rotating equipment in the hydrocarbon processing industry.
Why oil mist? In and of itself, oil-mist lubrication does not “cure” or prevent every conceivable lubrication-related failure of rotating equipment. Oil mist will not “heal” a compromised bearing, and a pre-existing defect can culminate in a bearing failure. However, properly applied oil mist will indeed extend bearing life when compared to most alternative lubrication methods.
Savings in driver maintenance, lower operating manpower, reduced lubricant consumption and energy savings should also be included in a cost justification.
Oil mist lubrication is a proven and environmentally clean technology for the lubrication of rotating equipment in process industries. The use of oil mist lubrication has grown dramatically worldwide delivering increased reliability to many types of rotating equipment.
The last 10 to 15 years have generated improvements in optimizing equipment reliability because of employee training and services provided by specialized lubrication support companies. Root cause analysis of equipment failures has put the spotlight on lubrication as one of the most common causes of equipment/bearing failure, with particle contamination being the primary culprit.
Even today, with every weapon, tool and piece of equipment that we use, we continue to look for ways to improve on its reliability. To do that, however, we can’t just focus on the piece of equipment itself, or the way it’s operated. Rather, we also must target the various ancillary systems that support equipment operation. Lubrication is one of these important systems.
In recent years, COT-PURITECH has made inroads into the refinery and chemical plant market in the Gulf Coast region, opening a satellite office in League City, Texas. In just three years, it had already outgrown that space, and the company recently broke ground on a new 15,000-square-foot facility that will allow it to sustain expansion.
Major oil companies were the first to adopt and use oil mist. Now many of the smaller and even the independent refineries recognize the benefits of oil mist lubrication and are using it to achieve improved reliability with their smaller workforces.