If you understand the importance of keeping contaminants out of new industrial lubricants during storage, and you’ve put in the work to keep them clean, cool and dry – great work! You are almost to the finish line and have one more task to get right before these oils begin doing their job.

Assuming the lubricant was delivered according to quality expectations and maintained in a clean state while in inventory, the remaining opportunity for corruption is when the oil is put into the machine sump. Topping-off the machine is the last chance to accidentally harm the lubricant and the machine. Using a few simple precautions, you can eliminate this remaining threat.

High Volume Reservoirs

When topping high volume reservoirs (10 gallons or more), equip the sump drain and fill ports with fluid quick-connectors to allow prefiltering with a filter cart during the oil transfer process. Precleaning the fittings before each use is simple and quick if you keep the connector covered with a rubber or metal cap while the machine is in normal run mode.

Make sure your filter elements have high dirt-holding capacity, low back-pressure limits and at least β10 = 75 quality performance. The filtration system should be capable of filtering high viscosity oils (up to ISO 680 is best) at a low rate of flow (one to five gallons per minute).

Filter systems for larger bulk tanks (five drums or greater) should have flow characteristics at five gallons per minute or more. High flow rates and high pressures can make some filter elements less effective.

Low Volume Reservoirs

When topping low volume reservoirs (10 gallons or less), consider these guidelines:

  1. Use a soft bristle brush to remove any dust or dirt that has accumulated around the port plug.
  2. If there is wet residue around the plug, use a clean, lint-free cloth to physically wipe clean the area around the port plug.
  3. Loosen the plug and repeat Step 1 if you see any solid debris.
  4. Remove the plug and put it in a clean and dry container.
  5. Reinspect and try to remove any contaminant that could fall into the sump during top-up.
  6. Use a sealable, cleanable lubricant handling container that has a piston-type displacement pump supplying lubricant through a narrow opening discharge fitting.
  7. Place the fitting into the reservoir and fill the sump to the appropriate level.
  8. After filling, replace the plug and wipe down any residual oil on the housing.
  9. Drain any excess oil, if necessary.

Using these simple precautions to minimize contaminant ingression can greatly support the long-term reliability objectives for your production machinery.

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