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There’s no doubt that equipment reliability is critical. Whether it’s a hydraulic press in a manufacturing plant, or an off road loader in a mine, downtime is costly. Oil contamination, though one of the main causes of premature equipment failure and downtime, is often overlooked. Interestingly, in many cases the greatest cost associated with equipment failure isn’t the component replacement cost, but the cost associated with production downtime. Add to that the cost of the lubricants themselves, whose life is significantly diminished by contamination, and the added costs associated with disposal or recycling them. Neglecting oil contamination can bring an operation to its knees.
There are two ways to deal with contamination: prevent it or remove it. While in most cases it may be important to do both, and of course to also have in place a comprehensive oil sampling and analysis program to monitor the lubricants’ condition and overall machine health, there is no doubt that removing contaminants is significantly more costly than preventing them to begin with. Our OilChek® lab uses physical and chemical tests to analyze lubricants, identifying sources of contamination. U.S. Lubricants offers desiccant breathers and filtration systems to address these challenges.
Desiccant breathers are quite literally the first line of defense against contamination and should be an integral part of any proactive maintenance and reliability program. Watchdog® desiccant breathers are designed to replace the breather cap or air filter on gear boxes, hydraulic fluid reservoirs, bulk storage tanks, oil drums, oil-filled transformers, and other fluid reservoirs. The breathers adsorb water and filter particulate contaminants from the atmosphere before they enter your fluid system. Watchdog® desiccant breathers utilize patented designs and feature color indicating silica gel and self-cleaning 2-micron filtration.
U.S. Lubricants has assembled a comprehensive range of desiccant breathers to address most applications. It is part of our customer promise of Assuring Machine Health®. And since new products are added regularly, be sure to check with us if you don’t see the solution to your needs here.
Desiccant breathers may be used across a wide range of industries and applications. Please consult with your U.S. Lubricants Specialist for application-specific recommendations.
U.S Lubricants has assembled a portfolio of high quality filtration solutions that can address the widest range of situations and special needs across various industries and applications. Once the oil in your system has been contaminated (something your lubricants condition monitoring procedures and tools and a robust oil analysis program will determine) your options are to either remove the contamination or to drain and dispose the oil, clean and flush the system, and refill with new oil. The assumption of course is that the new oil is clean and that the source of the contamination was external ingress rather than generated internally. Neither would be safe to assume. Oil could be contaminated when it leaves the blending plant, during transportation or during the transfer to your own tanks. It may also become contaminated while in storage or during handling in your facility.
To avoid the costs associated with frequent lubricant changes and the downtime associated with the drain/flush/refill process, various filtration devices may be used to remove particles and moisture, which will extend the working life of the oil in your system. Filtration devices should be used both in emergency situations when dealing with lubricants and hydraulic fluids known to be contaminated, as well as on regular scheduled intervals, to help remove contaminants that may have entered your lubrication system or may have been generated within the equipment (a case where all the methods used to prevent ingress will be unable to prevent).
Filtration systems may vary across a wide range of industries and applications. Please consult with your U.S. Lubricants Specialist for application-specific recommendations.