When critical equipment goes down, there are few industries that can tolerate it. The implications can be very serious, particularly in the operation of a refinery. Because these tend to run 24/7 all year round, the losses in terms of profitability and production can be overwhelming. If you are not careful, rotating equipment can become a weak point for your company. Pillow block bearings, compressors, motors and pumps if not properly maintained can lead to unscheduled downtime. Here are some tips that can help.
Purchase right – You need to remain flexible because equipment that worked before may not work now. Improve your efficiency by making sure to retrofit the correct pumps as well as other equipment. Instead of buying many smaller pumps, invest in two-screw pumps that are larger but yield flow rates that are higher.
Lubricant decontamination – If you have equipment in your refinery that rotates, then you know it will need to be lubricated. One of the biggest threats to equipment that rotates is contamination of the lubrication by particles because it causes the failure of bearings. It may be a good idea to have external lubrication experts handling this for you in order to avoid this menace.
Come clean to the experts – It is important that you let the lubrication experts know the truth about how the equipment is working currently and how it has worked in the past. They will know the questions to ask you when they audit the equipment, so just respond honestly so that they can deliver lubricants that are clean and uncontaminated when you need it and in the correct amounts for all your rotating equipment.
Get out of the box – Even though it is true that your maintenance manager will have a pretty good idea of the lubrication needed at the facility, an expert may be able to recommend something new that could optimize how your rotating equipment works. It will not hurt for you to consider a suggestion from an outsider. In addition, ensure that the lubricants are handled and stored properly.
Scheduled inspections – Once you have created your lubrication plan, it is time to schedule inspections on a regular basis. As you see the results, tweak your plan and revise or update as needed. This will help you in the management of your sustainability program.
Become part of a global community – learn from other facilities around the globe. You may be surprised to find your issue has already been resolved by other refineries elsewhere.
However, capital-intensive industries dominate the use of these types of equipment. One of the most important metrics used in these operations is a return on capital employed, which depends in large part on the availability of rotating equipment. We provide a complete approach to developing knowledge, with courses that deliver in-depth training on our equipment and auxiliaries along with the skills needed to operate the machinery effectively for maximum production, efficiency and environmental compliance.