One of the most effective ways to keep your machinery running smoothly is to keep equipment well lubricated. But to ensure your lubrication is effective, you need to monitor your lubricant and keep moisture out of the system. To do this, Lubrication Engineers (LE) South Africa suggests installing oil sight glasses and replacing the standard OEM breather cap or dust cap on your machinery with a desiccant breather.
Callum Ford, national marketing manager at LE South Africa, explains that oil sight glasses give people visual insight into what is happening with their lubricant at all times, allowing them to catch potential problems early on and to address these. In the long run, this minimises downtime, ensures machinery runs optimally and reduces repair costs.
“Our Xtract sight glasses take the guesswork out of fluid lubrication management,” Ford says. “They are designed to give users the ability to continuously monitor the clarity, colour, sediment and water contamination levels of their lubricants. Some models even allow you to easily remove the water by draining it right out of the system.”
The oil sight glasses can be piped to the desiccant breather, which removes humidity and tiny dust particles out of the air as it passes through the filter, ensuring moisture does not enter your lubrication reservoir. Ford says that desiccant breathers are advised for all applications except water-based hydraulic fluid lubricants.
“We stock Xclude breathers – high airflow, long-lasting desiccant breathers with check-valve Technology, which are ideal for tank farms and large applications,” he says. “They have multiple 3-micron polyester filter elements that remove solid particulate from the wet, dirty air as it passes through the unit. They make use of colour-indicating silica gel, which not only extracts moisture, but also gives insight into the condition of the unit, so you can gauge when it’s due for replacement. When air is expelled from the container, the top foam pad prevents oil mist from contacting the silica gel or entering the atmosphere.”
Additionally, the breather is outfitted with a resilient nylon standpipe and polypropylene oil mist reducer to allow oil mist to coalesce and drain back into the reservoir, rather than compromising the desiccant. “Each breather has six high-quality umbrella check valves underneath it to isolate equipment from ambient conditions, which prolongs breather life and protects system integrity,” Ford says.
The breathers are suitable for use in storage tanks, wind turbines, large gearboxes and remote applications, and used in industries ranging from wind energy to storage, pulp and paper, mining, aviation, manufacturing and petrochemical.