Whether it’s machine maintenance and reliability, selecting an initial-fill fluid, or improving operation capacity & profitability by reducing failures, lubrication is key to your plant’s success. That being said, it’s often a lot for plant managers to wrap their heads around. Between maintaining a proper stock, performing maintenance on your machines, and constantly sampling and testing your fluids, there’s a lot that goes into maintaining a lubrication management program (LMP). Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone.
If you have a full-service fluid supplier, they should be proactively helping you with all of your lubrication needs along the way. From helping you find or create the ideal fluid for your operating environment to performing lab analysis testing on your oil samples, a full-service fluid supplier will work closely with your plant to optimize your machines’ performance, minimize wear, and maximize your potential cost savings. In order for a full-service fluid supplier to be most effective, however, your relationship with them must be a two-way street that involves regular communication about the state of your machines and fluids.
To help you find a fluid supplier that will help you make the most of your machines, here’s a list of 8 things your fluid supplier should be doing for you:
1) Oil Analysis in Specialized Laboratory
Oil analysis is one of the most difficult parts of lubrication maintenance. Not only does it require precise sampling procedures, but it also uses advanced testing methods. By relying on your full-service fluid supplier for oil analysis testing, however, not only will their expert technicians have more experience and knowledge when it comes to testing your oil samples, but they’ll often have much nicer, more advanced equipment for testing as well. In addition to analysis, your fluid supplier should provide customer training on proper sampling and interpretation of results—i.e. what to look for and what the data means to you.
2) Custom Blend Fluids for Your Specific Applications
An off-the-shelf fluid isn’t necessarily the correct fluid, and limiting yourself to choosing one of them can put an unnecessary burden of interpretation on you, the customer. It shouldn’t be a guessing game. If there isn’t an off-the-shelf fluid solution available for your machine, your supplier should be capable of taking different fluids and creating a unique custom blend in order to create the ideal fluid for your machine and operating environment.
3) Offer Proper Tools and Hardware for Oil Sampling
In addition to providing your plant with the ideal fluids, your supplier should also have all the proper tools and equipment needed for maintenance and sampling. This includes sampling valves and ports, pitot sampling tubes and probes, vacuum pumps, and more.
4) Perform On-Site Audits
With all the technicalities involved with lubrication maintenance, testing, and storage, sometimes just talking to your fluid supplier over the phone doesn’t cut it. The best fluid suppliers (like U.S. Lubricants) will actually make a visit to your plant, so they can perform on-site audits and maintenance in-person.
It’s important to have a fluid supplier who understands your needs and can focus the audit accordingly, based on whether you’re looking for more global information about the condition of your plant’s fluids or are facing a specific issue (for example, consolidating the number of fluids in use). By focusing the audit on a specific purpose, your fluid supplier is better able to provide value to your plant.
5) Recommend Fluid Consolidation
Does your plant currently use a lot of different fluids? If so, your fluid supplier should be able to help you consolidate some of your inventory by switching to multipurpose fluids that won’t sacrifice performance.
6) Answer Questions and Find Solutions
What good is a fluid supplier if they can’t help you when you have a problem? Given their knowledge and expertise about all things lubrication, a full-service fluid supplier should be able to help you answer the what, why, when, and how about all of your lubrication questions. For example, is your lubrication degrading at a much higher rate than normal, but you aren’t sure why? Your fluid supplier should be able to help you determine the cause and potential solutions. Along these same lines, your supplier should proactively spend time up front helping educate your plant’s key stakeholders on lubrication-related matters. This will help the relationship be more efficient and productive down the road.
7) Show Procedures for Preventing Contaminants
When you’re just getting started with an LMP, learning the proper maintenance steps and procedures can be a difficult process. With a fluid supplier like U.S. Lubricants, however, we’ll come straight to your plant and show you how it’s done firsthand. We provide basic training on using oil sampling equipment and the proper sampling procedures, and our Precision Lubrication Services (PLSI) can even develop, implement, and manage your lubrication program onsite if you don’t have the time or resources to do it yourself.
8) Source Fluid Recycling Services
Because oil spills can be disastrous, environmental support services are very important for your plant. U.S. Lubricants has partnerships with other industry vendors who can help protect your company with proper handling, recycling, and disposal of controlled and hazardous waste.
Looking for a full-service fluid supplier that can do all those things mentioned above, and then some? Look no further than U.S. Lubricants! Our expert lubrication technicians are some of the best in the industry, and our wide product range combined with our expertise allows us to solve just about every lubrication problem that comes our way. Whether you’re just looking for advice and guidance, or you need a team to manage your plant’s lubrication needs, we have the perfect solution and the unparalleled service to match.
Want to see firsthand why U.S. Lubricants is the best possible fluid supplier for your company? Contact Tony Springer at TSpringer@uslube.com or by phone at (800) 490-4900 ext. 8823.